From the President: Continuity and Renewal within ATA

From the President
Corinne McKay
Twitter handle: @corinnemckay

ATA has many strengths—including every one of our 10,500 members—and one of our greatest is certainly our mix of continuity and renewal. To keep an association like ours going from 1959 to 2018 and beyond requires both steadiness and adaptability—a willingness to embrace the new and the old, especially when we think of the changes our professions have undergone since ATA’s inception. Fun fact: ATA predates the IBM Selectric typewriter by two years. The Selectric has since fallen from a 75% market share to…well…the realm of museum cases and eBay auctions, but ATA is still here and thriving, and we’re committed to continuing on that track.

When we think of continuity, ATA’s Annual Conference is a great example. As we approach ATA59 (let the good times roll in New Orleans in October!), it’s awe-inspiring to think of 58 conference planning teams, 58 groups of attendees, 58 slates of presenters, and 58 venues that have made our conference one of the top events in the world for the language professions. We have introduced changes to the conference over the years, but we’ve also stuck with it. As other industry conferences have risen and fallen, we’ve kept firmly on the path, and that stick-to-it-iveness has paid off.

At the same time, part of ATA’s success lies in our willingness and ability to innovate. Had we remained stuck in the Selectric era, ATA would also now be a museum piece. Since the time that I joined ATA’s Board, we’ve introduced programs and services such as:

  • The ATA YouTube channel, which now counts over 700 subscribers, and features video versions of our podcasts (more on that later), free webinars, conference highlight videos, and even some sessions from the ATA58 Virtual Conference. The YouTube channel helps us present material about ATA in an engaging format, and it helps us expand our reach to people who might not yet know about ATA.
  • The ATA Podcast, hosted by our dynamo “radio voice” Matt Baird. Episode 19 of the podcast focuses on our first-ever Advocacy Day, featuring interviews with ATA Past President David Rumsey and current Secretary Karen Tkaczyk. You can listen to the podcast on ATA’s website or subscribe to it on iTunes. Past episode topics include how ATA works, ATA’s Public Relations Program, and meeting the candidates for the 2017 ATA elections.
  • ATA social media channels: With over 12,000 Twitter followers and over 27,000 Facebook fans, ATA is using social media to help keep current members informed, engage with new members, and spread the word about news and events in our professions.

With your support, we hope to continue thriving through ATA100 and beyond (hopefully I, at age 87, will see you there!). Whatever the 2059 equivalent of the IBM Selectric is, we promise to be ready for it!

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