From the Executive Director: What’s New?

From the Executive Director
Walter Bacak, CAE

ATA has more to offer than ever before. The breadth and depth of the programs and services reflects the hard work of dedicated volunteers and the staff at ATA Headquarters. Here’s a look at what’s new.

Professional Development

This year we’re on track to host 60 professional development opportunities. These include webinars, member orientation sessions, and networking events. Like many activities during the pandemic, we started out one way and made changes on the fly to respond to feedback. For example, although the membership orientation sessions were initially geared toward newer ATA members, after the first one, the volunteers involved heard from longtime members who said they had also learned valuable information from attending. We subsequently promoted the sessions to all ATA members and to date have educated almost 500 members about ATA’s programs and services. Be sure to check out upcoming events on ATA’s home page: and scroll down to Looking Ahead.


Matt Baird, host of The ATA Podcast, continues to guide listeners through interviews with key volunteers sharing information about ATA and our various activities and programs. For example, Matt interviewed ATA President Ted Wozniak and President-Elect Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo for the mid-year “State of the Association” update. We also added an all-new feature to The ATA Podcast concerning specialization and diversification in the fields of translation and interpreting. The new program, Inside Specialization, which was developed in collaboration with ATA’s Professional Development Committee, focuses on various specializations where you can learn the “what, why, and how” from translators and interpreters working in those areas. The first episode was on international development. Check out the link in the sidebar for a list of available episodes.

Compensation Survey

The recently completed compensation survey is providing much-needed data for translation and interpreting professionals. The final report created from this survey will represent the most complete, accurate, and up-to-date income and pay rate data available. The results will be formatted to allow you to easily compare your business to that of your peers as well as apply various filters (e.g., translator, Spanish into English, and independent contractor) to see prevailing rates for translation and interpreting services. We’ll be publishing an executive summary of the survey to share with the membership.

Online Exams

As you’ll read in this issue’s Certification Forum column, ATA is now offering the certification exam online. We began with a soft rollout to work out the inevitable bugs and online gremlins. As the system is fine-tuned, we’ll expand the number of online sittings.

Annual Conference

Planning for the Annual Conference as a hybrid event is moving forward. As President-Elect Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo mentions in her column, the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis, our host hotel, features plenty of space for learning and networking, including a spacious lounge in the hotel lobby to connect with colleagues and see familiar faces. This will allow you to participate at your own comfort level. (As an aside, the gym, which is complimentary to hotel guests, is like no other conference hotel gym we’ve experienced—four rooms of equipment, a pool, a full-size basketball court, a dance studio, and more!) Of course, we’ll continue to monitor COVID-19 protocols and implement best practices in alignment with the Hyatt Regency’s corporate requirements.

While there’s no question the conference experience is best in person, we’re also offering the option to attend virtually. We’ll have 120 educational sessions from Thursday through Saturday. All 120 sessions will be recorded and available after the conference for long-term access. If you register for the in-person conference you’ll have access to the virtual conference as well. This means you can take a break and watch a session from your hotel room. The hotel block for the conference is now open and discounted rates are available at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis until October 1 or as space allows. Register today for the conference regardless of whether you’re attending in person or online.

Be sure to get the most out of your ATA membership by taking advantage of everything we have to offer!

ATA62 Website

ATA Certification Website

ATA Event Calendar (A complete listing of professional development opportunities)

ATA Member Orientation: A Bird’s-Eye View of All ATA Has to Offer

ATA Webinar Series

The ATA Podcast

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