From the Executive Director: Board Meeting Highlights

Standing from left: Directors Alaina Brandt, Meghan Konkol, Elena Langdon, Jamie Hartz, Geoff Koby, Eve Lindemuth Bodeux, Melinda Gonzalez-Hibner, Tony Guerra, and Cristina Helmerichs. Seated from left: Treasurer John Milan, President-Elect Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo, President Ted Wozniak, and Secretary Karen Tkaczyk.

From the Executive Director
Walter Bacak, CAE

The American Translators Association’s Board of Directors met February 8–9, 2020, in Charleston, South Carolina. The meeting followed the Board’s Annual Strategy Day.

The Annual Strategy Day allows the Board to discuss in-depth aspects of the Association and the translation and interpreting professions. Strategy Day is coordinated and led by ATA’s president-elect, who, by office, is the chair of the Governance and Communications Committee.

This year, President-Elect Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo guided the Board through a Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations, Results (SOAR) Analysis and discussion. (The Board’s top areas were advocacy, continuing education, and inclusivity/expanding membership.) Next, Treasurer John Milan led a discussion about the proposed Strategy Committee, specifically how it could advise the Board on its planning, the skills and experience committee members should have, and the importance of the committee’s independence to provide its insights. The Board then looked at the future of the Annual Conference with a general discussion about the structure of the event, the audience, and locations. The Board also discussed possible revisions to ATA’s membership structure and categories.

Treasurer Milan closed the day’s activities by reviewing and explaining how Board members are expected to satisfy their fiduciary duties to ATA with respect to ATA’s financial and tax reporting.

Strategy Day discussions do not necessarily lead to concrete action plans, but they do serve as the foundation for working through the Board’s activities for the year.

Here are some highlights from the Board meeting.

Advocacy: President and Government Relations Committee Chair Ted Wozniak briefed the Board on ATA’s responses to California Assembly Bill 5 (independent contractor vs employee classifications) and the efforts to get an exemption for translators and interpreters. President Wozniak shared with the Board other draft federal and state legislation that the committee is monitoring. Related, the Board approved renaming the Government Relations Committee the Advocacy Committee.

Strategy Committee: The Board approved establishing a Strategy Committee and appointing Treasurer John Milan as chair. The committee will focus on trends and issues affecting translators and interpreters and what they mean for the Association.

Membership: The Board reviewed the Membership Committee’s updated Membership Roadmap that looks at ways to improve membership retention and target new members. President-Elect Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo is the chair of the Membership Committee.

Conflict of Interest Policy: The Board approved a Conflict of Interest Policy for Board members, committee chairs, and division administrators. These key volunteers must submit a conflict of interest form each year.

Nominating and Leadership Development Committee Appointment Approved: The Board approved the appointment of the members of the Nominating and Leadership Development Committee. They are Past President David Rumsey (chair), Lucy Gunderson, Yolanda Secos, David Stephenson (Certification Committee chair), and Izumi Suzuki. The committee reviews and selects the slate of candidates for the elections each fall. This year, we have elections for three directors.

Finance and Audit Committee: The Board approved the appointment of Robin Bonthrone to the Finance and Audit Committee. Robin brings a strong finance and accounting background to the committee.

The Board meeting summary is posted online. The minutes will be posted once they are approved at the next Board meeting. Past meeting summaries and minutes are also posted online at The next Board meeting is set for April 18–19, 2020, in Alexandria, Virginia. As always, the meeting is open to all members, and members are encouraged to attend.

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