From the Executive Director: Board Meeting Highlights

From the Executive Director
Walter Bacak, CAE

For the first time since December 20051, ATA’s Board of Directors did not meet in person. The Board met online April 18, 2020, for the Spring Board meeting. The meeting was originally scheduled for Alexandria, Virginia, but was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some highlights from the meeting.

Budget: The Board approved the July 1, 2020–June 30, 2021 working budget and the 2021–23 draft budgets. ATA Treasurer John Milan walked through the budget planning process and the challenges with financial forecasts and the pandemic. The proposed $2.6-million working budget includes a reduction in membership and conference revenues. The working budget provides an interim financial framework. By using this interim budget, changes and revisions can be made based on the actual year-end figures. The final budget will be approved at the next Board meeting.

Proposed Bylaws Revisions: The Board approved putting forward revisions to the Bylaws to be approved by the membership at the Annual Meeting of Voting Members, October 22, 2020, in Boston, Massachusetts. The proposed revisions clarify the proposed changes to the rights and privileges of membership and certification and replace the proposed changes previously approved at the October 2019 Board meeting.

Advocacy: ATA President and Advocacy Committee Chair Ted Wozniak briefed the Board on the committee’s efforts. The committee continues to work toward legislation in California to remedy the classification of translators and interpreters as enacted in AB 5. Ted noted that the need to focus on California is due to the fact that many states follow California’s lead. We want to get it corrected here so we don’t have this battle in other states as well.

Military Membership Discount: The Board approved a two-year member recruitment test by offering members of the military a 50% discount on ATA membership. The discounts are for individuals who are currently active duty or in the Guard or Reserves. This proposal is part of the ongoing work of the Government Linguists Outreach Task Force to promote careers in translation and interpreting for those transitioning out of the service who have been trained as linguists in the military. The Task Force also promotes private sector resources and professional development opportunities to government linguists.

Editorial Board Appointment: The Board approved the appointment of Jost Zetzsche as chair of the Chronicle Editorial Board. Jost, who is an ATA Gode Medal recipient, is a long-time contributor to the Chronicle. He is the columnist for the GeekSpeak and Resource Review—both look at tools to help translators and interpreters do their jobs.

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 August 1–2, 2020. A decision will be made closer to the meeting as to whether it will be an in-person or online meeting.

Candidates Announced

ATA Elections | 2020 Annual Conference Boston, Massachusetts
ATA will hold its regularly scheduled elections at the upcoming 2020 ATA Annual Conference in Boston, Massachusetts, to elect three directors for a three-year term. Further nominations, supported by acceptance statements in writing by each additional nominee and a written petition signed by no fewer than 60 voting members, must be received by the Nominating and Leadership Development Committee by June 1. Acceptance statements and petitions should be submitted to Nominating and Leadership Development Committee Chair David Rumsey ( Candidate statements and photos of the candidates will appear in the September/October issue of The ATA Chronicle and on ATA’s website. The candidates proposed by the Nominating and Leadership Development Committee are:

Director (three positions, three-year terms):
Robin Bonthrone
Veronika Demichelis
Tony Guerra
Manako Ihaya
Elena Langdon
Lorena Ortiz Schneider

  1. A special meeting of the Board of Directors was conducted via conference call to discuss the certification program.
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