From the Executive Director: Board Meeting Highlights

ATA Board of Directors 2019-2020 (left to right)
Top Row: Secretary Karen Tkaczyk, President-Elect Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo, Director Cristina Helmerichs, Director Eve Bodeux. Second Row: Executive Director Walter Bacak, Director Alaina Brandt, Director Tony Guerra, Treasurer John Milan. Third Row: President Ted Wozniak, Director Elena Langdon, Director Meghan Konkol, Director Jamie Hartz. Fourth Row: Director Melinda Gonzalez-Hibner, Director Geoff Koby.

From the Executive Director
Walter Bacak, CAE

The American Translators Association’s Board of Directors met online August 1–2, 2020. Here are some highlights from the meeting.

Final Budget: The Board approved the final budget for the fiscal year July 1, 2020–June 30, 2021. This $2.5 million budget reflects a significant drop in certification exam revenue and expenses, as well as lower conference revenue and expenses.

No Dues Increase: The Board approved foregoing the scheduled dues increase for 2021. The Board established a Membership Dues Policy in 2015 that sets procedures for instituting smaller dues increases as a means of keeping up with inflation. The policy ties any dues increase to an increase in the Consumer Price Index-Urban Wage Earners, which is published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, on March 31 of each year. Any increase equaling $2.50 or more triggers a $5 increase in dues. (This March there was the equivalent of a $3.11 increase in the CPI-U.) In making this decision, the Board recognized the financial challenges many of our members are currently facing.

Professional Development: The Board approved the appointment of Veronika Demichelis as chair of the Professional Development Committee. The Professional Development Committee oversees ATA’s webinars, seminars, and related learning experiences. Veronika managed the Houston Interpreters and Translators Association’s professional development program and helped start and host Slovo, the podcast of ATA’s Slavic Languages Division.

Governance Issues: The Board approved revisions to several governance policies: Board Election Policy, Board Guidelines, and the Member Resolutions Policy and Procedures. In addition, the Board approved putting forward to the membership a resolution requiring multiple candidates for elective office. (This resolution is one of two proposed Bylaws amendments on the ballot this year. The other deals with member rights and privileges.)

American Foundation for Translation and Interpretation (AFTI) Board: The ATA Board approved the appointment of the AFTI Board: Geoff Koby, president; Caitilin Walsh, vice president; Allison Bryant, director; Jennifer DeCamp, director; Marian S. Greenfield, director; Celeste Klein Malone, director; and Ted Wozniak, director. ATA’s Board is required to approve at least 60% of the members of the AFTI Board. AFTI is ATA’s 501(c)3 charitable arm.

Board Meeting Feedback: After some discussion, the Board consensus was to open the next virtual Board meeting to all members. More information on accessing the meeting will be announced closer to the meeting.

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 October 31–November 1, 2020. The Board will meet online.

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