From the Executive Director: The New Year, New Look, and Board Meeting Highlights

From the Executive Director
Walter Bacak, CAE

The new year brings hope and opportunity. For ATA, it also brings a new look. The new ATA website will be online shortly. You’ll find it visually appealing, the content completely reviewed, and with better navigation. We have more to do with the directories. In addition to the website, the new year brings a new look to The ATA Chronicle. This year marks the 50th anniversary of ATA’s flagship publication. We look forward to recognizing this milestone throughout the year.

Typically, the Fall Board meeting would have been held in conjunction with the Annual Conference. Instead, the Board met virtually a week after the conference, October 31–November 1. Here are some highlights.

Opening the Certification Exam to Nonmembers

The Board rescinded the previously approved motions to open the certification exam to nonmembers. The decision followed the failure of the proposed Bylaws amendment clarifying the rights and privileges of membership.

Reimagining Membership

The Board continued its discussion on changes to the membership structure, including looking at tiers of benefits and services. The Governance and Communications Committee, led by President-Elect Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo, is charged with rethinking/restructuring membership and strengthening the value proposition of ATA membership.

Investigating a National Registry and a Basic Credential

The Board approved establishing ad hoc committees to investigate and make recommendations on the establishment of a National Registry of Individual Translators and Interpreters and a basic ATA credential for translators and interpreters.

New Committee Chairs

The Board approved the appointment of the following Committee chairs:

  • Advocacy Committee: Lorena Ortiz Schneider
  • Certification Committee: Michèle Hansen
  • Chapters Committee: Yolanda Secos
  • Divisions Committee: Daniel Sebesta

Thank you to the outgoing chairs for all their time and work for ATA: Ted Wozniak (Advocacy), David Stephenson (Certification), Tony Guerra (Chapters), and Percy Balemans (Divisions).

ATA Monograph Series

The Board approved Translation in Transition: Bridging Human and Machine Intelligence as the next volume in the ATA Monograph Series. The Series, published by John Benjamins, is a peer-reviewed scholarly publication. Recent volumes include The Evolving Curriculum in Interpreter and Translator Education and Innovation and Expansion in Translation Process Research.

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.

ATA Petitions CDC to Include Interpreters

Following the release of the U.S. COVID-19 Vaccination Program recommendations, ATA and 20 other language organizations and associations petitioned the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to explicitly include on-site medical interpreters among the listed examples of health care personnel eligible for Phase 1 vaccinations. Twenty other organizations co-signed the ATA letter. You can read the letter on ATA’s website.


Be Sure to Renew

Don’t go it alone. ATA provides a community and a professional home. If you haven’t already renewed your membership dues for 2021, please do. Click here for details.


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