Priorities!

I often tell people that my main problem in life is wanting to do everything. During my term as ATA president, it will surely be impossible to do everything I’d would like to do, so I’ve set some priorities—the most important projects that I’d like us to accomplish between now and 2019. I’d like to share some of these priorities with you so that you know what’s on the horizon for our Association.

My first priority, and one that we’re already working on, is a new website. Our website is ATA’s public presence, and it’s a key resource for current members, prospective members, and translation clients. Over the years we’ve added (and added!) to our website, so much so that it can be difficult to find the information you’re looking for. Additionally, our website is becoming outdated in terms of design/usability and mobile-friendliness, both of which are critical in the online age. Fortunately, our website redesign task force, chaired by Board member Karen Tkaczyk, is already at work determining what we want in a new site. Stay tuned for updates!

Next, I’d like to see us expand our professional development opportunities, adding at least one new offering to our current slate of options. We have a thriving conference and an extensive webinar series and webinar library. To this, I’d like to add in-person seminars and/or online courses. By the time you read this, we’ll have tested this model with an in-person certification exam prep session in Boston, with the morning focused on the English>Spanish exam and the afternoon for all languages into English. The success of our pre-conference Advanced Skills and Training Day has shown us that ATA members want hands-on, advanced level training, and we’re excited to expand our offerings in that area.

During David Rumsey’s term as president, ATA became much more involved in lobbying and advocacy efforts, creating our Government Relations Committee and holding our first (sold-out!) Advocacy Day at the 2017 Annual Conference. (For more on Advocacy Day, see page 8.) I’d like us to continue and even expand those efforts so that the voice of the language professions is heard by government agencies and lawmakers.

In some areas, we simply need to keep doing what we’re doing. Our Public Relations program has been revitalized in recent years, and I will support the continuation and expansion of our PR efforts during my term. We’ve also made great strides in terms of parity between interpreters and translators in ATA, with our Credentialed Interpreter designation being rolled out in 2017. I look forward to exploring ways to further support and include interpreters within ATA.

Finally, I look forward to working with President-elect Ted Wozniak and the rest of the ATA Board on ways to bring the next generation of translators and interpreters into the fold. ATA needs to target new graduates—those from translation and interpreting programs, and those wondering what to do with their foreign language degrees. We need to reach out to the many translators and interpreters in the U.S. who don’t yet know about ATA or haven’t yet joined our Association. We need to show them that ATA membership is the route to becoming a true language professional.

I thank all 10,500+ ATA members for your support, and I look forward to serving you during my time as president!

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