Elections, Position Papers, and More: ATA Counts on Your Voice

As I write this in mid-August, ATA’s 2017–2018 Board has met for the last time (in beautiful Portland, Oregon!), and we’re speeding toward ATA’s 59th Annual Conference in New Orleans at the end of October, where we’ll elect new directors to ATA’s Board. Six candidates—Eve Bodeux, Melinda Gonzalez-Hibner, Diego Mansilla, Meghan McCallum, Tianlu Redmon, and Kyle Vraa—are running for three director positions with three-year terms, and current Director Tony Guerra is running unopposed for a one-year term to fill the remaining year in the director position opened by Karen Tkaczyk’s election to secretary in 2017.

Most importantly, thank you to every one of these candidates for putting themselves forward! ATA could not continue to function without the dedication of our volunteer Board, and we’re thrilled to have such a robust slate of candidates. We also need you to vote in the upcoming election so that your voice can be heard in our Association. If you’re already a Voting member of ATA, please vote either by electronic proxy (every voting member will receive this information in late September), or—better yet—vote in person in New Orleans at the conference. If you’re not yet a Voting member of ATA and you meet the requirements, we encourage you to fill out the free, fast (less than five minutes, I promise!) online application for voting membership status before September 24 if you would like to vote in this year’s election.

ATA needs your voice in many ways. One is by voting; another is by giving your input on ATA’s position papers. Position papers represent a new direction for ATA. They give us an opportunity to use our association-sized voice to advance the interests of professional translators and interpreters in a rapidly changing work environment. The Board and the Governance and Communications Committee have been working on this initiative for some time—first, creating a position paper policy to steer the process. Then, identifying timely topics in our professions and recruiting teams of authors with subject-area knowledge to write on these topics.

I’m excited to report that our first position paper—on machine translation—was approved by the Board to be released to the membership for comment. You may have seen this announced in the August 15 issue of ATA Newsbriefs. (The member comment period ran from August 15–September 5.)
If you didn’t get a chance to comment, we hope that you’ll give us your thoughts on our next position paper—on remote interpreting—to be released in 2019.

We’re grateful that every one of you has chosen to be an ATA member, and we hope to see you soon in New Orleans.

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