From the President
Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo
As I begin my term as ATA president, I find myself reflecting on—and grateful for—how the past decade contributed to my ATA experience. I’ve served the Association as an administrator of one of ATA’s largest divisions, chair of three standing committees, five years as a director on the Board, and, most recently, president-elect and conference organizer.
Each of these positions has offered some unique lessons while allowing me to see a different perspective of the largest translator and interpreter association in the world. These roles came with challenges and achievements, small projects and large ones. All in an effort to move our Association forward in one area or another.
But perhaps, more importantly, the greatest lessons I carry with me into my presidency are not those learned as a result of taking on large projects and roles, but those that came about from working with such a diverse group of colleagues and volunteers.
During my two terms as administrator of ATA’s Medical Division, I had the chance to engage with colleagues from many different linguistic, cultural, and professional backgrounds. I worked with both translators and interpreters, often collaborating with the Interpreters Division to meet the needs of members we had in common. Continuing to find ways to work together as a stronger unit will be crucial in the coming years.
As chair of the Public Relations Committee, I learned about the importance of promoting our members to the general public and to the media, getting the word out about who we are and who we serve. Elevating our professions in the eyes of the public remains a top priority for me and for ATA.
Chairing the Membership Committee taught me to better understand the needs of our individual members and how ATA can show up for them better. Working to refine and improve our member benefits will be an ongoing effort, and I will continue to look to you to offer feedback and ideas.
As chair of the Governance and Communications Committee, I was able to look at the Bylaws and policies that govern our Association to see where we could make improvements and bring some of our guiding principles up to date to serve our members as a whole.
As a Board member, president-elect, and conference organizer, I’ve been fortunate to see ATA in a different light than any of my previous positions offered me. The big, complex picture that is our Association, made up of thousands of language professionals from all walks of life, is a humbling one. All the gears that turn to make ATA what it is continue to impress upon me how far we’ve come and how far we can go, even in, or especially in, the changing landscape of our professions.
There will surely be more to learn in this next chapter. When making decisions that affect our members, my goal will be to keep all members in mind regardless of background, membership class, voting, or certification status. I want to assure you that I am here, ready to work with you, learn from and with you, support you however I can, and offer a seat at our Association’s table for every diverse voice that makes up ATA as well as those who wish to join us.
Thank you for your confidence in me. I look forward to serving you in this role during the next two years.