From the President
ATA is often compared to a large ship, which makes changes slowly and deliberatively. There have been a lot of changes implemented at ATA within the past few years that have helped us weather the stormy seas of the past. I’m very fortunate to be able to take over the helm as ATA president at this time as we chart a course forward.
I would first like to extend my heartfelt thanks to Caitilin Walsh, who, during her term as ATA president, was willing to bring the hard decisions to the Board to get our sails pointed in the right direction. I would also like to express my thanks to Walter Bacak, our executive director, and his tireless team at ATA Headquarters, who keep the ship going forward.
I am also grateful to have a great crew on the ship, including Ted Wozniak, whose financial wisdom as treasurer helped us see a clear way forward to financial prosperity. Detailed cost analyses of the Association’s programs have helped to map out where there is potential for savings and where there is potential for increased revenues. Many of the decisions to be made go to the heart of the Association’s mission to promote the profession and to provide educational and career-advancing opportunities for our members. Clearly, good fiscal health remains our guiding end point for the Association to be able to provide these services.
As first mate, Corinne McKay brings great energy and enthusiasm in her role as president-elect, not least is organizing the 2016 conference in San Francisco and the 2017 conference in Washington, DC. In addition, Corinne’s efforts in revamping The ATA Chronicle and her experience with social media will come in handy as we set our sights on expanding ATA’s online presence to help bring more translation and interpreting professionals onboard.
But our ship would not get far without the dedication, muscle, and brainpower of many of the volunteers on the Board and within the various divisions and committees. We’ve made good progress over the past two years in the areas of public relations: organizing a pool of speakers, refining our message, targeting our audience, and establishing relationships with professional public relations firms to help get our message out. With a dedicated team in place, we are well positioned to move full-steam ahead.
Professional development is another area that contains a lot of hidden horsepower. In addition to the unique ATA Annual Conference, one of the largest gatherings of translators and interpreters in the world, ATA is reviewing ways to expand educational and learning opportunities that will appeal to both beginning translators and experienced veterans in the field. As the industry swells and the waves of technology rise and fall, it’s important to stay on top of the learning curve and safeguard our value in the marketplace.
There will surely be many exciting attractions over the next two years of my term, but the key to a safe journey is to make sure that we have a team that works well together to avoid any sudden movements that can throw us off course. We’ve negotiated some challenging seas in the past successfully, and we’re holding a steady course. I’m grateful for your support and the opportunity to help us sail into smoother waters.