The ATA Chronicle - November/December 2021 - 6

I was wrong about this one.
In order to have completely
frank and honest discussions
among board members,
especially when discussing
our mistakes and failures, it's
necessary to have in-person
closed meetings. That is not
to say " secret " meetings,
but closed meetings. At least
during discussions of items
when the Board needs to
air some " dirty laundry. "
Members could still attend
portions of in-person
meetings to talk directly
to the Board (even though
I can't recall ever having
more than five members
attend a Board meeting,
even at the conference).
Concise minutes, coupled
with statements from the
president in this space, can
inform members about the
Board's work.
Increase the Use of Online
Presentations/Seminars
to Save on Costs: Webinars
have become an almost daily
occurrence-even preCOVID-and
the breadth
and quality of them has
increased dramatically.
The future of hybrid or
fully virtual conferences/
seminars remains to be
seen as the financial costs
are currently very high. But
that could change, making
at least virtual seminars
and specialized conferences
economically feasible.
Revitalize the Ethics
Committee/Complete the
Revision of the Code of
Professional Conduct:
Done. And almost done.
As chair of the Ethics
Committee, Rudy Heller
began the revitalization
of the committee, and the
Ethics Procedures were
completely rewritten to
ensure a fair and impartial
hearing of all complaints
received. The Code of Ethics
and Professional Practice
was revised back in 2010 and
is currently undergoing a
major revision that should
be completed soon. The
number of complaints
received initially increased
dramatically as members
learned that ATA took their
complaints seriously, even
if many of their complaints
didn't result in sanctions.
Twelve members have since
been sanctioned, compared
to just one during many
prior years. And history was
made when ATA expelled a
member in perpetuity for the
first time.
Work on Model Contract
Project: Not done (as
envisioned) but we tried.
This may have been a bridge
too far. As mentioned above,
we attempted to work with
the Association of Language
Companies to develop a
joint model contract for
independent contractors and
language services companies,
but the differences were
just too great to overcome.
But at least we tried.
There's a model contract for
translators that's suitable for
use with direct and private
(non-language services
company) clients, and a
similar model contract for
interpreters is in the works.
Offer Military Linguist
Outreach Program: Created
and underway. As a former
military linguist, this was
certainly a priority for
me. Former military and
other government linguists
6 The ATA Chronicle | November/December 2021
represent a rich pool of
potential professionals,
many in languages of
lesser diffusion. Under the
outstanding leadership of
Rusty Shugart, chair of
ATA's Government Linguist
Outreach Task Force, the
program was launched
two years ago and has now
recruited about a dozen new
ATA members-despite the
fact that in-person events
and direct communications
were halted by the pandemic
about six months into the
program. (On the other hand,
this initiative has cost ATA
extremely little in financial
resources given the lack of
travel, so the cost per new
member has been very low.)
Of course, there are other
issues I've worked on, ATA's
finances and governance in
particular. The Association's
finances are not quite where
I would like them in terms
of long-term stability, but
we're getting there. Treasurer
John Milan has the situation
well in hand and is advising
the Board on future actions.
Ensuring that the Annual
Conference at least breaks
even on a consistent basis is
the last major step for the
Board to act on. Given that
conference locations are set
five years in advance, this will
take a bit longer to achieve.
The membership
restructuring that's currently
under discussion is also a
positive step in orienting the
Association to become the
representative and advocate
for individual professional
practitioners, instead of a
trade association working
for the industry as a whole
and trying to represent
all participants (with the
attendant inherent conflicts
ATA has made major
improvements to
its professional
development program,
increased member
benefits, become much
more " interpreterfriendly, "
and
(finally!) moved the
certification exam to a
fully online system.
of interest). While the draft
proposal could use some
tweaking and will not please
every member, I do believe
it's in the best interest of
the vast majority of our
individual members, the
independent profession
provider of T&I services.
Finally, I would like to
thank every Board member
that I've worked with over
the past 11 years, all of the
committee members who do
the heavy-duty work of
meeting the needs of our
members, the staff at ATA
Headquarters who are
often overworked and
underappreciated, and
thanks as well to all the
individual members who
have reached out to me over
the years offering
suggestions or support. And
certainly not least, I have
to thank my wife, Kathy,
for allowing me to take so
much time away from her
to serve ATA. It has been an
honor and a privilege and
the capstone of my
professional career.
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The ATA Chronicle - November/December 2021

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