The ATA Chronicle - November/December 2023 - 4

FROM THE PRESIDENT
Becoming the Association of the Future
VERONIKA DEMICHELIS
president@atanet.org
@vero_demi
W
hen I attended
my very first ATA
Annual Conference
in 2016, I realized I'd finally
found where I belong. I've
felt that sense of belonging
ever since, and this has
inspired me to get involved,
volunteer for ATA, and
take on various leadership
roles-from a member of
the Leadership Council of
ATA's Slavic Languages
Division to chair of ATA's
Professional Development
Committee to serving as ATA
director, president-elect,
conference organizer, and
chair of the Governance
and Communications
Committee. Now I'm excited
and honored to begin my
term as ATA president. I
look forward to serving ATA
members and strengthening
our Association.
This summer, ATA's Board
had its annual Strategy
Day-a day reserved for
conversations about our
professional landscape, bigpicture
factors affecting the
translation and interpreting
(T&I) professions, the needs
of our members, and ATA's
strategic direction. The
Board doesn't make any
formal decisions on Strategy
Day, but the outcomes
of these discussions and
brainstorming exercises
are shared with various
ATA committees, divisions,
special interest groups,
and ATA Headquarters.
The result is often new
initiatives, projects, and
member resources. I would
like to use this opportunity
to share a recap of the latest
Strategy Day to highlight
some of our priorities for the
next few years.
Empowering Members
to Face the Challenges
Presented by AI: Although
the subject of technology
is always on the agenda, it
was clearly one of the most
important topics for the
Board this year. Generative
artificial intelligence and
large language models have
disrupted many sectors
and professions and are
transforming the future
of T&I. We believe ATA
should play an active role
in defining the parameters
for the responsible use of
AI in the language services
industry. This includes
sharing resources and
providing guidance to the
public, authorities, buyers of
language services, and T&I
professionals. ATA should be
empowering our members
with the skills and expertise
necessary to allow them to
use these new tools in their
work and to speak confidently
with their clients about the
pros and cons of this new
technology. We should be
4 The ATA Chronicle | November/December 2023
the voice of the experts,
informing buyers of language
services about the real risks
of not including humans in
the loop and advocating for
using professional translators
and interpreters. (See ATA's
statement on AI on page 6.)
Providing High-Quality
Training: As the T&I
professions evolve and adapt,
so should our Association.
We want ATA to be the
Association of the future,
a professional home for
translators and interpreters,
and a center of excellence
regarding all things related
to T&I. ATA should be a
welcoming community for
translators and interpreters
at various stages of their
careers-from experienced
professionals to graduates of
T&I programs or those just
getting started. ATA should
provide high-quality training
on both the hard and soft
skills needed to succeed,
as well as business skills
that will help our freelance
members stand out as true
professionals and build and
grow sustainable businesses.
We should promote the
value of ATA certification
and empower our members
with information and
resources that will help
them prepare for ATA's
certification exam. We should
promote possible career
paths for translators and
interpreters, offer training
on topics that you don't learn
in T&I programs, and, as
mentioned previously, create
a welcoming environment for
graduates and those new to
translation and interpreting
so they feel that the first
natural step in starting their
career is to join ATA.
Promoting Collaboration:
Finally, we should
maintain and promote
collaboration with our
" sister " associations, those
membership organizations
that share common interests
and the goal of advancing
the T&I professions. Such
dialogue and joint initiatives
will be more important than
ever in the future.
How Can Members Help?
As we head into the new year,
I invite you to reflect on what
these strategic goals mean
for you as an ATA member. If
you're actively involved in an
ATA committee, division, or
special interest group, how
can you help support ATA's
strategic direction? What
synergies and opportunities
for collaboration do you
see with other ATA
committees and groups?
How can you help?
Our Association is strong
because of our dedicated
corps of active volunteers.
We have a wealth of
opportunities for you to make
a difference, shape the future
of the T&I professions, and
develop your interpersonal,
professional, and leadership
skills. Whether you're a
newcomer to ATA or have
been with us for many years,
there's a role for you in ATA!
Thank you for being an
ATA member. Let's make
our Association stronger
together!
www.atanet.org
http://www.atanet.org

The ATA Chronicle - November/December 2023

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