Letter from the outgoing President

Written by: Valeriya Yermishova

It has been such a pleasure to serve as our chapter’s president for two years and be a part of this professional community. Prior to running for president-elect and then president, I felt that I had greatly benefited from my membership and being mentored, and wanted to give back. I met inspiring linguists at the Circle, in my translation certificate programs and during my first forays into translation agencies. I had many ideas and got to work on large events and projects with hardworking collaborators who contributed great ideas of their own. In addition to my fellow board members, I had a strong support network of former officers, volunteers and longtime members. In turn, I’ve enjoyed supporting our energetic and reliable incoming board members in 2016.

The 2016 board made an incredible and lasting contribution to our chapter. We strove to offer a varied slate of programming focused on a number of translating and interpreting specializations. Our Program Director, Ana Lis Salotti, hit the ground running by organizing professional development panels and presentations, as well as our very first literary translation open mic. Not everyone can make it to the ATA conference’s After Hours Café, so this was a great opportunity for many talented members to shine and showcase their work. Who knew that our treasurer translated Russian Silver Age poetry? In March, we brought back a favorite ATA conference speaker on transcreation. I only regret that I couldn’t attend every single event!

Our spring events also included a second annual all-day literary translation conference organized by outgoing Vice President and current Acting President Alta Price. The Professionalization Symposium was expanded into an all-day event with three concurrent afternoon sessions and lecturers from institutions all over the tri-State area. While I had been involved in the 2015 Symposium, I have to give all the credit for planning and executing last year’s event to the 2016 Symposium Committee: Administrator Louise Jennewine, Ana Lis Salotti and former president Leonard Morin. More than170 people attended! In the fall, I helped our Program Director plan a second iteration of our speed-networking event. Some of my favorite project managers attended and said they met very interesting prospective collaborators.

In addition to her regular responsibilities, Secretary Lisa Rodriguez proctored two sittings of the ATA certification exam, initiated the design and production of a new brochure and created a new record-keeping system. We took some time off in the summer, but continued to support our Webmaster, Gigi Branch-Shaw, who worked daily to address inherited website and database glitches and to find a new website designer before we settled on WP Blogsites. To date, we have been happy with their services and responsiveness. Our treasurer Andre Kononenko had the arduous task of rebuilding and maintaining our financial records and advising us. As for our Nomination Committee, volunteers Michael Bittoni and Martin Hoffman combed through member lists to identify and contact potential candidates for the election. Linkedin Moderator Soraya Riera posted interesting content and recruitment announcements in our LinkedIn group.

This winter, we are still looking for candidates for president and hope to hold our regular election for other positions later in the year. I encourage anyone who feels ready to reach out to Michael Bittoni and run for this position. We are one of the smallest and most active chapters in the country, and our vibrancy is the direct result of the work and creativity of our volunteers. We already have some exciting events planned for this spring and I encourage you to get involved!