Before the opening ceremony on October 25 that kickstarted ATA’s Annual Conference in Washington D.C., officers representing the association’s chapters and divisions got together in the afternoon to talk about what’s been working for them and how everyone can better assist their members.
As part of our duties in the new PLD administration, Roberta Barroca and I attended the two-hour training along with Roberta’s predecessor, Érika Lessa, and our new Blog Editor, Beatriz Figueiredo.
The training session opened with a thirty-minute discussion moderated by Tony Guerra, President of the Delaware Valley Translators Association (DVTA), and Lucy Gunderson, Chair of ATA’s Divisions Committee, who talked about how to resolve conflicts within ATA’s chapters and divisions. They described possible scenarios involving conflicts related to violations of ATA policies, discussion moderation, social media interactions, administrators and assistants finding common ground, and working with volunteers. Leaders from the divisions and chapters present then broke into groups to propose solutions for these potential conflicts.
In the next hour, selected representatives led roundtable discussions about a specific subject related to the management of their division or chapter, including designing websites, copy editing, using social media, seeking sponsorship for events and programs, and organizing a computerized exam sitting for ATA certification.
As the prior PLD blog editor, I was responsible for leading a roundtable discussion about how to maintain a division blog. I shared some of the efforts made over the past few years to average thirty posts a year in a sustainable manner. I introduced fellow representatives to Trello, the free app we use to track every step a blog story goes through, from pitching the idea to finally publishing and spreading the word among our members.
Soon it was time for the next training session, which focused on how to manage a team of volunteers who keep each division and chapter functioning. Eliane Sfeir Markus, who is part of the DVTA Board of Directors, talked about guidance, respect, teamwork, and accountability, and shared ideas from her own experiences of bringing together volunteers interested in achieving a common goal within a professional group.
Finally, the group was split between two rooms to attend their respective annual meeting. PLD’s past and current administrations attended the division leader’s meeting and listened to Lucy Gunderson’s summary of what was accomplished this past year and also heard from President-Elect Ted Wozniak, who shared his plans for the ATA moving forward.
Rafa Lombardino was born in Santos, São Paulo, and has been living in California since 2002. She started her career in 1997 and today runs Word Awareness, a small network of professional translators. Certified by the ATA (EN>PT, PT>EN) and by the University of California San Diego Extension (ES>EN), Rafa acts as the Content Curator of the literary translation blog eWordNews and is the founder of Contemporary Brazilian Short Stories, a website that promotes Brazilian authors in English. In 2014, she wrote “Tools and Technology in Translation,” a book inspired by the class she has been teaching at UCSD Extension since 2010.