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Campaign statement for write-in as Director October 14, 2019

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in ATA.

For those who don’t know me, this should serve as a brief introduction. My name is Jill R. Sommer, and I am running as a write-in candidate for the ATA Board of Directors. I have been a full-time freelance German>English translator since 1995. I hold a dual BA in German and Russian from Bowling Green State University and an MA in German translation from Kent State University. I was on the board of the Northeast Ohio Translators Association from 2001 to 2017, with 15 of those years as Chapter President. I have been active in the German Language Division and Medical Divisions, was a moderator of the Business Practices listserv, and am on the ATA’s Ethics Committee, where I am currently serving as Chair.

As an active member of ATA since 2002 I have a long history of volunteering for the Association. I have always said I would rather be a squeaky wheel outside the Board, but I feel the time has come for me to be a squeaky wheel on the Board.

I feel that the recent ATA board decision to decouple certification from membership is a core issue that goes against the Bylaws, and to implement such a change requires a bylaws amendment vote by the voting members. I think critical issues such as declining membership or decoupling or even thoughts on continuing education should more frequently be put to the members. Individual translator and interpreter members are the heart of the ATA, and I see my role on the Board being to speak for those members.

I will work to promote greater diversity of educational opportunities, such as smaller, more specialized conferences being offered. Through smaller, regional seminars, we can make many valuable connections with colleagues that are more difficult to make at the annual conference. Such smaller events can also be more affordable and can draw in a diverse range of members.

Robert Sette and I have been conducting a write-in campaign for the ATA Board, for the following positions:
For President-elect (2-year term): Robert Sette
For Director (3-year term): Jill R. Sommer

Robert and I respectfully ask for your support and your vote. If elected, we will work with determination on behalf of the membership’s right to have a fair debate on decoupling with the views of both sides presented. This is the only fair option, given that the ultimate decision—on the part of the membership—will truly shape the future of our association.

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