This is a blank petition for you to sign.

On May 8, the ATA Nominations and Leadership Development Committee (NLDC) sent an email to members announcing this year’s slate of candidates. The committee informed us that despite their efforts, they had not been able to find more than one candidate for the Secretary position. And in this committee’s opinion, “putting forward a ‘sham’ candidate or an unqualified candidate to satisfy a formality would do greater harm to the integrity of the electoral process and the Association than would strict compliance with the Bylaws provision.” They are referring to Article 7.2.d.2 that requires the NLDC to propose multiple candidates for each elected position. This rule is to prevent a committee of 5 from electing a board member. Because if there is only one candidate chosen by the committee, and no one else goes through the pain of collecting 60 signatures, then that chosen candidate will have been elected by a chosen few.

The NLDC rationale for not having a second candidate reminded me of why Gabriel García Márquez (Gabo) became a famous writer and eventually a Nobel Laureate. He had seen a letter by a newspaper editor giving the rationale for not featuring young authors: there weren’t any. Out of solidarity with his generation, Gabo submitted a story which the editor published, and the rest is history. I can’t believe that in an association with about 9,000 members there are no other qualified and maybe willing candidates other than the single one chosen by the NLDC. I am qualified and willing and that’s why I decided to throw my hat in the ring!

Within ATA, I have been Assistant Administrator for the Spanish Division, Administrator for the Interpreters Division, founding member of the Savvy Newcomer and served in several committees. I am the founding president of the Oregon Society of Translators and Interpreters (an ATA affiliate) and the founding President of the Spanish Editors Association. I have been co-chair of the NAJIT Advocacy Committee and Technical Contact for the ASTM Translation standard. Furthermore, I took secretarial studies at the Instituto Argentino de Secretarias Ejecutivas in Buenos Aires and worked as a bilingual secretary in an office before launching my career as a freelance translator. Because I often serve as secretary in committees, I recently took the Jurassic Parliament training for board and committee secretaries by Ann Macfarlane.

I am a freelance translator and interpreter. I am ATA certified in Spanish > English and English > Spanish, WA court certified interpreter, NBCMI medical certified interpreter. I have been teaching translation and interpretation skills for more than a decade.

I think I have demonstrated that I am qualified to be the ATA Secretary and furthermore, I happen to enjoy the role of Secretary. I am also willing. But since the NLDC did not ask me, and has not chosen me to be on the slate, I need a written petition signed by no fewer than 60 voting members by June 7, 2023 in order to run in this election.

This is a blank petition for you to sign. Please note that only ATA voting members can submit petitions. They should be submitted to the Nominating and Leadership Development Committee Chair Ted Wozniak and emailed to [email protected]. You can also email your petition to me at [email protected] so I can keep track of the petitions sent to ATA. That will give me an opportunity to connect with you.

Though the secretary has traditionally been a recent board member, nothing in the Bylaws requires that. I believe that I am qualified for this position because of my long history of volunteer work for ATA as well as my contribution as formal and informal secretary of effective groups.

I have received significant encouragement from my colleagues and look forward to the possibility of serving my colleagues as ATA Secretary.

Helen Eby
ATA Certified Translator, English <> Spanish
Washington Certified Spanish Interpreter, Court and Healthcare
[email protected]