Karen Tkaczyk is running for a Director position in this year’s elections for the ATA Board.

“Please do read all of the candidate statements, and then vote for those of us who you think best fit your ideal of how ATA should provide for its members.”

Karen’s Candidate Statement

Director (three-year term)
Karen Tkaczyk

Many of us feel like ATA is our home, our tribe, and the place where we come together and meet like-minded people. I hope that as a Board member, my efforts will increase the number of members who feel that way.

My concerns are not so much WHAT we do—I agree with the laudable goals set and achieved by the Board recently—but HOW we do it. Across my numerous volunteer roles, I have observed process issues that could, and should, be improved.

If elected, my natural inclination would be to hone in on how the Board, other volunteers, and Headquarters work, separately and together. ATA has many good people doing good work in good faith, yet it has suffered from some costly apparent failures. Recurrence can be prevented, and long-term stability secured, if we take a deep and thorough look at how we do things. That would be a substantial project. Any procedural change should also aim to increase transparency and consistency.

I have a track record of service and participation from the time I established my freelance translation practice in 2005. People who have worked with me might say that I’m organized, remain calm in tense situations, am good at building consensus, and can work productively with all kinds of people. I don’t overcommit. I’m a pragmatic person. I’m motivated by the idea of developing manageable projects and achieving them by finding the right people to form teams.

I served on ATA’s Nominating and Leadership Development Committee from 2011-2015. That experience has given me a good understanding of what it takes to be an effective Board member.

I was vice-president and then president of the Nevada Interpreters and Translators Association from 2007-2011. During that time, opportunities for progress and change abounded. Among other achievements, we grew the membership and became an ATA Affiliate.

I believe that divisions are the heart of ATA. I was one of three people who re-established the Science and Technology Division in 2010, and served as its administrator from that time until 2015. I have chaired the French Language Division’s Nominating Committee twice. I was chair of the Divisions Committee from 2011-2015, so I worked extensively with all divisions. One of my achievements during that time was to lead a project to revamp and restructure the existing Divisions Handbook, a guide for leaders on to how to get things done, and then update it annually.

I welcome the opportunity to make a contribution to ATA as a director. Thank you for considering me.