Message from Fran Samuel, SPD Administrator

As I begin to write these lines in my first message as administrator, I cannot help but feel compelled to thank the members of the past administration for all their hard work. To Marcela Jenney-Reyes and Rosario (Charo) Welle, a big note of appreciation for everything you have done for the betterment of our beloved Spanish Language Division (SPD). In addition, I would like to recognize the hard work and dedication of Silvia Goldstein, past Social Media Committee Chair, and Graciela Isaía y Ruiz, past editor of Intercambios. Thank you for all your contributions.

I am humbled and honored to have been given the opportunity to lead the Division, as it has been a long-time aspiration of mine. For those of you who do not know me, I have been a member of the American Translators Association (ATA) and the Spanish Language Division since 1998. In 1999, I attended my first ATA conference in St. Louis, MO, which proved to be almost a religious experience. In 2000, I became actively involved as a volunteer in the SPD during the ATA annual conference in Orlando, FL. In the past, I have served as treasurer (2005-2006), assistant administrator (2006-2010), and chair of the 2012 ID/SPD Mid-Year Conference Planning Committee. I have attended every ATA annual conference since 1999, with the exception of Boston last year, as well as every Spanish Division mid-year conference since its inception.

If you have attended any of the SPD meetings, raffles or SPD dinners during the ATA annual or mid-year conferences, it is very likely that you have seen me in action. I am not only passionate about making sure our members have the best professional development and resources available to them, but I also believe we must offer extracurricular and social activities to keep you well entertained. I believe it is equally important to play hard after you work as hard as we do. And translators work extremely hard. So why not have some fun?

In 2006, while getting ready to attend the ATA annual conference in Seattle, I contacted Microsoft Headquarters in Redmond, WA. I sent two messages, one through their public relations link and the other through some other link, announcing that the ATA was coming to town. I explained that, because of the nature of our work, a large percentage of translators were Microsoft consumers in one way or another and therefore, it would be great if they (Microsoft) would consider welcoming some of us to their offices. “They won’t give you the time of day,” said my husband. “Bet money” was my answer. I received two answers: one was a nice “thanks but no thanks” type answer; the other was an open invitation to tour Microsoft. An announcement was made to all attending the annual conference in Seattle and we filled two buses to go visit our friends in Redmond. Because so many members wanted to attend, Microsoft offered not one, but two separate tours to accommodate us. The trip was a complete success and I won the bet! That is the type of leader I am: steadfast and not easily intimidated, determined, and totally committed, and inspired more than ever before, to serve the members of the SPD. Therefore, let us celebrate a new era, a new time.

This message would not be complete without recognizing the contributions of many, starting with the support of my family, specially my husband and my four sons. I must mention the guidance and friendship of Helen Eby, Marian Greenfield, Dorothee Racette, Nicholas Hartman, Milly Suazo, Anne MacFarlane, Gabe Bokor, Mariana Stolee, Rosalie Wells, Gerardo Konig, Giovanna Lester, Rudy Heller, Julia Andreotti, Marianne Pripps, Virginia Pérez Santalla, Odile Legeay, Cristina Helmerichs, Rosario (Charo) Welle, Mónica de León, Olga Lucía Mutis, Deya Jordá, Mati Vargas, Margarita Tobar, Yadira Díaz, Silvia Bonilla, Margarita Montalvo, Pilar Saslow, Armando Ezquerra Hasbun, and many, many more who played such an important role in my decision to run for administrator.

Let us continue the legacy passed on by our past administrations. Let us face tomorrow with more gusto than ever before. Let us continue to work together for the benefit of the members of the Spanish Language Division of the American Translators Association. Thank you all so very much for your support and now, FIESTA!!!