An Interview with Andrés Messulam, President of Association of Translators and Interpreters of Florida (ATIF)

The Association of Translators and Interpreters of Florida (ATIF), together with the Spanish Language Division (SPD) of the American Translators Association (ATA) and Florida International University (FIU)*, are proud to present an INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE on March 16-18, 2018 in Miami,  Florida.

In an effort to share more information about some of our presenters and organizers, we will be publishing a series of mini interviews. Below is our conversation with Andrés Messulam, current President of ATIF.

Please tell us about your background. You have worn several hats as an engineer, businessman, and, most recently, as a legal interpreter. How have those experiences prepared you for what you are doing now?

It turned out to be a very convenient combination. My engineering background provided attention to detail and an inherent mental organization. The business background helped me develop a clear understanding in terms of the product and its perceived value and, finally, my experience with the T & I field made me aware of what exactly the members wanted and what they were willing to pay to get it.

As President of the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Florida (ATIF), you have had the enormous task of organizing this year’s Spring into Action Conference together with the Spanish Language Division (SPD) of the American Translators Association (ATA), and Florida International University (FIU).

What has been your experience working with these organizations?  Would you recommend working in this manner to other ATA chapters or universities?

It is definitely not about the organizations involved, it’s about the people involved. The idea of a local chapter partnering with a division of the ATA and a major local university is a great idea. It’s like the ingredients for a perfect recipe. The organizing committee of an event of this type should be compact, well led and made up of a small group of people who are knowledgeable, respect each other, and share a common vision and goal. This event has been privileged to count on such a group.

There are many more T & I conferences that will be held in 2018, all over the world, catering to varying knowledge levels, networking needs, and relaxation opportunities and budgets. Why is Spring into Action different?

I believe that Spring into Action (SIA) will become a watershed in how future conferences of this type are organized. SIA will prove that there is an alternative to the major conferences by offering a world-class ‘boutique-size’ event, in a high-tech, luxurious environment, chock full of educational credits, in a major city that is a crossroads to almost everyone, and at a price that is ridiculously low.

Why is Spring into Action important for a translator or interpreter who is just starting his/her career? What do you think experienced translators will take away from participating in this event?

We all are aware that going to a conference is an enjoyable event since we meet and become reacquainted with colleagues we have not seen for a while. But, for a translator or interpreter who is just starting his/her career, an event like Spring into Action is a unique opportunity to meet and network with a large group of T & I professionals, under one roof and in a brief period of time.

The experienced professional, on the other hand, will be more interested in the 35 different lectures being offered, spanning a diverse and interesting mix of subject matters, presented by a host of stellar presenters, and featuring the world-renowned group Palabras Mayores.

Both the beginning and the seasoned translator and/or interpreter will walk away from this event having substantially enriched their professional development, gained a substantial number of educational credits, and still have money left over.

*DISCLAIMER: Florida International University’s Translation and Interpretation Program is providing space at the FIU Modesto A. Maidique Campus as a professional courtesy to the American Translators Association’s Spanish Language Division and the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Florida for the event “Spring into Action 2018.” FIU/T&I is not responsible for the content, finances, or administration of the event.