Our History

During the 1996 ATA Annual Conference in Colorado Springs, a group of six Spanish translators (Sylvia Korwek, Alicia Marshall, Susana Stettri Sawrey, Yrma Villarreal, Angela Torres Henrick and Olga Roberts) approached Ann Macfarlane, chair of the Divisions Committee, to determine how to make a formal proposal to the ATA Board to form a Spanish Language Division (SPD). Although ATA Spanish translators had considered creating a Spanish Division on several occasions, for some reason it had never been done.

Alicia Marshall

Following approval by the ATA Board, our division was born in Colorado Springs and started functioning under a “being established” status, with Sylvia Korwek as the acting coordinator. Membership registration was opened with the new ATA membership drive for 1997, and in March of that year, Alicia Marshall and Harvie Jordan were appointed Acting Administrator and Acting Assistant Administrator.

By the time of the ATA San Francisco Conference in November of 1997, the SPD had grown from six Spanish translators initially to over 700 members and had already published two issues of its newsletter, edited by Pilar Saslow. At the SPD annual meeting during the San Francisco ATA Conference, the Division adopted its bylaws, completing its formal organization. During the meeting, those present named the division newsletter Intercambios and exchanged ideas and plans for the future. The Division also celebrated its first annual social event, which was a resounding success. In 1998, at the SPD annual meeting during the ATA Conference in Hilton Head, S.C., Alicia Marshall and Andre Moskowitz became the first elected Administrator and Assistant Administrator, holding office until the year 2000. Membership had grown to over 1,400.

Since its inception in 1997, the Division has regularly invited prominent guest speakers to the Annual Conference (Ricardo Naidich, president of the CTPCBA in 1997, Miguel Wald, Editor of Idiomanía in 1998, and in 1999 Alberto Gómez Font, Specialist at the Departamento de Español Urgente of the Spanish News Agency EFE). Two new services were launched in 1999: a publication of some of the Spanish-related papers presented during the Hilton Head Annual Conference and Espalista, the SPD online forum, where SPD members share their expertise and knowledge in an informal environment, with a true spirit of friendship and collaboration. Other member services have been added through the years and are documented on this website. The Division’s growth is regularly reported in Intercambios, our excellent quarterly newsletter, and The ATA Chronicle.

Current Administrators

Edna Santizo, Administrator, 2020-Current
Gabriela Escarrá 2020_baja resol-square Gabriela Escarrá, Assistant Administrator, 2022-Current

Past Administrators

Andy Benzo, Assistant Administrator, 2020-2022
Rosario (Charo) Welle, Administrator, 2016-2020
Marco Díaz, Assistant Administrator, 2019-2020
Yolanda Secos, Assistant Administrator, 2016-2018
Francesca Samuel, Administrator, 2012-2016
Foto Charo - SPD SITE
Rosario (Charo) Welle, Assistant Administrator, 2014-2016
Helen Eby, Assistant Administrator, 2012-2014
Marcela (Jenney) Reyes, MBA, Administrator, 2010-2012
Foto Charo - SPD SITE Rosario (Charo) Welle, Assistant Administrator, 2010-2012
Gerardo Konig, Administrator, 2008-2010
Milly Suazo-Martinez, Administrator, 2004-2008
Francesca Samuel, Assistant Administrator, 2004-2010
[No picture available] Thomas Mansella, Administrator, 2004
[No picture available] Álvaro Villegas, Assistant Administrator, 2004
Rudy Heller, Administrator, 2000-2004
Virginia Pérez-Santalla, Assistant Administrator, 2000-2004
Alicia Marshall, Administrator, 1998-2000
Andre Moskowitz, Assistant Administrator, 1998-2000
Alicia Marshall, Acting Administrator, 1997-1998
Harvie Jordan, Acting Assistant Administrator, 1997-1998 (RIP)