December GM: Candidates, Invoicing, ATA and more!

By Rafaella Bushiazzo

December is traditionally the first occasion for members back from the ATA Conference to report on what they have seen. Candidates for the Board of Directors are also introduced, and awards given. This past December, the General Meeting also featured a useful presentation on invoicing software.

After general announcements regarding upcoming events, candidates for NCTA Board elections were introduced: Andrea Wells, Evan Geisinger, Naomi Baer, Song White, and Stafford Hemmer. All are professional translators and interpreters eager to share their own skills and time with the Association. The introductions were followed by an awards ceremony for three NCTA members: Stacey Ramirez, Juliet Viola, and Michael Metzger.

Stacey, as Translorial’s Advertising Manager, has succeeded in increasing the volume of advertising in our publication in just over a year on the job. Juliet, our long-time NCTA Administrator—the person that new members contact first—is NCTA’s “Institutional Memory,” the soul of the organization who so often helps board members with information and thoughtful advice. And last but not least, Michael, our former two-term NCTA President and Ad Manager and Webmaster before that, has devoted immeasurable time and effort to the Association. All three were rewarded for their extraordinary volunteer service; Juliet and Stacey with a year of free NCTA membership and Michael with an honorary Lifetime membership. The organization thanks you once again for all your great work and looks forward to your continued involvement with NCTA!

ATA Conference Report

The afternoon continued with a panel discussion about the 46th ATA Annual Conference in Seattle in November. Three attendees shared their personal experiences with the audience.

For Tatyana Neronova, a Russian-English interpreter, it was her first time at the conference and served as a wonderful introduction to the organization. She spent a lot of time participating in the activities of the Slavic division, where she was made to feel at home. She participated in several sessions, met many interesting people working for important institutions, and had promising contacts with several agencies. Despite all the activities that kept her very busy, Tatyana found time to volunteer at the NCTA table!

Ayano Hattori, a Japanese-English translator, was also a newbie at the ATA Conference. She attended several business and computer technology lectures and participated in some social events with the very active Japanese division. She told us about the Job Market Place, a table where attendees can leave their business cards and resumes in order to be contacted by companies and translation agencies. Ayano met many friendly people, learned a lot, and said she felt that the conference was definitely worth attending.

The last comments were from Shayesteh Zarrabi, a Farsi-English translator, who also attended for the first time. Shayesteh was representing Accent on Languages, the translation agency for which she currently works. She found the sessions to be very useful, particularly the Déjà Vu and TRADOS workshops. The only detail that she would like to see improved is the size of the conference rooms, which are now too small for the size of the crowds attending the lectures. She concluded by encouraging translators and interpreters to visit the booths set up by translation companies and to use this opportunity to establish contacts for the future. Other members in the audience shared their own recollections of the ATA Conference and added useful information, insights, and perspectives.

Invoicing tools presentation

After a very encouraging report on the financial situation of the association by our Treasurer Barbara Guggemos, the General Meeting continued with a presentation of the most-used invoicing programs for freelance translators. The subject raised so much interest among the audience that it is likely that NCTA will organize a workshop on this theme. NCTA President Tuomas Kostiainen, and English-Finnish translator, presented Quickbooks, Basic Edition 2003. Among other features, Tuomas likes the way the program creates invoices and enters them into the program’s bookkeeping functions at the same time.

Next, Christine Lemor-Drake, a English-French translator, showed us Customer Pro-File, a friendly and inexpenive invoicing system that runs on both the PC and Mac. In addition to invoicing in multiple languages, it features other built-in modules including Client Manager, Report Center, Event Scheduler, Expense Tracker, Money Converter, and others.

Finally, Tetu Hirai, a Japanese-English translator, presented PractiCount & Invoice, the Standard Version. This program not only generates invoices but can also count words and characters, including Asian ones. It allows the user to exclude numerals and to change the settings according to personal needs.

The General Meeting ended with a festive mailing party that gave us the opportunity to network and have fun all together while sticking stamps and envelopes!

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