The appointment of Raisa McNab coincides with the election of Ruth Partington as chair of the Association.
Ruth, the CEO of Bristol-based LSP RP Translate, which supplies translation services and insight to the global market research sector, explained the rationale behind the Chief Executive appointment to T-UPDATE.
"We hadn't appreciated the amount of work the last General Secretary had put into running the association and, while we had appointed a new secretariat to run the mechanics of the association, too much of the day-to-day management fell on the shoulders of ATC council members, such as myself and our then treasurer, Wordfish's Cherie Plaice.
"While we split the work among more proactive committees, council members such as myself and Cherie were becoming too hands on to the detriment of our own companies.
"So over the year the ATC council identified that there were gaps and the association needed an on-the-ground decision-maker, who could act for us and drive initiatives forward, take care of the committees and turn our vision into reality.
Raisa McNab is no stranger to the language industry or the ATC Council. She started her professional life as a freelance translator in her native Finland, but joined Sandberg Translation Partners (STP) as a Project Manager 15 years ago. She has steadily moved up the ranks driving the company's quality agenda forward and, most recently, working as the company's Learning and Development Manager.
Raisa was co-opted onto the ATC Council to manage the association's ISO Certification initiative. She was elected in her own right once the council term of Jesper Sandberg, owner and chairmand of STP, had ended.
Speaking about her new role, Raisa told T-UPDATE, "The clue for this role is very much in the job title. The chief executive is there to execute the vision of the council and drive the association forward.
"Another benefit of appointing an independent CEO is linked to the vision that the association has of being a true voice and authority of translation companies in the UK - particularly when talking to government, so that message does not come from one translation company, which could look like it is representing its own interests rather than the whole sector."
Raisa McNab's position for the ATC is a part-time. She will be devoting two and a half days a week to her duties, which include continuing to manage the ATC's rapidly expanding ISO Certification Service. Her work for STP continues, but with greatly reduced hours.
Asked whether her continued association with STP was likely to compromise the independence of the ATC CEO position, Raisa said forthrightly, "Not at all. STP has always been a supplier to other LSPs, there is no competition or conflict there. The role I will have inside the company will be very focused on the internal side heading the HR team."
Commenting about the rapid development of the ATC's ISO Certification service, Ruth Partington told T-UPDATE that the initiative was critical to the longterm vision of where she and the newly elected council want for the ATC.
"While we recognise that it is a long way off, we would like to see the association become the regulator of the translation company sector. The certification service is the perfect starting point to make the ATC Certification Stamp stand out as a marker of quality. We want translation companies to aspire to getting that visible stamp of approval in this country and our mission as an association is to help them achieve that. Just as importantly though, when purchasers see that ATC Certification stamp, they will know that is a genuine assurance of quality."