The formation of the Upper Midwest Translators and Interpreters Association (UMTIA) began in 2002 when Deb Kramasz brought together many area translators to create a local venue for offering the ATA translators certification exam, to organize local educational opportunities for translators and interpreters, and to promote professional discussions and networking.
The group formalized the organization as a chapter of the ATA in 2004 serving the geographic region of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota.The first board of directors consisted of Deb Kramasz, Larry Bogoslow, Nadia Smith, Giselle Niles, and Gail Tanaka.
At the 2003 UMTIA conference, 30 area interpreting stakeholders met and formed an ad hoc committee of UMTIA, the Interpreting Stakeholder Group (ISG) which met as an outreach committee until 2010 when it spun off as its own organization.
In 2008, UMTIA formalized its committee structure. UMTIA’s energy comes from its committees who plan talks and trainings, and identify needs in the field, such as the development of glossaries in languages of lesser diffusion, or Best Practice Guidelines for Hiring Interpreters in Rural Settings.
UMTIA also provides expertise to legislators and industry leaders working on language access policy across the country. UMTIA has been contacted to provide expertise and information on lessons learned to the New York mayor’s office when it adopted its language access policy, and by the Washington State Coalition for Language Access.
UMTIA continues to be led by a dynamic Executive Board of dedicated volunteers and be a resource for translators, interpreters and language professionals in the Twin Cities and beyond.