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An Invitation to WITS, SOMI and NOTIS Members

The boards of directors of SOMI, NOTIS, and WITS have each met in the last month to discuss the idea of unifying our societies more closely for mutual benefit. Each of the boards is in favor of exploring this idea. You are invited to participate in a “Saturday Summit” that will be held on March 19, 2005 to discuss this idea. It is anticipated that the Saturday Summit will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 pm at the Shoreline Center in Shoreline, Washington. All members of all three societies are warmly encouraged to attend.


We are fortunate to have several voluntary organizations of translators and interpreters in the Pacific Northwest. It has been rewarding to engage in closer communication, joint programs, and common social events over the past several years. We as individuals have many times heard the question, “why do we have so many local translator and interpreter groups?” Reflecting on that question, we have come up with the idea mentioned above. The present situation has many benefits, but working more closely together could benefit us even more:

  1. reduced duplication of effort
  2. less likelihood of volunteer burnout
  3. cost savings
  4. better communication among all of us
  5. greater visibility for our profession
  6. more clout on the governmental and policy scene
  7. greater resources for publicity, advocacy and marketing for our members

Two different ways of achieving these benefits have been proposed:

  • A. The radical proposal: to consolidate into a single entity with distinct subdivisions.

  • B. The moderate proposal: to create a federation of our three existing societies.

We know that our members have affection, respect and commitment towards our own organizations. It feels risky to propose starting something new, and perhaps to give up the organizational structures that we now have. Yet change is a part of life, and we welcome the idea of exploring this possible change.

At the Saturday Summit, to be facilitated by Ann Macfarlane, boards and members of our organizations will each explore all aspects of our voluntary work. Each organization will have the chance to reassess its priorities and decide what it considers most essential in its activities. We will then meet in common and discuss how we can best move forward. Doing this will be a way to get to know one another better and build towards our common future.

Please join us on Saturday, March 19, for the Saturday Summit to explore a new future for our three organizations. Further details will be provided as soon as possible.

Sam Mattix, President, Washington State Court Interpreters and Translators Society
Larissa Kulinich, President, Northwest Translators and Interpreters Society
Renee Palermo, President, Society of Medical Interpreters
Ann G. Macfarlane, Past President, Northwest Translators and Interpreters Society


Society of Medical Interpreters, PO Box 3304, Seattle, WA 98114-3304  Voicemail: (206) 729-2100


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Copyright 2003-2016 The Society of Medical Interpreters. All rights reserved.

Created by Renee Palermo October 23, 2003.