Nancy Festinger, Chief Interpreter, Federal Court, Manhattan, former NAJIT President
Professional associations go through a fairly typical growth curve, but many interpreter or translator associations have been weakened by competing interests and splinter groups. This session will describe the maturation of NAJIT, a North American legal interpreters association founded in 1978, which grew from a small group of motivated volunteers to a professionally managed association comprising over 1,000 members. Issues to be dealt with are: inclusive vs. exclusive membership model; rural and urban membership needs; governance model; founder’s syndrome; leadership crises and burnout; creating a standard communication style; committee structure and authority; direction and coordination; parliamentary procedure; board authority; whether and how to create a credential; advocacy; creating motivation for membership, etc. The lessons NAJIT has learned will hopefully save our European sister organizations from making similar mistakes, but more importantly, will lend perspective and strengthen EULITA’s resolve to build a strong foundation for future growth.