ATISDA Blog (Association of Translators and Interpreters in the San Diego Area)

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Meet the candidates and vote for the new Executive Council



We’re holding Executive Council elections this month for ATISDA! Plan to vote by mail (ballots must be received by Friday, January 25, 2019) or in person at a special event on Saturday, January 26, 2019, where we will be making vision boards for the upcoming year and casting our ballots.

Voting in person

If you will only be casting your vote at the event, just show up! If you would like to create a vision board and enjoy a short talk from our guest speaker, ATISDA member Priya Masih, please send an RSVP to Yolanda Secos at by Thursday, January 24, 2019.

Voting by mail

ATISDA members who would like to vote by mail should send their signed ballots to the following address:

ATISDA Nominations Committee
11319 Linares St.
San Diego, CA 92129

Mail-in ballots must be received by Friday, January 25, 2019. The Nominating Committee recommends postmarking letters by Tuesday, January 22, 2019 at the latest.

Also, please send the Nominating Committee a quick email at to let them know to be on the lookout for your ballot in the mail.

The Nominating Committee sent out ballots and election information by email on Thursday, January 17, 2019. Please contact them at should you have any questions.

Meet your candidates

The candidates have written short bios and prepared candidate statements for your consideration.

Read on to learn about your candidates for the ATISDA election this month. All statements and bios that follow were provided by the candidates.

Nominee for President: Yolanda Secos


It is an honor and a pleasure to be nominated to run for President of the Association of Translators and Interpreters in the San Diego Area (ATISDA). I am one of the founding members of ATISDA and I have been part of the Executive Council since 2012. I have served three years as Vice President and another three as President. Over the years, I have been fortunate to meet most of you in person, but if you still need more information about my background, you are welcome to read it here. Since that blog entry was posted in 2015, I have also served as editor of the quarterly newsletter published by the Spanish Language Division (SPD) of the American Translators Association (ATA), Intercambios (June 2015 – November 2016), I was the recipient of the 2016 Harvie Jordan Scholarship, and I served one full term as Assistant Administrator of the ATA SPD (2016 – 2018). In addition, I was honored to serve as a member of the ATA Membership Committee (November 2015 – September 2018) and I am currently serving as a member of the ATA Chapters Committee.

If elected, in the next two years, I would like to work with the rest of the members of the ATISDA Executive Council to continue expanding our social media presence and add new activities and workshops to our monthly events, which currently include the ATISDA Networking Happy Hour (held the last Friday of each month), Pensadores (held the second Thursday of each month), and workshops (held every two months). And, of course, the ultimate goal is to get ATISDA to the point where it is ready to go from an ATA-Affiliated group all the way to ATA Chapter!

Nominee for Vice President: Marco Díaz

marco pic-300

Marco runs Marco Díaz Translations, a company providing English to Spanish translation services in business law, contract law, family law, labor law, and mechanical-electrical engineering with more than four years of translation, editing, and proofreading experience. He is originally from Guatemala City and has lived in Mexico and the United States for a good part of his life. He obtained a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Electrical Engineering from Tec de Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico, the Specialized Certificate in Translation from University of California San Diego Extension Program, and several specialized courses in legal translation both from Cálamo & Cran in Madrid, Spain and Academia Traducción Jurídica in Valladolid, Spain. He is also an active member of the American Translator’s Association (ATA), the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators (NAJIT), the Association of Translators and Interpreters of the San Diego Area (ATISDA), and San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association (SDLRLA). When Marco is not translating or managing the business, he enjoys reading books, playing guitar, riding his bicycle, and hiking in the mountains or the desert.

Contact Marco Díaz at

It is an honor to be nominated for Vice President of ATISDA. I thank the Nominating Committee for their confidence. I have been organizing ATISDA’s Pensadores meetings for almost two years and I’m now looking forward to advancing my volunteer efforts. I would like to focus on helping ATISDA stay on track with its mission, by continuing being an excellent resource for translators and interpreters in southern California, and helping its members achieve their professional goals, whether it is through networking, continuing education, or developing their leadership skills as volunteers in professional associations. I believe in communication, team work, and maintaining ethical standards. I thank you for your consideration. It would be a great privilege to serve you.

Nominee for Treasurer: Artemisa Valle

Head shots for Casa Cornelia employees. February, 2017


Artemisa Valle completed the SDSU Translation and Interpretation Professional Certificate (Spanish/English) from the University of California, San Diego, Extension, in the fall of 2010. Previously, she had also completed, at UCSD Extension, the ABA Approved Professional Certificate in Paralegal Studies (2006). She has pursued her career through her work as Coordinator of the Volunteer Interpreters and Translators Program at Casa Cornelia Law Center since the summer of 2010. At this San Diego firm, she recruits, trains, and mentors community volunteers (all levels of experience and skill in the T/I profession) who assist with the attorney/client communication. Prior experience includes extensive work as an Information Systems Management professional in the insurance and banking industries. Artemisa currently lives with her husband in the 4S Ranch community of San Diego. She is a translator with a current focus on legal documents of all types. Independent translation experience includes, among others, Airline luggage handlers’ procedures manual,  Commercial license drivers’ manual, Income tax declarations, and marketing materials. Her personal interests include future opportunities working on literary translations and presenting at an ATA Conference.

Vote Request

Your vote for Artemisa for Treasurer will bring back to the executive committee one of the original founders of ATISDA.  She was instrumental in getting ATISDA off the ground in 2008 and establishing the base for membership and programming.  Her knowledge of ATISDA’s history provides the backbone for full integration of ATISDA within the federal and state non-profits in good standing. Her leadership at ATISDA has always been within the Treasurer position but has never limited her from assisting wherever she is needed.  Artemisa’s decision to return as Treasurer follows the need to step away from the administration of ATISDA for three years due to family health reasons. Her return to active participation within the ATISDA board brings back, not just experience, but renewed energies to continue her commitment to ATISDA’s goals and objectives. She looks forward to working with the leadership of ATISDA to identify the membership needs and to implement the programming to fulfill those needs. She looks forward to soon begin planning with the executive committee the 2019 program of events.

Nominee for Secretary: Felipe Ortiz



He became interested in the Translation/Interpretation (Spanish/English) while working in the Hospitality Industry and decided to shift careers by enrolling in the UCSD Extension Certificate Program. While taking classes, he became interested in becoming a member of Atisda and joined the association  in 2015. He volunteered to become a member of the By-Laws Revision Committee and was elected member of the Executive Council /Treasurer in 2017. He believes in participating in the Translation/Interpretation Industry and feels that by being of service to its members, you get as much, and more, of you contribute to the advancement of Atisda.


Nominee for Secretary: Kara Watkins


I grew up in Michigan and moved to San Diego in 2006. I started learning Spanish in college and fell in love with the language. I found my passion for translating Spanish to English after volunteering with Catholic Charities for 4 years where I translated various documents for immigration purposes and declarations for VAWA applicants. I decided to complete the UCSD translation certificate program and finished in 2013. I moved to Colombia for a year and continued translating documents, articles, and essays, as well as grant proposals for income generating projects for the Presbyterian Church of Colombia. While in Colombia, I really enjoyed learning a new Spanish variation and vocabulary. I now work full-time for Catholic Charities in the Immigrant Services department. I continue to translate documents and declarations for clients. I have also been a volunteer translator for Icthus Kids since 2017. Outside of work I enjoy traveling, spending time with friends and family, and I hiking, biking, or other outdoor activities.

I am very responsible and I would be honored to be chosen as a Secretary for ATISDA. I would be diligent in completing the tasks that I am assigned. I have been a member since 2014 and was a member-at-large from 2017 to 2018. I am committed to the ideals of ATISDA and to promoting and supporting the activities that we hold in order to support the professional development of ATISDA members.




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Cast Your Vote and Share Your Vision

New leadership is coming to ATISDA. We’re holding elections this month for our ATISDA Board. Cast your vote at our upcoming event to decide who will best represent your vision for the future of our beloved organization.

And while you are deciding the future of ATISDA, stay for a while and make a vision board of your own goals for the upcoming year. What better way to get 2019 off to a positive and inspiring start?

2019 ATISDA Board Election & Vision Board Make and Take

2019 ATISDA Board Election (Open-house style: Come and go from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.)

If you are an ATISDA member in good standing, you are invited to vote in the 2019 ATISDA Board election.

This will be your last opportunity to ask questions and get to know all the candidates for the ATISDA board before casting your vote!

Votes will be counted after 11:30 a.m., and results will be announced by noon.


Vision Board Make and Take (9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.)

Create a visual representation of the goals you want to accomplish in 2019 and network over a delicious breakfast! All materials to make your own vision board will be provided.


Saturday, January 26th, 2019
9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.


Venue sponsored by Champions For Health

5575 Ruffin Road
Suite 250
San Diego, CA 92123


FREE – Please note that this event is only open to ATISDA members in good standing.

FREE onsite parking.


  1. If you are only planning on coming to cast your vote, you don’t need to register.
  2. If you are planning on casting your vote and making your vision board, please send your RSVP to Yolanda Secos at by Thursday, January 24th, 2019.

Should you have any questions about the election, please contact the members of the Nominating Committee at