We facilitate communication among translators, interpreters, language services companies, and industry stakeholders.
The DVTA is a regional, non-profit (Section 501(c)(6)) association of professional translators, interpreters, linguists, educators, and other individuals interested in these fields. It is a chapter of the American Translators Association and has been associated with it since the early 1960s. DVTA supports linguists of all languages by providing professional development opportunities and networking among translators, interpreters, language services companies and industry stakeholders as part of an on-going program to promote the highest professional standards. It provides a valuable regional talent bank for individuals, businesses and industries seeking assistance with language services.
Eliane Sfeir-Markus is a court certified English-Arabic (Levantine) Interpreter in the state of Pa, and an Arabic Certified Healthcare Interpreter (CHI). She is an adjunct professor at Widener University Delaware Law School, an Interpreter Expert with language Services Associates, and an instructor at the De La Mora Institute of Interpretation. Eliane is also a licensed Community Interpreter Trainer. She joined the Board of Directors of the Delaware Valley Translators Association (DVTA) in 2017, and she currently serves as the president of DVTA. Eliane is a certified coach and speaker with the John Maxwell Team. She is a trilingual professional, she speaks Arabic, English and French. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Translation from Holy Spirit University Lebanon.
Eliane’s interpretation skills, public speaking skills and her dedication to the interpretation profession have earned her the recognition to train new and advanced interpreters, and to lead many presentations and training sessions.
Sonia Schlamowitz joined the Board of Directors in January 2020. She is the Chief Court Interpreter, and Language Access Coordinator for the 23rd Judicial District in the County of Berks. Sonia is a seasoned interpreter with 23 years of experience as a staff interpreter for Berks County. She attained the State Certification when it first became available in Pennsylvania in 2009. As the Language Access Coordinator, she is the contact person for the public, court staff, and the AOPC concerning language access, and as the chief court interpreter, she oversees interpreter operations for over 38 judicial courtrooms and a wide range of judicial departments.
Sonia is a passionate advocate for the community she serves, always seeking opportunities to advance her profession in order to improve upon the coordination of services provided to the LEPs in her district. She is currently working on her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration at Alvernia University. Sonia holds her certification as an ESL instructor, volunteering with The Literacy Council of Berks County teaching ESL classes to adult learners. She is also involved with the Berks County Latino Chamber of Commerce Women to Women organization, a forum for strategically advancing professional women with the goal of creating more female leaders, and the Greater Reading Immigration Project. Sonia manages social media for the DVTA.
Arturo has been a member of the DVTA since early 2021, and most recently joined the DVTA Board of Directors in January 2023. He received training in Psychology and began his career as an interpreter and translator in 2005 in the Dominican Republic. At the moment, he has over 17 years combined experience in the medical, legal, insurance and customer service fields. He currently holds a CHI-Spanish healthcare interpreter certification by CCHI and is also certified by the AOPC to serve in Pennsylvania courts. As a seasoned professional, he is also well versed in document translation, video subtitling, and more. He is currently an active onsite Spanish interpreter and a Spanish<>English translator, while also holding the title of CEO of his call center specializing in over the phone/video interpretation, translation, subtitling and transcription services.
He put his passion to work by helping break language barriers in our community, volunteering and collaborating with a number of institutions as a way of giving back both locally and overseas.
Arturo serves as Secretary of the DVTA Board, also working with Sonia and Santino to maintain social media platforms and support member engagement.
Mariana Stolee has been a member of the DVTA since 1992 and joined the DVTA Board of Directors in January 2021. In 2005 Mariana served as the Secretary of the ATA’s Spanish Division and served as a member of the Spanish Division’s Conference Committee for 3 years. Mariana is a freelance ATA-certified English-Spanish translator with over 30 years of experience and is an AOPC certified court interpreter in Pennsylvania with 20 years of experience. Mariana has a Certificate of Translation and Interpretation from UCSD and the Bridging the GAP certificate for medical interpreters. In addition, Mariana has a BBA in Accounting from Temple University and is a seasonal tax preparer.
Mariana is the Treasurer and Website Administrator.
Director of Membership
Santino Mattia joined the DVTA’s Board of Directors in January 2023. He is the Translation Coordinator at ChristianaCare in Delaware, where he has overseen the translation of the health organization’s content into Spanish and other languages for the past 1.5 years. Santino is a budding young T&I professional, with experience translating patient discharge instructions, foreign medical records, and subtitles for a short film, and interpreting in multiple outpatient clinics and hospitals.
Santino received a BA in Linguistics and a certificate in English<>Spanish Translation and Interpreting from Rutgers University in May 2021. He holds the qualification of conditionally-approved court interpreter from the New Jersey AOC, and the credential of Hub-CMI from the NBCMI, with hopes of becoming certified by both of these entities in the near future. In addition, Santino is actively pursuing ATA certification in both directions for the Spanish-English language pair. In 2022, he was a guest speaker at Rutgers University for an internship class in the Translation and Interpreting Program. Santino manages and promotes membership for the DVTA, and helps maintain its social media platforms along with Sonia and Arturo.
Article I. Name
The name of this nonprofit corporation shall be the Delaware Valley Translators Association, here after called the DVTA. DVTA shall abide by the bylaws, policies, and rules of the American Translators Association (“ATA”).
Article II. Objectives
The Association shall be organized as a nonprofit corporation with the following objectives:
To improve communications and promote professional and social contact among translators and interpreters in the region;
To formulate, promote and maintain high professional standards of ethics, professional practice and competence in the fields of translation and interpretation;
To advocate and improve the recognition of translation and interpretation as professions and to safeguard the rights and interests of the professional translator and interpreter;
To support the training of translators and interpreters through lectures, seminars, and workshops;
To provide a medium for collaboration with people in allied professions;
To hold periodic meetings for the purpose of affording translators and interpreters an opportunity to discuss subjects of mutual interest;
To serve as a clearinghouse for information on current literature and new developments in the field;
To act as a local talent bank for business and industry, providing information on and referrals to available experts in various languages and fields of specialization;
To conduct any and all other activities designed to further its objectives and to promote the general welfare of the Association and its members.
Article III. Membership
Section 1. Eligibility: Membership in DVTA shall be open to individuals, corporations, and institutions primarily in, but not limited to, southeastern Pennsylvania, central and southern New Jersey, and Delaware who are active translators and/or interpreters or have a professional interest in these fields.
Section 2. Classes: The classes of membership in the DVTA shall consist of Active, Associate, Corporate, Institutional and Student.
Active: Active Members must have been Associate Members for one year immediately preceding their application for Active Membership status. They must submit one letter of recommendation and must be professionally engaged in translation, interpretation, or related activities. The one-year waiting period may be waived if the applicant is either 1) an Active Member of the ATA; or 2) has been an Associate Member of the ATA for at least one year, or 3) provides evidence of employment related to translation and interpretation, in-house or as an independent contractor, for a minimum of one year.
Associate: Normally all individual members must begin their member ship in DVTA as Associate Members. Prospective Associate Members shall meet the eligibility requirements in Article III, Section 1 and shall agree in their application to uphold and abide by the Bylaws of the DVTA.
Corporate: Corporate membership is open without further stipulation to any business firm with an interest in the translation and/or interpretation professions. Membership shall be in the name of the firm, not in the name of an individual. Individuals associated with a Corporate Member may qualify as members in other classes in their own right. Each Corporate Member shall have the option to designate in writing or by e-mail delivered to the Association a person who shall act as its representative for all purposes of Association membership. Such designation may be changed at any time by informing the Association of the change in writing or by e-mail. Acts by such designated representative performed in the name of the Corporate Member shall be deemed, for purposes of Association membership, to be acts of the Corporate Member. This appointment does not confer individual membership on the designated person.
Institutional: Institutional membership is open without further stipulation to universities, educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations with an interest in the translation and/or interpretation professions. Membership shall be in the name of the institution, not in the name of an individual. Individuals associated with an Institutional Member may qualify as members in other classes in their own right. Each Institutional Member shall have the option to designate in writing or by e-mail delivered to the Association a person who shall act as its representative for all purposes of Association membership. Such designation may be changed at any time by informing the Association of the change in writing or by e-mail. Acts by such designated representative performed in the name of the Institutional Member shall be deemed, for purposes of Association membership, to be acts of the Institutional Member. This appointment does not confer individual membership on the designated person.
Student: Open to any college or university student enrolled full-time or part-time in a program related to translation or interpretation, including foreign language study. Applicants for student membership must submit a letter from the program instructor to verify student status. A letter to that effect must also be submitted on membership renewal.
Section 3. Rights and Privileges: Notwithstanding the class of membership, all members shall be allowed to participate in all activities and events of the DVTA and share in the benefits of membership as established in Article III, section 1. Active Members may vote, nominate Board members, chair and serve on committees, hold office, sponsor applicants for active membership, subscribe to the DVTA listserver and be listed in the DVTA directory, Associate Members have all the rights and privileges of Active Members, except the right to vote, to hold Association office, to sponsor applicants for active membership, and to serve on the Board of Directors. Corporate Members have all the rights and privileges of Active Members except the right to vote, to hold Association office, and to serve on the Board of Directors. The rights shall be exercised through a person appointed by the organization holding the membership. This appointment does not confer individual membership on the designated person. Institutional Members have all the rights and privileges of Active Members except the right to vote, to hold Association office, and to serve on the Board of Directors. The rights shall be exercised through a person appointed by the organization holding the membership. This appointment does not confer individual membership on the designated person. Student Members have all the rights and privileges of Active Members, except the right to vote, to sponsor applicants for active membership, to hold Association office, to chair Association committees and to serve on the Board of Directors.
Section 4. Responsibilities: Each member shall support and promote the objectives of the DVTA, as established in Article II.
Section 5. Dues: Members shall pay annual dues as established by the Board of Directors. Dues are payable in advance on or before January 1 of any year. Membership shall lapse when dues are three months in arrears. Timely payment of dues and compliance with the DVTA Bylaws and the published policies of ATA are required for continuing membership.
Section 6. Application for Membership: An application for DVTA membership accompanied by the current year’s annual dues appropriate for the class of membership applied for shall be submitted to the Membership Chair, acted on by the Member ship Chair and approved by the Board when necessary.
Section 7. Termination and Sanctions: The Board may suspend any or all privileges of any member who fails to meet the standards of DVTA membership. Each suspension shall be reviewed at the next meeting of the Board of Directors and may lead to termination of membership provided that the member in question is allowed to appear on his or her behalf. Any suspended member shall not be entitled to exercise membership voting rights. Termination of membership shall require the unanimous decision of the members of the Board of Directors present, and the member being considered for termination must be provided advance written notice including the reason for the proposed termination, opportunity to contest the proposed termination, and final notice of the Board of Directors’ decision.
Section 8. Reapplication and Reinstatement: A new application for membership is required for reinstatement following a waiting period of not less than six months from the date of termination for cause and must be accompanied by payment of the current year’s annual dues.
Article IV. Board of Directors
Only active members in good standing of DVTA are eligible to serve on the Board of Directors. The DVTA Board of Directors shall consist of a minimum of five to a maximum of nine board members as determined by the incumbent Board. They shall be elected by the active members by mail or electronic vote for a term of two years.
Article V. Officers
Section 1. The officers shall be the President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer, who shall be members of the Board and elected by the Board for terms of two years after the election of the Board members or until their successors are elected.
Section 2. Duties of the Board of Directors: The Board shall govern the affairs of the DVTA. Its powers and responsibilities shall include the following:
To have, hold, and administer the property and funds of the DVTA;
To set and give prior notice of the time, place, and agenda of all general meetings;
To control the publications of the DVTA;
To fill vacancies in any office for the remainder of an unexpired term;
To establish committees as deemed necessary;
To establish annual dues for all classes of membership.
Section 3. Duties of the President: The President shall be responsible for the execution of all decisions of the Board of Directors, shall serve as chairman of all general meetings and Board meetings, shall be an ex-officio member of all committees, and shall appoint committee members with the advice of the Board. The President must be an active member of the ATA. The President shall submit an annual report of DVTA’s activities and financial condition to the ATA.
Section 4. Duties of the Vice-President: The Vice-President shall attend meetings of the DVTA and the Board of Directors and shall act as President in the absence of the President. The Vice-President must be an active member of the ATA.
Section 5. Duties of the Secretary: The Secretary shall attend meetings of the DVTA and the Board of Directors and shall keep and publicize the minutes thereof. The Secretary shall act as President in the absence of the President and the Vice-President.
Section 6. Duties of the Treasurer: The Treasurer shall be responsible for the collection, banking, and disbursement of DVTA funds and for keeping complete and detailed records thereof and shall present regular financial reports at each Board meeting. The Treasurer shall act as President in the absence of the President, the Vice President, and the Secretary.
Section 7. Meetings of the Board of Directors: The Board shall meet at the call of the President or when petitioned to do so by ten or more active DVTA members. A simple majority of the Board shall constitute a quorum.
Section 8. Recall: Removal of one or more members of the Board or any officer may be recommended by the Board or by petition of ten or more active DVTA members and submitted to the active membership for ratification. Ratification shall require a two thirds majority vote of the active members voting.
Article VI. Meetings
Section 1. General Meetings: The Board of Directors shall call general meetings whenever it deems necessary or when petitioned to do so by ten or more active members. Notice of each general meeting, along with its agenda, shall be mailed or e-mailed to the last recorded address of each member at least twelve days before the date appointed for the meeting.
Section 2. Annual Business Meeting: An Annual Business Meeting shall be held at such time and date as shall be determined by the Board of Directors.
Article VII. Parliamentary Authority
The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Association in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not in consistent with these Bylaws and any special rules of order the Association may adopt.
Article VIII. Amendments
Amendments to the Bylaws may be proposed either by the Board of Directors or by a petition signed by at least ten percent of the active members of the DVTA. A duly proposed amendment shall be submit ted to the active membership for ratification and shall require a two-thirds majority vote of the active members voting. Amendments to the DVTA Bylaws shall be consistent with the Bylaws and amendments of the ATA and shall be submitted to and approved by the ATA Board of Directors prior to taking effect.
Article IX. Dissolution
Section 1. Dissolution of the DVTA may be recommended by the Board of Directors or by a petition of two-thirds of the active membership. Such a recommendation shall be submitted to the membership for ratification at a general meeting and shall include specific instructions for the disposal of DVTA assets. Ratification shall require a two-thirds majority vote of the active members present and voting.
Section 2. In the event of dissolution of the DVTA, the Board of Directors shall, after payment of all DVTA liabilities, dispose of all DVTA assets as will have been provided in the ratified recommendation for dissolution. Revised and approved by the membership on November 6, 2010.