Tennessee Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf

Leadership Retreat 2017

Why Retreat?

The reason for the 2017 Leadership Retreat came out of various discussions among the TRID Board of Directors. As a result of these discussions the board members came to the conclusion that significant changes are occurring in the interpreting profession. The changes board members are seeing and conversations that individual board members have had with our members speaks to a need for a change. The Board of Directors concluded that TRID needs to change the way that it supports, communicates with, and collaborates with each and every member.

Recognizing that change can have a significant impact, the Board of Directors decided that we should take a step back and set aside a space and time for us to discuss what changes need to be made and how to best facilitate them.

Who Retreated?

The 2017 Leadership Retreat participants were:

Will White (President)

Stefan Esterly (Vice-President)

Ruann Wood (Treasurer)

Catherine (Cat) Maenzo (Member-at-Large)

Libby Tipton (Northeast District Representative)

Jenni Davis (Memphis District Representative)

Brenda Sellers (TRID Past President)

The 2017 Leadership Retreat was lead by:

Chris McGaha (Alabama RID - President)

Diana Wagoner (Alabama RID - Secretary)

We really missed Helen (Knoxville District Representative), Sara (Nashville District Representative), and Amy (CMP Coordinator) 


What happened at the Retreat?

The retreat leaders started the retreat by sharing their own experiences of having gone through this same process with the Alabama RID. Everyone was impressed with the level of detailed preparation that they had invested in making this retreat successful. The insight they provided into the process was incredible. 

The first thing that we learned is that in order for us to be successful in this retreat we were going to have to be honest and allow ourselves to be vulnerable to each other. We had to talk about the elephant in the room. The exercises and discussions we had during the course of the retreat were focused on understanding where TRID stood, the relationship that exists between TRID and its members, what needs to be changed, and how to change it.

The discussions were not always easy. However, we all agreed that you, the member, deserve the absolute best that TRID can provide in the way of support, communication and collaboration. We recognize that doing what is best for TRID and the membership would not always be popular. Nor would it be easy. 

We discussed our options and concluded that our first step was to make a commitment to changes that are beneficial for TRID AND its members, regardless of affiliation or geographical location.

We commit to LEADING because that is what we we were elected to do. 

We commit to lead with EXCELLENCE because you the member deserve the absolute best that TRID can provide in ways of support, communication, and collaboration. 

We commit to lead with ACCOUNTABILITY because TRID belongs to you the member. You have entrusted us to take the absolute best care of this organization that you look to for support, communication, and collaboration.

We commit to lead with AFFIRMATION because we want you to know, without any question, that you are valued on so many different levels.

We commit to lead with PASSION because we feel that interpreters and the profession of interpreting serve such a vital role that it demands a level of commitment from its leaders that goes well beyond the titles and duties that are assigned to them.  

We have encased our commitment to you by adopting the phrase:

Leading through Excellence, Accountability, Affirmation, and Passion 


Where are we going from here?

The TRID Board of Directors recognize that the change that TRID and the membership need will go well beyond the current term limits of the present board membership. In fact, we recognize that if we ever feel like there are not any changes to be made then we have failed to look far enough into the future of TRID and the needs of its members.

The first change that the TRID Board of Directors has began to address is the process in which a new board assumes their duties from the previous board. All too often there has been a difficult period of smoothly transferring duties due to a lack of any type of standardization or procedure for doing so. Often the new board members end up developing a "new" way of doing things. This kind of stutter start creates too much tension and uncertainty. To circumvent this in the future the Bylaws /  PPM Committee is in the process of writing a Policy and Procedure Manual that clearly defines the duties of each member of the Board of Directors and the appropriate process for completing them. This will result in less time and energy being spent developing procedures and allowing more time on developing programming that provides excellent support, allows for effective communication, and encourages collaboration among our members. 

The second change that the TRID Board of Directors is addressing is that of transparency in all aspects. You, as a member of TRID, deserve to be fully informed about the issues that will impact you as an interpreter in Tennessee. With critical issues such as licensure and pay rates potentially impacting your ability to work as an interpreter in Tennessee TRID will strive to ensure you are informed and that your voice is heard. This extends to how the Board of Directors conducts the business of TRID. We are developing processes that will keep you informed and create channels for you to have direct input as to how TRID goes about supporting, communicating, and collaborating.

The third change that the TRID Board of Directors is looking to address is that of developing strong relationships with the Deaf community that we serve, the interpreting service providers that we work through, and the educational foundations that train the future generations of interpreters. TRID strives to be the best and primary resource for interpreter support and representation in Tennessee. This will be accomplished by coordinating our efforts with these other entities to provide opportunities for workshop and community building events that are meaningful to our members.

The 2017 Leadership Retreat allowed the participants to engage in the difficult discussions that allowed us to see where change is necessary and beneficial to TRID and ALL of its members. These first three changes are just the beginning of the Board of Directors efforts to fully engage each and every interpreter in Tennessee. We are excited to see what the future will bring for interpreters in Tennessee. We invite you to join with the Board of Directors and help us create those meaningful moments that are most important to you as an interpreter in Tennessee.


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