Meet the CTA Board Candidates: Robert Sette

By Marion Rhodes
CTA Social Media Director

February 1, 2014

In our third candidate interview for the 2014-2016 CTA Board election, we talk to Robert Sette, who is running for the position of secretary. Robert has been a full-time freelancer for more than 20 years. He translates from Catalan, French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish into English, specializing in business, law and technical translations.


Marion Rhodes: You’ve only been a member of CTA for about a year. What is your motivation to serve on the Board of the Colorado Interpreters & Translators Association?

Robert Sette: I am happy to serve on the Board if elected, and I hope to contribute my prior experience on non-profit boards and the ATA Board to the advancement of the CTA.

MR: What are your goals for CTA in the next few years, and how can you help make them a reality?

RS: As I mentioned in my candidate statement, I am an advocate of the continued professionalization of our industry, through education, promotion of certification and dissemination of information about our profession to a targeted audience – people who make decisions about buying T&I services.

MR: You served on the ATA Board for three years. What have you learned during that time that would benefit you as a leader of the Colorado Interpreters & Translators Association?

RS: My term on the ATA Board showed me a great deal about the diversity of our profession, and I feel that I can contribute as CTA Secretary by helping to create written documents and procedures that will help to streamline future activities and programs.

MR: In your candidate statement, you said you look forward to interfacing with the local business community to promote ties with the CTA and our members. Can you elaborate on that?

RS: I think that we can work with organizations such as the Denver World Trade Center and other business-oriented organizations to be more of a promoter and advocate of professional T&I in the Denver area, by providing speakers and attending networking events.

MR: How do you think CTA could serve its members even more while continuing to advance the interests of the translation profession in general?

RS: I don’t have a long history with CTA, so I don’t know about “even more,” but any T&I organization provides opportunities for education, networking, and in general to raise the level of discourse about our profession. I think CTA needs to continue to do all of these, through the on-going annual conferences, promoting ATA webinars of interest to our members, holding social events, and disseminating items of interest to our members.

MR: Being a Board member, your three primary roles are ambassador, advocate and asker. Which area is your greatest strength, and how do you plan to leverage it as a Board member?

RS: I think advocacy is where my passion lies. I thoroughly enjoy speaking about what a great profession we have, and promoting it among future practitioners (students and aspiring translators) and those with whom we come into contact when performing our work.

MR: Tell us some tidbits about yourself, such as your sign, countries lived, or anything else that’s interesting:

RS: Sorry to disappoint you, but I don’t follow horoscopes! I’ve lived in Barcelona, Spain and for a short time in Moscow to study Russian. My most “interesting” translation request was when a project manager called me and asked me, based on the languages I knew, to help identify a language being spoken on a VCR tape (yes, this was in the 90s). I agreed and suggested I listen in over the phone while she played the tape on a VCR. She seemed hesitant to do this at that moment, and as I asked more questions, she admitted that the tape was a recording of an exorcism, with the exorcisee shouting in some unknown tongue, and she refused to play the tape while she was alone in the office, so we had to wait for her co-worker to return from lunch. (No, I did not recognize the language, incidentally.)

MR: Is there anything else that you would like to add?

RS: No, thanks for your time conducting this interview!