Speakers at LEO's 7th International Virtual Conference
Erika Shell Castro, President of the Board of NCIHC
Erika is a champion of diversity and inclusion, and the President of the Board of Directors of the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care (NCIHC). With over a decade of experience in program and employee management, coaching, training, community organizing, development, and administration, Erika's subject matter expertise in language access and training is perfectly aligned with her role.
Previously Vice President of the NCICH Board of Directors and Chair of the Membership and Outreach Committee, Erika has been recognized as the NCIHC Language Access Champion in 2016 for her work improving the lives of all people through the promotion of linguistic competence in healthcare.
Currently, Erika serves as the manager of clinical education and compliance for Martti™ by UpHealth. In her previous role as Martti™'s director of patient advocacy and compliance, Erika demonstrated her commitment to improving language access in healthcare and ensuring that limited English-speaking patients receive equitable and inclusive care.
Veronika Demichelis, President-Elect of ATA
Veronika is an accomplished freelance ATA-certified translator based in Houston, TX, specializing in localization, marketing, communication, human resources, education and e-learning. She is currently the President-Elect of the American Translators Association and the Conference Organizer for ATA's 64th Annual Conference.
Veronika's impressive academic background includes an MA in Linguistics and Intercultural Communication, an MBA in Human Resources Management, and an Advanced Certificate in Translation and Interpretation. As an adjunct professor in the Translation and Interpretation Program at Houston Community College, Veronika has recently designed and developed the curriculum for a localization certificate program.
In addition to her many accomplishments, Veronika produces and co-hosts the podcast Smart Habits for Translators, where she shares her wealth of knowledge and expertise with fellow translators and language professionals.
Diego Cresceri, President of ELIA
Diego is a renowned expert in the language industry and the CEO & Founder of Creative Words, a translation and interpreting company. He graduated from the University of Genoa with a degree in Translation and Interpreting and has since amassed a wealth of experience as a translator, Project Manager, and Chief Operation Officer in a local translation agency. Diego is currently the President of the European Language Industry Association (ELIA), where he helps shape the future of the industry.
Beyond his role at Creative Words, where he is responsible for the company's overall strategy and growth, Diego is passionate about sharing his knowledge and expertise with others, and frequently conducts workshops and seminars on innovation, artificial intelligence, and machine translation at universities, training schools, and language associations across the globe.
Giovanna Carriero-Contreras, Chair of AAITE
Giovanna has been a noteworthy leader in the language industry space for over 30 years. She is a sought-after industry national and international speaker, a seasoned translator and interpreter, an interpreter trainer and published language industry author, having co-authored The Community Interpreter® - International (TCII) textbook and workbook, as well as the medical version of the course, The Medical Interpreter. She is a founding member and Chair of the American Association of Interpreters and Translators in Education.
Giovanna is member of ASTM Committee F43 on Language Services and Products; Chief of US Delegation for the ISO/TC 37/SC 5 for translation, interpreting, and related technology standards, currently acting as Editor for the revision of ISO 13611:2021(WD) “Interpreting Services— Community Interpreting —Requirements.” She sits on the Advocacy Committee and the Language Access Committee of the Association of Language Companies (ALC).
Gustavo R. Negrete, Chair of NBCMI
Gustavo is a passionate advocate for language access and LEP rights. As the current Chair of the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (NBCMI) and previous Secretary, he has been a leader in promoting professional standards in medical interpreting.
Gustavo brings over twenty years of experience in healthcare, including various clinical roles and departments before becoming an interpreter. He is the President and CEO of a micro interpreting and translation company and the Managing Director of TransInterpreting. Gustavo is a Certified HIPAA Privacy Expert and an active participant in organizations that lobby and promote language access and the interpreting profession.
Bruce Adelson, Esq., Federal Compliance Consultant
Bruce is a highly-regarded expert in the areas of language access, disability access, and compliance. With his extensive experience and expertise, he serves as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Consultant to both the Idaho Supreme Court and New Mexico Administrative Office of the Courts.
Prior to his current role, Bruce was a Senior Trial Attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, where he worked to ensure compliance with federal laws protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities.
In addition to his consulting work, Bruce is also a respected member of the academic community. He currently serves on the faculty of Georgetown University School of Medicine and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where he teaches Implicit Bias in Health Care. Bruce has also taught at a number of other prestigious institutions, including Harvard University, Cornell University, Auburn University, The Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, and the University of Baltimore School of Law.
Carla Fogaren, Healthcare Hero
Carla is a visionary leader in the healthcare industry, known nationally for her pioneering work in medical interpreting, language access, and health disparities. As the System Director of Diversity Initiatives, Interpreter Services, and ADA/504 and Section 1557 Coordinator for Steward Health Care, she oversaw language access services for 42 hospitals and over 600 physician practices in 9 different states.
Carla's impressive career spans over three decades, beginning as a registered nurse in 1988. She was one of twelve individuals who helped to draft the International Medical Interpreters Association (IMIA) Standards of Practice in 1995, a milestone achievement in the field of medical interpreting. Additionally, she was part of an advisory committee for the MA DPH that created the Best Practice Recommendations for hospital-based Interpreter Services in 2001.
In 2003, Carla founded the Forum of the Coordination of Interpreter Services (FOCIS) as a collaborative platform for hospital and clinic-based interpreter programs to share best practices and resources. Originally established as a Massachusetts-based group, FOCIS has since expanded to nationwide membership.
Carla's exceptional leadership has earned her numerous accolades, including the Healthcare Hero award from the Boston Business Journal in 2015. She continues to be a highly sought-after national consultant on language access, health disparities, disabilities, and regulatory requirements for hospitals.
Gulnara Shigabutdinova, Certified Medical and Court Interpreter
After earning her degree in Linguistics, Gulnara has been working as a professional interpreter and translator since 2016. With her strong language skills and commitment to excellence, Gulnara has earned certification as a Medical Interpreter and is registered as a court interpreter in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
In recognition of her expertise and leadership in the field, Gulnara was elected to serve two terms on the National Board of Directors for Certified Medical Interpreters (NBCMI). In this role, she supported the certification process and encouraged the growth of the profession.
Currently, Gulnara is leading a team focused on developing software solutions for professional interpreters, as well as courses aimed at training and certification.
Paul Tracy, Certified Interpreter and Translator, Co-Founder of Partners Interpreting
Paul is a highly accomplished language industry professional with extensive experience in managing interpreting and translation services, business development, operations, and strategic planning. He is the Co-Founder of Partners Interpreting and has been instrumental in building the company's success through his leadership in managing the back office operations, accounting department, systems and technology, marketing, sales, contracts, and everything else in between.
Paul is an experienced consultant for language companies and provides valuable insights into operations and strategic planning. He is known for his expertise in business development and has helped numerous companies achieve their growth objectives.
Paul is also a board member of Association of Language Companies and serves as the chair for member education. As a nationally certified ASL/English interpreter, Paul has deep knowledge of the interpreting profession and the challenges faced by interpreters in providing high-quality language services.
Nora Díaz, Translator, Interpreter and Language Consultant
Nora is a translator and conference interpreter with a strong background in language teaching and translation. Nora is known for her innovative approach to using technology to increase productivity, and her passion for teaching has led her to share her knowledge and expertise through articles, webinars, and workshops. Her commitment to the profession is evidenced by her active involvement in several professional organizations, including serving on the board of the Organización Mexicana de Traductores and on ATA's Professional Development Committee.
In addition, Nora is one of the co-organizers of the Innovation in Translation Summit and the Innovation in Interpreting Summit.
Lorena Ortiz Schneider, Certified Translator and Interpreter, Founder of CoPTIC America
Lorena is a language professional with over 25 years of experience in translation and interpreting. She earned her MA in Translation and Conference Interpreting from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey (MIIS) in 1992 and has since become an ATA Certified Translator and Credentialed Interpreter for legal and healthcare settings. She is also a California State Certified Administrative Hearing Interpreter and has worked for the US Department of State as a liaison and seminar interpreter.
Throughout her career, Lorena has demonstrated a commitment to improving the profession through training and advocacy. She has provided interpreter training to various organizations, including the California Courts, the California Workers’ Compensation Interpreters Association (CWCIA), and private companies. She is also the founder of CoPTIC (Coalition of Practicing Translators and Interpreters of California).
Katharine Allen, Interpreter, Founder of Words Across Borders
Katharine is a healthcare and community interpreter with over three decades of experience. She has been instrumental in designing curricula, training interpreters, and promoting professional interpreting across various sectors. As the co-president of InterpretAmerica, she has played a key role in advancing the interpreting profession in the US and beyond.
Katharine's expertise extends beyond healthcare interpreting, and she has contributed significantly to the military and victim services sectors, among others. She is the lead developer and licensed trainer for The Indigenous Interpreter® 60-hour training, which has helped many communities worldwide overcome language barriers. She is a national speaker and trainer who has delivered countless workshops and presentations on interpreting across the country.
Currently, Katharine is the Training Specialist at Boostlingo, helping assure interpreter quality, workplace standards and expand language access into more communities around the globe.
Laszlo K Varga, Senior Consultant at Nimdzi
Laszlo is a senior language services industry consultant and researcher with over 10 years of deep expertise in the localization industry. He brings a wealth of knowledge and insight to the table, spanning a wide range of areas including technology, service delivery, solution development, localization supply chain, process and change management, strategy, and innovation.
With his passion for understanding what drives individuals, teams, and businesses, Laszlo is dedicated to helping people make better decisions that ultimately lead to success in their field. His deep sense of curiosity has led him to develop a love for physics, an appreciation for randomness, and a commitment to living lean.
Robin Ragan, CMI and Court Certified Interpreter
Robin is a professor of Spanish at Knox College in Illinois, teaching in a translation and interpreter training program designed by her. She earned her CMI-Spanish in 2016, and is an Illinois state court interpreter as well. In 2020 she earned the Global Engagement Initiative Award from the American Council on Teachers of Foreign Languages Global for her translation and interpreting program at Knox, and a Humanities Innovation Grant from the Modern Languages Association to support new coursework on “Interpreting for Crisis Contexts in Immigration”.
Robin is also a collaborator with Americans Against Language Barriers where she trains future medical interpreters and frequently teaches units on Modes, Roles, Ethics and Vicarious Trauma. She interprets for psychosocial evaluations on a weekly basis through her work with immigrant populations and asylum seekers.
Natalya Mytareva, Director of CCHI
Natalya is the Executive Director of the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters, and a Commissioner of the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). In 2000-2013, Natalya was Communications Director at the International Institute of Akron, a refugee resettlement agency in Ohio. She developed and taught several courses for healthcare and court interpreters, with the focus on languages of lesser diffusion. Natalya is a Russian interpreter/translator, and started her career as instructor of interpretation/translation courses at Volgograd State University (Russia) in 1991. She holds a combined BA/MA degree from VSU in Philology & Teaching English as a Foreign Language.
Caitilin Walsh, Certified Translator
Caitilin is an ATA-Certified French-English translator who delights in producing publication-quality translations for the computer industry and food lovers alike. A graduate of Willamette University (OR) and the Université de Strasbourg (France), and a past President of the American Translators Association, she currently chairs the ATA Education & Pedagogy Committee. She brings her strong opinions on professionalism as an instructor of Ethics and Business Practices at the Translation and Interpreting Institute at Bellevue College and is member of the ATA Advocacy Committee.
Scott Mirsky, Attorney at Law
Scott is a highly experienced Principal in the firm Employment Law and Litigation practice groups, with a focus on advising and litigating a wide range of construction, business, and employment disputes. With over 20 years of experience representing individuals and businesses in diverse civil matters throughout the Washington, D.C. region, Scott has earned a reputation for his passionate advocacy on behalf of his clients and has received the honor of being named a Maryland Super Lawyer.
He has successfully represented small, midsize, and national clients in complex litigation matters, including non-compete and trade secret disagreements, employment claims, issues concerning independent contractors, intellectual property infringement cases, complex construction issues, wage and overtime disputes, and breach of contract claims. His practice covers the full spectrum of services, including pre-litigation counseling, risk and litigation management, trials, hearings, arbitrations, and appeals before federal and state courts.
In addition to his extensive experience in commercial and employment litigation, Scott also represents numerous language services companies in issues arising out of the independent contractor relationship. He routinely counsels clients in connection with employment agreements and has a successful track record of litigating non-compete cases.
Mireya Pérez, Founder of Brand the Interpreter
Mireya is a language professional who has dedicated her career to breaking down language barriers in healthcare and education. With over a decade of experience as a certified medical interpreter, Mireya has honed her skills in both general and children's hospital setting. She then spent nearly a decade as a staffed interpreter in a K-12 public education school district, where she championed the vital role of trained interpreters in education.
Today, Mireya is a respected industry leader and the proud creator and host of the popular Brand the Interpreter podcast. In this role, she shares the stories and perspectives of language professionals from around the world. With a Master's degree in Communications and a passion for topics like creativity, personal branding, and strategic communication management in the interpreting industry, Mireya is committed to continue elevating the voices and stories of language professionals worldwide.
Janis Palma, Certified Interpreter and Translator
Janis is a highly accomplished English-Spanish interpreter and translator, with over 40 years of experience in the field. She began her journey by becoming a federally-certified judiciary interpreter in 1981, and has since obtained multiple certifications, including NAJIT's interpreter and translator certification in 2004, and a Master Court Interpreter license by the State of Texas in 2017. Janis holds a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin, as well as an M.A. from the Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Puerto y el Caribe in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She is currently working towards a Master’s in Legal Studies (MLS) at Arizona State University.
Throughout her impressive career, Janis has worked as an independent contractor for private attorneys, government agencies, and state and federal courts, including serving as a staff interpreter for the U.S. District Court in Puerto Rico for 15 years.
Her passion for the industry extends beyond her work, as demonstrated by her active involvement with NAJIT as a Life Member since 2006, a Board Member since 2020, and her recent election as Chair of the Board in 2021. Janis now resides in San Antonio, Texas, where she continues to make invaluable contributions to the interpreting and translation field.
Jinny Bromberg, Certified Interpreter
Jinny, the Executive Director of LEO, has always been a trailblazer in the language industry, driven by her passion for different languages, cultures, and communication access. She founded the language services company Bromberg & Associates from her basement in 1999 as a single mother, juggling her baby daughter and business calls with a remarkable commitment to her vision. With a state-certified court interpreter background, Jinny's expertise extends to developing and implementing training courses and workshops to enhance the skills of interpreters and translators. A consummate workaholic, Jinny finds the endless opportunities to learn and the passion of people in the industry to be the most rewarding aspects of her job.
Elena Polonsky, MA in Linguistics
LEO's Marketing Director Elena holds a Master's degree in Linguistics and Cross-Cultural Communication and is a seasoned multilingual translator with a passion for languages and education. She has expanded her expertise by studying Translation Technologies at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, and worked as a journalist and editor for various European newspapers and magazines before relocating to the US in 2012.
At LEO, Elena enjoys working with highly skilled professionals from diverse countries and cultures. She recognizes that language industry experts are the unsung heroes of the professional world, and she takes pride in helping them achieve their career and educational goals.