Speakers at LEO's 8th International Virtual Conference
Veronika Demichelis, President 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 serves as the President of the American Translators Association (2023-2025).
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.
Jay Marciano, President of AMTA
Jay Marciano, director of machine translation outreach and strategy at Lengoo, has spent 25 years at the forefront of developing and applying machine translation (MT). He has held senior positions at SDL (2001-2010) and Lionbridge (2010-2020), where he was responsible for the global strategy of using MT to increase translation efficiency. Jay is president of the Association for Machine Translation in the Americas (AMTA) and presents widely on MT, AI, and the future of the translation industry. He is a leading figure in building understanding among language professionals of the power and potential of MT and other AI-driven technologies.
Susan Amarino, Immediate Past President of ALC
Susan R. Amarino is passionate about facilitating global communication and ensuring language services maintain a high standard.
She is the Immediate Past President of the Association of Language Companies (ALC) as well as the Subcommittee Chair for F43.05, Quality Assurance in Language Services for ASTM. With her involvement in these and many more industry organizations, extensive experience in the field, as well as her connection with local and international stakeholders, it is clear why Liaison Multilingual is a key player in the industry. When she is not hiking or skiing and exploring the outdoors, Susan is at the helm of quality in translation services, guiding the industry and enabling the company to stay in the know and offer exceptional service.
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, President of NCIHC, National Consultant on Equity and Language Access in Healthcare
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.
Andrea R. Henry, Interpreter and Researcher
Andrea has worked in the field of healthcare interpreting for over 25 years. Most of those years have been in face-to-face interpreting in both adult and children’s healthcare settings. Interpreting on the frontlines is Andrea's biggest joy. Additionally, she has learned a great deal from many roles in this field having worked as a freelance interpreter, full-time OPI interpreter, interpreter coordinator for two healthcare organizations, interpreter trainer, full-time F2F interpreter in a level 1 trauma center, and interpreter researcher. She has extensive experience in written translation (e.g., English > Spanish home care instructions), public speaking, and mentoring novice interpreters. Andrea’s areas of interest and expertise include specialization (e.g., pediatric cancer, pediatric heart defects, etc.), outside-the-box methods for navigating technical speech and sociolinguistic bumps, and value-added scripting for improved encounter interaction. Andrea is dedicated to moving our field forward by sharing strategies that improve communication and the patient’s clinical outcome, as well as raise our perceived value. She is strongly invested in keeping interpreters on the frontlines by raising awareness of our skill set, improving working conditions, and addressing the issue of fair pay. Andrea is the principal investigator on grant-funded research on development and validation of a tool that measures complexity and mental fatigue in the healthcare encounter. Finally, Andrea was named Commissioner for the CCHI in 2021 and is an active member of NCIHC.
Prado Antolino, MA, CT/CI
Prado Antolino is the Language Services Manager at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Philology from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Madrid, Spain, where she was born and raised. Additionally, Prado holds a Master’s degree in Translation and Applied Linguistics from Kent State University, Kent, Ohio. Prado has a double certification in translation from the American Translators Association and in medical interpreting from the National Board for the Certification of Medical Interpreters. She was also an ATA certification exam grader in the English into Spanish pair for over 10 years. In her role as Manager, Prado advises on language access policy application within the Cancer Center, devises strategies to encourage equitable language access throughout the institution, provides education and awareness on how to work effectively with translators and interpreters, and devised and administers the bilingual proficiency assessment program.
Nanyi Mateo, Interpreter Educator and AI Trainer
Nanyi is a Spanish Medical Interpreter certified by the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (NBCMI) and the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI). Since 2018, she's been working as a video remote and over-the-phone medical interpreter as well as a quality assurance agent with multiple agencies across the United States. In 2020, she began teaching interpretation and note-taking for online interpreting schools in California and Chicago. She has presented her original note-taking language for national and international interpreting associations, such as the National Society of Translators and Interpreters of New Zealand (NZSTI), the Multilingual Consortium of the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE), and the staff interpreters of one of the UCLA Health Systems.
Kenton Myers, Certified Interpreter
Kenton Myers is a trilingual interpreter and owner of M&N Language Services, LLC, a full-service agency based out of Birmingham, Alabama. He is well known across the South for his leadership in the advancement of the interpretation and translation field. Kenton holds a B.A. in Spanish and in Psychology from Birmingham Southern College. He is a nationally certified Spanish interpreter, holding certifications from the National Board of Certification of Medical Interpreters (NBCMI) and the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI), and is Court Certified in the state of Alabama. He is also a RID Nationally Certified American Sign Language Interpreter (NIC) and a Qualified Mental Health Interpreter (QMHI). Kenton serves as president of the Interpreters and Translators Association of Alabama (ITAA), an organization composed of professionals working in over 12 languages, working to promote the profession, provide community education, and support continuing education for those working in the fields of interpretation and translation.
Shawn Norris, Ed K-12 | NIC | CoreCHI-P, President of FRID, Coordinator of Interpreting Services
Shawn serves as the President of the Florida Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (FRID) and the Coordinator of Interpreting Services, ADA, and Section 1557 Coordinator at UF Health St. Johns in St. Augustine, Florida. Raised by Deaf parents, Shawn has a deep-rooted connection to the Deaf community, which drives his advocacy and volunteer work.
With over a decade in the interpreting field, Shawn has mentored numerous emerging interpreters both professionally and in the community. He founded a local agency to provide ASL and Spanish interpreting services in Jacksonville, enhancing language accessibility in the region.
Shawn is developing an online community for interpreters and translators to connect and share resources. His positions as a Commissioner for the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI) and a member of the SAFE-AI task force reflect his dedication to advancing the interpreting profession and ethical AI practices.
Jessica Yaacoub, Director of Operations and Development at Bromberg & Associates
Jessica's role role encompasses a diverse array of responsibilities, where she not only supervises and facilitates communication across all departments but also plays a pivotal role in steering the company toward its financial goals.
Beyond financial oversight, Jessica's expertise extends to client relations and language services. She actively engages with clients to comprehensively assess their language needs, offering insightful guidance and solutions.
Jessica's linguistic talents further enhance her capabilities, as she is a native Arabic speaker with fluency in French. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Linguistics with a double major in Computer Science, earned at Wayne State University. Committed to continuous growth, she is currently pursuing her MBA at the University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign.
Mireya Pérez, Founder of Brand the Interpreter podcast
Mireya Pérez began her career as a certified medical interpreter and has since gained over a decade of experience breaking down language barriers in healthcare and education. After honing her skills as a medical interpreter in both a general and children's hospital, Mireya 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 the proud creator and host of the Brand the Interpreter podcast, where 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 within 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 Rico y el Caribe in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She is currently working towards a Master’s in Legal Studies (MLS) at Arizona State University, where she expects to graduate in December 2023.
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 from 2020 to 2022, serving as Chair of the Board from 2021 to 2022. Janis now resides in San Antonio, Texas, where she continues to make invaluable contributions to the interpreting and translation field.
Giovanna Lester, ATA Certified Translator and Conference Interpreter
Giovanna (Gio) Lester career in translation and interpreting started in 1980. Gio has occupied various administrative positions in professional associations: President of the Brazilian Association of Translators and Interpreters - ABRATES (2020-2022), Co-Chair of NAJIT’s Social Media Committee, Editor of The NAJIT Observer (2026-2020), Assistant Administrator and Administrator of the ATA Interpreters Division (2003-2007), Interim Vice-Chair and Director of the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (2008-2013). She has been published in the ATA Chronicle, The NAJIT Observer and Proteus, CIOL The Linguist, the CMI Times, and Abrates' Metáfrase, to cite a few publications, and you can also find her articles on LinkedIn.
Her speaking engagements have taken her, virtually or in person, to universities in the US and Brazil, to Canada, México, Cuba, and Panama, always covering issues related to the translation and interpreting professions and its ancillary industry.
Jorge Mejia, Certified Interpreter and Supervisor of Interpreter Services
Jorge Mejia brings nearly two decades of professional interpreting experience, accumulating almost 20 years in the field. His journey gained momentum with his 2015 certification from CCHI, and he wholeheartedly embraced the role of a Spanish-English healthcare interpreter. For the past 8 years, he has dedicated his expertise to Natividad Hospital in Salinas, CA, currently serving as the Interpreting Services Supervisor. Additionally, Jorge proudly contributes as a Licensed Trainer for The Community Interpreter program by Cross-Culture Communication.
Throughout his tenure at Natividad Hospital, Jorge has trained numerous dual-role hospital staff members, equipping them with the skills to excel as qualified interpreters. This experience sharpened his ability to work effectively with underserved individuals and adapt the interpreting profession to meet the unique needs of indigenous patients.
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.
Bill Rivers, Principal at WP Rivers and Associates
Dr. Rivers is the immediate past and founding Chair of ASTM Technical Committee F43, Language Services and Products, and chairs the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to ISO Technical Committee 232, Education and Learning Services. He serves as a member of the America’s Languages Working Group of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is an honorary member of the Association of Language Companies, and recipient of the ALC Bill Graeper Award in 2019.
Before establishing WP Rivers & Associates, Dr. Rivers served for eight years as the Executive Director of the Joint National Committee for Languages – National Council for Languages and International Studies, leaving a legacy of significant legislative and policy accomplishments, including the establishment of the Congressional Caucus on America’s Languages, and the passage of the World Languages Advancement and Readiness Program, among many others.
Dot Roberts, Audiovisual Translator
Dot is a freelance translator and subtitle creator based in Manchester, UK. She started her business, Dot Roberts Translation, in January 2019 while halfway through her part-time Translation Master’s. Dot primarily creates English subtitles for German, Dutch, and English films, TV shows, and marketing videos. She also creates English subtitles for deaf and hard-of-hearing people.
Dot also hosts her own podcast called Meet the Translator in which she speaks to a different translator each episode about a topic relating to the translation industry. This ranges from board game translation to mental health for translators and the podcast has listeners from all over the world.
More recently, Dot has become a keen public speaker, giving a talk called ‘Disrupting LinkedIn’ at the ITI conference in 2022, and two talks at the BP conference in 2023, one on professionalism, and the other on subtitling. She has also been running an audiovisual translation workshop for the University of Manchester for the past three years.
Jinny Bromberg, Certified Interpreter and LSC Owner
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.