Conference Speakers


Judge Paulo Marcos Rodrigues de Almeida graduated Law School in 2002 from Universidade de Sorocaba and began his career as a Federal Judge on June 2011. Currently, he presides at the Guarulhos Special Federal Court in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. He was the Coordinator of the Mediation Center of the Guarulhos Federal Court from 2012-2016, and is now the Mediation Instructor for the Conselho Nacional de Justiça (Brazilian National Judiciary Council). Among other published works, he co-authored the article “Court Interpretation in Brazilian Federal Courts” with Jaqueline Nordin.

Katharine Allen is a healthcare and community interpreter with over 3 decades of experience interpreting, training, and designing curricula. She is co-founder and co-president of InterpretAmerica. Together with co-president, Barry S. Olsen, she tracks market and leading trends in the interpreting impression, with a focus on how technology is disrupting the field. They also put on the biannual InterpretAmerica Summit. Katharine is lead developer, author and licensed trainer for The Indigenous Interpreter® 60-hour training and has helped embed professional interpreting into medical missions in Mexico. She teaches for the Glendon College Masters in Conference Interpreting and The Professional Interpreter Online. Katharine is co-author of The Community Interpreter® International: An International Textbook and The Medical Interpreter-A Foundation Textbook for Medical Interpreting. Katharine has an MA in Translation and Interpretation from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.

Diana Arbiser is originally from Argentina. She is a multilingual interpreter and translator with more than 20 years of experience and an extensive cultural and humanistic background. Diana’s areas of expertise include law, health and medicine, social sciences, and literary translation. She holds a B.A. from Boise State University/Universidad de Buenos Aires, and a M.A. in Language, Literature, and Translation from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. She is also fluent in French, and has advanced academic studies of Greek and Latin. Diana is a Federal Court Certified Interpreter, and an Idaho and Oregon State Master-Level Certified Interpreter. She holds the certification from the Administrative Office of the Courts in Washington State, and the ATA Certification for English into Spanish translation. Diana is a transcription and translation expert, an interpreter assessment specialist, and she has provided expert testimony about language-related issues in state and federal court.

Hon. Steven Austin, Judge with the Superior Court of California, County of Contra Costa. Judge Steven Austin has served as a trial court judge at the Contra Costa County Superior Court in California since 1998. From 2005 to 2014, he was one of two judicial members of the California Commission on Access to Justice and served as Chair from 2007 to 2010. From 2010 to 2016, he served as the Chair of the council’s Court Interpreters Advisory Panel (CIAP). In 2013, he also served as Chair of the council’s Ad Hoc Group for Court Interpreter Issues. From 2013–15, he was a member of the Joint Working Group for California’s Language Access Plan (LAP), the advisory body that developed the Strategic Plan for Language Access in the California Courts. He currently serves as the Chair of LAP Implementation Task Force’s Budget and LAP Monitoring Subcommittee and is a member of the Language Access Plan Implementation Task Force.


Margarita Bekker, CoreCHI™ is Lead Russian Interpreter at Stanford University Medical Center, and Chair of the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters. Since 2012, she has been a curriculum developer and instructor of healthcare interpreting courses (Russian) for master-level distance learning program at Glendon School of Translation at York University, Toronto, Canada. Margarita is a certified Bridging the Gap trainer. She was a Russian Language Coach at the City College of San Francisco Health Care Interpreting (HCI) program. Margarita is a former President of California Healthcare Interpreting Association (CHIA) and received its Interpreter of the Year Award in 2016.

Aimee Benavides is a California and Federal Court Certified Interpreter, English<>Spanish, with 17 years of experience. She has provided expert testimony for Miranda Motions as well as important Transcriptions and Translations for State and Federal cases.

Prof. Karen Borgenheimer, MFA is a classically-trained certified interpreter and translator who is regarded as a skilled, insightful and versatile professional. Her Interpreter Training Workshops have been a huge success throughout Florida, where she has trained hundreds of certified interpreters and interpreters-in-training. She is a Continuing Education Provider in various states.


Heidi Cazes is an interpreter, translator, and terminologist. She is a Federal Court Certified Interpreter, and former Staff interpreter at the District Court of Puerto Rico. As a freelancer, she works as a contractor for the federal court, the USDA’s Office, various government agencies and private clients. She is a contract translator and conference level interpreter for the US Department of State. She has worked in terminology research, developing specialized dictionaries, and is an instructor in the IULA English On-line Master in Terminology. She has participated on panels for Standard Setting of Language Proficiency in Court Interpreter Certification Exams and the DLI, and as Spanish Language Expert for Rosetta Stone. She is an ATA Certified translator, and member of NAJIT and IAPTI. She is a producer and voting member in ASTM’s F43 Committee, working on drafting standards for translation, interpreting and language services.

Yvette Citizen is a Federal Court Certified Interpreter as well as a Certified Health Care Interpreter™ who holds a Master’s degree in Bilingual and Multicultural Education. In 2000, Yvette joined the faculty in the Translation and Interpretation Department at the University of Veracruz in Mexico. She then served as a staff interpreter for the U. S. District Court in Tucson from 2003 to 2009. Yvette is currently a freelance interpreter who works for numerous clients in legal, medical, conference, and educational arenas. She has developed training curriculum and has also taught many aspiring and practicing interpreters. Yvette is currently the Lead Faculty at the University of Arizona’s Agnese Haury Institute, where she has taught for over 15 years. She is co-owner with Irene Radillo of The Confident Interpreter, an on-line company that provides interpreters with training material to improve their skills and confidence.

Fátima Cornwall arrived from the Azores Islands, Portugal in 1993. Since then, her academic achievements include a M.A. in Spanish Literature from University of California – Santa Barbara, and a B.A. in Spanish from Boise State University. Fátima has many years of experience in different areas of the interpreting profession. She is a Federal Court Certified Interpreter, as well as an Idaho Master- Level Court Certified Interpreter in Spanish, and a Certified Portuguese Interpreter. She is also a Certified Medical Interpreter through the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (NBCMI). She has been serving as faculty for different workshops and training sessions for new and experienced interpreters and judges over the past five years. Fátima has a passion for teaching, and is a professor at Boise State University where she works as the Spanish Language Coordinator and teaches Portuguese and Spanish upper-division courses, including Intro. to Court and Medical Interpretation.

Susan Cruz is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and has worked in the financial services industry for 20 years. Susan was responsible for managing a practice of 200 clients with over $200M in investable assets helping families choose the right investments and create an overall strategy for reaching their financial goals. After leaving her practice, she began training and coaching financial service professionals on financial planning concepts and the sales process. Susan has brought her financial and training-event planning background together with her husband’s background and professional expertise to create a management and consulting company, CMAC, Inc. CMAC is currently supporting NAJIT as their management company.


Agustín Servin de la Mora is the President of the Florida Institute of Interpretation and Translation. He was born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico, and has been a professional interpreter for over 25 years, both as a freelance and staff interpreter. Mr. de la Mora was the Lead Interpreter for the Ninth Judicial Circuit for over a decade, was a member of the Florida Court Interpreter Certification Board and a voting member of the Technical Committee of the Consortium for Language Access to the Courts. He has been consulting for the NCSC for over 15 years as a trainer and subject matter expert. Mr. de la Mora has additionally served as a rater and training faculty for the rating of a nationally recognized interpreter assessment program. Mr. de la Mora is certified by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts as a Federal Court Certified Interpreter. He is also a Certified Court interpreter through the Florida Court Interpreter Certification Board, and a Certified Medical Interpreter.

Douglas G. Denton is the Supervising Analyst of the Language Access Services Unit at the Judicial Council of California, which works to ensure language access throughout California’s courts. Since 2015, he has served as lead staff to the Judicial Council’s Language Access Plan Implementation Task Force. From 2013–2015, he served as lead staff to the Joint Working Group for California’s Language Access Plan, the advisory body that developed the Strategic Plan for Language Access in the California Courts. The Language Access Plan provides recommendations, guidance, and a consistent statewide approach to ensure language access for California’s 7 million LEP residents and potential court users. Douglas is a founding board member of Access Institute for Psychological Services, a mental health training clinic that provides low-fee psychotherapy for individuals, couples and families. He has an A.B. in Economics from U.C. Berkeley.


Amine El Fajri is an Approved Arabic court interpreter with the Utah State Courts. He is also the founder of Utah International Services. He has over 10 years of experience specializing in law, medical interpreting, and translation. In addition to NAJIT, he is a voting member of the American Translators Association. He also serves on the Language Access Committee in Utah.


Genevieve Navar Franklin, M.A.Ed., is a Federal and State Court certified interpreter who retired in 2014 from the Sonoma County Courts and now continues to interpret in diverse settings as an independent contractor.  With Julie Johnson, she co-edited the Judicial Council of California’s “Professional Ethics and the Role of the Court Interpreter” (4th Ed.) and regularly co-presents its companion workshop.


Melinda Gonzalez-Hibner is a Spanish-English court interpreter certified by the U.S. Courts, and qualified by the U.S. Department of State. After a long freelance career in court, community, and conference settings, she currently serves as ​a staff interpreter for the U.S. District Court of New Mexico. She is passionate about ethics and has trained many generations of court interpreters on the subject. Melinda holds a B.A. from the University of Texas, a M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, and attended the Graduate Studies in Interpreting & Translation (GSIT) Program at the University of Maryland. Melinda previously served as the Colorado State Court Interpreter Program Administrator, where she worked actively to support language access in the courts, and promoted the highest level of professional practice for interpreters working in all languages. She is a member of the Board of Directors ​of ​ATA, a past board member of NAJIT, and past Co-Chair of the Colorado Association of Professional Interpreters.

Mylene Green, a native of Chile, came to the United States at a young age. Her parents insisted the family communicate in Spanish at home, making her fully bilingual. At age 18, Mylene was accepted to the University of Chile.  While attending college in Chile, she had the opportunity to put her bilingual skills to work by accepting interpreting opportunities offered by the American and Korean embassies in Santiago. Upon her return to the United States, she had the honor of working as an interpreter for the 1984 Olympic Organizing Committee – Language Services Department.  Prior to becoming a court interpreter, Mylene worked as a complex litigation legal assistant for a national law firm in Los Angeles. She is a graduate of the U.C.L.A. Extension Translation and Interpretation Program. She is a Federal and State Certified Court Interpreter and actively works in state and federal courts.


Esther M. Hermida is a Spanish interpreter with 24 years’ experience. Her expertise is in the legal, business, and entertainment sectors. She is a Federal and California State Court certified Spanish interpreter. She is also a SAG-AFTRA member through her TV simulcast work. She enjoys working with witnesses and complex cases. The Dr. Phil show twice contracted her to interpret on camera. She has also done simulcast interpretation for television and has been a language consultant and a dialect coach for several well-known TV shows. She assisted the Special Olympics Committee in establishing their Language Department for the LA2015 Special Olympics.  She’s a proud member of NAJIT, ATA, and AIJIC. Esther is an avid advocate for the profession. She runs her own company, GeoLingua, Inc. and ASAP Interpreter App.


Julie E. Johnson, EdD teaches French>English graduate translation and interpreting courses at the Middlebury Institute (MIIS) and regularly conducts skill-building, ethics, and train-the-trainer seminars for working professionals, including court interpreters and government linguists. With Genevieve Navar, she co-edited the Judicial Council of California’s Professional Ethics and the Role of the Court Interpreter (4th Ed.) and regularly co-presents the companion workshop. In her own practice, she interprets at international conferences, corporate seminars, diplomatic missions, and legal proceedings. Her primary research interest is in mindfulness as it relates to interpreter training. At MIIS, she developed the innovative Mindfulness for Interpreters course and has hosted weekly drop-in meditation sessions for faculty, staff, and students. Julie draws from the rich intersections of teaching, professional practice, and research to support the wellbeing and effectiveness of students and working professionals.

Thomas E. Johnston found his passion and calling by interpreting and translating for family and friends. After over 10 years of acquiring interpreting experience, and completing extensive training in our industry, Thomas became a Nationally Certified Healthcare Interpreter in 2011, and later obtained his Judiciary Interpreter Certification in Ohio. Thomas is on track to obtaining his Federal Court Interpreter Certification. In addition to his over 20 years of ongoing field experience as an interpreter, Thomas has also directed the interpreting operations of two startup Interpreting agencies, and designed and conducted countless training sessions for new and tenured interpreters, and the community of legal, medical, educational and social providers who use Language Service Providers. Thomas started his professional career as an instructor, and continues to serve as an educator in every industry he has been a part of. He continues to be a very active Judiciary Interpreter for trials all over the Mid-West.


Michael Kagan received his Bachelors of Arts from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel, majoring in Philosophy and Latin American Studies. He went on to earn his Master’s Degree in Education, Community Service and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University in Waltham Massachusetts, with a thesis on comparative mysticism in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. It was in Boston where he fell in love with legal interpretation, becoming one of the first Staff Interpreters with the Massachusetts State Courts, a position he occupied for six years. After obtaining his federal certification, he joined the Federal Public Defender in Los Angeles in 2004, and remained there until 2007 when he joined the US District Court for the District of New Mexico as an Official Spanish Court Interpreter. In August 2017, he accepted the position of Supervisory Interpreter. He has actively participated in interpreter professional development activities, and has mentored future colleagues in MA and NM.

Roxane J. King got her start in the Los Angeles court system in 2006 at all levels: legal, trial, depositions, arbitrations, witness interviews, expert witness testimony, hearings, and resolutions. She has a full understanding of trial execution and what the courts require in many states during legal proceedings. This includes practical considerations and tasks of court interpreting from the initiation of project launching, rapid team workshop preparation, pre-trial set-up, trial execution and post-trial support. Roxane leads the group of Certified Interpreters United, a nucleus of trained, skilled, certified court interpreters. Roxane is an active member of the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators (NAJIT), as well as the American Translators Association (ATA).

Bethany Korp is an a federally- and state-certified Spanish interpreter currently based in the Philadelphia metro area. In addition to working as a legal interpreter and translator since 2001, she has worked as an interpreter trainer and lecturer. In 2014, she led a working group to completely rewrite the New Mexico Code of Professional Responsibility to conform with the above principles.  She holds a BA in Spanish (William & Mary) and an MA in Spanish Translation (Rutgers) and is also ATA-certified (Spanish/English).


Robert Lichtenberg is the Language Access Program Coordinator for the Washington State Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC). He oversees spoken language interpreter testing and training, staffs the Interpreter Commission, and provides training and resource assistance to court personnel statewide on interpreter matters. Before joining the AOC, he served as Assistant Director of the Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, an agency in the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, where he was responsible for program coordination and staff supervision of several program activities covering social and telecommunications services. Mr. Lichtenberg is a graduate of University of Washington School of Law and of Lewis and Clark College, where he majored in Economics. He also has a post-graduate certificate in Rehabilitation Management from San Diego State University.

Flávia Lima is a freelance Portuguese Interpreter and Translator with experience in medical, immigration, and state court interpretation. Originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, she holds a Licentiate degree in Linguistics from Centro Universitário de Barra Mansa (UBM), a graduate certificate in Translation from Universidade Estácio de Sá (Brazil) and is attending the Glendon Master of Conference Interpreting program at the Glendon School of Translation at York University (Canada). Flávia is also the new Assistant Administrator for the 2017-2019 term at the American Translators Association (ATA) Medical Division.


Darinka Mangino is the Founder of Léxica Aula Virtual para Intérpretes. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Interpreting and Legal Interpreting at Anahuac University. She received her Bachelor’s in Interpreting from Instituto Superior de Interpretes y Traductores in 2000 and her PGC in Forensic Linguistics from Aston University in 2012. She became a member of Colegio Mexicano de Interpretes de Conferencias (CMIC) in 2007 and of the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC) in 2013. Was appointed AIIC´s Public Relations Representative for the Mexico, Guatemala & Caribbean Region in 2016. She is a certified Court Interpreter for Mexico City and in 2011 became part of the pool of interpreters hired by the Mexican Office of the President.

Athena Matilsky holds a BA in Spanish interpreting and translation from Rutgers University. She lived in Honduras in 2008-2009, teaching elementary school, and then returned home to begin freelancing as a medical and court interpreter. She has since achieved certifications as a Healthcare Interpreter and a Federal Court Interpreter. She was the recent editor-in-chief of Proteus, and served as a staff interpreter for the NJ judiciary from 2013-2016. Currently, she works as a freelance interpreter/translator and trains candidates for the state and federal interpreting exams. She owns her own company, Athena Sky Interpreting, where she coaches students on interpreting technique. When she is not teaching and interpreting, you may find her practicing Acroyoga or studying French.

Gladys Matthews, PhD, holds a degree in French from the Universidad de Costa Rica and a Master’s degree in terminology and translation and PhD in linguistics with an emphasis in legal translation from Université Laval in Canada. She has extensive experience as an English/French into Spanish translator, specializing in legal and education policy translation. An experienced court interpreter, she trained at the Agnes Haury Institute of the University of Arizona and is certified in the state of Indiana. She is currently Course Director in the Master of Conference Interpreting of Glendon College of York University, Toronto. She developed two court interpreting courses for the program –one taught in English and the other in French– and has been teaching them on-line for over five years. She also served as program director and faculty member in various colleges and universities, including Metropolitan State University of Denver, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, and the College of Charleston.

Anna M. Medina has served as an attorney in the Federal Coordination and Compliance Section (FCS) of the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division in Washington, D.C. since 2007. She has been a member of the Title VI State Courts Language Access Initiative since its inception, which protects the rights of limited English proficient (LEP) individuals in federally assisted state and local courts, and includes enforcement, technical assistance, and outreach. As part of that work, Anna has been fortunate to speak with and learn from interpreters across the country. She has also worked extensively on matters that clarify the interpretation of national origin discrimination under Title VI with respect to the rights of LEP individuals in federally assisted programs. Previously, Anna was an attorney in the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, where she focused on ensuring nondiscrimination in schools. Anna has over fifteen years of experience as a lawyer in both the private and public practice.

Christopher D. Mellinger is Assistant Professor in the Department of Languages and Culture Studies at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte and holds a Ph.D. in Translation Studies from Kent State University. He is the co-author with Thomas A. Hanson of Quantitative Research Methods in Translation and Interpreting Studies (Routledge, 2017) and has co-edited special issues on community interpreting and technology (Translation and Interpreting Studies, 2018 forthcoming) and on translation process research (Translation & Interpreting, 2015). He is the managing editor of the journal Translation and Interpreting Studies.


Ernest Niño-Murcia is a freelance legal interpreter and translator based in Des Moines, Iowa. He graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Anthro-Linguistics. As a state and federally-certified court interpreter, he has interpreted legal proceedings and prepared translations, transcriptions, and expert witness reports/testimony for clients in the private and public sectors. Outside of court, he has interpreted for public figures such as House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, Governor George Pataki, and Senator Bernie Sanders. He has presented to groups of attorneys, judges, and court reporters about court interpreter issues. Additionally, Ernest is co-chair of NAJIT’s Committee to Educate the Bench and Bar.

Jaqueline Neves Nordin is a Researcher & Interpreter Trainer and worked as a Court Interpreter at the Guarulhos Federal Courthouse in Brazil between 2005 and 2013. She is a Master of Conference Interpreting candidate at Glendon School of Translation – York University (Canada) and holds a graduate certificate in Translation and Interpretation from Universidade Gama Filho University. Author of the first Brazilian court interpreting handbook on Code of Ethics and Professional Standards for court interpreters.


Maria Camila Pulido is the founder of Target Translations & Interpretations, a federally certified Women-owned Small Business, and a Florida Minority Business Enterprise. Ms. Pulido is a passionate advocate for language access in the legal system in the United States of America. Ms. Pulido was born in Bogotá, Colombia where she studied Physical Therapy at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. She also holds a Biology degree from the University of Central Florida (UCF). Ms. Pulido is certified by the Board of Court Interpreter Certification in Florida as well as the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters. Ms. Pulido is currently the Orlando IMIA Chair. An experienced medical and legal interpreter, she is also a member of NAJIT and the ATA. She has presented at several training events for interpreters, most recently at Nemours Hospital where she conducted Training for Medical Interpreters.


Irene Radillo, a Federally Certified Court Interpreter and Certified Healthcare Interpreter, has been a practicing full-time freelance Spanish Language interpreter since 2010. She has worked in Federal Court in Tucson, Arizona and interpreted for civil and criminal depositions, as well as in medical settings. She has been both the Lead Instructor for the MITI (Medical Interpreter Training Institute), and an Intern at the CITI (Court Interpreter Training Institute) with the renowned National Center for Interpretation at the University of Arizona. She is an instructor for NCI workshops both online and in person for judicial and medical topics. At present she is happily a staff interpreter for the Mendocino Courts in beautiful northern California. She also develops and provides interpreter practice materials for all levels through her association with her colleague Yvette Citizen, in their joint online business venture: The Confident Interpreter (

Dr. Gloria M. Rivera, CMI-Spanish, CHI-Spanish, is an English/Spanish certified medical interpreter, conference interpreter, translator, and instructor. She was born and raised in Peru where she obtained her medical degree from Universidad San Martin de Porres’ College of Medicine. Dr. Rivera holds a Professional Certificate of Translation and Interpretation from UCSD Extension and taught for the medical area of said Professional Certificate. She is both a Certified Medical Interpreter (CMI-Spanish) and Certified Healthcare Interpreter (CHI-Spanish). She is a Faculty Member of the National Center for Interpretation’s Agnese Haury Institute (University of Arizona) at the Medical Interpreter Training Institute (MITI) and Online Seminars for Medical Interpreters (OSMI) where she has worked as an instructor and contributed to curriculum development since 2013.  She is also the owner of Blue Urpi, a company focused on providing medically accurate training for certified and aspiring medical interpreters.


Olga Shostachuk is a PhD Candidate in Translation Studies at Kent State University, Kent, OH, where she previously completed her M.A. in Translation degree. She also holds an M.A. in Education and Linguistics from Lviv National University in Ukraine and a paralegal degree from the Academy of Court Reporting in Cleveland, Ohio. Ms. Shostachuk served as the Vice Chapter Chair for Ohio IMIA and currently is a Ukrainian editor for SlavFile, the newsletter of Slavic Languages Division of the ATA. Ms. Shostachuk is a frequent presenter and trainer at various domestic and international conferences and has been actively involved in the language industry, working as a translator, editor, proofreader, and interpreter, specializing in the legal and medical fields. Her research focuses on legal and medical translation, computer-assisted translation, psycholinguistics, localization, pedagogy, and assessment.

Javier A. Soler joined the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AO) in 2008 and currently serves as a Court Interpreting Program Specialist. He is the project manager for the Federal Court Interpreter Certification Examination (FCICE) and as such, oversees management of the administration of the FCICE. In addition, his responsibilities include working as a primary contact and liaison with the federal courts and formulating and providing policy guidance to the courts. Javier was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico and began working as a court interpreter in 1992. He became a federally certified interpreter in 1997 and moved to the Washington, DC area in 1999 where he worked as a freelance interpreter and trainer until 2006. In 2006, he became the Court Interpreting Program Administrator for the State of Maryland, and later accepted his position with the AO in 2008.


Sandro Tomasi is the author of An English-Spanish Dictionary of Criminal Law and Procedure, a contributing author of Diccionario Jurídico, Law Dictionary (Cabanellas de las Cuevas and Hoague), a consultant for Dahl’s Law Dictionary, Diccionario Jurídico Dahl (Henry Saint Dahl), and a practicing New York State court interpreter. Sandro has trained over 2,600 interpreters and translators in conferences for professional associations as well as in workshops for various state courts in the U.S., and has taught interpreter courses for the City University of New York’s continuing-education programs at Hostos College and Queens College as well as an online legal-terminology course for the New Mexico Center for Language Access.

Jeff Torres is currently a Law Enforcement Professional with over 25 years of law enforcement experience. His vast experience in many high-level investigations include, Homicide, Robbery, Narcotics, Sexual Assault, and Death Investigation. Mr. Torres holds Supervisory, Advanced and Intermediate certification with the California State Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training which is given to Peace Officers who have attained defined levels of academic education, law enforcement training, supervisory  experience, and years of service in the law enforcement profession. Mr. Torres has extensive presentation experience and as the Director/Owner of the Interpreter Training Group, has conducted a multitude of California Judicial Council- approved training sessions with federal and state certified interpreters nationwide.


Dr. Juanita Ulloa is an international Operachi ranchera singer, Professor of Voice, Classical soprano, and a certified Spanish Court interpreter. She is known by many as a vocal guru for interpreters and singers. Her twenty-five years of teaching have led to a high-level performance career and a voice studio that ranges from beginners to national competition winners and many finalists. Dr. Ulloa holds MA and BA Music degrees from Yale University and UC Berkeley, with a doctorate in Vocal Performance from University of No. Colorado. As an artist, she tours promoting the growth of Mexican & Hispanic Song in Academia with concerts, master classes, and adjudicating vocal competitions She has created seven award winning CDs and songbooks including a Warm-Up CD for Interpreters. Ms. Ulloa has taught at major universities in California and Texas, while also working in judicial courts in California, Colorado, and Texas.


Vinka Valdivia is a California State and Federally-Certified Court Interpreter in the Spanish language and has been working as an interpreter for over 25 years in Civil and Criminal Courts, Federal Court, Immigration Court, Workers Compensation and as a Conference Interpreter while also doing work for the State Department. She has done extensive research with respect to LGBT matters and the law, a subject that is constantly evolving and that has increased in prominence in recent years.

Virginia Valencia is a professional psychologist (2001) and a federally certified court interpreter (2008) with over 10 years’ professional experience in the fields of legal, medical, and conference interpretation. She holds a Combined Certificate in Translation and Interpretation Studies (Hunter College, 2004) and is certified/approved by Superior Courts of NJ (2005), NY (2006), and CA (2012).  In 2007, Virginia founded her educational company, Interpretrain (, which offers game-driven workshops and user-friendly multi-media study tools for interpreters to further improve their professional skills.  Drawing from her background in psychology, her classes and training materials offer dynamic games and drills to excel in the different mode of interpretation, acquire new vocabulary, and learn the proper protocol to behave in court. She currently lives in California, where she teaches and works as an interpreter.


Néstor Wagner earned his Bachelor’s degree in 1986 and his Master’s degree in 1990 from the University of Washington. Mr. Wagner has been a certified Medical, Administrative Hearings and Court Interpreter for over 22 years. In 1993, he founded and became the Director of the Southern California School of Interpretation, in Los Angeles. The Southern California School of Interpretation is the leading Spanish interpreter training school in California, with enrollment of over 800 students. In 2002, Mr. Wagner was appointed as an advisor to the State Personnel Board for the Medical and Administrative Hearings Interpreter examination. In 2004, 2006, and 2008, Mr. Wagner was appointed by Justice Ronald M. George of the Supreme Court of California, as an advisor to the Judicial Council of California on matters pertaining to the testing and training of interpreters. Mr. Wagner is the author of several books, such as Interpreting Criminal Proceedings, Introduction to Medical Interpretation and many other titles.

Melissa Wallace received her Ph.D. in translation and interpreting studies from the Universidad de Alicante, Spain. A certified court interpreter and certified healthcare interpreter, Wallace is currently serving a 5-year term on the Licensed Court Interpreter Advisory Board of the Judicial Branch Certification Commission for the Supreme Court of Texas. She has been an active member of the Home for Trainers Webinars Work Group at the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care since 2012, and is a board member of the Society for the Study of Translation and Interpretation (SSTI), the non-profit educational and research foundation of the National Association of Judicial Interpreters and Translators. Her research focuses on indicators of aptitude on court interpreter certification exams, accreditation exam models, and interpreter and translator training. Wallace carried out research on court interpreting certification models in Finland in 2016 as the Fulbright-University of Tampere Scholar. She is an Assistant Professor of TI Studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio where she directs the graduate certificate program in translation and interpreting studies.

Matt Wapnick has served as CourtCall’s Director of Business Development since 2010, focusing primarily on product development and growth. Matt has served as the lead project manager for CourtCall Video and, together with a team of developers, helped design and build CourtCall’s proprietary video platform.  This Platform is now an integral part of CourtCall’s Video Remote Interpreting Platform in addition to being used in Courts across the country for everything from routine appearances in civil courts to remote testimony in family law trials. Matt partnered with others at CourtCall and ZipDX to coordinate the joint effort required to build the Video Remote Interpreting Platform designed exclusively for courtroom use. Matt’s background is in marketing, having worked in new media/online advertising for several years prior to joining CourtCall. He received his BA in Communication and Advertising from the University of Southern California.