Conference Presenters

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Niery Grace Bardakjian (MA in teaching, MBA, and PhD in music) is a conference and escort interpreter who coaches English, conference interpreting, test preparation (TOEFL, GMAT), and music (piano, singing) in Armenia and online. She is the founder of Grace+ful learning which provides interpreting, translation, and technical support for events. In addition to corporate clients, she interprets for Armenian government, UN, and EU officials, as well as for overseas diplomats posted to Armenia. As a conference interpreter, the topics she has extensive experience in include politics, education, economics, and development. She is also an award-winning choral conductor and mother of four who is currently studying to become a legal interpreter.

Garrett Bradford, interpreter and translator with experience in conference, court, legal and public service settings. Alongside his colleagues, he successfully advocated for and won 4-hour and 8-hour minimums for court interpreters in his state.  He continues to push for cost-of-living-adjusted compensation and common-sense policies to promote fair and professional working conditions in the DC-Maryland-Virginia region.

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Javier Castillo is president of Castillo Language Services, Inc. in Greenville, NC. He is an interpreter, translator, consultant and internationally recognized speaker.   He is a Federally Certified Court Interpreter, NC AOC certified court interpreter, a Certified Medical Interpreter, (CCHI) and contract interpreter for the U.S. Department of State. Since 2007, Javier has offered training workshops for court, medical, conference and community interpreters across the United States. He has provided in-house training for interpreters at hospitals, Administrative Offices of the Court, and Departments of Social Services. He recently developed and taught training courses for the staff and contract interpreters of the U.S. Department of State Office of Language Services.

Judith Costello began interpreting in the Arizona Courts in 2002 and has been the staff interpreter and interpreter coordinator for the Courts in Coconino County, Arizona since 2014. She holds a Nevada Court Interpreter Certification and Arizona Court Interpreter Credential. She taught Spanish, Latin American Studies, and Cinema Studies at Northern Arizona University from 1989-2014.

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Agustín Servín de la Mora is the President of DE LA MORA Interpreter Training. He was born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico, and has been a professional interpreter for 30 years, both as a freelance and a staff interpreter. He is one of the supervisor raters for the National Center for State Courts and has been a lead rater for the federal and consortium oral exams for court interpreters. He was the lead interpreter for the Ninth Judicial Circuit for over a decade, and served as a member of the Project Advisory Committee responsible for the creation of the National Standards for Healthcare Interpreter Training Programs for the NCIHC. He was a member of the Florida Court Interpreter Certification Board and a voting member of the Technical Committee of the National Consortium for Interpreter Certification. He is a state and federally certified court interpreter, as well as a certified medical interpreter. He has been a consultant for the National Center for State Courts for 20+ years.

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Dr. Dave Gilbert is an Australian lawyer and a certified professional Vietnamese translator with extensive experience in the field of forensic transcription/translation. As a Cryptologic Linguist in the Royal Australian Navy, he participated in numerous Australia-UK-US special intelligence operations. He held permanent positions in various government departments in areas of security and intelligence as an intelligence manager, linguist, analyst, counter-terrorism capability development officer and as a forensic translator. His current PhD research focuses on improving the reliability of translated intercept evidence. His previous thesis PhD investigated Australia’s language capability relied on to meet national security objectives. Dr Gilbert also has experience in investigative interviewing with the assistance of interpreters where the application of coercive powers was authorized. He has presented at international universities and conferences on the topics of forensic translation/transcription, investigative interviewing and interpreting, and national security language capability.

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Genevieve Howe, MA court certified Spanish interpreter. An early adopter of the advocacy trend, Genevieve helped organize interpreters in her state to demand higher rates for court interpreters, who had gone over 15 years with no increase.  Her efforts and those of her colleagues led to one of the first of recent work stoppage efforts across the nation and eventually earned Massachusetts per diem interpreters a 50% increase in full-day rates.

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Judy Jenner is a Spanish and German business and legal translator and a federally certified Spanish court interpreter and conference interpreter. She has an MBA in marketing from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, a master’s degree in conference interpreting from York University in Canada, and runs her boutique translation and interpreting business, Twin Translations, with her twin sister Dagmar. She was born in Austria and grew up in Mexico City. She is a former in-house translation department manager. She writes the blog Translation Times and the “Entrepreneurial Linguist” column for The ATA Chronicle, serves as one of the ATA spokespersons, and teaches interpretation at the University of California-San Diego and at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She is the co-author of The Entrepreneurial Linguist: The Business-School Approach to Freelance Translation. She’s a frequent speaker at T&I conferences around the world, mostly online these days. Pre-pandemic, she flew a lot for her interpreting assignments and one of her special talents is memorizing airport codes.

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Katty Kauffman is an experienced conference and US court certified Spanish interpreter. Katty spearheaded a push for rate increases for federally certified interpreters which eventually brought decision-makers to the table to increase per diem rates for the first time in nearly a decade. She continues to advocate for rates commensurate with the skill required to work in US federal courts.

Manpreet Kaur is the liaison between the Indiana Supreme Court and the Language Access Committee which is a group appointed by the State Court Administration to address language matters affecting all Indiana courts.

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Esperanza Lopez-Dominguez, US and MN court certified Spanish Interpreter. After finding the Minnesota State Court Administrator’s Office’s first offer of a rate increase in over 25 years too paltry to be acceptable, Esperanza helped lead a work stoppage joined by over 65 rostered court interpreters.  Met with fierce resistance from the AO, at the time of this writing, Esperanza and her cohorts are still rejecting work in the name of fair compensation for their skills and services.

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Corinne McKay is an ATA-certified French to English translator, a state-certified French court interpreter, and holds a Master of Conference Interpreting from Glendon College. A frequent speaker and trainer on T&I topics, her book, How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator, has become a go-to reference for the language professions, with over 15,000 copies sold. She served as president of the American Translators Association from 2017-2019.

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Ernest Niño-Murcia is a freelance court and conference interpreter based in Des Moines, Iowa. Iowa. Both state and federally certified, he has interpreted legal proceedings and prepared translations, transcriptions, and expert witness reports/testimony for clients in the private and public sectors. He is also certified for translation from Spanish into English by the ATA. As a speaker and trainer, he has presented live and online sessions through organizations including NAJIT, the University of Arizona’s National Center for Interpretation, and the U.S. Department of Justice, among others. Ernest is a member of the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC) and is a Jeopardy! Champion (2012), whose greatest achievement on the show was beating an attorney to the buzzer to answer “co-defendant” in the “11 letter words” category.

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Johanna Parker is a certified healthcare interpreter, federally certified court interpreter, freelance conference interpreter, and contract seminar interpreter for the US Department of State. She holds an MA in translation and interpreting from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, where she is an adjunct professor teaching medical interpreting. She is also the lead interpreter for education/training at Stanford Health Care, where she educates providers on language access as a matter of health equity. She trains interpreters for the Department of State and around the country and is the Vice-Chair of the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters.

Janis Palma is an English-Spanish interpreter and translator with more than 40 years of experience. She became federally certified as a judiciary interpreter in 1981 and certified by NAJIT as an interpreter and translator in 2004. She currently holds the State of Texas Master Court Interpreter designation. Ms. Palma has worked as an independent contractor for private attorneys, government agencies, state and federal courts, and worked as a staff and supervisory interpreter for the U.S. District Court in Puerto Rico. She is a former Chair of the NAJIT Board of Directors and former President of SSTI—the Society for the Study of Translation and Interpretation. She is now semi-retired and living in San Antonio, Texas. Ms. Palma recently obtained a second master’s degree in legal studies (MLS) and is currently working towards her PhD in Language Studies. She has also created a nonprofit, IKIGAI, to further the education and credentialing of interpreters in the legal domain.

Nattalia Paterson is an experienced Portuguese conference and court-certified interpreter and translator passionate about breaking down language barriers and facilitating effective communication. She has a bachelor’s degree in Language and Literature, combined with a specialization in Translation and Conference Interpretation, from PUC-Rio, and a doctoral degree in Linguistics from Northwestern University, Nattalia currently serves on NAJIT’s Board of Directors and chairs both the Advocacy and Position Papers Committees.

James Plunkett is a nationally-known interpreter instructor and trainer of trainers. He also trains new judges and court staff on how to work with court interpreters. He is certified by the AOUSC as a Spanish and English court interpreter. He is a rater for a national credentialing program for interpreters. In his 29 years of professional experience, he has worked as a court interpreter for the 13th Judicial Circuit in Florida and as the Coordinator of Interpreting Services and Language Access Program for the District of Columbia Courts. He is a staff interpreter of the U.S. District Court in Tampa, Florida. He holds a BA degree in General Social Studies from Providence College.  He was raised in Lima, Peru. He also communicates in Portuguese, intermediate French, basic American Sign Language and Mandarin.

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Tianlu Jia Redmon is experienced in interpreting high-stakes cases at court and in depositions in Texas and beyond. She is a Texas Master Licensed Court Interpreter for Mandarin and approved to interpret in U.S. federal courts. She is an ATA-certified English to/from Chinese translator. She is a regular speaker at ATA and other conferences on legal interpreting and translation topics.

Tony Rosado is a high-profile conference interpreter, a contract interpreter with the U.S. Department of State at the conference level; a court interpreter certified by the U.S. federal government, and the States of Colorado and New Mexico. An attorney from Escuela Libre de Derecho in Mexico City, he has worked internationally as a conference interpreter, and interpreted for death penalty trials, TV broadcasts of sporting events, presidential debates, political conventions, and many others. He has worked with many top-level politicians, celebrities, athletes, and entrepreneurs, including presidents and popes. He is the current Chair of AIIC-USA, and chairs the Ethics Committee of IAPTI. Member of AIIC, TAALS, ASETRAD, OMT, ATA, NAJIT, and author of two books on court interpreting, he is a visiting professor at various universities in all continents; a well-known conference presenter all over the world, the president of the interpreting and consulting firm “Rosado Professional Solutions,” and the author of the popular blog “The Professional Interpreter.”

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Hon. Jose Salinas has been a Superior Court Judge for 17 years and practiced as an attorney for 10 before that.

Francesca Samuel is a freelance interpreter/translator and founder and president of A la Carte Translations, a web-based translation business. She has been a member of NAJIT and ATA since 1999. Francesca is a graduate of the Pima College Translation and Interpreting Program and has 22+ yrs. experience as an immigration court contract interpreter and approximately 30 years of experience as a translator. Francesca is an avid volunteer and passionate about the profession. She has presented on immigration, business management scam prevention and social media at several annual conferences including FIT, NAJIT, CFI, ATA and ATI and continues to spread awareness about the working conditions of immigration court interpreters. She served as administrator of the Spanish Language Division of the American Translators Assoc. from 2012-2016 as well as president of Arizona Translators and Interpreters (ATI) during the same period.  A proud native of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, Francesca lived in New York City before moving out West to Los Angeles and eventually settling down in Tucson, AZ with her husband and children.

Lili Selden (PhD in Japanese literature) is a translator, interpreter, academic editor, and intercultural communications coach. Having previously taught Japanese literature and language, she is now a registered court interpreter in multiple jurisdictions and teaches Japanese language, business etiquette, and T&I courses. Since joining NAJIT in 2017, she has volunteered on the NAJIT Training & Education, Advocacy, and Positions Papers Committees. A federalized member of the National Language Service Corps (NLSC) since 2019, she has supported humanitarian disaster relief exercises in Guam and military training exercises in Yakima, WA.

Eliane Sfeir-Markus is a court certified English-Arabic Interpreter in the state of Pennsylvania and a Certified Healthcare Interpreter. She is an adjunct professor at Widener University Delaware Law School, an Interpreter Expert with Language Services Associates, and an instructor at the De La Mora Institute of Interpretation. Eliane is also a licensed Community Interpreter Trainer. She joined the Board of Directors of the Delaware Valley Translators Association (DVTA) in 2017, and currently serves as the president of DVTA. Eliane is a certified coach and speaker with the John Maxwell Team. Eliane’s public speaking skills have earned her the recognition to train new and advanced interpreters and to lead many presentations and training sessions. She presented on cultural intelligence, unconscious bias, ethical competition and other pertaining topics. Eliane speaks Arabic, English and French. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Translation from Holy Spirit University in Lebanon.

Gabriela Siebach, Director of Interpreting Services at Cesco Linguistic Services and Adjunct Professor at UMass – Amherst, has accumulated more than 15 years of professional experience as a linguist, interpreter, translator, trainer, coach, and mentor. She has spearheaded the development of multiple training and assessment programs throughout her career. Gabriela holds a graduate degree in Spanish translation and interpretation from the world-renowned Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. Gabriela also Co-chairs the American Association of Interpreters and Translators in Education Job Task Analysis Committee, sits on the American Translators Association Government Division Leadership Council and Interpretation Profession Advisory Committee, and volunteers on several initiatives of the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care Policy, Education & Research Committee. She is also a member of the Carolina Association of Translators and Interpreters, National Language Service Corps, National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators, and ASTM.

Javier A. Soler joined the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AOUSC) 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 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 AOUSC in 2008.

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Miriam Tellez has been a Spanish interpreter for more than 15 years. She is a certified interpreter through the AOIC. She currently owns her interpreting business and offers her services in the Chicagoland area and nationwide.

Victor H. Tellez has been a Spanish Interpreter for more than 20 years. He resides in the State of Illinois, and he is a Certified Spanish Interpreter through the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts. He has worked all throughout the Illinois Courts in all divisions. He has also worked as an Interpreter Coordinator and Instructor for interpreter apprentices. He has trained as a dialect interpreter for relay interpretation. He currently owns his Interpreting business and provides interpreting services, training services and translation services in the Chicagoland area and surrounding states.

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Kelly Varguez is a state and federal court certified Spanish interpreter who hails from the U.S. heartland.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Spanish and ESL Education from the University of Nebraska – Kearney (2001) and a Master of Education Degree from Doane College (2007).  Like many of her colleagues, Kelly began her interpreting career as an on-call medical interpreter and soon found herself working toward court certification. She became certified to interpret in the Nebraska courts in 2009; the Iowa courts a short time later; the U.S. federal courts in 2013 and an ATA certified Spanish>English Translator in 2019.  An inquisitive person by nature, Kelly gravitates toward activities that teach her something new.  Currently, she divides her time between her various teaching endeavors, her freelance practice in translation and interpretation, and advocating for herself and her colleagues..  Contact her at kelly@olanguagesolutions.com  If you can’t find her working, look for her on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. She’s probably there, swinging in a hammock, visiting with family.

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Georgeanne Weller holds a PhD in applied linguistics and a M.S. in sociolinguistics.  She is a federally certified court interpreter and a certified SOSI immigration court interpreter, as well as a member of AIIC, FIT, ATA, and CMIC, with 50 years of professional applied, teaching and research experience in the fields of interpretation and translation.  She is particularly interested in the assisting in the professionalization of interpreters in Mexico’s indigenous languages.

Ellen Wingo is a state and federally certified court interpreter and worked as a contract seminar interpreter with the Department of State for many years. Based in Washington, DC, she has over fifteen years’ experience working in courts, as well as in conference settings. She has taught classes on note-taking and consecutive interpretation in the DC area, to both new and veteran interpreters. She holds a master’s degree in Translation and Interpretation from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.