It’s that bittersweet time of year again: December, or, more specifically, NOTIS elections season; a season in which we must bid a melancholic farewell to those beloved members of our board whose terms have come to an end and, at the same time, open our arms in welcome to new members who will continue diversifying and advancing our constantly evolving organization.
In other words: on December 11, 2021, NOTIS will elect a new Board of Directors at our Annual Meeting. As there are no contested positions, the candidates on this slate will be elected by acclamation.
This year’s outgoing board members include Shelley Fairweather-Vega, our fearless leader, the multi-talented Melody Winkle, and Olga – the inimitable – Cuzmanov.
While I have only been working with NOTIS for 6 months, I feel well-poised to speak for all of the board in saying that NOTIS will be forever grateful and forever changed by the influence of Shelley, Melody, and Olga. Kudos – and many thanks – to all three of you!
Continuing their terms into 2022 are Pinar Mertan, Maria Lucas, Tarja Sahlstén, Alma López, and Zakiya Hanafi; whereas Laura Friend and Yasemin Alptekin will be running, uncontested, to serve another two-year term.
I'm excited to announced that, beginning in January, they will be joined on the board by four new members! Without further delay, meet our 2022 candidates (and soon-to-be board members)!
They are, as Shelley avers, “an impressive group … who will bring diverse interests, experiences, and languages to the Board of Directors.”
Nada Conner has been a WA State court certified interpreter since 2011. Passionate about learning languages, she studied English, French, Italian, and Spanish during high school. She began her interpreting career working for Yugoslav Air Force Training Depot in Tripoli, Libya. After graduating from the University of Belgrade with a degree in Arabic Language and Literature, she went on to work in Baghdad, Iraq as a translator/interpreter for the Directorate of Supply and Procurement on three construction projects for Iraqi military forces. After hostilities broke out in Croatia, she was hired as a translator and interpreter for the United Nations Protection Forces in Croatia (Republika Srpska Krajina). After coming to the U.S., she became an authorized medical and social services interpreter for Bosnian/Serbo-Croatian. With some additional studies in the field of medicine at Whatcom CC in Bellingham, WA, she has been successfully working for several interpreting agencies as a medical and social services interpreter. Currently she is a freelance telephonic interpreter for courts, attorneys’ offices, hospitals, and clinics around the country. She loves to read, work out, and play with her three beautiful bunnies.
A first-generation immigrant from Ethiopia, Yoseph has been living in the United States since 1983. He studied and completed his second degree in Human Resources from the University of Pittsburgh in 1985. His work experience includes: teaching; Assistant General Manager and Curriculum Development (Tourism Training Institute, Addis Ababa Ethiopia); Senior Social Worker (New York); Production Line Supervisor (Cardiac Pacemakers, St. Paul); Ministry (here in Seattle); and last, but definitely not least, interpreting and translating since 2003. In short, he believes that his vast and diverse experiences in education and other, wide-ranging public and private entities will make him a positive addition to NOTIS.
Born on the border between Ethiopia and Kenya, Yoseph grew up surrounded by more than 7 languages. He has lived in and visited Ethiopia (using 4 languages), Kenya, Botswana, Germany, Canada (visit only), and, since 1983, the United States. He has had his share of growing and living in many cultures, among many different peoples and he enjoys visiting and staying with people from various cultures. He used to love traveling, but not anymore. He is now settled, if it means anything. Yoseph endeavors to improve his interpreting and translating skills and would like to serve – in any capacity – to help the career/trade grow.
Rosemary Nguyen is a native speaker of English who learned Vietnamese during 4 years working with Vietnamese refugees in Hong Kong and 2 years living, studying, and teaching in Vietnam. She began working as a medical interpreter in 1990, earned her DSHS certification in 1993 and her AOC court certification in 1994. In addition to her work as a full-time contract interpreter and translator, Rosemary has participated in designing and rating certification exams as well as teaching interpretation and translation skills. She has also translated one novel and two books of short stories, all of which have been published. Rosemary currently lives in Renton and splits her time fairly evenly between interpreting for local courts and translating for clients nationwide.
Katerina is a native of Novosibirsk, Russia where she began her career as a technical translator for a major Siberian geological research institute before moving to the United States in 1992. She lives in Poulsbo, Washington, on the Kitsap Peninsula, and works as a freelance translator, editor, and interpreter. She loves her profession, and she believes that bridging linguistic and cultural gaps helps companies succeed in the global marketplace while allowing individuals to gain self-confidence and trust.
Katerina has been certified as an English to Russian translator by the ATA since 2001, and she is also certified by the State of Washington as a medical interpreter and translator. Her favorite assignments over the last few years have been reviewing translations for the U.S. State Department’s Russian language website, translating and recording children’s books for the Unite for Literacy Project for beginning readers worldwide, and - most recently - being a part of the King County COVID Language Access team.
She loves theatre, both as a spectator and a former volunteer. Her newly discovered passion is hiking the beautiful trails in the Puget Sound area. Her favorite quote is from Theodore Roosevelt: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
Welcome to NOTIS Nada, Yoseph, Rosemary, and Katerina! We look forward to working with you!