Board of Directors

Meet our NOTIS Officers and Directors: January-December 2018 contact the board


President
Chair, Translation Division

Elise Kruidenier is a French to English translator, and a Pacific Northwest native. After graduating with a degree in French with honors from the University of Puget Sound, she lived in France and taught English to high school students for a year, before completing a master’s program in French at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She then moved to Quebec, completing a translation degree at Concordia University in Montreal, and working as an in-house translator at an e-learning company. Fully steeped in French from Quebec and France, she moved back to the Northwest and started a freelance translation business, working for a variety of clients. She specializes in educational and e-learning documents, as well as documents in agriculture and the natural sciences. She loves learning new things, taking online courses (especially about science) and reading. In her spare time, she also enjoys singing, playing guitar and piano, trying out new recipes, and running.


Vice President

Shelley Fairweather-Vega Shelley is an ATA-certified Russian to English translator and an enthusiastic Uzbek to English translator. She now lives in Seattle, but also has roots in Oregon and Idaho. Shelley holds a B.A. in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University and an M.A. in Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington. Her interest in international affairs and politics – plus a passion for puzzles – led her to translation, a career that makes a vital contribution to how people can share experiences, solve problems, and create art across linguistic and cultural borders. After working for libraries, the Peace Corps, and the U.S. Department of Justice while translating on the side, Shelley switched to full-time freelancing in 2012. Her translation clients are attorneys, academics, authors and activists around the world. She runs FairVega Translations and its sister company, FairVega Russian Library Services, which helps public libraries build and improve their Russian-language collections. Shelley is also a member of the American Literary Translators Association.



Secretary

Laura Friend is an ATA-certified Russian and French to English translator specializing in legal translation. She is originally from the Washington, D.C. area and has traveled widely. She attended elementary school in Paris, France for two years and has studied, worked and lived in Russia (back in the USSR), Spain and Germany. Later she taught Russian as an adjunct professor and a teaching assistant at Georgetown University and the University of Washington. Her other languages include Czech, Spanish and German. Laura holds degrees in Russian language, culture and area studies from Yale University, the University of Washington and Middlebury College, as well as certificates from the Pushkin State Russian Language Institute and Leningrad State University. She has lived in the Puget Sound area for over twenty years, first in Seattle and now on the Kitsap Peninsula. In 2017 Laura chaired the ATA Slavic Languages Division Nominating Committee. She has interpreted informally for food banks, churches and hospitals; she is also a former Red Cross volunteer. She loves nature, music, film and reading. Her favorite cult film director is Guillermo del Toro.


Treasurer

Lindsay Bentsen is a French to English Translator and Interpreter. Originally from Montesano, WA, she has since lived and worked in five different countries. After receiving her BA in French, Anthropology, and Global Studies, she spent several years abroad, mostly in France and Morocco. Upon her return to the United States, she earned her MA in Translation & Interpretation at the Monterey Institute of International studies. The majority of her translation work is in the pharmaceutical and medical field. As an interpreter, her work is varied, and includes medical, conference, and liaison interpreting. She is a contract interpreter for the Department of State, which allows her to travel and meet new people—two of her favorite activities.


Chair, Legal Division

María Luisa Gracia Camón is a WA Court Certified Spanish Interpreter as well as DSHS Medical and Social Services Spanish Interpreter and Translator. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Translation and Interpretation (English and French) from the Universidad Alfonso X el Sabio (Madrid) Spain. Additional Law studies helped her specialize in legal translation and interpretation. Luisa was born and raised in Spain where she was a freelance Official Translator and Conference Interpreter as well as a language instructor for almost a decade before moving to the US some years ago. She has also run her own translation agency in Spain and is still a member of ASATI (Association of Translators and Interpreters of Aragon). Here, she has been teaching Spanish at Tacoma Community College and now she is a full time freelance translator and interpreter. She enjoys learning new things, travelling and spending time with family and friends.


Mary McKee is a Spanish to English translator and a Seattle native, newly returned after many years away. She specializes in clinical trials, medical, and legal, and dabbles in graphic novel and environment translations. After studying Spanish at American University and spending time in Spain, Cuba, and Brazil during undergrad, Mary earned her MA in Spanish Translation at the Institute for Applied Linguistics at Kent State University. She spends at least a month each year in a Spanish-speaking country and loves to travel with her husband. Currently Mary fosters kittens through Seattle Humane Society.


Olga Cuzmanov is a Professional Engineer (PE) licensed by the Board of Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors in Idaho, USA with more than 20 years of engineering experience. Born and raised in Romania, she earned her Master of Science in Thermo-Energetic Systems from the Polytechnic Institute of Bucharest – Power Engineering Faculty. She moved to the United States in 1990 and worked as an engineer in the business and government sectors. Since 2013, as owner of ENRO Translations, she has provided translation services between English and Romanian or Moldavian languages and specializes in technical translations. She is currently an associate member of ATA (American Translations Association) and the ATA Science and Technology Division. A member of ISPE (Idaho Society of Professional Engineers), she passionately promotes careers in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) fields for girls and women. She enjoys traveling, driving her blue Jeep, reading literature in both English and Romanian and learning about artificial intelligence.


Maria Farmer was born to a Mexican mother and American father in Caracas, Venezuela.  Her father was a U.S. diplomat whose postings in México, Colombia, Spain and Perú provided María with a tremendous opportunity to cement two languages into her brain. She worked two years in the hospitality industry and three in the cruise ship industry. After moving to Washington, she worked as the language liaison for a timeshare company with a large owner base located in México.  She also developed an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) course which she marketed to the Kimpton Group hotels and the Mayflower Park Hotel, as she wished to make English more accessible to the housekeeping and kitchen employees.  María has a WA State Court Interpreter Certification. When María isn’t looking for places where she can interpret, she is being supportive mom to twin 13-yr. old sons.  She wishes she could still run marathons (but her knees say ‘no’), loves feeding her friends and family home-baked goods, taking photographs of anything and everything in nature, hearing owls in the night, looking at Hubble Space Telescope photographs, treehouses, and watching movies.


Janet Yan He is a Mandarin Chinese to English interpreter and translator. She was born in China and came to America after high school. Janet has been living in the Seattle area for the last 26 years. She has a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Washington, worked in international trade for many years, and became a DHSH certified Interpreter in 2010 while working in other business fields. Currently Janet is contracted with the City of Seattle as a community liaison, and she interprets in community meetings and translates documents. She enjoys traveling, cycling, spending time with friends and family, and meeting new people.

Melody Winkle  is a German to English translator. A Washington State native, she has lived in Seattle for many years, after several years in Alaska and Berlin. She came to translation after a career in libraries and technology, having worked in higher education, small businesses, non-profits, and as a co-owner of a technology workers co-op. Melody feels translation is a great fit with her interests in languages, research, and technology. She is completing a certificate in translation from Bellevue College and is focusing on technical and literary translation. She enjoys teaching ESL to adults, reading, hiking, and gardening.


Alicia McNeely is a French to English and Spanish to English translator.  She holds an MA in Translation and Interpreting Studies from the University of Manchester (UK) and a BA with honors in French with a Spanish minor from Michigan State University.  In between her studies, she lived overseas for several years teaching English, first in Picardie, France, and then in Mallorca, Spain.  Upon finishing her Master’s at the end of 2016, she returned to the States and moved to Washington, where she began working as a freelance translator.  Her specializations include commercial and academic research translation, and she always appreciates when her passions for travel and the culinary arts align with her work.  When she is not translating, she can be found hiking and exploring her new home in the Pacific Northwest or curled up inside next to the fireplace playing board games.


Adrian Bradley is a WA court certified Mandarin interpreter. She grew up in Taiwan, where she completed her B.A. degree in English. After a year teaching English at a middle school in Taipei, she came the United States to pursue her master’s degree in Computer Science from University of Illinois in Chicago. After a decade of working in the tech industry, she changed gears to embrace her love for language as an interpreter, specializing in legal and technical fields. She is passionate about building a strong community of interpreters and translators, where professional growth, success and bonding flourish. Adrian lives in Sammamish, WA, where she is mom to two avid swimmers. Besides sitting by poolside bleachers cheering for them on the weekends, she enjoys hiking, reading and gardening. She also loves practicing yoga, which helps her stay focused and be present.


Office Manager

Naomi Uchida has been the Office Manager, membership director, and workshop coordinator of NOTIS since February 2013, responsible for managing the administrative activities of the society. Naomi is originally from Kobe, Japan, and she has worked in management and administration in the US. Before starting at NOTIS, she worked for seven years at a wholesale textile company in Seattle after graduating from Bellevue College. She has completed the translation and interpretation certificate programs at the Translation & Interpretation Institute in Bellevue, Washington, and she has been a freelance translator from English into Japanese since 2007.

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