OUr Board of Directors

Meet our 2024 NOTIS Officers and Directors CONTACT THE BOARD Email the Board   


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.

Vice President

Maria Lucas is an ATA-certified English to Spanish translator and a federally certified court interpreter, who is also certified by the states of California and Washington.  She was born and raised in Barcelona, Spain and attended Universitat de Barcelona where she obtained a B.A. in Romance Languages Philology and was awarded an Erasmus scholarship to Università degli Studi della Basilicata, in Potenza, Italy. She also completed an M.A. in Spanish at the University of California Los Angeles. She is a native speaker of Catalan as well and fluent in Italian and German. She is currently working as a freelance interpreter and translator in the Seattle area. Before moving to Seattle, she lived in Italy, Scotland, Germany, China and California and traveling around the world was her passion. She met her husband in La Paz, Bolivia during one of those trips and the rest is history. Ever since her two kids came along, spending time with her family and exploring the U.S. have been her favorite activities.


Tim Gregory is an ATA-certified Arabic into English translator with more than twenty years of experience as a freelance translator and linguist for the federal government. He was born in Seattle, and wherever life's travels take him, he always comes back home to the Pacific Northwest. Tim first learned Arabic at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California. He has a B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from American Military University and an M.A. in Translation and Interpretation from the University of Illinois, where he focused on literary translation. Over the last few years, Tim has increasingly concentrated on seeking out works and authors of Arabic science fiction and fantasy, and has one translated trilogy published so far. He enjoys the challenge of dealing with the broad range of topics that appear in SF, ranging from real history to cutting-edge science and 13th century poetry. Tim enjoys reading and spending time with his wife, daughters, and Boston terriers outdoors.


Rosemary Nguyen is a native speaker of English who learned Vietnamese while working for four years with Vietnamese refugees in Hong Kong and later living, studying, and teaching in Vietnam for two. She began working as a medical interpreter in 1990, earning 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 translated one novel and two books of short stories, all of which have been published. Rosemary currently lives in Renton, Washington and splits her time fairly evenly between interpreting for local courts and translating for clients nationwide.

Yvonne Simpson is certified as a Spanish Medical interpreter by the National Board (NBCMI) and Washington DSHS. She holds an MA in Spanish Sociolinguistics from Arizona State University. She taught Spanish at ASU and Phoenix College and was Lead Interpreter at a level 1 trauma center in Phoenix. Returning to her native Washington, she knew she wanted to continue working in healthcare. Currently, she is Senior Director for Language Access and Cultural Advocacy for UW Medicine. Yvonne began participating with NOTIS in 2017 as a trainer for Community Interpreter Division workshops. Her favorite time of year is the summer when you can find her gardening, hiking, traveling, and swinging in her hammock.  

Yoseph Petros, a first-generation immigrant from Ethiopia, has been living in the United States since 1983. He 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, MN); Ministry (here in Seattle); and last—but definitely not least—interpreting and translating since 2003. Born on the border between Ethiopia and Kenya, Yoseph grew up surrounded by more than 7 languages. He has lived in and visited Ethiopia, Kenya, Botswana, Germany, Canada (visit only), and, since 1983, the U.S. He has spent time in many cultures, among many different peoples, and he enjoys interacting with people of varying experiences. He used to love traveling, but not anymore; he is now settled­ (“if that means anything”). Today, Yoseph hopes to continue improving his interpreting and translating skills and is excited to work with NOTIS—where he expects to help the career/trade grow.

Kay Heikkinen began as an academic, earning a Ph.D. in French literature which unexpectedly included a detour to study Islamic Spain. In midlife, she began working for an undergraduate degree-completion program and then went back to studying and teaching Arabic, most recently at the University of Chicago. During that time, Kay began translating Arabic literature and became a member of the Third Coast Translators’ Collective (TCTC) in Chicago. In 2020, she had the good fortune to win the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Translation from Arabic for Huzama Habayeb’s novel Velvet (American University in Cairo Press). Kay continues to translate actively now that she has retired to Seattle, and she has since joined NOTIS and begun to attend meetings of the NW Literary Translators’ group.

Christina M. Woelz has been working full time as a Spanish interpreter and translator in the Seattle area since completing her certificate in Translation and Interpretation at Bellevue College in 2008. She has been a NOTIS member most, if not all, of this time. Christina started out as a medical interpreter, then moved into court interpreting. She is also a freelance Spanish-English translator and has taught Advanced Translation at Bellevue College.

Dubravka Martincic is a Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian medical and legal interpreter and a translator of personal legal documents. She holds certifications by DSHS and WA State Courts as well as an MA in Teaching English and German Languages and Literature from Croatia. Dubravka’s interpreting career began in Nashville, Tennessee, at Vanderbilt University Hospital, when she was asked to assist with interpreting for Bosnian refugees. Around that time the war in Bosnia brought an influx of refugees to Kentucky and Tennessee, putting interpreting services in high demand. At the same time, a couple of professional, federally certified interpreters started an association called TAPIT (the Tennessee Association of Professional Interpreters and Translators). Dubravka worked closely with the founders of TAPIT, learning invaluable skills, building her freelancing business, and eventually serving as the Association’s president from 2005-2006. In 2006, she moved to Washington State, where she currently lives and works. Dubravka is an avid gardener, cook, and yogini.

Eunyoung Kim was born in Seoul, South Korea. She has been working as a conference interpreter and WA Court Certified Interpreter in the Korean language since 2011. Along with interpreting for all types of legal and conference settings, she has conducted training sessions for prospective court interpreters for the court certification exams. Emerging technology is an area of focus in her interpreting, and she enjoys the challenge of working with complex technical topics. Eunyoung holds a BA in English Language and Literature from Sungshin Women's University in South Korea and an MBA from the University of Washington with a focus on International business and eCommerce. Her early career was in international commerce and, during that time, she lived and worked in Hong Kong and Germany while traveling extensively. Currently she is a Court Interpreter Program Coordinator for the WA Administrative Office of the Courts. Eunyoung enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time with her family. She loves anything outdoors in the PNW and finds equanimity and peace in walking her dog, running, and hiking.

Zakiya Hanafi is a former Vice President of NOTIS who rejoins the Board as Chair of Marketing & Communications and a member of both the Publications and Member Care & Development Committees. Her credentials include a PhD in Italian Studies, with a minor in Comparative Literature (French) from Stanford University, DSHS medical interpreter certifications in Italian and French, and DOJ certification as an Immigration Court interpreter in Italian. A former professor of Romance Languages at the UW in Seattle and adjunct professor in Technical Translation at the University of Venice in Italy, Zakiya is the author of The Monster in the Machine: Magic, Medicine, and the Marvelous in the Time of the Scientific Revolution. Her translation practice focuses on humanities books. Working with academic and independent presses, she has published over a dozen non-fiction books, one of which won the 2023 MLA Translation Prize. Currently a UW Affiliate Assistant Professor in Human-Centered Design & Engineering, she teaches technical communication with a focus on localization. When not working, alongside her husband, she loves turning her front and back yards into luscious green spaces and playing with her cats.

Our staff membeRS

Office Manager  
Membership director
Program coordinator

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 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 has been a freelance translator from English into Japanese since 2007. She enjoys morning runs while admiring the beauty of nature.

Marketing & Communications
Publications editor

Brianna Salinas considers herself a lifelong student of language. She grew up between Washington State and Arizona and later lived and studied abroad in both Germany and Spain. In Spain, she found community with other artists and linguists and began taking on translation and subtitling projects — immediately cultivating a love for translation. She has a B.A. in English Literature, and an M.A. in Hispanic Literary Studies (both from the University of Washington). While completing the latter, she co-led a Translation Studies group on campus for which she organized readings, workshops, and speaking events. To date, Brianna has translated a selection of sonnets by the Argentine poet Alfonsina Storni (Spanish > English) and a book of migration poetry by Ricardo Ruiz (English > Spanish). She is currently living in Spain and working toward a second master's degree — this time in literary translation — at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. When away from her tiny desk, Brianna enjoys reading in parks, climbing mountains, exploring small towns and other in-between places, riding her bike, shooting film, and playing with dogs.

Video Assistant

Juan Pablo Piedrahita was born in Medellín, Colombia and moved to Seattle in 1999. This experience and his constant connection with these two cultures gives him a unique experience that is both bilingual and bicultural, and it's connected to an expanding cultural and linguistic worldview thanks to his love of travel. In Seattle he attended college to earn his first degree in Audio Production, and in 2009 following a career in tech which unexpectedly ended up focusing on localization, he went back to school to hone his writing and language skills by taking Creative Writing and Advanced Translation courses. This has all coincided with a nine-year career in language interpreting along with translation from English-to-Spanish and Spanish-to-English since 2019. Juan Pablo is an advocate for immigrant rights and provides volunteer interpreting and translation work for The Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and the King County Bar Association. When he's not behind a computer clacking away, he's making ambient music in front of another screen, going on rock climbing and camping trips, and attending local cultural events.

Video Assistant

Amine El Fajri is a Court and Medical Certified Arabic/French Interpreter, translator, and instructor. He has over 15 years of experience specializing in law, medical interpreting, and translation. He is also the owner of Utah International Services, a company that provides accurate training for certified and aspiring court and medical interpreters. In addition to the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters (NAJIT), he is a voting member in the American Translators Association (ATA) and a board member of the Utah Translators and Interpreters Association (UTIA).

Video Assistant

Yuka Matsudaira is a Japanese Language Conference Interpreter, Washington State Court Registered Japanese Interpreter, and an English to Japanese Translator. She holds a Master’s Degree in Conference Interpretation from the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California. Yuka was born and raised in Japan, where she worked as an in-house and freelance interpreter/translator for many businesses—including IT companies, law firms, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and TV stations. After moving to Seattle in 2002, Yuka has been interpreting and translating for more diversified clientele. Her current specialties include law, IT, marketing, engineering, energy, education, entertainment and more. As a Washington State Court Interpreter, she interprets for local courts and law firms on a regular basis.

Video Assistant

Luz Leathers is a native Spanish speaker from Peru and is certified by CCHI (Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters) as a Spanish medical interpreter. Luz began her career as an interpreter at Yale New Haven Hospital in 2017, where she increased her medical vocabulary in multiple medical specialties: neurology, cardiology, nephrology, oncology, dermatology, etc. When she is not working as an interpreter, Luz loves volunteering her time teaching others Bible principles that help them improve their lives. She also enjoys hiking to find spots to watch the sunset.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software