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About NATI

NATI was established in 1998 and formally incorporated as a 501(c)6 association in 1999 with our final bylaws ratified and signed on July 4, 2000. Since then, our membership has grown from 8 very dedicated members of a steering committee to over 200 independent contractors, NGO's, government employees, businesses, volunteer language access activists, ESL instructors and healthcare providers. Our members speak numerous languages and dialects, have widely varying personal and professional backgrounds, hail from states around the US and generously share their cultural knowledge and multinational expertise.

The NATI Board of Directors is made up of active and dedicated NATI members who may be practicing interpreters and translators, language bureaus, students, public agency staff, and private organizations who utilize language service providers. We meet the first Sunday of every month from 1-3 PM. If you would like to attend a Board meeting as an observer, please email us at


Board of Directors





Marsha Conroy, President (2015-2017)

Tel: (402) 960-2900

(English, French and Spanish)

An Omaha resident, Marsha Conroy is a Nebraska State Certified Court Interpreter and EOIR Immigration Interpreter. She is a conference presenter and interpreter trainer; she is growing accustomed to traveling across the Midwest and beyond. Owner of MarCon Translation Services LLC, she is a French > English translator, specializing in immigration- and humanitarian-related topics. Member ATA, MICATA, NAJIT. 


Adriana Hinojosa, Vice President (2015-2016)

Tel: (402) 250-0041

(English  and Spanish) Born in the USA, Adriana was raised in Mexico. A Nebraska State Certified Court Interpreter, she is also the Interpreter Coordinator for Douglas County Courts.

jennifer v. photo

Jennifer Verhein, Director (2016-2018)

Tel: (402) 471-8854

Jennifer Verhein holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Minnesota Law School.After practicing law with Iowa Legal Aid and with the Office of the Des Moines County Attorney, Jennifer came to the Administrative Office of the Courts in October 2015 with the extensive legal and administrative experience necessary for her to return to her true passion: advocating for access to justice. It is now her privilege to use her legal and administrative skills to foster language access to Nebraska courts and probation services. Because she devotes her attention to the challenges of language access, Jennifer recognizes that the NATI Board plays an important role recruiting, developing and retaining Nebraska interpreters. She sees serving on the Board as a way to enhance communication and collaboration between this professional organization and the Nebraska Judicial Branch; inviting, educating and advocating for qualified interpreters to serve as essential conduits for limited English proficient participants in Nebraska courts and probation services offices.


Edie Cruise, Treasurer (2015-2017)

Tel: (402) 805-5024

(English and Spanish) Edie Cruise is currently a State Certified Court Interpreter (Spanish) and Interpretation Program Adjunct Professor with Metropolitan Community College. Edie earned her BA in Spanish, International Studies and Latin-American Studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, after which she participated in a bilateral exchange with the Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Spain. During her six years in Spain, Edie taught English at the University level for four years and also earned an International Doctorate in Psychology. She has returned to her native Nebraska where she  worked in the Child Welfare field before becoming a freelance Certified Court Interpreter. She greatly enjoys assisting those in language access and interpreter instruction as well as continues to publish original research in the area of Social Psychology focusing on parent-child relationships and outcomes. Edie is currently working to become a Federally Certified Court Interpreter.


Wei Whitbeck, Director (2016-2018)

Tel: (402) 960-4689

(Chinese and English) Wei arrived in Omaha as a College of Saint Mary exchange student, obtaining a BS in Business Administration. From there she attended the Monterrey Institute of International Studies. Upon graduation, she worked as e-Bay's Chinese Language Specialist for a year before returning to Omaha. She has also served as Chinese assistant professor at Offutt's Defense Language Institute. A freelance interpreter and translator since 2001, she designed the 2-year Chinese curriculum for UNL's online high school, launched Learn Chinese through Martial Arts after-school and summer classes at various private schools and churches. Finally, she provides group and individual Chinese lessons and serves as teaching director at Omaha Chinese School.



Emma Lockard, Secretary (2016-2018)

Tel: (402) 536-3519 

(English, Spanish and French) Emma Lockard is Nebraska born-and-bred; her hometown is North Platte. She holds a degree from University of Nebraska-Kearney in Spanish Translation & Interpretation, and a minor in French.  Additionally, Emma studied ESL and secondary Spanish education and international studies. Here's an interesting fact about Emma: she reports, " I did my first translation at the age of 13—I translated all the Spanish songs on Shakira’s album “Laundry Service” into English. I felt like I was breaking a secret code..." To this day Emma loves to interpret and translate, although her current position overseeing Lutheran Family Services' language services program prevents her from interpreting and translating as much as she would like.  However, she continues to keep up on new trainings and skill development by coaching the interpreters she supervises.



Karina Ruiz-Vargas, Director (2016-2018)

Tel: (402) 318-4612 

(English and Spanish) Karina is currently preparing to become a certified Medical Interpreter. She received a BA in Psychology from University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She currently is Spanish interpreter at Health 360, a partnership with People's Health Center and Lutheran Family Services. In the past, she has worked at an Immigration Law office. In the near future, she will be purusing her Master's Degree in either Social Work or Child, Youth, and Family Sutdies in order to help children through counseling services.



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PO Box 3306
Omaha, NE 68103


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