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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



Karina Ruiz-Vargas, President (2018-2020)

(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. She is also a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) working toward becoming an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). In the past, she has worked at an Immigration Law office and has done community interpreting. In the near future, she will be pursuing her Master's Degree in either Social Work in order to help families through counseling/therapy services.


Wei Whitbeck, Vice President (2018-2020)

(Chinese and English)

Wei is a full-time professional freelance interpreter and translator and a member of the American Translators Association. Her working languages are Mandarin Chinese and English. MA in Interpretation and Translation from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, Wei has been providing T&I services since 2001. She is a founding member of a US-based niche technology and media localization company and taught graduate-level interpretation courses and college-level language courses in the past.

Alicia Roeth, Director (2017-2019) 

(English and Spanish)

Alicia started working as a Spanish interpreter in 2000, at the outset of a national push toward the professionalization of the medical interpreting field. Later, she was among the first class of interpreters in the nation to receive healthcare certification. She continues to hold credentials as both a Certified Medical interpreter-Spanish (CMI) and Certified Healthcare Interpreter (CHITM). From the beginning of her professional interpreting career, she has found a love for developing new interpreters. She has instructed in multiple contexts, from hospital trainings to the college classroom to online modalities. Academically, Alicia earned a BA in International Affairs with a Spanish minor from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a Master's degree in Language Teaching from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Linguistically, she has travelled and lived in several Latin American countries, as well as working professionally with Spanish speakers from diverse regional backgrounds. Currently, Alicia is the Interpreting Services Manager at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center and teaches in the Interpreting Certificate Program at Metropolitan Community College.

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Deyanira Salgado, Treasurer (2017-2019)

(English and Spanish)

Deyanira (Deya) was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA but have been established in Nebraska for around 10 years. She earned my BA in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska Lincoln. Deya currently work with the Nebraska Department of Labor were her major job functions include being a Labor Law Specialist, Meatpacker Bill of Rights Coordinator and State Monitor Advocate. She states, "Being responsible of multiple programs, allows me to proactively communicate with the Spanish-speakers on daily basis. As a result, I am able to use my interpreter and translator skills to identify need and find useful resources to help the Nebraska Workforce be successful in their jobs. "

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Charles Valle, Director (2017-2019)

(English and Spanish)  

Charles is an American Ecuadorian with over 15 years of experience in translations and interpretation. He holds a J.D. from Ecuador and a Masters in Negotiation andConflict Resolution from Creighton University from Omaha, NE. He continues to develop his bilingual skills.

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Emma Lockard, Secretary and Webmaster (2018-2020)      

(English, Spanish and French)

Emma 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, and is a Contractual Interpreter in Douglas County Courts Customer Service. Emma is also a Licensed Associate Trainer of The Community Interpreter International (TCII) curriculum and is a contractual Interpreter Instructor with Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska.






Want to be on the NATI Board of Directors? Now is your chance!

Do you or someone you know want to make a difference in NATI while developing your own knowledge and skills? Consider serving on the Board of Directors! Elections will be held after the conference. Details regarding the Election, the process, and requirements can be found in this 2019_NATI_Board_Election_form.docx (click and download to view).
You can complete a 2019_Board_Nomination_form.docx for you or for someone you feel would be of benefit to the Association and its members, and who will also benefit from their service on the Board. The Board Nomination Form is due by August 15th, 2019 and no later. Remember: You MUST be a current member of NATI to be nominated for the Election for the Board.

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PO Box 3306
Omaha, NE 68103


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