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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 (2017-2019)

(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 Studies in order to help children through counseling services


Wei Whitbeck, Vice President (2018-2020)

(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.

Alicia Roeth, Director (2017-2019) 

(English and Spanish)

Alicia Roeth started working as a Spanish interpreter at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center 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 instructs in the Interpreting Certificate Program at Metropolitan Community College and interprets locally for Global Language Solutions and Language Linc.

Deyanira Salgado, Treasurer (2017-2019)

(English and Spanish)

Deyanira (Deya) Salgado 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. "

Charles Valle, Director (2017-2019)


(English and Spanish)  

Charles Valle 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.


Emma Lockard, Secretary and Webmaster (2018-2020)      

(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, and is a Contractual Interpreter in Douglas County Courts Customer Service and also is an Interpreter Instructor with Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska.

 Judith Gutierrez, Director (2017-2019)

(English and Spanish)

Judith Gutierrez is a native Nebraskan. Her Grandparents came to central Nebraska from Mexico in 1915. She has followed her Mother’s legacy of being an Advocate for the Latino Communities and families of other countries and cultural backgrounds. Judith serves as a Community Interpreter to insure families have a clear understanding of their rights and helps educate others to build understanding and appreciation of Immigrant and Refugee families. She belongs to North Omaha Community Care Council and serves on the Youth and Outreach Committee; South Omaha Community Care Council, Outreach and Advocacy Committee; Operation Youth Success, Family Group committee; JDAI Collaborative, Disproportionate Minority Contact Committee. She previously worked for Tyson Foods as a Community Relations Manager and also worked for the Nebraska Migrant Education program. She currently serves families in her position as Cultural and Community Liaison for Nebraska Families Collaborative.







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PO Box 3306
Omaha, NE 68103


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