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UMTIA: Upper Midwest Translators & Interpreters Association, A Chapter of the ATA

Meet the Board

The Executive Board is a group of dedicated, passionate volunteers who are elected by the membership to oversee the business of the entire organization. The board consists of up to twelve members who serve two-year terms, and in doing so, contribute many hours of time and effort to the organization. Each board member has a specific office to fulfill, such as secretary, treasurer, or member at large, while representing the best interests of UMTIA members and running the association. The Executive Board is in charge of the governance, finances, and decision-making regarding the direction of the organization.

If you’re interested in helping to shape the field, and creating new opportunities for both yourself and your fellow colleagues to learn and connect, consider getting involved by volunteering on the Executive Board.

On this page, you can find out more about the volunteers that make up the leadership team. Members are welcome to join the Executive Board for their monthly meeting. If you’d like to attend, please email You may also email us if you have an idea, question or issue you'd like the leadership team to consider. UMTIA is your association, and we need to hear from you to know what direction to take!


Mauricio is from Mexico City and has been an interpreter for seventeen years.  He joined the medical interpreters team at the University of Minnesota Medical Center-Fairview 18 years ago.  Mauricio has been involved with UMTIA for over a decade and has volunteered for multiple organizations to support the interpreting community.  Mauricio also provides educational training sessions to hospital and clinic staff to help providers understand the role of the interpreter and to share ideas for how to better serve patients who require spoken or sign language interpreters. Mauricio is passionate about the development of the profession and has participated continuously in helping it grow.  He is nationally certified through CCHI and has participated with different organizations that focus on interpreter development.  He has been involved in the development of and the negotiations for promoting an Interpreter Bill that would meet patients’ and interpreters’ needs.


Yvonne Araiza was born and raised in Mexico and attended Universidad Tecnológica del Norte de Guanajuato where she received an Associate of Arts degree in Commercialization. After relocating to the Twin Cities in 1998, she worked in different positions in Sales and Customer Service. In 2009 she switched career and enrolled in the Certificate Program in Translation and Interpreting at the University of Minnesota. In 2014 she became a Certified Healthcare Interpreter. Her professional experience has been as an in-house interpreter and as a freelancer.  She currently works at United Healthcare as an interpreter. One of her biggest interests is public policy and officially establishing the minimal requirements for spoken language Interpreters in the medical setting. Yvonne has been a member of UMTIA since 2010 and she frequently volunteers at UMTIA’s events. She has been part on the Board of Directors of ISG (2016-2017) and she has been involved in the drafting of the bill for spoken language Interpreters in the medical settings.


Richard Laurion has a B.A. in Organizational Management, an M.A. in Organizational Leadership and a graduate certificate in Strategic Management and is certified from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf since 1987.  He has 40 years of leadership experience developing and managing programs and services in both the public and private sectors.  He has been a mentor and teacher of interpreters since 1988.  Richard has distinguished his leadership in the field having served on boards of directors for the local and national Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) and Conference of Interpreter Trainers (CIT).  He has also served on boards for the Commission Serving Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans, the Northern Sign Theater, Grant Professionals Association – Northstar Chapter and ThinkSelf, Inc


Perla Morley was born and raised in Guerrero, Mexico. She earned a BA in Translation Studies from the Instituto Superior de Intérpretes y Traductores in Mexico City before moving to Minnesota in 1997. Perla worked as a translator, editor, proofreader, and project coordinator for CREO International (later called TripleInk) for six years and then switched careers to become a medical interpreter and translator for Children’s Minnesota. Perla enjoys both the human touch that interpreting provides and having time to ponder the best way to translate something that translation work allows (sometimes).


Eve MacLeish has worked as a medical interpreter since 2004, and at Children's Hospitals & Clinics of MN since 2006. She completed the University of Minnesota’s TrIn certificate program in 2006. Eve produces a radio program of Latin music and culture, Corazon Latino, every Friday from 2-4 pm on KFAI Community Radio. She formerly resided in Merida, Venezuela, with her bicultural family for nearly 14 years.


Angela Packard, the visionary founder and CEO of Verto, is at the forefront of transforming the landscape of interpreting services. With a rich background as a nationally certified sign language interpreter and the recipient of the 2012 Interpreter of the Year award, Angela brings unparalleled passion and dedication to her role. At Verto, Angela has pioneered groundbreaking products such as LingoForce, an open API platform, and VoSee, an innovative app connecting those needing American Sign Language interpreters in unique ways using AI filtering processes. Her commitment goes beyond business – it's about reshaping health outcomes in underserved populations and supporting specialized interpreters through ingenious solutions and strategic interpreter scheduling. A Summa Cum Laude graduate in Special Education and Rehabilitation from the University of Arizona, Angela also holds a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from St. Catherine University. Her academic achievements mirror her professional success, underlining her commitment to excellence. Her transformative leadership style sets Angela apart, inspiring teams to innovate and strive towards a shared vision. As a respected figure in both the interpreting and business communities, she has forged personal connections nationwide, understanding the intricate challenges faced by interpreters, the Deaf community, businesses, and senior health systems leadership teams. Angela's tenacity and collaborative spirit are deeply rooted in her Native American Dakotah values. Through her leadership at Verto, she has assembled a dynamic team that offers a 360-degree view of the complex needs of the interpreting industry. According to Angela, supported interpreters translate into improved patient access and outcomes, reflecting her unwavering commitment to making a meaningful impact on healthcare accessibility, and better interpreting services as a whole. Wicohan, mitakuyeowas'iƞ.


Mary was born and raised in Puebla, Mexico, where she worked as an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) instructor for over 7 years, and as a Cambridge Speaking Examiner for the University of Cambridge, UK. She completed The Community Interpreter training program in 2012 and has been working as a medical interpreter and translator since then. She also works as an author writing EFL textbooks for Spanish-speaking students in Latin America, and as a Language Reviewer with Century College, MN. Mary is a member of the ATA and has collaborated with the Delaware Valley Translators Association as a guest author for the DVTA Blog.  She has an undergraduate degree in Applied Language Studies, and a Master’s of Science in Translation from New York University. Mary joined UMTIA because she believes it is necessary for interpreters and translators to have an association where they can advance the profession through education and training while also advocating for their rights and interests. She sees UMTIA as a vital space for interpreters and translators, where they can network, talk about common objectives and mutual interests, make their voices heard, and promote high standards of professional ethics and business practices within the fields. 

For a list of previous board members, see our Board Member History.


We're proud to be an official chapter of the American Translators Association.



P.O. Box 141432
Minneapolis, MN 55414

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