Meet our international panel of ClearMark judges.

AndresEch

Andres Echeverri, Lead Spanish Judge

Andres is the President of ACSI Translations (ACSI). Under his leadership, ACSI has grown from a $20,000 initial investment in 2010 to a full-blown operation offering technical translation, interpretation, and localization services in over 80 languages with offices in Washington, DC. He is originally from Colombia, South America, and recently became an American Citizen. Andres brings 25 years of Inter-American business and finance experience to ACSI Translations, including as Chief Financial Officer for a $35 million private equity group owned by South American principals and based in Rockville, Maryland.

Andres has served on the board of the Spanish Catholic Center. He is the fundraising chair of the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and is spearheading the 2015 Spanish ClearMark Awards. Andres holds an MBA in Global Emerging Markets from American University. Andres lives in North Bethesda, MD, with his wife Elsa and beloved children Bruno and Luciano.

Eve Ash

Eve Ash

Cynthia Eve Ash is a business communication instructor and consultant living in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She holds a master’s degree in English language and literature from the University of Michigan. A university English literature and writing teacher for 20 years, Eve currently teaches written communication for the Spears School of Business of Oklahoma State University and conducts writing training for corporate and government clients..

Christopher Balmford

Christopher Balmford

Christopher Balmford — a former lawyer with Baker & McKenzie and DLA Phillips Fox — is the:

  • Founder and Managing Director of an Australian-based plain-language training, rewriting, and cultural-change consultancy launched in 1999 (see Words and Beyond.com). Clients include major law firms, public companies, government agencies, the United Nations, and the European Central Bank
  • Founder and former Managing Director of online legal document provider Cleardocs, which launched in Australia in 2002 (see cleardocs.com). In June 2012, Thomson Reuters acquired Cleardocs.

Also, Christopher is the immediate past president of Clarity, a worldwide group of lawyers and others who advocate using plain language (see Clarity).

Cynthia Baur

Cynthia Baur

Cynthia Baur, Ph.D., is the Senior Advisor for Health Literacy and the senior official for the Plain Writing Act, Office of the Associate Director for Communication, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). She chairs the CDC Health Literacy Council and manages the CDC health literacy web site and blog. She is one of the co-developers of CDC’s Clear Communication Index and online health literacy training for health professionals. She is a co-chair of the HHS Health Literacy Workgroup and co-chair of the Healthy People 2020 Health Communication and Health Information Technology Workgroup. In 2013, Dr. Baur received the Cecilia and Leonard Doak Health Literacy Champion Award from Health Literacy Missouri. In 2013, the American Medical Writers Association awarded Dr. Baur the McGovern Award in recognition of her leadership in the areas of health communication, health literacy, and risk communication. Dr. Baur holds a Ph.D. in Communication from the University of California, San Diego.

javier broch

Javier Broch

Javier is a user experience (UX) & usability consultant based in Barcelona working for the university, US Government, healthcare research and Latino markets. He is a native of Barcelona with 17 years of work experience in the USA including 7 years as UX & usability lead for Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. He is a passionate observer of humans using things with a commitment to create plain language services by transforming complex tasks, and end user requirements into simple usable solutions.

Javier looks to create meaningful engagement by using UX research methods, to understand user behavior, what users need to perform well, and why they are motivated. Javier holds and MBA from Escuela Administracion Empresas (EAE), Barcelona and is a Certified Usability Analyst by Human Factors International. He is a father of two who enjoys outdoors sports, and dreams about space exploration.

Kathryn Catania

Kathryn Catania

Kathryn is chief of the Plain Language and Content Division in the Office of Communications at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security. She also co-chairs the Plain Language Action and Information Network (PLAIN), a volunteer group of U.S federal employees who promote the use of plain language throughout the government and manage plainlanguage.gov. PLAIN is the official interagency working group for the Plain Writing Act of 2010, the nation’s first federal law of its kind.

Kathryn has taught many U.S. government agencies about the importance of communicating in plain language instead of gobbledygook and legalese. FierceGovernment named her one of its “Fierce 15” of 2012 for innovation in government. She was a guest speaker at the Clarity 2012 conference in Washington, D.C., and the 2011 Plain Language Association InterNational conference in Stockholm, Sweden. Kathryn has also judged New Zealand’s WriteMark Plain English Awards. This is her third year judging the ClearMark Awards.

Janet Cherry

Janet Cherry

Dr. Janet T. Cherry is a communication and etiquette coach in Memphis, TN. Janet’s career includes corporate and independent consulting focusing on communication and etiquette. She transitioned from corporate work to the field of education as faculty in the Department of Management, The University of Memphis.

A native Memphian, Janet received her doctorate in Corporate Training and Development and Educational Leadership from Vanderbilt University. She is also a Certified Etiquette Coach. Dr. Cherry is the recipient of numerous awards for her excellence in workshop design and facilitation. Her speaking credits by invitation and competition extend throughout the U.S., Canada, Asia, and Europe.

Dr. Cherry is past president of The International Listening Association, The Association of Professional Communication Consultants, and chaired the National Chapter Advisory Board of the American Society for Training and Development. She is a published author and the host of a weekly radio talk show, Manners Always Matter.

Veronica Cool

Veronica Cool

After 20 years in the corporate sector, Veronica Cool established Cool & Associates LLC in 2011 to provide marketing & community outreach, recruiting & staffing, management advisory services, and professional development for the Hispanic sector. Cool specializes in Diverse Segment outreach – in essence, how to engage this segment most effectively, whether through digital, coalition-building, events or a fully integrated plan.

The Daily Record’s MD Top 100 Woman inducted Cool into their Circle of Excellence and recently, First Lady Michelle Obama recognized Veronica for her commitment to mentoring youth. Cool also won the U.S. Hispanic Chamber Ultimate Latina Award in the Corporate Sector.

A graduate of Kutztown University with a BS in Business Administration, Cool also holds a Masters of Science in Finance from Loyola University of MD. A native of Dominican Republic, she is the past board chairman of the MD Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. She is married with two children and lives northwest of Baltimore.

Justine Cooper

Justine Cooper

Justine Cooper is Managing Editor at Australia’s Plain English Foundation. An experienced technical editor, she specializes in substantive plain English editing, document assessment and information design for government and business clients.

She works on a wide range of texts from policies and contracts to community flyers and websites, and is known to be tough on officialese in workplace writing.

Justine also enjoys being part of the international plain language community. Since 2012, she has been a judge for New Zealand’s WriteMark Awards. In 2013, she co-presented 2 sessions at the PLAIN conference in Vancouver.

Justine has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in English and a Postgraduate Diploma in Book Editing and Publishing.

Karina Eldredge

Karina Eldredge

Karina Eldredge, MPA, is an analyst with Kleimann Communication Group, an independent consulting firm in Washington, DC, that specializes in consumer-centered qualitative research, plain language, visual communication, and consumer processing. Much of her work is focused on making complex information clear and usable by translating consumer-oriented documents into plain English.

Additionally, she specializes in qualitative research and evaluation, information design, and consumer testing to create documents that work for consumers.

Karina has evaluated and redesigned many high-profile documents for the U.S. government that have produced measurable results for both the organization and consumers. Past clients include the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Food and Nutrition Service.

Karina received her Masters of Public Administration from the George Washington University in Washington, DC, and her Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA.

Josiah Fisk

Josiah Fisk

Josiah grew up near Boston and went to Harvard University, where he received an AB with honors. A chance comment led to a job as an advertising copywriter, which in turn led to a series of projects to simplify the documents financial services firms send to clients.

In 1997, Josiah created one of the first companies to combine the disciplines of marketing, plain language, and information design. He is now president of More Carrot LLC, which has offices in Boston and Luxembourg, and is known for its ability to take “documents no one loves” and make them customer-friendly as well as more efficient to manage.

Josiah has been a headline speaker in the U.S. and Europe, and has served on the board of the Center for Plain Language. He is also the editor of Composers on Music, the leading anthology of writings by classical composers.

Rachel Flagg

Rachel Flagg

Rachel Flagg has been a writer all her life – from writing plays and short stories as a child, to writing software training manuals, newsletters, communications and web content for 2 different federal agencies. She’s a published author and has been writing content for online publication since the late 1990s.

Rachel was selected to be one of the first Regional Web Managers for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s award-winning website, and she has served as co-chair of the Federal Web Managers Council.

Rachel currently works for the General Services Administration as a Customer Experience Manager for GSA’s Center for Excellence in Digital Government.

Rosa Galán

Rosa Margarita Galán Vélez

Rosa Margarita Galán Vélez holds Ph.D. in Education, Master's Degree in Comparative Literature and a Bachelor's Degree in English Literature. Since 1998, she has been head of the Academic Department of Languages and full-time professor at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM). She is a promoter of and administrator for plain language courses at ITAM's Law School.

Dr. Galán Vélez was president and co-founder of the Plain Language Network Group in Mexico. She is a frequent participant in plain language congresses, promoting the theme of plain language in Mexico. She was the organizer, together with Clarity and the Ministry of Public Service, of the 2008 International Conference Legal Language: transparent and efficient in Mexico. She was the coordinator and co-author of Herramientas para escribir (bien): nociones básicas, written in plain language (México: ITAM, 2014).

Dr. Galán Vélez has been a pioneer in the design, implementation and administration of multimedia classrooms to teach writing in Mexico.

Laura Granada

Laura Granada Valencia

Ms. Laura Granada Valencia was born and raised in Colombia. She arrived in the U.S. in late 2001, and was awarded U.S. citizenship in March 2011. Ms. Granada Valencia had a fondness for the study of jurisprudence even in her formative years and academically pursued this passion to her completion of post graduate studies. She graduated from Rosario University in Bogota, Colombia in 2000 with a degree in Law, and subsequently attained a specialization in Administrative Law from the same institution.

Ms. Granada Valencia is a professional and credentialed interpreter of the Spanish language with over 7 years of industry experience. In 2011, she attained her state certification with the State of Maryland. In the 3 years since being certified, she has amassed a rich portfolio of clients in the public and private sector, as well as international governments.

Lynda Harris

Lynda Harris

Lynda is founder and director of Write Limited, New Zealand’s leading plain English communications company. Wellington-based Write has been well established in the professional services market for close to 20 years and has a broad client base of public and private sector clients. Write specializes in creating custom-built training solutions and provides a wide range of writing and advisory services.

Lynda established the WriteMark, New Zealand’s document quality mark, and is the founder of New Zealand’s annual Plain English awards. Her landmark work in bringing the issue of plain language to the attention of the public through the annual awards program was one of the main inspirations for the Center’s ClearMark awards.

Lynda is the New Zealand representative for Clarity, an international association promoting plain language in the legal profession. She is also a member of the International Plain Language Working Group, which is working to establish international standards for plain language that apply across cultures and languages.

Candi Harrison

Candi Harrison

Candi Harrison was Web Manager for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development from 1995-2005. With Candi’s leadership, HUD won numerous awards, including the first Digital Government Citizen Services Award (2000).

Candi founded the government Web Content Managers Forum, currently more than 3,000 members strong. She co-wrote U.S. government web policies; and she co-chaired the Federal Web Managers Council from its creation in 2004 until she retired in September 2005, after 24 years of federal service.

An advocate for improving customer service and plain language in government, Candi has taught courses for government agencies and published a blog, Candi On Content, chronicling her experiences and ideas. She has served as a judge for the U.S. ClearMark Plain Language Awards and New Zealand’s Writemark Plain Language Awards for several years.

Candi holds a B.S. in English Education and an M.S. in Higher Education Administration, both from Indiana University. She lives in Tucson, AZ.

Charlene Haykel

Charlene Haykel

A strategic analyst and writer with 40 years’ experience, Charlene Haykel is managing principal of The Haykel Group, a simplified communications consulting practice based in New York, and president & CEO of Simply Student Aid, LLC, which produced College Access: A Family Guide to Planning and Funding College. It was the 2012 Clearmark Award winner for best original document in the private sector.

Ms. Haykel’s experience taught her to link marketing, branding and customer service issues with simplification theory and practice. What emerged was MacrosimplificationTM, a methodology for creating clear, effective communication systems built around core content.

Ms. Haykel has spoken extensively on issues of transparency in investor communications and simplification principles and processes. She has also been featured on CNNfn and CNBC, ABC Eyewitness News, New York, and Oprah Radio. Ms. Haykel holds a BA in English from Daemen College, Buffalo, NY, and an MA in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Sandra Hilfiker

Sandra Hilfiker

As Principal, Director of User-Centered Design for CommunicateHealth, Inc., Sandy has over a decade of experience in qualitative research, user-centered design, and health communication. She has overseen numerous studies using a variety of communication and usability research methods to inform the development of messages, materials, and websites for diverse audiences. Sandy specializes in the development of online content for users with limited health literacy skills and limited experience with the Internet. She was the project director and a lead editor of Health Literacy Online: A Guide to Writing and Designing Easy-to-Use Health Web sites (2010) and speaks nationally on developing usable health websites. She holds an M.A. from the University of Georgia in Health Communication.

Barbra Kingsley

Barbra Kingsley

Barbra Kingsley, Ph.D. is a partner with the Kleimann Communication Group in Washington, DC. Dr. Kingsley has 18 years of experience as an award-winning information designer. She has developed plain language documents for numerous government agencies including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Internal Revenue Service, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the Veteran’s Benefits Administration. Her work has won awards from the Society for Technical Communication, the Center for Plain Language, and the National Association of Government Communicators.

Dr. Kingsley also has extensive experience field-testing documents and other information with end users. This testing focuses on assessing how well typical people can understand, navigate, and use information for the desired outcomes. She uses her extensive experience developing and testing information to create practical, hands-on training that conveys the principles of plain language and how to put them to use in everyday projects.

Kristin Kleimann

Kristin Kleimann

Kristin is a senior researcher at Kleimann Communication Group. She has over 18 years of experience in developing award-winning, effective, and usable consumer products through plain language, information design, visual communication and consumer processing expertise. She has developed clear, usable, and user-centered products for numerous agencies including Food and Nutrition Services, Department of Health and Human Services, the Internal Revenue Service, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Planned Parenthood and Consumer’s Union.

In addition, she has designed much of the qualitative research needed to confirm usability and effectiveness of consumer products with users. Her work engages clients and consumers to develop truly usable information – supporting sustainable positive changes in consumer behavior. She holds a BA in Psychology from Smith College.

Melinda Kramer

Melinda G. Kramer

Melinda G. Kramer has been a communication consultant to businesses and industries including Choice Hotels, Eli Lilly & Co., TRW Inc., Clark Equipment Company, Blue Cross Blue Shield, General Electric, and Bell Telephone Company, and has led writing workshops for hundreds of college and university administrative staff throughout the nation. She is the author of journal articles and textbooks, including Business Communication in Context: Principles and Practice (Prentice Hall) and the Prentice Hall Handbook for Writers.

Melinda is Professor of English at Prince George’s Community College in Maryland, serving 11 years as English Department chair. She has taught business and managerial communication for over 30 years to undergraduates and MBA students at Georgetown University and Purdue University. Before joining the Prince George's faculty, she spent ten years as director of management communications at Purdue’s business school.

Professor Kramer received her B.A. from Earlham College and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Purdue University.

Guido Lara

Guido Lara

Dr. Guido Lara earned a Doctorate in Information Science from the Complutense University of Madrid in the program, "Theory of Communication and Methods of Social Research." He studied in the Department of Sociology IV, an academic body that shares lines of research and faculty from two schools: The School of Political Science and Sociology and The School of Information Science (dedicated to the study of communication, marketing and journalism). Dr. Lara's thesis, "Dissertations of Young Mexicans on Salinas's Modernization: A Concrete Application of the Discussion Group," was granted the summa cum laude distinction by unanimous decision. In his thesis, he developed the foundations of the methodology and technique of Discussion Groups (now knows as Open Groups, in contrast to the well-known Focus Groups, another qualitative methodology widely used in market research and public opinion studies).

Paul Lee

Paul Lee

Paul Lee is the Director of Strategic Design at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts where he leads an in-house creative agency responsible for copy/content development and user-experience design strategies to serve the business's 2.8 million members. Designing and communicating in plain language and with the customers' experience in mind is a balance the Blue Cross in-house agency strives for every day.   Paul has 19 years of creative design experience working for The Economist, Time Inc., IDG, Source Interlink Publishers, and Blue Cross MA.

Greg Moriarty

Greg Moriarty

Greg Moriarty is the Plain English Foundation’s training manager.

He completed a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and a Bachelor of Arts at Macquarie University, Sydney. His love of language and travel then took him to Madrid, where he worked as an English teacher for 7 years. He speaks fluent Castellano.

He has presented plain English workshops for hundreds of professionals in legal, corporate and government organisations ranging from the Department of Attorney General and Justice to the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet. Greg co-presented a paper at Clarity 2012 and workshops at PLAIN 2013 and Clarity 2014.

Pamela Nieto

Pamela Nieto

Pamela Nieto joined the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in September 2012 as the Director of Marketing and Communications, directing its targeted marketing strategy. She manages production of over 50 events a year, including five major fundraising events which attract more than 3,000 guests. Additionally, she manages all media outreach, branding, conceptualization of media advisories and press releases, and builds relationships with Chamber members.

Before 2012, Ms. Nieto was an Account Executive for TMNcorp where she managed the communications, digital media, marketing and advertising for several accounts which targeted a multicultural audience. Ms. Nieto is also a founder-member of Festicinekids Foundation, which teaches underprivileged kids about cinematography in Colombia, a board member of the DC Hispanic PR Association and of Milagros Initiative at the Children's National Hospital.

Ms. Nieto is a graduate of the Art Institute of Washington, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Advertising. She was born and raised in Colombia and has lived in the United States since 2002.

Claire O’Riordan

Claire O’Riordan

Claire runs the Irish National Adult Literacy Agency’s (NALA’s) Plain English Editing and Training Service. She is an experienced project manager and has managed the plain language editing of thousands of resources for the public and private sector. She has also managed and delivered plain English training to professionals across all sectors.

For the last two years, Claire was one of the judges for the The MSD / NALA Crystal Clear Awards – an annual health literacy awards ceremony in Ireland. Claire is also a board member of PLAIN. She is the Conference Coordinator of PLAIN’s 2015 Conference in Dublin Castle, Ireland.

Jodi Patterson

Jodi Patterson

Jodi Patterson is a senior executive with the Internal Revenue Service. In 2008, as Director of Taxpayer Burden Reduction, she led a plain-language initiative to revise notices to taxpayers. With more than 200 million notices sent each year, the IRS received many complaints that notices were hard to understand. Jodi led the team that not only completely overhauled the design and language of IRS notices, but also reengineered the business processes, and created the IRS Office of Taxpayer Correspondence, responsible for the language in all notices and for continuing the plain writing effort. One of the first notices to be revamped won the Grand ClearMark Award in 2011.

Jodi has been with the Federal government for 30 years, the majority spent in the communications field. She has held a number of executive positions in IRS, including Director of Communications. She has a BA in Journalism and currently resides in Atlanta, GA.

Jennifer Pearce

Jennifer Pearce

Jennifer is the Health Literacy Program Manager at the Sutter Center for Integrated Care. A passionate advocate for patient engagement through plain language, she has more than 14 years of experience collaborating with clinicians to translate complex health care concepts into accessible and actionable content. Her experience includes developing training and tools to facilitate health literate care delivery in acute, ambulatory, home care and educational settings. As a result of her partnerships with clinical content experts, Jennifer earned ClearMark Awards of Distinction from the Center for Plain Language in 2012 and 2013.

Prior to joining Sutter she led patient engagement and publicity initiatives for the NIH-funded Autoimmune Disease Genetics Research Projects at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). Jennifer is a member of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) and a guest lecturer on health literacy at California State University East Bay’s graduate program for Health Care Administration.

Janice Redish

Janice (Ginny) Redish

Ginny Redish has been a passionate evangelist for plain language for many years. Through her consulting practice, Redish & Associates, Inc., Ginny helps clients plan, organize, design, write, and test all types of communications.

Ginny is a charter member and former Board member of the Center for Plain Language.

Ginny’s pioneering work in plain language has brought her many awards, including the Center's first award as Outstanding Plain Language Leader in the Private Sector. She is particularly pleased that the official United States definition of plain language comes from her work.

Reviewers rave about Ginny’s most recent book, Letting Go of the Words – Writing Web Content that Works, now in its second edition (2012). She has also written or co-written numerous articles and book chapters, as well as two of the classic books on usability.

Ginny is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics from Harvard University.

Ruben Rodriguez

Ruben E. Rodriguez

Appointed director of corporate communications in October 2009, Ruben Rodriguez is responsible for employee-related, internal communications; consumer, general public and safety-related external communications; and media relations for Washington Gas. He serves as the primary spokesperson for Washington Gas. Prior to his promotion, Mr. Rodriguez served Washington Gas as manager of corporate communications. Mr. Rodriguez joined the company in November 2007.

Mr. Rodriguez spent seven years in publishing at The Washington Post newspaper. He managed the newspaper’s public relations department and also served as its primary spokesperson and budget officer. He also acted as program manager for the newspaper’s participation in community events and fellowship programs.

Mr. Rodriguez is a graduate of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. A native Washingtonian, he is an active member of the community serving on the boards of several nonprofit organizations. He now resides in Falls Church, Virginia, with his wife and three children.

Bill Ryan

Bill Ryan

A longtime professional communicator, William Ryan is an ardent enthusiast and advocate of Plain Language. Over the last 15 years, he has worked to promote Plain Language in Government documents at the US Department of Agriculture, the National Partnership for Reinventing Government, the US Department of Homeland Security, and the Obama White House.

He is ever vigilant at stamping out the sesquipedalian and the convolute wherever he finds them by applying the blunt force of a good Saxon monosyllable.

Leah Saal

Leah Katherine Saal

Dr. Leah Katherine Saal is an Assistant Professor of Literacy at Loyola University Maryland, School of Education. She teaches graduate courses in literacy education and research. Saal is informed by her ongoing experiences teaching literacy to adults and older students in and out of school settings in urban communities. Leah Katherine's research agenda focuses on the intersectionality of literacy and social justice within community literacies, and her recent research assessed the clarity of U.S. government food assistance applications post Plain Writing Act. Saal serves on several international and national editorial review boards for adult and adolescent literacy/learning journals. This year, she will assume the co-editorship of Literacy & Social Responsibility eJournal, a journal of the International Reading Association.

Shannon Salinsky

Shannon Salinsky

Shannon Salinsky is a plain language subject matter expert with the Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration and an Aviation Safety Inspector from Grapevine, Texas. She is assigned to the Flight Standards National Field Office (AFS-900), the Continual Improvement Office (CIPO) Automation and Policy Team. The CIPO writes policy and guidance for Volume 10, Air Transportation Oversight System (ATOS) and Safety Assurance System (SAS). She writes a “Plain Language Corner” article for the How Goes It newsletter. The newsletter is available quarterly to all Flight Standards inspectors to keep them apprised of the latest with ATOS and SAS database policy and guidance.

Shannon enjoys writing in her free time as well. She is a nationally and regionally published magazine writer, editor and blogger. She holds a BS degree in Journalism from the University of North Texas.

Michael Schwartz

Michael Schwartz

Michael Schwartz, a political scientist by training, retired from the federal government in 2009 after 33 years in the Department of the Interior. He spent the majority of his federal career working on regulations mineral resource policy, and budget.

Mike has been a member of the government’s Plain Language Action and Information Network for many years, representing first the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and more recently the US Fish and Wildlife Service. In his last job, at the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), he improved clarity of FWS manuals and Federal Register documents by requiring them to incorporate plain language principles. While an employee, Mike conducted training classes at several agencies.

Since his retirement from federal service, Mike has worked with the BLM on regulatory projects, emphasizing the need to write them clearly. In addition, he annually serves as a judge for the ClearMark awards.

Sherry Scott

Sherry B. Scott

Sherry Scott’s consulting experience ranges from the top of an oil storage tank to the corporate boardroom. From U.S. university classrooms to international corporate classrooms in Europe, Australia, and the Far East, she has taught business management and communication. In addition, Sherry worked as a corporate Human Resources Director where she was involved in all areas of human resources. She also edited an industry award-winning newsletter.

Dr. Scott’s training programs range from full company curriculum to short on-site workshops. Her topics include strategic human resource management, performance reviews, employee relations, business and technical writing, speaking and presenting, multicultural communication, gender communication, ethical decision-making, and business etiquette/netiquette. Her entrepreneurial courses help small-business owners improve their chances for success.

A past president of the Association of Communication Consultants, Sherry holds a Ph. D. from The University of Maryland, College Park, MD in Instructional Design and an M. A. from The American University, Washington, DC in English.

Claudia Siervo

Claudia Siervo

Claudia Siervo has more than 18 years of experience in research, management, and strategic planning. As a trained manager in technology and social issues, Claudia has extensive expertise in program planning and implementation, materials development, and developing outreach strategies for targeted multicultural populations. She has applied her skills in research and health communications to multiple U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agencies and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In addition to Federal Government agencies, Claudia has experience with nonprofit organizations and international business.

As the Vice President of the Multicultural Communications team, she oversees the development of messages, materials, as well as traditional and social media that reach underserved populations, especially the Hispanic community. Her team works across a dozen government agencies and NIH Institutes. Claudia holds an M.A. in Communication, Culture, and Technology from Georgetown University.

Katherine Spivey

Katherine Spivey

Katherine Spivey serves the General Services Administration’s Plain Language Launcher, coordinating GSA’s plain language program. She is also co-chair of the Plain Language Action and Information Network (PLAIN) as well as a trainer, teaching plain language courses for Digital Gov University and numerous federal agencies.

Katherine works for GSA’s Federal Acquisitions Service’s Integrated Technology Services, where she manages Web content, coordinates social media, and edits Mary Davie’s blog, Great Government through Technology.

Before joining GSA, Katherine was a Web content manager at the Department of Homeland Security, Web content editor at international law firm Steptoe & Johnson LLP, and websites manager at the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

She has taught at local community colleges and at the Amphibious Warfare School in Quantico, Virginia. She has an M.S. in English from the University of Virginia and a B.A. in English from the University of Mary Washington.

Paul Strickland

Paul Strickland

Paul retired last year from the European Commission where he was head of the Editing Service. His other job was to run the Commission’s Clear Writing Campaign, which he launched in 2010. The Campaign is still going strong and the fifth Clear Writing Awards will take place later this year. Paul is a graduate of Oxford University where he studied Modern History and Modern Languages. Besides editing, he has worked in a number of different fields including accountancy, international trade, teaching and translation. He also spent four years as a European Union diplomat in Australia. Paul lives in Brussels, Belgium and is married with two grown-up children.

John Strylowski

John Strylowski

John Strylowski is a plain language consultant with over 30 years’ experience writing and reviewing regulations and directives for federal agencies. He has developed and conducted training for writers at over 25 federal agencies, the State of New Jersey, and the Province of Ontario. John has been a presenter for over 15 years at Tulane University’s International Legislative Drafting Institute. He has also written or edited plain-language handbooks and contributed to the Federal Plain-language Guidelines. John’s 42- year federal career included service as a Peace Corps volunteer in Brazil and as a management and regulatory analyst at three federal agencies. He recently retired from the Department of the Interior, where he received the Department’s highest honor, the distinguished service award. He has also been a long-time member of the plain-language action and information network, a founding board member of the Center for Plain Language, and an elected Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in the District of Columbia.

Cherlin Varela

Cherlin Varela

Cherlin Varela was born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico. After several years studying in Spain, she relocated to the United States, where she officially became an American citizen.

Cherlin obtained a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from George Mason University followed by an M.A. in Spanish and Latin American Studies and a Certificate in Translation from American University in Washington, D.C; while at school, she decided to take a class in Consecutive Interpretation because she saw the growing need for interpreters in the D.C area. She served as the Senior Interpreter in Immigration Court, Arlington, Virginia and currently serves as the Liaison for Lionbridge Technologies and Immigration Court in the D.C area. She has accepted assignments for Immigration Court across the United States.

Cherlin has also provided interpretation, translation, transcription and proofreading services for a variety of clients, including the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Justice. She obtained a Secret Clearance from Department of Defense and an Interim Clearance for Department of justice.

Karel Waarde

Karel van der Waarde

Karel van der Waarde studied graphic design in the Netherlands (BA, The Design Academy, Eindhoven) and the UK (MA, De Montfort University, Leicester; PhD, University of Reading).

In 1995, he started a design - research consultancy in Belgium specializing in the testing of pharmaceutical information design. His company develops patient information leaflets, instructions, forms, protocols, and the information architecture for websites.

Karel van der Waarde frequently publishes and lectures about visual information. Avans University of Applied Sciences (Breda, The Netherlands) appointed him as scholar in Visual Rhetoric between 2006 and 2014. From September 2014, he teaches (part time) at the Basel School of Design (Switzerland).

Van der Waarde is a Life-Fellow of the Communications Research Institute (Melbourne, Australia), a board member of International Institute for Information Design (IIID, Vienna, Austria) and editorial board member of Information Design Journal, Journal of Communication Design, the Poster, Visible Language, and She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation.

Melua Watson

Melua Watson

Melua is a founding director of digital content agency Writeclick. She has over 10 years’ experience planning, writing and editing web content for New Zealand government agencies, corporations and not-for-profit organizations. Before focusing on digital content, Melua was a communications advisor to central and local government.

A political science major, Melua has also studied design, journalism and public relations. These days she helps large organizations to devise effective content strategies, and trains teams to write beautifully clear content.

Melua has a keen interest in usability and the way design and content come together to create satisfying user experiences.

James Wendt

James Wendt

Jimmy Wendt is currently a User Experience Researcher at Intel Security in Santa Clara, CA. In his role, he is responsible for a variety of research efforts centered on Intel's consumer security products and websites. Prior to joining Intel, Jimmy was a UX Researcher at UserTesting.com in Mountain View, CA. While there, he worked with clients whose domains included e-commerce, streaming video services, cloud software, and financial planning. Jimmy is originally from Brooklyn, NY, holds a B.A. in Psychology from Kenyon College and an M.S. in Human Factors Engineering from San Jose State University. His favorite movie is My Cousin Vinny.

Russell Willerton

Russell Willerton

Russell Willerton is an associate professor of English at Boise State University, where he teaches courses in technical communication. He received his PhD in technical communication and rhetoric from Texas Tech University in 2005. Russell worked previously as a feature reporter in public radio and as a technical writer. His recent articles have appeared in Business and Professional Communication Quarterly, the Society for Technical Communication's Intercom magazine, and the User Experience Professionals Association's User Experience magazine. Russell is a 2013 Fellow of the Boise State University Arts and Humanities Institute. His new book, Plain Language and Ethical Action (Routledge), will hit bookshelves in spring 2015.

Erin Winker

Erin Winker

Erin has 10 years’ experience with Aetna. Most recently, she joined Aetna’s social media team. Prior to this role, she worked in provider and Medicare member communications as a writer. She also is part of the group that created Aetna’s Writers’ Center for Excellence – an internal website that offers resources, tools and helpful information (including certification courses) to writers across the company. Erin is an instructor of Aetna’s internal plain language course, which teaches six principles of writing in plain language (avoid jargon, use short sentences, familiar words, active voice, bullets/lists) as well as how to use the Flesch-Kincaid tool in Microsoft Word to score writing. She is a member of Aetna’s brand task force, acting as a copy auditor and copy subject matter expert.

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