As president of Strategic Communication Inc., Tulsa, Oklahoma, Lee Clark Johns has built a 38-year communication consulting and training practice with more than 50 client organizations, including major organizations such as Occidental Petroleum, Amoco, TV Guide, Dollar Thrifty, IBM, Williams, ONEOK, CITGO, and others. She has presented business and technical writing and presentation skills seminars throughout the United States and internationally. She also helps clients solve other communication challenges. She earned her B.A. from Duke University and an M.A. from the University of Kansas. Lee is the past president of the Association of Professional Communication Consultants (APCC) and former treasurer of the Center for Plain Language. She received the 2013 Saidie Adwon Lifetime Achievement Award from the Tulsa Chapter of Association of Women in Communication. Her book, The Writing Coach, received APCC’s 2004 award for Excellence in Writing. This is Lee’s second year as head judge of the ClearMark Awards.
Holly Anderson is a Boise-based journalist who has worked as a copy editor and features team leader at the Idaho Statesman newspaper for more than 25 years. When she's not wrangling her two sons or diverting her snowboarding husband from the slopes, she enjoys reading about health-care issues, drinking pina coladas and getting caught in the rain. She's also to known to launch into frequent rants about difficult-to-decipher tax forms, insurance papers, court rulings, government documents and banking agreements. It should come as no surprise that Holly is a big fan of the plain-language movement.
Jennifer Ashman is a marketing professional with a passion for improving the customer experience. She held several positions at Ford Motor Company, where she worked on many customer satisfaction projects. This included consulting with over 100 dealerships to drive change. She took her skills to the classroom and taught several marketing courses at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. At Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Jennifer is focused on helping employees use plain language and simpler processes to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. Jennifer has an undergraduate degree in Marketing and Master of Science degree in Business Administration, both completed at Penn State University.
Maryellen has over 15 years of experience in a legal and contract management role developing and negotiating commercial contracts across a wide variety of industries. Her continual exposure to legalese and unnecessary word complexity has made her an advocate of Plain English contract terms and information usability. Maryellen has also developed other business documentation and tools such as proposals, policies, resource guides and user forms as well as content for corporate Intranet portals. Her work with global customers and colleagues has provided her with a special sensitivity for ensuring that all writing, particularly contractual in nature, is created to enable effective translation into multiple languages as well as comprehension by non-native English speakers.
For the last 35 years, clear communication has been the foundation of Bagin’s work. Combining clear language with functional design, she has conducted some of the most high-profile, plain-language projects in the U.S., devising practical, innovative solutions to clients’ problems. Her achievements include revamping the Social Security Statement, Explanation of Medicare Benefits, federal system of bankruptcy forms, and IRS business forms and instructions. As President of the Center for Clear Communication, Inc., since 1992, and working for both corporate and government clients, Bagin has worked on hundreds of documents for the NCAA, American Express, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, The Home Depot, Chrysler, NOAA, American Bar Association, and others. Carolyn has received numerous awards and is the author of How to Create Forms that Get the Job Done, communication briefings: Blackwood, NJ, 1993.
Andres is the President of ACSI Translations (ACSI). Under his leadership, ACSI, which provides translation, interpretation, foreign language desktop publishing, and localization services in over 80 languages, has grown from a $20,000 initial investment in 2010 to a full blown operation offering technical translation, interpretation, and localization services 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. Andres’ experience includes serving as Chief Financial Officer for a $35 million Private Equity Group, owned by South American Principals and based in Rockville, Maryland. He was responsible for the financial, planning, as well as being a member of the executive and acquisition committee. Other experience includes a top 20 fortune 500 National Bank in retail and wholesale banking for Wells Fargo. Andres was instrumental in developing relationships, between bank and Latino non- profit organizations, to financially support areas of Education, Health, Entrepreneurship and Vocational Training. Andres, has served in the board of the Spanish Catholic Center and is the fundraising chair of the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and is currently spearheading the 2015 “Spanish Clear Mark Awards” for the Center for Plain Language. Andres, holds an MBA in Global Emerging Markets from American University in the Kogod School of Business. Andres lives in North Bethesda, MD with his wife Elsa and beloved children Bruno and Luciano.
As Senior Small Business Lending Officer, Carlos works closely with small businesses owners in the DC metropolitan area. An industrial engineer with a M.A in Economics from John Hopkins University, Carlos joined LEDC in Fall 2009; he enjoys working with people from diverse backgrounds. Carlos understands the challenges of being an entrepreneur/small business owner and feels proud to work in a place that open doors of opportunity for all immigrant and underserved communities. In his free time, Carlos enjoys vegetarian cooking, ultimate frisbee, hiking, and taking long walks in the city. Carlos’ favorite reading subject is history.
Andrea grew up in Argentina, in a bilingual Spanish-German home. As a young adult, she lived in California, and has made Boise, Idaho, her home for the last 26 years. She has a passion for languages, international adventure travel, and experiencing diverse cultures. She also has a passion for medicine and health education. She graduated with honors with a degree in Health Science and Health Promotion. For more than 25 years, she has worked at the nonprofit Healthwise in various roles to help people make better health decisions, including Director of Print Services and Translation Services. She is currently a director with the product strategy and experience team, working on the next generation of health education and patient engagement products.
Maria Fernanda has been with the Latino Student Fund since 2004 and in 2009 she transitioned into the role of Executive Director. Maria Fernanda holds a degree in Business Administration from the University of San Francisco de Quito. She is a graduate of the Capacity Building Program for Executive Directors, sponsored by the Government of the District of Columbia. She also participated in the Smart Start Program offered by the Center for Nonprofit Advancement for new executive leaders. Maria Fernanda is a 2013 graduate of Leadership Greater Washington and also serves on the Board of Directors for Passion for Learning.
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.