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.
Katney Bair is the principal consultant at Pretty Plain, a communications company specializing in public information. Pretty Plain's communication services combine copywriting, graphic design and project management. Clients include government agencies, medical centers, health insurance companies, corporations, small businesses, public schools, universities, and non-profit organizations. Katney’s deep experience in all areas of marketing and communications, along with her Plain Writing expertise, help her craft clear messaging that effectively reaches different groups across different platforms. www.prettyplain.org.
Geri Lynn Baumblatt, M.A., is the Executive Director of Patient Engagement at Emmi where she’s worked with a team of writers, medical animators, decision scientists, behavior change experts, patients, and clinicians to create multimedia patient engagement, shared decision making, and behavior change programs that engage patients, reduce anxiety and create real outcomes. Geri is on the board of the Journal of Patient Experience, contributes to the Association for Patient Experience, and hosts an annual Health Literacy Month blog series. She speaks at health literacy, shared decision making, patient experience and patient engagement conferences and panels, such as the PEMAT (Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool) with AHRQ.
Ben Beach is a writer and editor who has worked for Time Magazine, USA Today, a Michigan congressman, The Wilderness Society, the Alliance to Save Energy, and, most recently, the State Department. His responsibilities have included media outreach and serving as editor-in-chief of magazines, newsletters, and annual reports. His work has appeared in Reader’s Digest, The Washington Post, The New Republic, STATE Magazine, and elsewhere. A graduate of Harvard (BA, economics) and Catholic University (JD), Beach has edited reports by the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce and the Natural Resources Defense Council, among others.
Frank Boland retired in 2013 after more than 35 years as an attorney at the Internal Revenue Service in Washington, DC. In that position, he was the principal author of numerous tax regulations and other IRS rulings and notices. He also reviewed many tax forms and publications for clarity and technical accuracy. During his last 10 years at the IRS, he was a branch chief and initial reviewer for many regulations and other public guidance. He also developed and conducted training classes to other IRS attorneys on plain language writing and the intricacies of writing regulations. Frank had previously served in the US Army and later as a research assistant for a member of Congress. Frank holds a BA degree from Texas Christian University and a JD degree from Southern Methodist University; he is a member of the Texas Bar.
Lee Carter is President of maslansky+partners. A member of the executive leadership team, Lee oversees a diverse range of language strategy work for Fortune 500 companies and non-profits in the U.S. and abroad. To do this, Lee has conducted, overseen, and analyzed countless instant response sessions, traditional focus groups, brainstorming and strategy sessions and surveys in more than 15 countries. She has worked with clients in a wide range of industries including financial services, energy, automotive, sustainability, hospitality services, food and beverage, technology, and consumer products. And, she has worked extensively in public affairs, public policy, and issue advocacy.
Anne-Marie is Deputy Chief Executive at Write Limited and has held a range of roles at Write from technical (as a plain language specialist) to management, leading Write’s consultant team and now deputy chief executive. Part of the New Zealand-based Write family for 13 years, she’s helped the company grow into the largest plain language consultancy in the world. She and her team specialise in helping organisations experience all the benefits of clear communication. Using the Rewrite for Change™ Model, a framework for change management, she works with organisations to build plain language culture. Anne-Marie believes in clarity in government and business so that people of all literacy levels can make important financial, health, and legal decisions. She was involved in developing the WriteMark document quality mark. She continues to help business owners understand why achieving the WriteMark supports fair customer relationships.
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.
Nancy Cecilia has been in the healthcare field for over 10 years and is currently a relationship manager supporting national brokers and consultants. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Intercultural Studies from Trinity College in Hartford, CT and a Juris Doctor from Vermont Law School. In addition, she studied Chinese at the Mandarin Training Center in Taiwan. She has worked in a number of fields including interpreting, college-level teaching, and writing giving her a breadth of experiences that make it easy for her to relate to people from all walks of life. A naturally curious adventurer, she has traveled in Asia, Latin America and Europe and is looking to round out her continental travels by visiting Africa and Australia.
Dr. Guido Lara earned a Doctorate in Information Science from the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) in the program, "Theory of Communication and Methods of Social Research." Dr. Lara 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, not to be confused with IT - Information Technology Studies.) To earn his doctorate, he had to present and defend a doctoral thesis, which had to be an original work on a subject matter related to the lines of research included in the Official Postgraduate Program. 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). As indicated on the website of the Department of Sociology IV of the Complutense University of Madrid, this "has been being developed over the last few years in a doctoral program called "Methodology of Research in Sociology, Communication and Culture," which has focused on the teaching of this methodology. This postgraduate program in Methodology of Research in Social Sciences, which includes a Master's degree, offers graduates in Sociology, Political Science, Law and Administration Science, Social Work, Social Anthropology, Social Psychology, Economics, Human Geography, Pedagogy, Information Science and other similar disciplines, knowledge, methodologies and techniques that will enable them to further their education in basic and/or applied research." "Its area of concentration begins with epistemological reflection, addressing the fundamental problems that most directly affect social research, and delves into methodological reflection, emphasizing the problems related to the application of different research techniques." Source: http://pendientedemigracion.ucm.es/info/socivmyt/paginas/doctorado/teoriaymetodologia/docmetodos.htm Departamento de Sociología IV – Facultad de Ciencias de la Información – Avenida Complutense, s/n. 28040 Madrid, Spain – Tel.: (34) 91.394.21.42/43/44. Fax: (34) 91.394.21.45
Alex is a freelance Spanish interpreter and translator who applies his skills to a range of consumer-focused communication projects. He has translated key documents for major federal agencies such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Housing Finance Authority, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac. He has also served as a Spanish-language moderator of focus groups and one-on-one interviews. A native of Barcelona, Spain, Alex seeks to not only translate accurately for the target population but to ensure clarity and “plain language” in all consumer-oriented communication.
Sonia is the Production Manager at Polaron Language Services, a language services provider based in Melbourne, Australia . She has managed over 1,000 translation and interpreting projects, many of them comprising up to 40 different languages. Over the last 3 years, she has been working closely with non-profit organisations and government bodies to help them be more creative and clear when communicating with diverse communities in Australia. Sonia holds an undergraduate degree in Translation and Interpreting studies and a Master’s degree in software and multimedia translations. She specialised in management of multilingual website translation projects and is a sworn translator and interpreter. Before moving to Australia from Spain, she was one of the founding members of a non-profit organisation aimed at improving social inclusiveness of the Arabic-speaking communities in southern Spain. Being very passionate about plain and accessible language for all, Sonia is always looking for new opportunities to develop her skills and make a difference.