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Officers

Meet the 2023-2025 ARID Board!

These individuals volunteer their time and energy to ensure that our professional organization is one of the best around.

Nicholas Winchell

President

Biography

Nick Winchell (He/Him) is an Arkansas Licensed Interpreter and has been interpreting within the Arkansas Deaf, Deaf-Blind, and Hard of Hearing communities since 2015. He currently holds Mid-America Quality Assurance Screening Test (QAST) and EIPA credentials. Nick has worked in a variety of settings; his favorite setting to interpret is anything related to the practice of medicine.

 

Nick began his studies at Adirondack Community College, Queensbury, NY; However, he relocated to Central Arkansas in 2012 to attend the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UA Little Rock) Interpreter Education Program. He received a B.A. degree in ASL/English Interpretation in 2015.

 

While at UA Little Rock, Nick served as a student representative for the ARID Biennial conference in Springdale, Arkansas (2013) and Little Rock, Arkansas (2015). He also served as President and Member-at-Large for the campus organization, SLK (Sigma Lambda Kappa), the sign language club sponsored by UA Little Rock for students.

 

Nick has also served the interpreting profession as a support staff member at the Region IV conferences in Des Moines, Iowa (2014) and Houston, Texas (2016). Nick has served as the President (2012-2023) and Treasurer (2017-2019) & (2019-2021) for the Arkansas Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (ARID) Board of Directors and served on the ARID Biennial Fundraising Committee Chair (2017). He also enjoys mentoring students in his free time. Nick is excited to have the opportunity to serve as ARID President again for the 2023-2025 term and see what he and his board can do to advance our profession within the state of Arkansas!

Nikki Cherry

Vice-President

Biography
Nikki Cherry (they/she) is a nationally certified, Arkansas licensed ASL interpreter currently living in NWA. They work remotely as a Designated Interpreter and Access Coordinator for the RIT/NTID Deaf Hub, own an agency – Specialized Interpreting Services, and prioritize putting minoritized folks to the forefront. Nikki is excited to be back in AR and again serving on the ARID Board, this time in a new role as Vice President. 
 
Nikki primarily works with Deaf Professionals in research and science/healthcare related settings; they have been a Designated Interpreter for the past 10 years. They enjoy conference interpreting and as part of their agency offerings provide conference coordinating services. While freelance interpreting is part of Nikki‘s work, they do prefer working with Deaf Professionals in higher-stakes settings. 
 
Nikki has been a mentor for students and novice interpreters for over 15 years, and looks forward each semester to meeting new people entering and progressing in our profession. They primarily focus on BIPOC individuals and members of the LGBTQ community to help them feel welcome and encouraged to work in all desired settings. 
 
Over the years, Nikki has served the local, regional, and national levels of our profession through ARID Board and Committee positions, as Support Staff Coordinator and Member, and mentor. They also have been a member of local and national associations of the Deaf since they started in the UALR IEP in 2006. 

Rhonda Read

Secretary

Biography

Rhonda Read is a 2019 Graduate of the University of Arkansas Little Rock Interpreter Education Program (UA Little Rock IEP). Rhonda is currently beginning her third year at he Arkansas School for the Deaf as an administrative assistant and doing some community work in the deaf community.

 

Prior to being elected to the ARID Board, Rhonda participated in many volunteer opportunities including the ARID Biennial Conference (2017), the RID Region IV Conference (2018), and the ARID Biennial Conference (2019).

 

Rhonda has previously served as Treasurer for Sigma Lambda Kappa, the sign language club sponsored by UA Little Rock (2018-2019), as well as, ARID Member at Large for District 2 2019-2023.

When not focused on furthering her interpreting skills, or philanthropic activities, Rhonda enjoys spending time with her husband, five children, their spouses, and her two grandchildren. She is eagerly anticipating her 3rd grandchild due in January 2024. Rhonda is very much looking forward to the opportunity to serving ARID as Secretary for the 2023-2025 term.

Donna Gibson

Treasurer

Biography

Donna Gibson has been working as a professional interpreter for ten years. She is licensed through the state of Arkansas, and currently holds a Mid-America Quality Assurance Screening Test (QAST) level 5/4. She plans to take her National Interpreter Certification (NIC) test soon. Donna has worked as a VRS interpreter with Sorenson since 2017. She also regularly interprets in the community here in Central Arkansas and enjoys medical and artistic settings the most. Donna is a proud CODA and incredibly passionate about advocating for and supporting our Deaf community; her grandmother, Janet Joplin Surratt, was the first graduate of the Interpreter Training Program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 1980!

 

Donna currently resides in Central Arkansas with her husband, Michael, and two children, Jude (14) and Zeke (10). In her free time, she loves gardening, swimming, volunteering at her children’s schools, and performing at shows as the vocalist of her band, Lypstick Hand Grenade, which her and her husband formed back in 2014. She has been a member of Arkansas Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf since 2012 and is excited to serve our members as Treasurer for this term.

Kyra Hawkins

Member at Large - District 1

Biography

Kyra Hawkins graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) in 2018. While at UALR Kyra served on the board of SLK, the sign language club, as Treasurer and Vice-President. Since graduation Kyra has worked in both video relay and the community in Northwest Arkansas and is excited for another avenue to work with her
community.

 

Kyra moved to NWA from Little Rock in 2018 and currently lives in Springdale with her wife, Mikayla, and an ever growing number of cats. In her free time, she enjoys personal writing projects, her weekly game of Dungeons and Dragons, and whatever topic her ADHD has hyper fixated on at the moment.

Jamie Lane-Ross

Member at Large - District 2

Biography

Jamie Lane-Ross is a 2010 graduate from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She has a bachelor’s degree in Interpreting: ASL/English and a minor in Educational Interpreting.  She has been interpreting professionally for 15 years.  Jamie is a licensed interpreter for the state of Arkansas and has the following credentials:  QAST 5/5, EIPA 4.4, and BEI-Basic. She is a long-time member and supporter of various Deaf and/or Interpreting organizations such as ADBC, ARID, RID, and NAD. Additionally, Jamie’s oldest brother is Deaf, and she treasures the title of ‘SODA’ (Sibling of a Deaf Adult). 

 

Upon graduating in 2010, Jamie worked as an educational interpreter for approximately four years. She then shifted her focus from working within the public education realm to freelance interpreting. In addition to freelance interpreting, she began working for Sorenson Video Relay in 2014. Jamie continues to work as a part-time Video Interpreter as well as a Community Interpreter. 

 

Jamie was born and raised in Oklahoma and enjoys traveling. She has lived in various locations such as: Arizona, North Carolina, Florida, and Scotland. Currently she resides in Cabot, Arkansas, with her loving and supportive husband of 17 years, Todd Ross.  Together, her and Todd have 8 offspring ranging in ages from 43 to 15.  Jamie is extremely proud of all her kiddos, and she takes pride in knowing that they are all making a positive contribution to society. Additionally, she is especially enamored with her curly headed four-year-old grandson and her  2 older Labrador dogs (one is Deaf) and her 2 Bernedoodle puppies.

Aaron Johnson

Member at Large - District 1

Biography
Aaron Johnson is from Hot Springs, Ark. She has one daughter. In her spare time, Aaron enjoys binge watching tv shows/ movies, cooking, hanging out with loved ones, and having a good conversation! By accepting the MAL 3 position, Aaron wants to get out of her comfort zone and improve her overall skills. By doing this Aaron will be involved in the Deaf and interpreting community and growing her relationship with both communities while also trying to grow the relationship between both communities. She is excited about being MAL 3 for the 2023-2025 term.

District 1 Counties

Baxter, Benton, Boone, Carroll, Cleburne, Conway, Crawford, Franklin, Fulton, Izard, Johnson, Logan, Madison, Marion, Montgomery, Newton, Perry, Polk, Pope, Scott, Searcy, Sebastian, Stone, Van Buren, Washington, and Yell

District 2 Counties

Arkansas, Clay, Craighead, Crittenden, Cross, Faulkner, Greene, Independence, Jackson, Lawrence, Lee, Lonoke, Mississippi, Monroe, Phillips, Poinsett, Prairie, Randolph, Sharp, St. Francis, White, and Woodruff

District 3 Counties

Ashley, Bradley, Calhoun, Chicot, Clark, Cleveland, Columbia, Dallas, Desha, Drew, Garland, Grant, Hempstead, Hot Spring, Howard, Jefferson, Lafeyette, Lincoln, Little River, Miller, Nevada, Ouachita, Pike, Pulaski, Saline, Sevier, and Union

Have you ever thought:

"I have ideas that would really benefit the interpreting community!!"

"How can I be more involved?"

Joining the ARID board would be just the way to do it. It’s also an excellent opportunity to learn more about our profession and our community and to network with interpreters across the country. It’s an excellent opportunity that you won’t find anywhere else! Contact the ARID President if you have an interest in a leadership position with ARID.
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