President:Cathy Copeland, CI/CT (Billings)
Cathy Copeland has been a Sign Language Interpreter for 40 years. She has an Educational Interpreting Certificate and an AA degree from Front Range Community College. Her bachelor's degree is in Communications from Montana State University-Billings. Her master's degree from Capella University is in Post-secondary and Adult Education and she has completed the Master Mentor (Interpreters) Certificate from Northeastern University in Boston. She also has a certificate in ASL Linguistics from University of Colorado-Boulder and a certificate in Legal Interpreting from Front Range Community College. She holds a CI/CT from RID. Cathy currently teaches interpreters at two different colleges and is the lead interpreter at Montana State University-Billings. Her skill sets include both teaching and mentoring. She loves to see interpreters grow and become all they can be. Cathy loves being a part of the process. Previously she has served on the MRID board in several different positions within a ten year span.
Vice President: Sandy Sallee, RID NIC-Advanced, (Kalispell)
My name is Sandy Sallee and I live in Kalispell, Montana. I grew up in Chicago, IL, the youngest of ten children from a large traditional Mexican family. I have been an active interpreter since 2008. I graduated in 2007 from ASLIS' (American Sign Language and Interpreting School) ITP program in Seattle, WA. I had decided to learn sign language after discovering that my niece was born deaf and I wanted to be able to communicate with her. After graduation I worked at DBSC (Deaf-Blind Service Center) where I was able to work on and improve my DB interpreting skills. In 2008 I began working as a Trilingual Interpreter in the Deaf, DB and Spanish Communities as well as for Sorenson VRS. I received my RID NIC-Advanced certification in 2009 and reached my goal of becoming certified within two years of graduation.
I moved to Kalispell, Montana in 2011 along with my husband and daughter. We now have two daughters (9 and 3) and I enjoy spending time with my family hiking and enjoying the outdoors especially Glacier National Park. I love to dance and am a licensed Zumba instructor and hope to keep myself busy teaching classes locally.
I consider myself blessed to live and work in such a beautiful area, grateful to be a part of the great state of Montana and to be the Vice President for an MRID.
Secretary: Brandy Reinhardt, NIC (Missoula)
I'm happy to join a team of such dedicated and passionate interpreters to foster a professional, ethical and cooperative environment for Montana interpreters.
I graduated from an ITP in Iowa. I moved to Missoula in 1999 and worked as an educational interpreter for Missoula County Public Schools, while also participating in the Educational Interpreter Certificate Program. I graduated from the program in 2001. For the past 10 years, I've worked at the University of Montana, Missoula. In addition to interpreting for U of M, I manage the captioning requests for Disability Services. This past semester we captioned 176 videos for instructors who had a Deaf or hard of hearing student in their classroom. Over the years, I've arranged workshops and conferences for the Montana Educators Association, Summit Independent Living Center and most recently assisted with MRID's January webinar. I've presented for the Montana Ski Patrol, the 2001 RID National Conference for Educational Interpreters, University of Montana's Day of Dialogue, and I've taught sign language classes for the Flagship Program. Above all, the pinnacle of my career was interpreting for NASCAR drivers Clint Bowyer, Ty Dillon, David Ragan, Kurt Bush, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. at the Daytona 500 for team Chevy. . Best. Moment. Ever!
Treasurer: Katie Opp
As an interpreter, Katie has been working for the past 4 years in both K-12 and community settings. She successfully completed an Interpreter Training Program and has passed the state required EIPA standards. Before becoming an interpreting major, she was an accounting major. During her college years, Katie worked in the banking industry for 4 years. She has been involved in a variety of experiences in the banking industry, as well as, a drafts processor technician at CUSource, She has the understanding of both small and large financial institutions and enjoys working with numbers. Her background in the world of finance will be a strong asset to MRID and the treasurer position. Katie has been serving as the interim treasurer since August 31, 2015 when the need of a treasurer was announced at the board meeting. Since then, she has been hard at work to get MRID's finances organized and on-track so as to best support the needs of our organization.
Professional Development Chair: Denise May, CI/CT (Missoula)
I was born and raised in Montana. I have worked in the field of interpreting for 31 years in a variety of positions and states. I have worked for the last 20 years as a Sign Language Interpreter at the University of Montana in Missoula. I am currently the Lead Sign Language Interpreter at the University.
My goal for joining the MRID board again is selfish. I want a network of peers. We are all working in this field and we all have valuable experience and information to share. This field is ever-changing and I need all the help I can get to keep up. I want to keep abreast of what is going on in the interpreting field in Montana, all over Montana. We face many of the same problems but are spread thinly over the entire state, instead of reinventing the wheel, I want peers that can help me problem solve solutions and share resources that have worked in your area regarding technology, services, resources, trainings, jobs. My second goal is to make a strong alliance with our partners, the Montana Association of the Deaf. We are in this together.
Media Chair: Patty Hart, ED: K-12 (Missoula)
Patty is originally from the Joliet, Illinois area where she received an Associate of Applied Science degree and completed an Interpreter Training Program through Waubonsee Community College. Before moving to Missoula, she worked as a freelance interpreter in the Joliet area and enjoyed doing volunteer work with deaf-blind individuals. She completed the Educational Interpreter Certificate Program through the DO IT Center at the University of Northern Colorado and holds Ed: K-12 certification through RID. Since 2003, Patty has worked as an Educational Interpreter for Missoula County Public Schools. In June 2014, she had the honor of attending the National Summit on Educational Interpreting in Denver as the representative from the state of Montana. She considers herself a life-long learner and has longstanding membership in both RID and MRID. Hanging out with her husband of 25 years and her now adult son and daughter is how she prefers to spend her free time. She enjoys boating on Montana lakes, going for walks with her dog, reading and listening to music. Patty enjoys working in collaboration with and learning from other interpreters. Over the years, generous opportunities have helped her to develop professionally and she would like to give back by serving as Co-Chair on the Media Committee.
Media Chair: Annie Fischer (Billings)
Annie has been a part of the Deaf Community since she discovered sign language as a teenager. She took her first ASL class at Pierce Junior College during her senior year of high school and then attended three years at CSUN, taking all the ASL and interpreting classes offered at the university and only a few core classes. Why? Because college lets you choose which classes to take! After three years, she married her sweetheart and dropped out of school without a degree. A year later, they had a beautiful baby boy who is now an adult and lives nearby in Billings.
Over the years, Annie has interpreted in a variety of settings. Since moving to Montana, she has become re-dedicated to sharpening her ASL and interpreting skills in the K-12 setting, working for Laurel Public Schools (3 years) and Billings Public Schools (6 years). She also interprets in various venues within the community of Billings.
Recently, she decided to go back to college to earn her Bachelor’s Degree in ASL and Interpreting Studies at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley (a hybrid online/on campus degree program). In 2013, she attained the Montana state standard for educational interpreters with the goal of testing again every few years to monitor her improving skills.
Annie enjoys connecting with the Deaf Community and other interpreters, reading, watching family movies, and taking gentle solitary walks in her neighborhood and more strenuous hikes throughout Montana with her son. She has raised and trained guide dogs for the blind as well as for search and rescue. She also owned a private business training dogs and their owners. Annie and her husband currently have a rescue cat named Mickey who thinks the guest bed belongs to her alone.
Fundraiser Chair: Kyle Pettis (Great Falls)
Kyle is originally from Wallace, Idaho. He received his Bachelor of Art degree in Educational Interpreting, an Associate of Art in Language Studies, and an Associate of Art in General Studies from Idaho State University and North Idaho College. Kyle currently lives in Great Falls, MT. In his spare time he enjoys watching movies, swimming, and hiking.