AAPTI board of directors  


   Esther M. Hermida, President  

Esther M. Hermida is a highly qualified and certified freelance Spanish interpreter with over 28 years of experience in various fields of interpreting. Her certifications include the State of California and the U.S. District Court. In 2016, she founded her own company, GeoLingua, Inc. while continuing to work as an independent contractor with language service companies that require her expertise and offer a variety of interpreting experiences.

Previously, Esther worked as a contractor for the Los Angeles Superior Court for 10 years. She now works in the private sector as a contractor for the U.S. District Court in the Central and Southern Districts and other U.S. District Courts, providing services to the Interpreter's Office, CJA, and the Assistant U.S. Attorney's Office. She is also an approved vendor for other districts requiring assistance with transcription and translation certification, and has testified as a transcription/translation expert in federal court.

As an advocate for the interpreting profession, Esther believes that we all have a responsibility to protect and enhance the profession. She is active in professional forums and mentors newly certified interpreters. Esther is passionate about providing interpreting services to all people from all walks of life and believes that those for whom she interprets should understand how their lives are affected in a language they understand.

Esther has also worked with non-profit organizations for the past seven years, interpreting for trainers who provide services to disadvantaged communities. One of her proudest moments as an interpreter was being a featured guest in a series of workshops presented by a large California nonprofit organization to show its nonprofit members why the use of a professional interpreter and the translation provided is vital to the community.

On a personal level, Esther understands the challenges faced by immigrants who do not speak the language of their new country. She came to the U.S. from Cuba with her parents when she was 10 years old, and no one in her family spoke English. She had to rely on classmates to translate for her, and found that knowing how to read and write in Spanish helped her progress in her English classes. As a child, Esther often interpreted for her parents, and at the age of 13, she went to court to interpret for a church member in a civil case, a traumatic experience that highlighted the importance of language access for all.

Esther is a voting member of the American Translators Association (ATA), a member of the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators (NAJIT), a founding member of the Association of Independent Judiciary Interpreters of California (AIJIC), and a member of SAG-AFTRA.

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Angie Birchfield, Vice President and Legislative Committee Chair

   Giovana Farias-Izmirlian, Treasurer

As a California State Certified Court interpreter since 2013, Giovana has extensive experience as a licensed professional. Her previous experience includes over 10 years in the private sector in the banking and mutual fund industry where she conducted business in English and Spanish. Additionally, her education includes a Bachelor of Arts in International Business with a concentration in Spanish and two years of MBA coursework from Cal State Fullerton.  Ms. Farias-Izmirlian completed the Court Interpreting Program at Southern California School of Interpretation and continuously completes additional coursework to challenge herself and further enhance her skills. 

Giovana works primarily in legal proceedings which includes civil and administrative matters. Additionally, she works with clients who require her services to provide their staff medical/retirement plan enrollment information and company updates.  Most recently, she provides interpretation services during conferences, community and estate planning meetings.  

Ms. Farias-Izmirlian is a also proud member of the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators (NAJIT) and the Association of Independent Judiciary Interpreters of California (AIJIC).  She is committed to serving others via her vocation and helping her fellow colleagues in the advancement and recognition of the profession.

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Julia Elizarraraz, Secretary  

Julia Elizarraraz is a freelance certified Spanish interpreter and has been court certified for the state of California since 2011. She completed the court interpretation program at Southern California School of Interpretation in Santa Fe Springs, CA, in 2008. Prior to this she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish with Departmental Honors from the University of Southern California in 2007. Her honors thesis was written on the importance of linguistic and cultural sensitivity while interpreting in a medical setting. Her research for this thesis was conducted while volunteering in a number of departments at Keck Hospital of USC (then known as USC University Hospital). Julia subsequently completed First Year Law at Purdue University Global, having studied Criminal Law, Contracts, Torts, and Legal Analysis.

As many interpreters and translators do, Julia became interested in the profession when she found herself interpreting and translating for her immigrant parents from a young age. As a teenager, Julia was preparing contracts and legal correspondence in both English and Spanish for her family and community, and by age 14, she was interpreting for her parents in civil court. Her first trial interpretation was for her parents as self-represented plaintiffs, and this is where she discovered her love and talent for simultaneous interpretation. She considers one of her greatest professional moments to be when she was the trial interpreter in a wrongful death case where the jury pool was considered to be hostile toward the Spanish-speaking plaintiffs. After interpreting their testimony on the witness stand, the jury rendered a verdict awarding them $30 million.

Julia is a proud member of AAPTI since it made its public debut in February 2020 and as of the time of this writing, has served on AAPTI’s Membership Committee as Chair since the committee’s inception in April 2021. She has been a member of the Legislative Committee since August 2021. Now, in her capacity as Secretary, she looks forward to collaborating with every member of AAPTI, other colleagues and students of the profession, and the communities we all serve.

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 Ttzol López Beverly CHI™, Member at Large 

Ttzol López Beverly is a freelance interpreter and founder of TL Interpreting and Translating. She graduated in Business Administration with emphasis in Tourism from the University of Guadalajara in Mexico; and she also graduate from the Healthcare Interpreter Program at American River College in Sacramento, CA. She was born and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico and now resides in Sacramento, California. Ttzol's thesis at Universidad de Guadalajara was in the modality of annotated translation; little did she know then that interpreting was in her future. 

Ttzol was Operations Manager of Global Education, a company specializing in organized trips to learn language and culture in foreign countries. While working at Global Education, Ttzol offered her bilingual skills and begun interpreting for some of the company’s clients that included high schools, colleges, universities, and healthcare organizations, such as Kaiser Permanente.

Ttzol became a Certified Healthcare Interpreter and has taken numerous training in different fields of Interpretation to expand her knowledge base.Ttzol is convinced that by working together, professional interpreters and translators can achieve the recognition they deserve as professionals.

“During this time of changes in the working field it is imperative we translators and interpreters work together for the common goal of establishing our profession, as that is the only way we will be listened to, supported, and protected. We need to educate the community we serve, the people who contract us and those who decide the way we must work. We, interpreters and translators, are part of the infrastructure that keeps California and America moving.” 

             Contact Ttzol López

Madeline Rios, Director of Community Engagement  

Madeline Rios has been a freelance interpreter and translator since 1983. She holds a certificate in translation and interpretation from the University of California at Los Angeles, a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Clark University, and a Master of Arts in Spanish Translation and Interpreting from the University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley. Ms. Ríos is a life, voting, Spanish to English translator certified by the American Translators Association. 

She is a member of the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators and the Association of Independent Judicial Interpreters of California. She is certified as a Spanish/English court interpreter by the Judicial Council of California and the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. 

Ms. Ríos has worked as a translation instructor with the University of California at Fullerton, and has made numerous presentations, published papers, contributed to bilingual dictionaries, and offered training through the Judicial Council of California and professional organizations in the U.S. and Mexico. Her pro bono work includes interpreting for asylum cases and organizing interpreting teams for indigenous consultant organizations at the United Nations, for investigation of the zero-tolerance immigration policy, for the Pomona Habla coalition of Pomona, California, and for the Latino/Latina Roundtable of the San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys, where she serves on its board of directors. She is the former director of the Guatemalan Education Action Project and was the editor of its Guatemala Review publications. Since 1986 she has also interpreted pro bono for the U.S. Southwest regional tours of Nobel Laureate Rigoberta Menchú Tum. 

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