Officers ◦ November 2015 to November 2017

  • Division Administrator – Mirna Soares ◦ Washington, DC ◦ USA

Mirna has been a translator and an interpreter for as long as she can remember. What started as a job to get her through college became a career, at first sidetracking other activities and then taking up front and center. She holds a Master’s in Language Studies from PUC-Rio and has worked in areas as varied as subtitling, simultaneous interpretation and book translations. Before she became the division Administrator, Mirna was involved in many ATA activities and had the opportunity to speak in Annual Conferences, volunteer for the PLD Leadership Council and become a Certified Translator from Portuguese into English and English into Portuguese. She is personally interested in blogging. Some of her texts are posted by Spotted by Locals, Corpora Blog and PLD Blog. Originally from Brazil, Mirna currently lives in Washington, D.C. where she is a staff interpreter for the Inter-American Defense College.

  • Assistant Division Administrator – Érika Lessa ◦ Ontario ◦ Canada

DSCN4111Érika is PLD’s Assistant Division Administrator. She is a conference interpreter who also loves translating, and truly believes one complements the other. She has worked in different sectors of the industry, including humanities, marketing, software and game localization. As an interpreter, she is proud to have worked at international events such as Rio +20 and a Bill Clinton visit to her hometown, Belém. She now lives in Toronto, where she completed a Master’s program in Conference Interpreting at York University. After hearing at the 2014 PLD annual meeting that they wanted help, she decided to share some of her time and talents to help strengthen the Division.

Leadership Council

Rafa Lombardino ◦ California ◦ USA

Rafa was born in São Paulo and has been living in California since 2002. She started her career in 1997 and today runs Word Awareness, a small network of professional translators. Certified by the ATA (EN>PT, PT>EN) and by the University of California San Diego Extension (ES>EN), Rafa acts as the Content Curator of literary translation blog eWordNews and is the founder of Contemporary Brazilian Short Stories, a website that promotes Brazilian authors in English. In 2014, she wrote “Tools and Technology in Translation,” a book inspired by the class she has been teaching at UCSD Extension since 2010.


Tereza Braga ◦ Texas ◦ USA

TerezaBragaTereza has dual citizenship and a freelance business based in Dallas. She specializes in corporate communications and is ATA-certified in both directions. With an M.A. in International Business, Tereza started her career in the 1980s when she left a consular job in Dallas, joined ATA and attended her first annual conference. Her ATA membership brought her lifelong clients and her best friends. Since 1995 Tereza has attended at least 20 ATA conferences and 50 professional development events in three continents and met heads of state, ministers, senators and presidential candidates, but she is most proud of her work interpreting for an international leadership program that brings young professionals and opinion makers from Brazil on professional exchange trips around the U.S. Tereza has served ATA for almost 20 years as presenter, newsletter editor, writer, contributing writer, event organizer and division administrator (four terms).


Elenice Barbosa de Araújo ◦ São Paulo ◦ Brazil

eleniceElenice is a Brazilian independent English<>Br-Portuguese translator, living in São Paulo. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Education, from Pontifical Catholic University of S. Paulo, and a certificate in translation and interpreting from Associação Alumni. In her 15 years as a professional translator, editor and proofreader, she has worked for the main Brazilian publishing houses and has translated fiction and non-fiction books, and several magazine articles.



Catherine V. Howard ◦ Vermont ◦ USA

catherineCatherine translates social and environmental research from Portuguese and French into English through her website, TranslationCraft Services. Due to her love of Brazilian literature, she also contributes translations to Contemporary Brazilian Short Stories (ed. Rafa Lombardino). She first went to Brazil to conduct doctoral fieldwork among indigenous Amazonian peoples, documenting five languages on the verge of disappearing. She returns periodically to Brazil for extended periods and matar saudades. Her latest book translation is The Fortress of Salvador in Colonial Brazil (by Luiz W. Coelho Filho).


Catherine V. Howard ◦ Vermont ◦ USA

Beatriz_fotoBeatriz started working as a professional translator by combining her linguistic skills and educational background in healthcare. She has worked with a wide range of clients in the public and private sectors, including LSPs, government agencies, universities, law firms and multinational companies. Since being trained as a conference interpreter in 2013, she has worked at a number of international events in Brazil and in Canada, where she now lives with her family. The biggest challenge in her T&I career was to interpret for scholar David Harvey… in front of an audience of 3,000 people!

Roberta Barroca ◦ Florida ◦  USA

Foto_RobertaRoberta was born a communicator, according to her astrological birth chart.  She’s a Gemini with Virgo rising, both signs ruled by Mercury, the planet of communication. Believe it or not, she did, in fact, embrace communication in everything she chose to do in her professional life. Roberta majored in Journalism but soon discovered interpreting and fell in love with it. She’s been a passionate interpreter, an occasional translator, and an amateur writer for almost ten years. She’s spent a great deal of her career in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she’s had the opportunity to work in different sectors ranging from oil and gas to sports and medicine. As fate would have it, she ended up specializing in interpreting for motivational speakers, gurus, and coaches. She attended her first ATA Conference in 2007 in San Francisco and, ever since then, she’s had great respect and admiration for the work carried out by the ATA.  In 2016, Roberta joined PLD’s Leadership Council and, among other things, helped to organize the ATA PLD meet-ups, a new initiative that has met with great success.


Filipe Alverca  ◦ Brasília ◦  Brazil

Bio coming soon


Robert Finnegan ◦ California ◦  USA

Bio coming soon


Maria Helena Brenner-Kelly ◦ Florida ◦ USA

maria helenaMaria Helena embraced translation as a  second career, after working for 25 years  in Finance and IT in Brazil, Mexico and the US. Born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Statistics from the University of São Paulo, a graduate degree in business administration from Fundação Getúlio Vargas, and a certificate in translation from New York University. She is certified by the ATA (En>Pt) and works as freelance translator, editor and proofreader. She has been involved with PLD since the start of her career as a translator.


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