Board of Directors


About the NAIE Board

The NAIE Board will act on behalf of the association by actively participating in organizational planning and decision making, acting as trustees, and ensuring a sustainable future by practicing sound, ethical, and legal governance.

The NAIE Bylaws outlines minimum qualifications to be a board member while the Policies and Procedures Manual (PPM) describes roles, responsibilities, and expertise necessary for each board position to fulfill NAIE’s mission. 

**UPDATE JULY 2021**

NAIE is going through a period of transition as an organization with onboarding the services of an association management company to provide administrative services. During this time of transformation, NAIE has appointed an Interim Board of Directors to focus on updating NAIE’s bylaws, policies and procedures, and board structure to reflect current needs of the organization. For specific questions please email   

Board Members

Stephanie Zito, MS, NIC

Stephanie (aka “Zito”) hails from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and currently works for the National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes (NDC).  Zito has been ceritified interpreter and C-Print captionist for over ten years. After receiving her Bachelor’s in American Sign Language Interpreting at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she went on to earn her Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management and Leadership. She served in a variety of leadership capacities with local, state, and national organizations. 

Deborah Cates, PhD

Dr. Cates (Deb) is the Sign Language Program Coordinator at the Iowa School for the Deaf. She oversees staff sign language development, the administration of the SLPI program, and educational interpreter professional development in the state of Iowa. Deb has a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of California, Davis, where she studied sign language structure and processing under Dr. David Corina. She has a long-time affiliation with Gallaudet University’s Science of Learning Center on Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2). Her research interests include the relationship between form and meaning in signed languages, bilingual education, and the cognitive demands of simultaneous interpreting. She actively develops research-based practices for interpreter skill development. Deb also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Deaf Studies with an Interpreting Emphasis and a Master’s degree in Linguistics from California State University, Northridge. She has been in the field of educational interpreting in middle school, high school and university settings since 2003. She is a licensed interpreter in the state of Iowa with her EIPA score of 4.7 in Secondary PSE, as well as a licensed interpreter in the state of Nebraska with her Mid-America QAST Level V in Interpreting.

Pat Himes, Colorado, AEI


Pat currently serves as an EIPA Proctor in the State of Colorado.  She also serves as a mentor for Educational Interpreters through the Colorado Department of Education and as a resource to CDE on issues related to Educational Interpreters.

Jodi Upton, BS, Ed:K-12


Jodi has been an Educational Interpreter for the past 12 years and also works as a community and cruise interpreter, as well as serving as the Interpreter Coordinator for The Colonnade Theater in Ringgold, GA.  She has her BS in Sign Language Interpreting and is currently finishing her Masters in Interpreting Studies from Western Oregon University.  Jodi holds Ed:K-12 certification through RID, CoreCHI medical interpreting certification, and is licensed in Tennessee and Georgia.  She has been an EIPA Local Test Administrator for both written and performance assessments for the past 8 years.  She is the Co-Coordinator for Southeast Interpreters Network, a group that provides free professional development for Educational Interpreters in the southeast.  

Keith Burisek, BA, BEI Basic 

After graduating from the interpreter program from NTC, in Wausau, WI in 2010, Keith began working for the Wisconsin School for the Deaf as a teaching assistant. He also worked for the Wisconsin Lions Camp. During his time at WSD, he was able to chaperone a trip to Gallaudet University, as well as to Paris, France with the first Deaf French Student Exchange pilot program in 2011. Keith also worked in Eau Claire, WI as an educational and freelance interpreter working in a variety of settings and completed his BA interpreting degree in 2014 through Siena Heights University.  He joined WESP-DHH Outreach in 2018 as the Interpreting Specialist supporting Educational Interpreters throughout Wisconsin through mentoring, workshops, advocacy, and assessments as a proctor for the EIPA through BoysTown Research Hospital. Keith has also achieved EIPA 4.2 and BEI Basic (community and educational license in WI). In 2019, Keith became a state ambassador for NAIE. Keith is married to his beautiful wife Angela. They have one dog, Bonnie, and a cat, Beau, who make their house a home in Janesville, WI. 

William vonVorys-Burke

William vonVorys-Burke (“Will”) is a Jersey boy at heart and now an interpreter in Maryland and the Washington, DC region. Will has been working as a professional interpreter for nearly a decade in K-12, higher education, VRS, and performing arts. He brings to the board an educational background in business management, marketing, and multimedia technology. Will most recently was the Marketing Coordinator for NAIE’s Professional Development Committee.

Allyson Caruthers, BA

Allyson currently holds a QAST, EIPA 3.1 and an Arkansas license. After graduating from The University of Arkansas at Little Rock with her BA in ASL/English Interpretation, she has gone on to work in the local Deaf community in Arkansas. She is also a Support Service Provider (SSP) through Arkansas Rehabilitation Services (ARS) for individuals who are DeafBlind. Allyson has worked in a variety of settings. Currently she works as an Educational Interpreter for a public school district in Central Arkansas. Her favorite setting to interpret is Education and working with the DeafBlind community. Allyson currently serves on several committees for the Arkansas Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (ARID). Allyson serves on the DeafBlind Camp Planning Committee for Arkansas DeafBlind Community (ADBC). She also is the Arkansas State Ambassador for NAIE. Allyson currently lives in Central Arkansas. She has two dogs, Levi and Rudy.


See more about the History of NAIE