Organization Structure

The California Healthcare Interpreting Association (CHIA) is a 501 (c)(3) public charity organization governed by the Board of Directors since its inception in 1996. 

Over the years the organization has changed its structure in order to adapt to new practices and trends. The following information is from our current Board Manual, which was reviewed in May 2015. 

Board of Directors

CHIA's Board of Directors may have between 8 and 17 members, all of whom must be current members of the organization. Board service is voluntary and terms are two years. In Addition, two students currently enrolled in an HCI program in the state may be elected to serve one-year terms.

Officer Positions

Officer positions as specified in the bylaws include the President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary. All officers, with the exception of the President, serve one-year terms at the pleasure of the Board and may be reelected with no limit on consecutive terms. The Board has developed additional practices to ensure smooth transitions from one President to another and to ensure that new leaders will be ready to assume organizational responsibilities. 


According with Article VI, Section 1 of CHIA's bylaws: The Board may, by resolution adopted by majority of the number of directors then in office,... create one or more committees,... to serve at the pleasure of the Board. Each committee is chaired or co-chaired by board members.

Effective January 1, 2012, the following shall be the standing committees:

  1. Steering
  2. Finance
  3. Education
  4. Conference, and
  5. Communications

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee has the authority to act on behalf of the Board on all matters except: amendments to the bylaws, mission rewrite, incurring corporate indebtedness, and budget approval.

The President serves as chair or co-chair of the committee. The other members of the committee are the President-elect, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and one other Board member chosen by the board.

Steering Committee Members 2017 - 2018:

Tatiana Foerster - Chair

Jose Garcia

Michelle Scott

Matthew Riley

Mel Nehleber

Winnie Heh


Finance Committee

The Finance Committee is responsible for the financial oversight of the organization. Committee members review financial statements, contracts, budgets, and financial trends of the organization, and the committee presents financial reports and recommendations to the Board. The Treasurer serves as chair or co-chair of the committee.

Finance Committee Members 2017 - 2018:

Matthew Riley - Chair

Tatiana Foerster

Jose Garcia

Melvin Nehleber


Education Committee

The Education Committee is responsible for ensuring that there are regular trainings offered in different locations in the State throughout the calendar year. Presently called Regional Trainings (formerly chapter's meetings), these trainings have become second in importance to the annual conference and must remain a responsibility of this Committee to ensure their quality, frequency and overall benefit to the membership. 

Education Committee members should have experience or knowledge in the training of healthcare interpreters, either as an instructor, researcher, or language coach.

Education Committee Members 2018 - 2019:

Michelle Scott - Chair

Tatiana Foerster

Jose Garcia

Claudia Ribota Lindgren

Margaret Loo

Lourdes Cerna

Nick Arce

Lezak Shallat

Valentina Lunati

Alexiz Martinez*

Araceli (Sally) Murphy*

Elena Morrow*

Marisol Lomeli*

Mateo Rutherford*

* Volunteer member

Conference Committee

The Conference Committee is charged with planning and coordinating all facets of the annual conference, ensuring that tasks are assigned and completed by deadlines. The President-Elect chairs or co-chairs the Conference Committee.

Committee Members 2017 - 2018:

Jose Garcia - Chair

Tatiana Foerster

Michelle Scott

Daniel Tamayo

Gayle Tang

Melven Nehleber

Nirupama Deshpande


Communications Committee

The Communications Committee works closely with staff and Board to ensure that CHIA's activities, publications, and positions are adequately communicated to members, prospective members, industry stakeholders, policy makers and funders.

The Public Relations Coordinator chairs the Communications Committee, and coordinates the committee's activities as described above. 

Communications Committee Members 2018 - 2019:

Nick Arce 

Carlos Garcia

Jordana Martinez

Lezak Shallat 

Tatiana Foerster

Jose Garcia

Kamara Licea*

Alexis Martinez*

* Volunteer member

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