A Message from RID’s new CEO

Source: https://rid.org/june-29-ceo-message/

Hello, I’m Star Grieser and I’m RID’s new CEO.

I recognize that I’m coming in during a time where a lot is happening; a lot of changes within our organization.

I want to first thank RID Board President, Dr. Jonathan Webb. Last year he came to me after seeing my work with CASLI over the past 4 years, and said that he believes that I have the necessary skills and expertise to serve as the next CEO of RID and asked me to consider the promotion. I was awed. CASLI Board of Managers President, Miako Villanueva, also expressed her encouragement, faith and confidence in me in this new role. RID’s COO, Elijah Sow, as well as RID Headquarters and CASLI staff have all expressed their excitement and confidence in my promotion. I am truly honored and humbled for this opportunity.

At the same time, I am coming into this role with a lot of challenges ahead of me. RID recently sent out communications to our membership that all members of the current RID Board of Directors – the most diverse board in RID’s history, with 6 BIPOC, 3 Deaf, several are Deaf-parented – who have worked hard at transparency and enhancing member engagement – have announced their intention to complete their current terms and then resign on August 31, 2021. They will not continue their second term. You can visit our website for their videos and statements here.

The resignation of the board is heart-wrenching for this organization, for the profession and for the community. It has also promoted a lot of discussion on social media related to issues within our society, our communities, our profession and our organization: systemic oppression, audism and racism, and the many -isms. Also, horizontal violence and bullying. We’re seeing people express a wide range of emotions: anger, upset, confusion, grief. They’re expressing many opinions and perspectives that are constantly evolving as more discussions ensue and we learn more. These discussions are critical, we must look within at the heart of the issues, and figure out how to address them. The RID Board of Directors is planning a national virtual conference next week July 8 to 12th, with the theme, “Re-Orienting,” which is intent on continuing the discussion of systemic oppression and audism within RID – looking at our history, where we are now and what we want our organization to look like moving forward. We want you to join these conversations. See our website for more information on the national conference.

The current board is still hard at work within their roles. They’re planning a conference and doing the work they’ve set out to do. My role is to support them as they complete their work.

We will have special elections. We are working with a parliamentarian to make sure we adhere to our organization’s bylaws and to Robert’s Rules of Order. I am committed to communications and transparency and will share more information with you as that process is finalized.

When we have our new board, my role is to support them, to make sure they have the training and tools for effective leadership and governance within RID. I will be there to support the current board, the transition, and the new board in their governance and leadership work. As the CEO, I am a liaison between the board and headquarters staff, and I will continue working with RID headquarters and now overseeing their work.

Our headquarters staff are a group of bright, committed and diverse individuals; half Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing, half hearing, Black, and Asian American individuals, LGBTQIA+ individuals and other marginalized communities. RID staff are from all over North America bringing various skills, experience and perspectives to the organization, and I’m so fortunate to be working with them. I’m looking forward to overseeing their work and reviewing ways for improving their efficiency and success. I will be looking at all the programs within RID: Certification, the Certification Maintenance program, and the Ethical Practice Systems – reviewing these to see how we can strengthen these programs to fit our interpreters and to meet the needs of our consumers. I will be reviewing our communication strategies and public relations to ensure the public and our members have easy access to information about our organization and the profession. I will look at the financial stability and sustainability of this organization and develop ideas, strategies, and plans for ongoing stability and continuance of the organization for the long term.

I commit to maintaining a clear, healthy relationship with CASLI, the LLC under RID’s umbrella. While I am moving from my role within CASLI to my role within RID, my commitment as CEO is toward working on clear boundaries yet a collaborative, supportive relationship as CASLI focuses on administering tests and we focus on certification through our operating agreement. We want to support CASLI’s continued success in administering and developing their standardized, reliable and most importantly, psychometrically valid, exams.

I want to strengthen our relationships with volunteer leadership within Affiliate Chapters – which are critical to RID – who we are and what we do, and will work with them to ensure our AC volunteer leaders have the training, tools and resources for effective governance and leadership for advancing the profession at the local and state levels.

We work with various committees, task forces, councils, caucuses, and member sections. Everyone involved in volunteer leadership and volunteer work roles are all committed to the important work of RID. My role is to look at how to improve communication and efficiency in their work and their roles and help them be more successful in the work they contribute towards the advancement of the profession by realizing RID’s vision and mission statements in alignment with our strategic planning.

I will also be looking at our membership and public engagement. Whether that be at the individual level and offering professional development, as well as at the community and local levels and providing resources for advocacy and information and enhancing interpreter services and communications access. I will be looking at building relationships with sister organizations and stakeholders and strategizing how we can work together to enhance the profession.

We will work towards heightening public opinion and perceptions about our work and the interpreting profession. We must spotlight best practices for using interpreters within the media. I will look at strategies for expanding the pool of and promoting the visibility of our Deaf interpreters and our Black, Brown, Indigenous and AAPI interpreters.

We all have a lot of work to do individually, as a community, at the organizational level, and as an entire profession. All of this work is for the advancement of the interpreting profession for the benefit of the Deaf community… the very people we serve.

Please join us in that work. I’m very much looking forward to working with all of you.

Thank you.

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