Founding Members

CoPTIC America salutes CoPTIC’s founding members for the arduous work they engaged in for the good of linguists in California and those who work with them. While they have moved on from their positions, they remain our biggest supporters as we continue to fill the advocacy space for translators and interpreters nationwide.

Katharine Allen


Katharine Allen is Co-President of InterpretAmerica, an organization dedicated to raising the profile of the interpreting profession. She has over 3 decades experience as a practicing interpreter and translator, and is a recognized trainer, author and public speaker. Katharine lives in rural California and is passionate about obtaining full recognition for interpreters from across the interpreting profession.  

Joyce Altman

Laguna Beach

California State Court Certified Spanish/English Interpreter

Laura Burian


Laura Burian is the Dean of the Graduate School of Translation, Interpretation, and Language Education, Professor of Chinese/ English translation and interpretation at the prestigious Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS), and is an active freelance conference interpreter.

Lupe Manriquez


Lupe Manriquez began interpreting late 1989, studied interpreting at the Southern California School of Interpretation and has been a California State Medical Certified Spanish/English Interpreter since 1994. Aside from interpreting in medical settings, Lupe has also helped bridge communication in the private sector, over the phone, for vocational rehabilitation, at conferences, and performs written translations. She has been the chief interpreter for a successful orthopedic group of physicians in Southern California for 24 years and over the past 28, has worked with the federal Social Security Administration Office of Hearings and Appeals. Over the past 5 years, she has enjoyed interpreting in healthcare.  Lupe held the position as Membership Chair for CWCIA, which played a vital role in making changes for interpreters in Worker’s Compensation.

Maria Palacio

Hacienda Heights

Maria Palacio is a California State Administrative Hearing Certified Spanish/English Interpreter. She has been professionally providing translation and interpretation services as an independent contractor since 1991. Maria attended California State University at Fullerton and also the Southern California School of Interpretation. Maria provides language interpretation and translation primarily in legal, business and educational settings.

Lilia Santana

Thousand Oaks

Lilia Santana earned a Bachelor’s degree from UCLA in 1980 and later became a credentialed teacher. In 1994 Lilia obtained her Administrative Hearing Certification, began providing interpreting services in the Workers’ Compensation field and later became certified as a Court Interpreter in 2013.  Lilia continues to provide interpretation in both Superior Court and the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board in Oxnard, California.

Beatriz Ugarte

Palo Alto

Beatriz Ugarte is a graduate of San Francisco State University, has been a California Administrative Hearing Certified and Court Certified Interpreter for 25 years.  She is also a Stanford Hospital Medical Certified Interpreter.

Wilhelm Weber

Carmel Valley

Wilhelm Weber is a graduate of the Interpreters’ School at the University of Geneva/Switzerland. He has worked in Europe and the US in the private market, for United Nations organizations and performed countless diplomatic interpretations between 1964 and 1978. Mr. Weber was an instructor at the University of Geneva for 14 years, the Dean of the Graduate School of Translation and Interpretation at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS) from 1978 to 1992.

He has lectured extensively on the profession in the USA, Asia, Europe, and Latin America, was former Executive Secretary of the Association of International Conference Interpreters (AIIC) from  1972 to 1975, adviser to the International Olympic Committee for interpretation at 15 Olympic Games (Chief Interpreter at 7: between 1984 and 2016) and is a current Council member of The American Association of Language Specialists (TAALS).