Christine Smith

Christine Smith

Membership co-chair (New Zealand)

Christine, founder at Clearspace in New Zealand, is a writer and plain language practitioner with more than 20 years’ experience in creative and business communications.

Christine advocates for plain language with the country’s political and business leaders. She has helped many organisations to develop a culture of clear, consistent, and on-brand communications.

One of her favourite things to do is to walk in New Zealand’s native forests and listen to the birds sing.

Ingrid Olsson

Ingrid Olsson

Membership co-chair (Sweden)

Ingrid is a plain language consultant with a degree from Stockholm university. Since 2012 she has worked at the Language Council of Sweden as one of two language advisors responsible for the Swedish plain language work. Before that, she was a plain language advisor at the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority.

Ingrid is also president of Samspråk, the official organization for plain language practitioners of Swedish public authorities.

Ingrid loves her cat Moppe, her grandkids and spending time outdoors. She also loves social media and plain language conferences, and hopes to meet you there!

Claudia Poblete Olmedo

Claudia Poblete Olmedo

Publications co-chair, Communications (Chile)

Claudia has been a member of PLAIN since 2010 and adviser for the Plain Language Committee for the Chilean judicial system. She is a plain language consultant for several government bodies and the co-founder of the Plain Language Network, Chile.

Claudia wants to support PLAIN´s objectives and its growth around the world. Her job and publications include plain legal language projects in the judicial and parliament field and constructing plain language standards in Spanish and other languages.

She holds a PhD in Spanish Philology from Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Spain. She is professor and head of Communications and Professional Abilities department of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaiso in Chile.

Hannah Sapunor-Davis

Hannah Sapunor-Davis

Publications co-chair, Communications (Germany/United States)

Hannah is a freelance editor and English teacher. Originally from the US, she has lived in Italy and the Netherlands and is now based in Germany. She has a bachelor’s degree in History and a master’s degree in Arts Management, both of which have had a research focus on public art.

She has worked in cultural and non-profit organizations, where she honed skills in project management, marketing, and intercultural dynamics. She has been interested in plain language since 2016 when she led a project to simplify accreditation documents for an international education firm. She believes plain language is a powerful tool and should be the standard for engaging the public.

She is a member of ACES: The Society for Editing and the Society for Editors and Proofreaders. She has completed rigorous editing training with the Publishing Training Centre.

In her free time, Hannah is active in her local writers’ group, goes for walks in the forest with her dog, and enjoys hunting for antiques in flea markets and thrift stores.

Irene Stotko

Irene Stotko

Conference co-chair, Membership advisor (South Africa)

Irene is an enthusiastic proponent of plain language and a long-standing member of the Professional Editors’ Guild in South Africa. She works as a senior editor at Alexander Forbes Financial Services in Johannesburg.

Passionate about shaping clear communication in financial services, she presented Decluttering Communication: Plain Speaking, Plain Writing in 2017 and hosted What’s Trending in Plain Language? in 2018.

She enjoys being part of a creative team of writers and designers to make the ‘complicated simple, awesomely simple’ (Charles Mingus). She’s keen for South Africa to host a PLAIN conference.

Favorite activities are cycle commuting, hiking and camping. She dreams of cycling around the world.

Bede Sunter

Secretary, Professional development co-chair, Finance and governance advisor (Australia)

Bede is a technical communication, information design and information management professional with 20 years’ experience. He is currently Senior Content Officer in the work health and safety function of a government infrastructure development agency.

Bede is bringing plain language to safety documentation – a long overdue task.
Bede has been president of the Australian Society for Technical Communication and was involved in certification for technical communicators and forming the national organization. He has extensive experience in the business of communication and in managing a volunteer-resourced organisation.

Bede joined PLAIN’s Professional Development Committee in 2016. He is committed to progressing PLAIN’s professional development agenda, in particular establishing professional certification for plain-language practitioners.

In his spare time Bede enjoys playing music and doing cryptic crosswords.

Marie Antaya

Marie Antaya

Professional development co-chair (Canada)

Marie is an international speaker, author of four books, and educator in a variety of subjects including business communication. She has shared her expertise with clients in private, non-profit and public sector organizations leading numerous program and course development projects. Using her combined experiences, Marie designs and delivers informative, practical workshops tailored to the audience’s needs.

Marie has direct adult education training with her certificates in Teaching English as a Second Language, Workshop Facilitation, and Adult Education. Presently, Marie is the Manitoba Chapter Chair for the Institute for Performance and Learning. Also, she is a Certified Training and Development Professional.

Marie enjoys music, art and books. She also enjoys spending time outside with her family.

Vera Gergely

Vera Gergely

Communications chair, Website manager (Hungary)

Vera has worked in different fields and environments, from NGOs through multinational companies to startups.

They have experience in software testing, project management, organizing events, and technical writing, with a Masters in Economics.

In 2014 they embarked on the ambitious task of introducing plain language in Hungary. Since then, they have worked as a freelancer, offering plain language editing and training to companies. They partnered up with a news portal, and launched a plain language award. Vera also wrote a comprehensive guide on how to write clearly in Hungarian.

They love bouldering and reading science-fiction. They dream of a world where the right to understand is a universal right.

Diane Macgregor

Treasurer, Finance and governance advisor (Canada)

Diane is a plain language editor with Communications Nova Scotia, helping government specialists reach their target audiences with efficient, effective, human-centered documents.

She was involved in Alberta’s work to improve government communications and consumer contracts in the 1980s, and has been a plain language advocate ever since. She served as secretary on the founding board of PLAIN (2008–2010).

Diane dreams of spending a whole summer on a beach.

Margrethe Kvarenes

Margrethe Kvarenes

President, Finance and governance chair (Norway)

Margrethe is a manager at the Language Council of Norway, the Norwegian Government’s consultative body on language issues. As plain language advocate, lecturer, and author she has played a major part in establishing plain language in Norway’s civil service – a ten-year initiative which has set a new standard for public communication in Norway.

Her resume includes positions in international organizations and extensive Board experience from both non-governmental organizations and public sector. She has a great faith in PLAIN’s strategic plan, and her main goals for her term as President are to make more value for PLAIN’s members and to professionalize the organization and the field of plain language further.

Margrethe loves the outdoors, and hiking, mountain biking, and cross-country skiing in particular. She keeps a bevy of quails for their delicious eggs, but would like to upscale to hens in the future.