Board of directors

Joanna Richardson

Profile picture of Joanna Richardson, PLAIN President

President (Argentina)

With a degree in Spanish, Portuguese & Latin American Literature from King’s College, London, Joanna is a British national who has made her home in Argentina.

For nearly 2 decades Joanna taught plain English at Argentina’s leading law firm: Marval O’Farrell Mairal, and she now works freelance training professionals around the world in clear communications skills. A long standing member of both Clarity and PLAIN, Joanna served on the board of PLAIN from 2012-2018, first in Communications and for her last year of service as President of PLAIN. She also serves on the Observatorio de Lenguaje Claro de la Facultad de Derecho. Joanna is pleased to have been appointed President of PLAIN for a second time, and looks forward to welcoming the plain language community to Buenos Aires at PLAIN’s 2023 conference.

In her spare time Joanna enjoys going to the ballet at Buenos Aires’s beautiful Teatro Colón and making chutney.

Torunn Reksten

profile picture of Torunn Reksten PLAIN Vice President

Vice President (Norway)

Torunn Reksten is a plain language expert at the Language Council of Norway.

As a plain language advocate, lecturer, editor and author since 2008 she has played a central part in building plain language awareness and competence – an initiative which has set a new standard for public communication in Norway.

Torunn represents the Norwegian standardization body to ISO 24995—Plain Language and serves on the Drafting Committee of ISO Working Group 11 for the standard. She has also project-managed the implementation of the Norwegian Language Act, which contains a plain language section. She headed the Programming Committee for the PLAIN 2019 conference in Oslo and is in charge of the Language Council’s plain language strategies. Torunn is passionate about innovation, service design and good user experience. If you can’t find her, look in the nearest yarn store.

Bede Sunter

Secretary, Professional development, Finance and governance (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.

Nicole Watkins Campbell

Nicole Watkins Campbell

Treasurer, Finance and governance (Canada)

Nicole is a freelance editor and plain language consultant. During 30 years with the Nova Scotia government, she worked to make communication clear and effective. She led a plain language policy committee and edited print and web materials in nearly every area of life that a provincial government touches.

This included creating plain language materials for legislation and helping to make the legislative process more accessible. Nicole has edited bylaws and policies for not-for-profit organizations and public legal information and apps on wills, powers of attorney, and personal directives to make them clearer for average readers. She is working on plainer information to help investors understand their rights and training on workplace sexual harassment.

Dominiek Braet

Dominiek Braet

Professional development, Membership (Belgium)

Dominiek is a plain language editor and trainer with over 20 years of experience. He works as a head of client communication at a global financial services company. Dominiek also shares his experience via speeches and training with one goal: showing that plain language benefits both the reader and the writer in every sector, and across all types of communication.

Dominiek is fascinated about how the value of plain language goes far beyond language: strengthening brands and making relationships with clients and citizens more level, open and honest. And likewise, the impact of non-plain language on relations.

Dominiek enjoys bike rides with his wife and friends, and has a keen interest in art deco.

Heloisa Fischer

Membership, Regional Development (Brazil)

Heloisa is a Brazilian journalist and educator, owner of Comunica Simples consultancy. She became involved with Plain Language in 2016. Before that, she had been an influential communicator in the classical music sector. She wrote the first book in Portuguese on public communication with the plain language perspective. In her Masters in Design, she researched the impact of writing style on the comprehensibility of digital public services.

Heloisa created a method of teaching plain language. A free online course on her method at the National School of Public Administration has attracted more than 20,000 students. She is the co-founder Rede Linguagem Simples Brasil, a network focused on the public sector.

Heloisa lives in Rio and loves listening to music, reading, and going to art events.


Melinda Melcher

Melinda Melcher

Membership, Regional development (Switzerland & Europe)

Melinda Melcher is the CEO of simpletext GmbH, a company she founded in 2016 providing plain language consultancy and project execution. Before that, Melinda managed a technical communication agency. She studied marketing and business, IT, social sciences and holds various executive certificates such as “Artificial Intelligence: Implications for Business Strategy” from the MIT Sloan School of Management. Melinda also works at using plain language principles in the field of machine learning (automated translation) and UX (user experience).

During the last ten years she led various communication projects. Recently, she successfully finalized a pioneer project in Switzerland called “city for all”. This included implementing an overall plain language concept, training writers and rewriting a huge amount of existing web texts. The project also gained substantial local media coverage. Melinda is not only promoting plain language in Europe and Switzerland to help governments, non-governmental organizations and firms to appreciate the benefits of plain language, she also fosters peer-to-peer engagement.

Melinda loves her cats Mimiko and Casionrani, her Turkish partner and spending time outdoors. She also enjoys painting, her creative writing workshops, plain language conferences, and is looking forward to meeting like-minded plain language enthusiasts online or locally.

Ingrid Olsson

Ingrid Olsson

Membership (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 grandkids and spending time outdoors. She also loves social media and plain language conferences, and hopes to meet you there!

Romina Marazzato Sparano

Romina Marazzato Sparano

Communications, Professional development (USA, Argentina, Italy)

Romina is a plain language expert, translator, and writer with over 20 years of experience in medical localization and health literacy.

Her firm, Plainlii, provides language services to diverse organizations, including Fortune 500 companies. Within Plainlii, she provides training to professionals worldwide, as Language Compass. She is also part of Plain Language Academy, where she teaches writing strategies and health literacy and will also be launching Academy in Spanish (Academia de Language Claro) in 2021. As an educator, Romina designed the Master of Arts in Translation/Localization Management at Middlebury Institute of International Studies and has taught translation and translation technology courses.

She has been a leader and active member in other professional associations, including ATA (American Translators Association) and SEA (Spanish Editors Association). She works on language standards development at ASTM and ISO and was a 2020 English and Spanish judge for the ClearMark Awards sponsored by the Center for Plain Language. Romina is finishing a book about writing strategies and would love to hear from writers and readers about examples and topics of interest.

On a personal note, Romina is a mom of 3 and enjoys trying local foods and dancing wherever she goes!

Irene Stotko

Irene Stotko

Conference (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.

Natalia Torro

Natalia Torro

Conference, Regional development (Argentina/The Netherlands)

Natalia is a freelance legal translator. She was born and raised in Buenos Aires and is now based in The Netherlands.

She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Legal Translation and a Master’s Degree in Translation. She speaks English, Spanish, French and Dutch.

She became interested in clear communication in 2017 when she wrote her Master’s thesis on translation, plain language and privacy policies. She believes clear communication means empathy, empowerment, inclusion and accessibility. One of her goals as Board Member is to contribute to the development of plain language in Spanish-speaking countries. 

Natalia’s a big fan of music. In her free time, you will find her in a record store or at a concert.

Lodewijk Van Noort

Conference, Communications (The Netherlands)

After working in commercial communication, Lodewijk van Noort realized his heart was in communication for a social purpose. He switched first to the Reading & Writing Foundation and now to the municipality of The Hague.

In 2017, Lodewijk received the title of Dutch Ambassador Clear Language for the Government. This resulted in the position of leader of the Dutch Clear Language Campaign (Direct Duidelijk) at the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations in 2018 and 2019. In 2020, he was a finalist in the Dutch Communication man/woman 2020 election.