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.
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 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 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.
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. Since 2020 Vera also chairs the International Plain Language Federation.
They love bouldering and reading science-fiction. They dream of a world where the right to understand is a universal right.
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 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!
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.
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 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 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.