Greetings RID Members,
My name is Joey Trapani, I am honored to have been selected as a final candidate for the position of Chief Executive Officer of Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. When asked to submit a message to the Membership, I wanted to first take the opportunity to thank you for the work you do every day. As a member of a Deaf family, and a consumer of your services, I know that it is a difficult job, and at times a thankless one. You provide a service that is essential to multiple communities, and has a tremendous impact on lives, for that I thank you.
To provide insight into my background and interest in this position, I currently hold the position of Vice President of Operations for Diamond Healthcare, a Behavioral Health Management Company, successful in showing financial and quality improvements to hospitals and facilities across the United States. Prior to this role, I held various leadership positions in the industry, most notably, I spent four years as the CEO of Poplar Springs Hospital, in Richmond, VA. Poplar Springs Hospital serves over 3,500 patients yearly, and employs nearly 500 employees. As mentioned earlier, I am also the fortunate member of a family with two Deaf parents, and three Certified Interpreters, including one Certified Deaf Interpreter. I have a personal connection to the vision of RID, with the unique opportunity to observe the field from three different perspectives; Executive, CODA, and for a short period of time as an Interpreter, although not as a member of RID. I truly enjoyed my short experience in the field as an interpreter, learned a lot in a short time, and developed an appreciation for the challenges of this profession. Experience in each of these categories has helped me to understand, and develop specific standards for interpreting services.
As a child of two Deaf parents who have consistently advocated for access to communication, I have observed firsthand the relationship between those who utilize sign language and those who use spoken language. As a result, my connection to this role is also very personal, and I would be remiss to not share these experiences. While not unique to me and my background, this particular experience truly drives my interest in this position. My father, throughout most of my life, has battled with health issues, spending time in and out of the hospital. As far back as I can remember, we have fought for appropriate interpreting services for him, ensuring that he received the care and communication he needed, and as we all know unfortunately, we will continue to do so. One time in particular I remember, my father was admitted for a surgical procedure. Upon completion, he was rolled out of the Operating Room, still feeling the severe effect of anesthesia. The physician and nursing staff, understandably, needed to communicate with him, but there was no interpreter present. In that moment I was asked, and undoubtedly stepped in to assist, as happens all too often. I think about that situation, the conflict of interest issues, safety issues for all involved, and the trauma that could’ve been caused to all parties, and apply them to this role. This is an opportunity for me to lead the advocacy efforts, support, and lobby for the crucial need for communication access to clients both Deaf and hearing. I can’t think of a role I’d be more motivated to succeed in.
My goals in this role are simple, though important to me. First, I look to take my experience in a for-profit world, and apply the skills I’ve learned in an organization that has a positive impact on a Culture that is important to me. Second, I seek to work with knowledgeable professionals in the industry to assist in raising the standard for communication access and services to all consumers. Third, I look to immerse myself and the organization into the Deaf Community and Industry through advocacy and leadership, and last I am eager to be in a Leadership position with a strong team. I employ an open door, team building philosophy built around goal-setting, accountability, and action. I believe that those standards are pillars in a successful organization, and I look forward to working to achieve those standards, elevating our organization through transparency, and feedback from our membership.
I am excited by this opportunity. It is rare that an organization’s mission and vision, align so well with a candidate’s cultural background, experience and expertise. I feel strongly that my executive experience and success rooted in quality assurance and accountability, aligned with my personal and professional connection to the Deaf Community and Interpreting Industry make me well suited for success in this role. If selected, I look forward to meeting with you, and I thank you for your support. As a consumer and a family member, I thank you again for what you do. You give me the opportunity to communicate with my family, and our consumers the opportunity to carry out important life events daily. You make this organization, and I look forward to working with you to achieve our goals.