Dr Jonathan Webb has finally come out with the announcement of the new CEO for Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf [RID].

Greetings RID members and our Deaf communities! 

I’ve got some really fun and exciting news to share with you all, and I’ll take the opportunity to explain a little bit about what’s gone on to bring us to this point. As you all know, RID identifying/retaining a CEO has been exceptionally difficult. There’s no one singular cause for this; the situation is just truly complex. This has been an ongoing issue for a while now. As you recall, in 2019 when this new board came in we were under the assumption that we would be making a hire relatively quickly. The previous board had essentially done all of the legwork on advertisement, recruitment, and developing a strong process to actually get a CEO in. Our board arrived in the middle of this process. Unfortunately as we proceeded we found that the process had gone awry. I would love to get into the details of that, but I’m not able to right now. Ultimately we identified a problem, a serious problem, and it existed within the organization. We had phenomenal candidates but there was a serious issue within RID that precluded us from being able to offer the position. So, in November of 2019 it was announced that the CEO search had failed. 

Most of you are likely aware, if you’ve been to the town halls or monthly board meetings, that the board has taken a serious look at RID and the feasibility of recruiting and retaining a CEO. This has been an important part of the process because this failure was not the first, but it was the last of a series of failed searches. Frankly, the board determined not to redo this process and magically expect a different result but instead figure out what we could do to actually get the result we were after. The result that we knew we wanted, and knew the membership wanted, was to have a CEO. So we took a step back and looked at the big picture and explored how we could hire a new CEO without engaging in a process that was both expensive and time intensive and yet yielded no results. As we looked at different strategies, it was clear to us that one approach was to simply recognize that as a board of directors we could engage in identifying and targeting a possible candidate and prepare them specifically to take the position. So, that’s what we did. And as I mentioned, we’ve talked about this process from time to time and conveyed that we have identified a CEO. Many of you are also aware that the start date of the CEO is July 1st of this year. 

This particular messaging about the CEO is different though because this is a celebratory one where I get to announce who this next CEO actually is- Ms. Star Grieser. 

We recognize that for some of you this news may come as a shock. For others, we acknowledge the great excitement you might be experiencing at this moment. And of course for some of us the very valid first thought might be “what about CASLI?”. Rest assured, we’ve been working on this for well over a year now. We’ve been strategic in how we’ve gone about this and we’ve followed a clear process to get us to this point where we knew both RID and CASLI would benefit. From a board perspective, we had to consider who would be equipped to come in and immediately take leadership. Who already has a great deal of trust with the membership? Who would actually be positioned to have the membership and volunteer leadership willingly follow? We believe the clear answer is Star. When you look at the work that director Grieser has done with CASLI, her personal life, and her professional work over the years, it’s clear that she has the heart, the mind, and the integrity to ensure that RID’s mission and vision are upheld. 

We hope you join the board in excitement around this auspicious event. Now with that excitement, please remember Star won’t be starting until July 1st. We know the temptation might be for some to reach out to Star in the capacity of her being the CEO. I’d ask however, that you give Star some time to acclimate to the position before we begin inundating her with requests. And of course, July 1st she will officially be the CEO, so if at that point you have requests to be made you can certainly do so at that time. For now though, we hope that you send her all of the well wishes and positive vibes available so that she knows how much we care for her. 

Once again, we hope you’re as thrilled about this news as we are in sharing the news. Certainly some of you are breathing a sigh of relief, and we want you to know that the board has had many sighs of relief during this process. The feeling is mutual! We made it! Thank you for reading and please spread the word. Be well.

Star Grieser has done a meet and greet video for the community to introduce herself as the newest addition to the Executive team of RID.

“Interpreters have a major impact because of communication access. And the quality of that communication access is important.” -Star Grieser

Hi, my name is Star Grieser, and I am RID’s new CEO!

My journey has really been very common, and typical of many deaf individuals. I grew up in a hearing family as the only deaf person. I was in a mainstream program. When I got to high school my teacher of the Deaf was Deaf himself and he was the one who led me to the Deaf community and exposed me to Deaf culture and I knew immediately I was in the right place. These were my people, you know? There was that instant connection. When it was time for college I was deciding between RIT/NTID and Gallaudet. I decided to attend NTID, 

Every job I have had has in one way or another related to work with Deaf people or for Deaf people. Before I came to CASLI I worked in an Interpreter Education Program for a community college for 11 years. That position was full time, before that I was adjunct. I’ve also worked in Deaf education, in the mental health field, and so many other avenues related to Deaf users and interpreters. And being a Certified Deaf Interpreter, I have the added experience of working with hearing interpreters as well. 

Some people might look at certification and think, ah yes. I have arrived! But it’s really just the beginning. Certification is the beginning of the profession, not the end.  

“…support linguistic rights of all Deaf people as human rights, equal to those of users of spoken languages.” -Vision Statement

Everything that I have done, and that I have been doing has always been about Deaf rights and Deaf advocacy as the end goal. Always. So this position is an opportunity that goes directly in line with achieving that very goal. It’s exactly what I do.

I really want to push the profession of interpreting and take it to the next level. Make it more standardized in our country. To make that push for communication access and rights for Deaf people, that is the goal. That is always the goal. To elevate the Deaf community. And how do we do that? Through RID, through certification.

I have the ability to learn very quickly. And I have a complete understanding of the profession, complete understanding of the Deaf community, understanding of the organizational culture; I know RID. 

One of my main goals is to reach out to important stakeholders. Communities who work with Deaf people or for Deaf people, and those who are Deaf themselves. I want to reach out and see how we can broaden our team. Because everything we do is with the intention of elevating the Deaf community. It’s always a collaborative effort. One person can’t do this alone, one organization can’t do this alone. It has to be a complete collaborative effort. So I’m really looking forward to developing relationships with those people, reaching out and …… . See how we can do this together.

Elijah: Hello! I am really excited and am truly looking forward to working with Star. I really don’t think we could have found a better person. Thank you Star for accepting this responsibility and I’m looking forward to working with you!

Star: Hey you know this means I’m your boss…   

Miako Villanueva the CASLI President posted a video response to the announcement congratulating Grieser.

Hello. I am Miako Villanueva, President of the Board for CASLI. 

As was just announced, Star Grieser, Director of Testing for CASLI, has accepted a new position as CEO of RID. The CASLI Board wishes to add our congratulations and best wishes to Star as she embarks on this new endeavor.  

It has been my sincere pleasure these past four years to work closely with Star in my role in Board leadership with her at the helm of the CASLI staff as Director. I can’t thank her enough for her dedication, her creativity and innovation, and the deep level of care she brings to her work on behalf of the interpreting field in serving Deaf communities. The amount she has done in support of CASLI has been truly tremendous, and her tireless work deserves our deepest gratitude. 

This announcement also means that the position of CASLI’s Director of Testing will now be open. Please watch for an official announcement soon with the position description and call for applications. When you see the announcement, please do consider applying and/or spread the word to others you think would be a good fit in this important leadership role for CASLI. We want to bring on the best possible person to lead CASLI into our next stage. 

With Star moving to her new role, the current CASLI staff will be taking on additional duties to ensure continuity of operations throughout the transition. I want to especially thank CASLI’s Testing Coordinator, Sean Furman, for the work he has done leading up to this shift and his ongoing support that will ensure CASLI’s level of service throughout the coming changes.

Congratulations again, Star, and we look forward to working closely with you in your new role!