This post was significantly updated on June 7, 2018 at 9:40 am Central time

Trapani Hired as CEO

In a controversial move (look all over social media), RID’s President announced today that the hiring committee has selected Joey Trapani as the new RID CEO.

See Trapani's introductory video

What I thought prior to the announcement

When RID members received the two final candidates' introductory videos and resumes, I sent back a rather scathing response to RID. Here were my concerns:

  1. Trapani, from what I can tell, is not part of the deaf or interpreting community.
  2. Trapani has little to no professional experience in the deaf and interpreting world.
  3. When Trapani did work as an interpreter, it was as a non-certified interpreter, which runs counter to RID's own positions on interpreting.
  4. Trapani does not sign "natively" or "fluently." Its subjective, and I know he's a CODA, but that will affect the way he is perceived, particularly by the Deaf Caucus and deaf community at large.
  5. Ultimately, I responded by saying that I was not sure what qualifications he had in this role that even allowed him to make it to the final round.

Initial thoughts after the announcement videos

I hope the RID board will explain what qualifications and qualities Trapani demonstrated in the presentation and interview process.

I’ve been informed by several people I trust that they believe it was the right choice. I don’t have any inside information. Ultimately, the only way to evaluate the quality of the CEO will be over time as Tripani demonstrates his abilities.

President Walker's announcement video hits on two specific items that stood out to me about Trapani's qualifications -- previous organizational leadership and financial management. I get the impression that increasing revenue to balance the RID budget is a priority for the RID board at this time, despite having a COO position that could focus on internal systems and financies. While, the CEO position is traditionally seen as the "face" of an organization and externally-focused.

Thoughts after a few days have passed

As expected, this announcement is not going over well, particularly among the Deaf Caucus, deaf community in general, and even among many hearing interpreters. This raises two specific things that I would argue would have helped this process (in hindsight):

  1. Have the Deaf Caucus Chair sit on the hiring committee.
  2. Have the interviews be open meetings. Interviews can be public. There is no requirement or confidentiality in the hiring process for this type of position. If people could see the interviews, presentations, and Q&A, it would have provided much more buy-in from all of the community.

Emory David Dively

Emory is an NIC: Master ASL interpreter, has operated small and large agencies, and consulted with agencies across the US. He has an MA in Communication & Leadership from Gonzaga University.