Community Questions RID Motive Behind Rejection of Naomi for CEO
In February of 2018, Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) announced that their board came to a decision based on the recommendation of their members to change the executive director and deputy director positions into a CEO and COO position.
"RID has decided to reorganize slightly, changing the names and job descriptions for these positions. In effect, we are forming a more nimble “team” of people, each with their own responsibilities." RID CEO and COO Announcement
During this announcement, RID also clarified that the CEO focuses on visibility and community outreach while the COO focuses on day to day operations of RID. The main thing that RID emphasized their CEO would be responsible to do is, "They are the person that “shows up,” leading communities to celebrate when success occurs and guiding uncomfortable conversations when accessibility does not happen." RID
Shortly after this video was released, the search for their CEO began. The job description was posted on their website for further reference to individuals who were interested in interviewing for the position. The finalists were two individuals who did a video introduction of themselves for the interpreting community.
The first was Naomi Sheneman who has a Ph.D. in Interpreting and over 18 years of experience as an interpreter. Naomi highlights the fact that she grew up using interpreters and worked in the field for years as the reason why she would be a good fit for the position.
Joey Trapani, on the other hand, was presented himself as somebody with years of operational experience in the medical field. Joey has over 9 years of administrative experience at the CEO/COO/Director position almost all in medical settings.
Interpreters have admitted to not reviewing the candidates' CV or resume or even watched their introduction videos before voting. So why would they tell the author of Finish Enough that Joey is more qualified for the position? The community feels rejected and angry because yet another qualified deaf person did not get a job that they would've excelled in because of their background, however, was this truly a move on RID's part to reject the community the way it has been accused of?
If Joey was selected for the role (which has not been announced yet). Does this mean that he's more qualified for the position? People who selected him for the job seem to think that he would do a better job of representing the interpreting community in the role that they selected him for. The question still remains, would Naomi perhaps be better suited for the COO position if it is still open, after all that is the role that's responsible for day to day operations and would benefit from somebody that has 18 years of interpreting experience. The CEO, according to RID, is basically responsible to go out and apologize to people when bad things happen and smile and wave when good things happen.
Naomi announced on her facebook that she was not selected for the position so there is no clear-cut answer of who got selected to be the CEO of RID, however, one thing is clear, this has upset quite a few people.