Board Bios


Tim Smith is from Staten Island, New York. He has been involved with the local Deaf community since 2011. Tim first attended the College of Staten Island where he was first exposed to ASL and eventually  served as Vice President of the ASL Club and as a member of the board of directors for the local chapter of NYPIRG. During this time, Tim met and became involved with the local Deaf community and decided to dedicate his life to this field.

Tim then attended the Seymour Joseph institute of American Sign Language and graduated in 2015. Within the last few years he wanted to find a degree that would help him elevate his understanding of the populations he works alongside. In 2019 Tim earned 64 college credits in 12 months from classes while he worked full time, graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Human Services and became NIC Certified.

Tim joined Metro RID in 2017 and has found a passion for serving the community anyway he can. He has previously served on the NYC Metro RID Board as a Director at Large, Secretary, and Vice President. His goal for this year is to work together with the community lead organizations to collaborate to make New York City an example of equity and understanding. 

Fun Fact: In his spare time when not taking care of his bearded dragons, Tim likes to learn different hobbies with his most recent being sleight of hand/magic tricks. 

Contact Tim at

VICE PRESIDENT - Liz Lauria M.s. ed, NIC

Liz is thrilled to join the New York City Metro RID board as Vice President! For the past year,  she  has been working closely with the Metro RID board to provide opportunities for  Interpreting  students to engage with local NYC Deaf and Interpreting organizations. 

 With a strong belief in the proverb, “It takes a village [to raise an interpreter]” Liz looks  forward to furthering her involvement with Metro RID and the NYC community to provide  opportunities for students and new interpreters to experience growth in a safe and healthy  environment. 

 After working for a decade in Deaf Services and recently as the Project Director of the  LaGuardia ASL-English Interpretation Program (AEIP), Liz has a wealth of experiences in  services for Deaf adults and Deaf Education, ASL-English interpretation and project        management. She obtained her Masters degree in Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education from CUNY Hunter College in 2011 then later went on to complete the LaGuardia AEIP in 2015. She has been a Nationally Certified Interpreter for the Deaf since 2018 and for the past four years she has been working as a mentor and tutor for interpreting students and new interpreters. Liz often interprets in postsecondary and graduate level education, K-12 education, and VRS. She enjoys volunteering for Deaf theater, Deaf athletes, and community gatherings.

Fun Fact: Liz excels in Harry Potter knowledge and The Wizarding World trivia. When not working, she can be found curled up with her nose stuck in a book, researching books, or rearranging her ever growing to-be-read pile

Contact Liz at


Jon has been a member of Metro RID for several years but is a rookie on the Board. He grew up in the Bay Area, California in a deaf family. He graduated from Gallaudet University and has had a variety of career experiences including working at the DCARA, a deaf services agency in California and teaching at MSSD, a deaf school in DC. Jon moved to NYC in 2007 and has been a full time freelance CDI since then. He specializes in legal interpreting. He also has coauthored a number of linguistics papers.

Fun fact: Jon enjoys thru-hiking. He has gone on several multi-day wilderness trips but still has trouble starting fires the old fashioned way.

Contact Jon at


Bram earned National Certification by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) as a sign-language interpreter in 2008.  He's been New York City Metro RID's Membership Chair since 2006; Recording Secretary and Board Member with New York Deaf Theatre from 2006-14; ASL Coordinator for Nicu's Spoon Theatre since 2005; and TOYS Theater's Media Relations Coordinator since 2001.  In addition, Bram has been coordinating monthly ASL-interpreted Services and Events for New York City's Town & Village Synagogue since 2005, for which the Synagogue recently won a Schechter Award from United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism's Metropolitan New York District, and also sometimes interprets there, too.

Contact Bram at

associate representative - Vacant

director at Large- Andria Alefhi (2021-2023)

Meet Andria Alefhi, Professional Development Committee co-chair (PDC) and Certification Maintenance Program (CMP) chair. She is a proud NYC Metro RID member and loves doing the behind the scenes work to keep our members in workshops and CEUs. Andria has been intimately involved with the Deaf community since 1999 starting in California, then Washington DC, and settling in NYC in 2006. She enjoys bringing people together with events such as Deaf is Not a Dirty Word, ASL Meditation with Irma and Andria, and is always up for a game night. She especially loves teaming with CDI’s. She has given professional workshops like "The Aided Community" and "Language Deprivation".

Fun Fact: Andria Is so ridiculously crafty. Andria can make clocks from postcards, book covers, coasters, and photos. She also loves karaoke.

Contact Andria at


Kelly is a proud graduate of LaGuardia Community College’s ASL-English Interpretation Program (Class of 2017) and has been working as a freelance interpreter since early 2018. She is thrilled to be in this field and loves working with NYC’s vibrant, rich and diverse Deaf Community! Kelly’s professional background includes a wealth of experience in hospitality, tourism and the performing arts. She is a licensed New York City tour guide and longtime member of SAG-AFTRA. Interim Director At Large is the first Board position Kelly has ever held. She is excited to use her unique strengths and experience to serve her wonderful colleagues and the amazing Deaf Community!

Contact Kelly at

Diana Abayeva - DIRECTOR AT LARGE (2021-2023)

Diana is new to Metro RID as a board member but definitely not new to the community. She has seen it all as a social worker and as a pre-certified Deaf interpreter. 

She was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan to flying hands. Moved to NYC at age four along with her Deaf family. You can say she is really a New Yorker. After graduating from Long Island University with a degree in Psychology, Diana quickly signed up for audiology related courses at Marymount Manhattan College. She studied linguistics, phonetics, speech science, and the like. She immersed herself into the auditory world as it was fascinating for her- and she also hoped to be a Deaf audiologist. However the universe had different plans for her. 

While working for FEGS (formerly NYSD), Diana began exploring the role of a Deaf Interpreter. She took several workshops and felt it was her true calling. Diana began interpreting for the community in the summer of 2014. The more she interpreted, the more she loved it. After taking the Deaf Interpreter Conference II in Pennsylvania, Diana knew it was time to make it official. She decided to pursue for the certification and passed the knowledge exam. She plans to take the performance exam when the time comes. 

Currently, Diana works full time at New York Foundling with an incredible team, making a difference in every family with deaf members. Diana continues to interpret on a regular basis in the community, working with some of the best ASL and Deaf interpreters. 

Being in the social work field for approximately seven years, Diana is familiar with most resources in NYC and also sees the gaps in the community in terms of accessibility, equality, and Deaf rights.   She is very involved in the community and often collaborates with many professionals (including lawyers, mental health providers, activists, and so on).  As a board member, Diana is eager to work with the team and make noises in the community, no matter how big or small! 

Fun facts: Diana knows Russian Sign Language and is currently learning Israeli SL; She is an adrenaline junkie; In her downtime, Diana enjoys baking and reading a GOOD book.

Contact Diana at

Michael Fisher - DIRECTOR AT LARGE (2020-2022)

Michael Fisher is originally from Staten Island, New York, but has planted new roots in Merrick on Long Island. He arrived back in the NYC area in December 2018 after graduating from his ITP at Keuka College in 2016 and working in Rochester, New York, for a few years. He obtained his National Interpreter Certification in March of 2018 as well as his master's degree in Applied Linguistics and Foreign Language Pedagogy from UMass Boston in May of 2019. He has worked in a variety of settings -- including video relay, postsecondary, k-12, medical/mental health, corporate, social services, etc. He currently works as a staff interpreter for ASLI and as an adjunct instructor for Troy University's online ITP.

When Michael is not interpreting or teaching, where might you find him? He may be deadlifting at CrossFit, exploring new places behind the lens of his Nikon DSLR, or volunteering at his local kitten shelter.

Michael has been the chair of the mentorship committee since the beginning of 2020, but is now looking forward to serving on the NYC Metro RID board. Becoming more involved with all that the NYC Deaf and interpreting community has to offer will help him to continue building his skills and network.

Contact Michael at

Contact us

​New York City Metro RID
PO Box 70
New York, NY 10272

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software