Professional Interpreting Enterprise (PIE) was established June 1, 1996 in cooperation with the local interpreting community and predicated on the founding vision of Debra Gorra Barash and Stephanie Kerkvliet. Their driving vision was to provide excellence in interpreting services to all consumers. This came to fruition as a one-room, part-time, home-based business but quickly evolved into a full-time dedicated effort. By 1999 PIE moved to it’s current location and was firmly established as a full scale agency providing job opportunities for Deaf and Hearing staff and mentoring opportunities to budding professionals. PIE continued to grow in an attempt to help meet growing needs and raise professional standards so that excellence in service could truly be achieved.
At the core of what we do, we must have an outward focus; we must serve others and not ourselves, and be the change we want to see. We believe these are the principles that will lead us on the path of excellence.
Steve Smart, Owner/President June 1, 2005 – June 1, 2021
Since it’s inception PIE has worked towards excellence by working with the community and leveraging advances in our industry. The establishment of the Deaf Advisory Board, the Apprenticeship and ASL Mentoring Programs, and staff participation in advocating for state licensure are just a few examples of PIE’s passion for coming together as a community to improve services. In addition to on-site sign language interpreting, PIE’s services have expanded through the years to include Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) and speech-to-text captioning services.
On October 9, 1999 PIE received the Boyce L. Williams Award from Wisconsin Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf in recognition of Meritorious Services for fostering the development of professional interpreters. On October 27, 2010 PIE was honored by the Southeastern Wisconsin Deaf Senior Citizens with a Volunteer Service Award. In June 2015, PIE was recognized as the Outstanding Affiliate by the Wisconsin Association of the Deaf.
From June 1, 2005-June 1, 2021 PIE was under the direction of Steve Smart, former Staff Interpreter and Business Development Coordinator. Steve remained committed to the organization’s first and primary goal – excellence in all areas of service. Steve’s vision for PIE as an outward focused agency in which service to others before self is of greatest importance. His charge to all team members was to be open, live with deep respect for others and move forward with the intention that you will leave each situation and person encountered better than they were found.