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Staff Profiles 


Mina Seat (President, General Translation and Education Projects)

Mina provides cross cultural litigation support services, including translation and interpretation through Shinshu Services, Inc., primarily for companies involved in patent litigation. She works as an interpreter for RESULTS Educational Fund and translator for its ACTION project website, and as an author and editor for publishing companies. Mina is also a professional teacher and volunteers as a language teacher. She was the U.S. representative for Tokyo Midtown Medical Center for three years. Mina has taught at Towa University, Kitakyushu College of Technology, Kawaijuku Test Preparatory School, as well as several high schools in Japan. Mina was a Ph.D. candidate at Fukuoka University Graduate School in 1999, where she majored in English linguistics and English and American 18th century literature, specializing in Jane Austen. Mina was born and raised in Fukuoka, Japan and moved to the United States in 2001.

Renina Flores (Instructor)

Renina teaches Public Speaking classes for M&K and trains clients for corporate presentations in English. She was an Assistant Professor of Voice and Diction at Providence College in Rhode Island. While there she also taught workshops on Speaking Across the Curriculum. Before that she was an Adjunct Instructor of Public Speaking at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and taught several classes related to Voice. She has been a Vocal Coach on numerous plays, working with actors on the spoken voice, including dialect and accent work. She obtained an MFA in Theatre at VCU with a specialization in Voice and Speech.

Shannon Cate, PhD (Editor)

Shannon has twenty years of teaching experience at every stage from preschool children to post-graduate students. She specializes in helping students acquire an advanced level of English proficiency through nuanced conversation tutoring and expert coaching in academic and professional writing. Her own professional writing credits include academic articles, two novels, and several nonfiction essays on matters of society, politics and popular culture.
Shannon has a PhD in American Literature from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Chie Smith (Instructor)

Chie Smith has over 20 years of teaching experience. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Piano and Education, as well a teaching certification from Senzoku Gakuen College of Music. While in Japan, Ms. Smith taught piano out of her home to over 40 students, and music classes at a public school from 2001-2004. Upon arriving in the United States, Ms. Smith branched out to include Japanese calligraphy and language to her teaching repertoire.

In 2004, Ms. Smith was one of the founding teachers of Keisho (the Washington Japanese Heritage Center), whose mission it is to explore Japanese linguistic and cultural heritage for families in the Washington D.C. metro area. In 2008, Ms. Smith began working closely with the Georgia Japanese Language School based in Atlanta, GA as a librarian, musical guest, and calligraphy teacher.

In 2018, Ms. Smith returned to the DC area and resumed working at Keisho as the Music Coordinator and a teacher. As of 2019, she also teaches advanced music lessons for the local public school system's Performance Visual Arts magnet program. In 2019, Ms. Smith started giving online lessons. Ms. Smith's hobbies include cooking, traveling, and kickboxing.

Miki Yanai Hernandez (Associate)

As a Tokyo-based freelance translator, Miki is currently engaged in translation, bibliographic research in environmental and scientific topics, and patent-related legal projects. She started her environmental career with an environmental consulting company in Tokyo, where she realized the importance of further developing her skills in integrating design and implementation to the research and planning processes, leading her to a Master's degree in Landscape Architecture at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. She also lived at Cal Poly Pomona's Center for Regenerative Studies to obtain hands-on experience of sustainability at the community level. Miki earned a B.A. in Liberal Arts at International Christian University.

Harumi Rudolph (Associate)

Harumi grew up in Okayama, Japan. After graduating from the English Department of Osaka University of Foreign Studies (currently Osaka University) with a B.A. in American Studies, she worked for Pacifica Language Services in Ellicott City, Maryland, as an in-house translator and project manager for six years. She then became a freelance translator/interpreter, serving clients in the U.S., Japan, Europe, Israel and India. While at Pacifica, Harumi was trained to be a generalist, working in many different fields including law, medicine, pharmaceuticals, finance, IT, patent, automotive and energy. Recently she has been increasingly involved in medical/pharmaceutical projects. While being attentive to the demand of today's translation industry for accuracy, speed and consistency, she is committed to a beautiful and natural flow of the language. Harumi is a member of the American Translators Association (ATA) and Japan Association of Translators (JAT).


Brenda K. Seat

The founder and head of SHINSHU is Brenda K. Seat, an American attorney with extensive litigation and negotiation experience who speaks Japanese flawlessly and lived in Japan for 16 years. As illustrated by the range of translations of the famous Japanese haiku shown above, translation is far from a mechanical process. SHINSHU uses teams of highly skilled Japanese interpreters and translators who have many years of experience interpreting complex legal matters and translating difficult technical materials, including patents, contracts and government documents. In addition, the organization has a wide range of contacts available for technical and specialized needs, both in the United States and Japan.

Mika Nishide

Born in Mie, Japan.
Representative Director/Producer of Beethoven Inc.
As a specialist of PR production, Mika manages PR and promotion projects for corporate clients.

Her passion also extends to support busy adults - in addition to her traveling school "School for Grown-ups," hosted all around Japan, she visits professional schools and universities to give lectures to students who are interested in the event planning industry.

Mariko Fukumura

Mariko Fukumura is President of Athenairis LLC. Throughout her 15 year career in Washington DC, Mariko has pursued her passion for working in diplomatic issues, social policies, and advanced science and technology policies through research and strategic communications. Mariko's professional experience is comprised of more than 150 regulatory and industrial policy research projects, as well as over 300 interviews and interpretations.

While on sabbatical in 2015, she traveled through Guatemala and lived in Mexico City to study Spanish and further deepen her cultural understanding of Latin America. In 2016, she established her consulting firm, Athenairis LLC. Mariko earned her Master of International Relations and Pacific Studies from the University of California, San Diego and also has a B.A. in International Politics from Aoyama Gakuin University in Japan.

Moemi Endo

Moemi Endo was born in Hokkaido. She worked as a news anchor at NHK Kushiro Broadcasting Station, and later as a reporter for the Fuji Television-affiliated Sakuranbo Television in Yamagata Prefecture. She then worked as a main newscaster for the NHK evening news. Most recently, Moemi has been working in Osaka as an independent reporter. After working on her voice through the demands of her broadcasting career, Moemi realized that her voice had changed and that our voices play a critical role in determining the overall effectiveness of our communication. While still working as a newscaster, she uses her expertise to provide her "vocal workouts", empowering more individuals to obtain success through the power of voice. She has also been an instructor for in-company training programs for corporations including Sapporo Breweries Ltd., Shochiku Genio Co., and The Mainichi Newspapers Co., Ltd.


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