We Are Dynamic Captioning

Offline Production & Client Services

John Leonard

Director of Client Services – Grand Rapids

My work: As Director of Client Services, I work to insure the smooth flow of closed captioning services from initial client inquiry through project completion by the offline staff. Communications skills are the most useful in the job because of my responsibilities with both clients and staff, and for the successful integration of client requirements and staff needs.

Off duty: I have volunteered at WYCE, a local, non-profit, community radio station serving Grand Rapids and western Michigan for 11 years. I program and host a weekly radio show that airs Fridays from 7am-9am. If you’re in our area, you’ll find the station at 88.1 on your FM dial or listen online. I try to look/listen to present a balance between older, more traditional types of music and the wonderfully inspiring new music that I am introduced to each week.

My pre-Dynamic Captioning life: I spent 37 years of my life working in the restaurant and entertainment businesses. I am an excellent cook and have a broad based knowledge of most things food and drink-related.

Favorite food: That’s whatever I happen to be interested in at any given time. Sometimes it’s simple, sometimes complex, but always high quality and entertaining to eat. I’ve also been known to consume lots and lots of popcorn!

I love to: travel, but don’t do enough of it to satisfy my wanderlust!

Sara Meyer

Offline Production Coordinator – Grand Rapids

Background: At the State University of New York at New Paltz, I studied English, accounting and library science and earned a degree in multimedia communications technologies and English.

Most-used skills at work: The workflow planning I do to coordinate our offline captioning requires research, precision, attention to detail and lots of follow through. It’s a perfect fit with my minor OCD tendencies.

Off duty: I’m the outdoorsy type. Fishing, hunting, camping, canoeing-I love it all. Sitting around a bonfire with my friends and family is the best.

Life changing experience: When I was 18, I moved from my small Michigan hometown to New York City with a couple of friends, a U-Haul and $300. It was an exciting, if sometimes overwhelming, experience but I wouldn’t trade those four years for anything. Then I moved to upstate New York, where I went to college and got into rock climbing. I really like New York, but I’m delighted to be back in Michigan.

Favorite author: I adore reading, so it’s hard for me to chose just one author or even genre. I’m in five book clubs!

Favorite quotation: “Live the life you love; love the life you live.” It’s engraved on a pendant my Serbian grandmother gave me. I wear it every day.

Dagmar Hintz

Senior Caption Editor/Quality Assurance – Grand Rapids

Background: Originally from Poland, I grew up in New York City and studied Education and TV/Radio Journalism at LaGuardia Community College. While a student, I tutored others in grammar, composition and rhetoric; and taught ESL to Polish immigrants. I love the nuances of the English language.

Most satisfying aspect of my work: First and foremost, I appreciate our end-users, namely those in the deaf and hard of hearing community. Secondly, I’m proud of creating our Quality Control department and helping to provide Dynamic Captioning’s high-quality, value-added captioning services, as well as offering ongoing training to our caption editors.

My pre-Dynamic Captioning life: I've been a recruiter for executives, engineers and IT. Then I became a public radio station program producer and host; founder and manager of the underwriting department; station operations’ manager. Creating and hosting the two-hour show “In the Spirit” from 1996 to 2006 gave me the most satisfaction. I would examine some of the more spiritual aspects of selections from the genres of folk, blues, jazz, rock and world beat. The show continues every Sunday, 10:00 am to noon, EST on radio station WYCE - 88.1 FM and steams live at www.wyce.org.

It may surprise you to know: I’m an ordained minister. It’s an honor to serve families and their friends as they experience life’s biggest moments: weddings, baptisms and funerals.

Not-so-secret passion: I collect and write inspirational, thought-provoking quotations. I love travel of all kinds, but my favorite destination is the gorgeous island of Anna Maria, Florida, where my oldest daughter and son in law reside.

The apple of my eye: My granddaughter, Miss Nora Mae! I knew I would love my grandchild. I just didn't know how much.

Martin Ozmina

Special Project Manager – Chicago

A typical day at the office: As special projects manager, I schedule and coordinate a team of writers and editors who transcribe financial earnings calls. I’m also the primary liaison to our client. My work as a caption editor, where I create closed caption files for TV commercials, TV shows, and movies, lets me keep my skills sharp.

Favorite book: One of them is “Never Come Morning,” by Nelson Algren. I enjoy the author’s writing style as well as the story.

Favorite band: Right now, it’s the Henhouse Prowlers, who earned this shout out from Time Out Chicago: “This bluegrass band has the right formula: heavenly harmonies on top of furious fingerpicking, trucking down the highway at 200 mph.”

Off duty: My wife and I live in a bungalow in Chicago with our two dogs. We enjoy spending time with family and friends, as well as traveling. I enjoy playing backgammon, bird watching, and photography.

Offline Editing

Lisa Kaline

Caption Editor – Grand Rapids

Background: Graduated from Grand Rapids Community College with an Associate’s degree and Grand Valley State University with a B.A. in Film and Video Production.

Most satisfying aspect of my work: Our work helps children to learn.

Favorite graphic novel: The Walking Dead. It's just a great post-apocalyptic series.

Favorite game: Quelf because, first off, there's a ninja monkey. Second, it's one of the most fun and silliest games you'll ever play in your life. You definitely get to see people's creative side.

Favorite junk food: Cookies.

Off duty: I’m outside! Running around and hiking.

Alicia Harris

Senior Caption Editor – Grand Rapids

Background: I was born and raised in Grand Rapids, and am blessed to have such amazing family and friends in my life. I graduated from Grand Valley State University with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, as well as an English degree.

Most satisfying aspect of my work: I take pride in trying to provide the best quality captioning possible with every program that I work on, so as to help bring a better television viewing experience to the hearing impaired community.

Hobbies: I have always been passionate about music. I love attending concerts and musical theatre. I will tell anyone who will listen that James Taylor is my favorite artist. Country music is also at the top of my list. Playing the guitar is one of my favorite things to do. As I love both music and working with children, I recently began volunteering to teach guitar to at-risk middle school aged students.

In the summer, you can find me: Out on beautiful Lake Michigan and enjoy boating, fishing, and swimming.

When it comes to sports: I’m a loyal follower of the Spartans and Tigers, and enjoy any chance to attend a game.

Allison Kennedy

Senior Caption Editor – Grand Rapids

Most satisfying aspect of my work: I love that my job is family based.

Off duty: My off time it is all about spending time with my family. My husband and I have two little boys, who keep us very busy.

Hobbies: I enjoy watching movies and listening to music.

When it comes to sports: I LOVE the Detroit Lions and Detroit Tigers!

Lisa Kaline

Senior Caption Editor – Grand Rapids

Background: I graduated from Grand Valley State University in the Spring 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcasting and began my career in closed captioning in 2007.

My work: I’m responsible for scripting, editing and timing a wide range of programming on a daily basis.

Most satisfying aspect of my work: I really like that everyone here takes their role very seriously. We do our absolute best to provide a product that provides viewers the opportunity to enjoy and learn via closed captioning.

Off duty: As an urban dweller, it’s easy to discover things to do around town: ice skating, hot yoga classes, painting, concerts and cooking classes.

When it comes to sports: Paddle boarding and kayaking are fun. As part of a rowing crew in college, I enjoyed the synchronized teamwork and skimming across the water.

Favorite foods: I’m a native Texan and my Dad’s barbecued brisket is the best. And then, of course, there are grilled cheese sandwiches.

Favorite place to visit: Chicago! No matter how many times I visit, I always discover something new there.

My next big vacation will be: Hiking the endangered rain forests of Costa Rica and exploring the Sloth Sanctuary.

Leah Vukovich

Caption Editor – Grand Rapids

I was attracted to the closed captioning industry because: I have a degree in film and video production, and I studied writing, too. It’s nice to have a job in my field!

Most satisfying aspect of my work: Knowing that my work helps people gain access to information!

Favorite authors: Haruki Murakami, Gary Shteyngart, and Neil Gaiman, and I’ll read anything surreal, creepy, or with a dark sense of humor.

Favorite food: I love cooking, and I make a really good vegan breakfast. That’s probably my favorite thing to eat.

Hobbies: Basically anything creative: sewing, knitting, painting and drawing. I also like antiquing and shopping at thrift stores with my friends! I think that’s the best way to find unique outfits that nobody else will have.

Pet: I have a cat named Udo, and he’s a real knucklehead. Every day I ask myself why I didn’t get a dog. I’m kidding. He’s all right. He’d say the same about me.

If I weren't at Dynamic Captioning, I would be: Working on a film or art project full time. I already do those in my free time and really enjoy them.

Ryan Lieske

Caption Editor – Grand Rapids

Most satisfying aspect of my work: As a filmmaker, I believe it's important to adapt, as closely as possible, the intentions of the screenwriter and director through the closed-captioning process. Obviously, there are some things that will, unfortunately, be lost in the translation, but I try to pay close attention to timing and language to create a caption file that best represents what the filmmakers intended.

Off duty: I own my own movie production company, called Familiar Productions. I have written and directed four award-winning movies, and a music video for the acclaimed synthpop duo Alexis. I have also written several other scripts that have been produced and directed by others. I also write fiction, and am nearing completion on my first novel. And I think cats should be in charge of everything.

My first job: It was with a small newspaper in Caledonia, Michigan. I worked in the darkroom, developing pictures that were then used in the paper. I loved it. Unfortunately, nowadays, photo developing is a lost art. But I am glad I was a small part of that art form while it lasted.

If I could live in another era, it would it be: The Victorian era. It was a time when industry and science were beginning to push back the notion of the supernatural and the spiritual. I love the conflict inherent in that. It certainly produced some interesting literature and philosophical thought. As someone who is interested in both sides (and everything in between) when it comes to science vs. spirituality, I think this would've been an interesting time in history to witness, and, hopefully, participate in.

Joseph Tekelly

Caption Editor– Grand Rapids

Background: I graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Secondary Education and English. And I recently got married!

Favorite food: I love chili dogs. Not the West Michigan variety. I was raised just outside of Detroit, so anything other than an American Coney Dog is just a pretender.

When it comes to sports: For some strange reason, I'm still a die-hard Detroit Lions fan. It's a love-hate kind of thing. They keep letting me down and I keep coming back for more.

Favorite game: My wife and I are big podcast fans. So, I'd say that my favorite game is The Leonard Maltin game, which is a movie trivia game that's played on the Doug Loves Movies podcast. Really, anything but Clue. I'm the worst at Clue.

Most satisfying aspect of my work: Whenever I get to work on a Sesame Street. I love knowing that my work is going directly to help hearing impaired children.

Zach Thompson

Caption Editor – Grand Rapids

Background: I am an MSU graduate with a bachelor's degree in English Education with a minor in Japanese. I enjoy going to movies and, in the summer, baseball games with friends and family, and reading when not doing either of those.

Most-used skills at work: I mostly use my English language and grammar skills to edit files for content and accuracy.

If I weren’t at Dynamic Captioning, I would be: Teaching English and Language Arts to middle school or high school students.

When it comes to sports: I love baseball. I grew up watching baseball with my grandfather and brother, and the passion just never died.

Favorite book: My favorite book is Crime and Punishment by Fyodr Dostoevsky. Not a very happy choice, but it is the book that had the biggest affect on me when I read it.

Someday, I'd like to visit: Tokyo, Japan.

The Technical Support Team

Ahmed Kasim
IT Specialist – Grand Rapids

Most satisfying aspect of my work: I enjoy working in the IT department and gaining experience in the many different aspects of computer technology. I especially like working with the staff members and realtime writers, assisting with their software and network issues.

If I weren't with Dynamic Captioning, I’d be: A computer programmer.

Hobbies: I enjoy many sports: running, biking, swimming and tennis. I also lift weights.

When it comes to sports: I’d rather participate than watch.

Someday I'd like to visit: the far north and south parts of the earth- Greenland and the North Pole, the southern part of Latin America and Antarctica. Their weather extremes and landscapes intrigue me. I’ve been fortunate to travel to several other continents, so now these are on my "must see" list.

The Realtime Team

Jean Doll

Realtime Operations – Grand Rapids

Most-used skill at work: My ability to concentrate and focus for long periods of time.

Most satisfying aspect of my work: The team we have built here at Dynamic. All of my co-workers are quality people.

When it comes to sports: I love sailing.

My first job: Giving swimming lessons in my parent's pool to the neighborhood children.

Favorite food: I'll eat anything that doesn't eat me first.

If I could live in another era, it would be: The 1920's or 1940's-- for the fashion.

If I weren't at Dynamic Captioning, I would be: Working in film or television…or teaching high school.

I’d like to visit: Costa Rica or Chile.

The AdministrativeTeam

Sheriana Kasim

Accounting Specialist – Grand Rapids

Background: I came to America as a high school foreign exchange student from Albania. After graduating from Lowell High School in Lowell, Michigan, I went on to earn a college degree in business administration with a minor in human resources from Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan.

Off duty: My husband and I have two boys. Our little guys love to be at the beach, playing in the sand and swimming. So in the summer, we’re at the beach almost every weekend. Living in Michigan, we also enjoy winter activities like sledding and skating.

When it comes to sports: I played volleyball in college and now play in a league. I’m also a swimmer.

Favorite place to visit: The Adriatic Sea off the Albanian coast. I have fond memories of time there with my family and childhood friends.

If I weren't at Dynamic Captioning, I would be: A math teacher.

The Leadership Team

Jay Labine

Owner - Grand Rapids

Where born: Minnesota.

Words that describe me: Servant leadership that values employees and staff in a holistic way.

Most influential person: My Dad. He taught me not only the benefits of perseverance and hard work but also how to really enjoy your work and find joy in the work that you do everyday.

Favorite place to visit: The Leelanau peninsula near Glen Lake.

Hidden talent: I’m a big country music fan-I know most of the lyrics to the songs.

How I want to be remembered: As a good man, humble and good husband and father.

Tom Mikkelsen

Pasadena

Most satisfying aspect of my work: Working with the incredibly talented team at Dynamic Captioning.

Favorite tech gadget: Apple iPhone.

Favorite place to visit: Where ever my wife Rebecca and I travel. We like our hometown of Pasadena, California but also enjoy exploring places here and abroad. As we say as we return home from every trip, "It's good to go; it's good to come back."

Hobbies: Amateur radio and photography.

Favorite food: Barbeque brisket.

Hidden talent: Judging classic cars at Concours d’Elegance competitions.

How I want to be remembered: As a kind person and a loving husband and father.

Brenda Clark

Senior Vice President, Operations – Grand Rapids

Most satisfying aspect of my work: In Operations, I have the opportunity to work closely with both our clients and staff. As a member of our leadership team, I believe it is my responsibility not only to serve our customers but also to serve our staff members in a meaningful way. It is extremely rewarding to be a part of an organization where the corporate commitment to “Customers, Co-Workers and Community” is palpable and each team member is recognized and respected for their individual contribution. I am honored to be member of this special group of people we call Team Dynamic.

Off duty: I enjoy spending time with my children and my very large, close-knit family. I love to cook, entertain and host family events, which actually happens quite often.

Hobby: When time allows, and my eyes are not burning from overexposure to multiple video communication devices (desktop, laptop, smart phone and tablet), I love to read historical fiction.

Greg Wolf

Vice President, Business Development – Los Angeles

My work: Developing long-term relationships with broadcasters, studios, content creators and content aggregators and serving them and their needs with concierge-level service in their mission-critical segment of the entertainment industry.

Most-used skills at work: Empathy and leadership; knowing what our clients face daily and their need for sustainable solutions and leading in innovations to meet their unique requirements.

How I became interested in the closed captioning industry: Providing a service that benefits the so many media consumers including the hearing impaired community as well as the broadcasters who and advertisers who are able to communicate more effectively with their clients whom they serve.

Most satisfying aspect of my work: The feedback we receive from clients who appreciate what we do for them and the partnership we feel with them.

Favorite book: The One Thing by Gary Keller. In our frenetic culture of multi-tasking, Gary Keller gives clarity to doing fewer things well and doing them with mastery in order to accomplish more with greater effectiveness.

When it comes to sports: My favorite individual sport is fly fishing. Nothing is more peaceful to me than standing in a river waist deep surrounded by mountains and forest and casting to large, hungry trout. My favorite team sport is water polo. It’s a great metaphor for life. I have great respect for the endurance required not only to just tread water but to actually excel at the game and score.

Favorite food: Sushi!

Hobby: Sailing. There are no bad days sailing. A day on the ocean or out on the lake is one of the greatest erasers of frowns and stress I know.

Wes Long

Director of Technology

My work: I handle all the "nuts and bolts" pieces of our operations, ensuring that all the hardware and software required for our clients' service delivery is installed and working. Sometimes I even write some of our software, especially for custom implementations. I also make sure our support team is up to speed with all of our technology and do technical evaluations of all of our realtime captioning writers.

How I became interested in the closed captioning industry: I accidentally became the "House Expert" in captioning while I was an engineer at TCI's National Digital Television Center (now Comcast Digital Media Centers). I wrote some custom software for their captioning group, and came to the attention of an executive of Dynamic Captioning. I found I enjoyed working with closed captioning a great deal.

Most-used skills at work: Software development, network administration, desktop support, and recess monitor.

Favorite movie: "The Princess Bride." I *LOVE* the Inigo Montoya character.

Favorite game: Three Cornered Pitney, because I can't find enough people to play 43-Man Squamish.

If I could live in another era, it would be: I’d want it to be 20 minutes ago, because I just thought of the *perfect* comeback to what that guy said...

Somdeday I’d like to visit: Florence, Italy. I love Italian Renaissance architecture, especially Brunelleschi.