Michael J. Rizzolo BITP ’76, BS ’78, MS ’86
President and CEO
Michael J. Rizzolo is the president and CEO of Interpretek, an American Sign Language interpreting service company based in Rochester, New York. Interpretek provides services nationwide, operates out of seven offices and employs 115 teammates across 22 states. Interpretek is celebrating 25 years in business and continues to expand its efforts to supply quality communication access nationally.
Michael, or Rizz, as he is known throughout the field, began his career as a sign language interpreter when he completed the Basic Interpreter Training Program (BITP) in 1976 while securing his bachelor’s degree in social work from RIT. NTID hired Michael in 1978 as a lead interpreter in the Department of Interpreting Services where he spent twelve years as a manager of a large team of interpreters. During his tenure at NTID, Michael was awarded certification by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID), became a founding member of the local chapter of the RID (GVRRID), served as an adjunct faculty member in the interpreting degree program and was selected to join NTID’s first traveling cast of performers—Sunshine & Company.
In keeping with his mission to advocate and foster professional growth, Michael established the Interpretek Endowed Scholarship at NTID in 2008 to support and encourage academic excellence among students pursuing an interpreting career. Michael has served on several local boards including the Rochester Hearing and Speech Center and the Rochester City Ballet.
Michael received a master’s degree in human services administration from the Saunders College of Business in 1986 and served NTID as a development officer in 1989 before leaving RIT to start his own business. His wife Kate recently retired from RIT after a 32-year career as a sign language interpreter with the Science and Engineering Core team. Together they have raised three sons, John, Mike and Zack.
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