Pat Prozzi joined VITAC in 2002. She oversees all company operations and is the champion for our customer-focused and quality-driven culture, the “get it done right” attitude embodied by all VITAC employees.
Prior to life at VITAC, Pat founded ProVision Management Partners, a consulting group specializing in interim executive management, strategy, and operations. She consulted with DQE Communications, an early provider of fiber networks and other telecommunication services, and later joined them as President in 1999. From 1990-1997, Pat was with AT&T Wireless, as Region President and General Manager of one of 5 US regions, consistently driving record growth and profitability. She also led the integration of McCaw Communications into AT&T after the pioneer in cellular telecommunications was acquired by AT&T.
Pat’s early experience was in product management and marketing consulting, with Marketing Corporation of America, H.J. Heinz, and Bristol Myers. She holds an M.B.A. from Wharton and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Pittsburgh, where she was Phi Beta Kappa. She has served on a variety of community and corporate boards.
Pat has always had a passion for travel and exploration, but her favorite journey to date has been with her children, as they mature into interesting, capable, young adults.
Chuck Karlovits joined VITAC in 1990 and has led our finance, administration, live, and prerecorded departments. As COO, he now leads all operations – live, offline, and Multilanguage subtitling. He’s recognized for guidance during this period of massive cultural and technological change in the industry. In his tenure, he’s seen our realtime and offline businesses grow exponentially, year after year. In addition to day-to-day management, Chuck is deeply involved in the development of new products and efficiencies, budgeting, scheduling, and the creation of technical solutions to complex situations. Prior to joining VITAC, he served as office manager for Block Court Reporting. Chuck holds master’s degrees in Management Information Systems and Business Administration from Duquesne University, and a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Dayton. Chuck has been on the Board of Directors of Hearing and Deaf Services since 2004, and has served as its Treasurer and on its Executive Committee.
Chuck is a devout Pittsburgh Steeler and Penguin fan. In his free time, Chuck can be found wetting a line on the water, fishing for any species, and is a model railroading enthusiast.
Doug Karlovits, VITAC’s Chief Business Development Officer (CBDO) has been deeply involved in all aspects of our business since his father, Joe Karlovits, founded the company in 1986. Doug started as an office manager, but was quickly promoted to VP, Prerecorded Operations, where he expanded the company’s offline volume by 100%, developed and launched our Multilangauge subtitling division, and created our Client Sales and Services department. In his current role, Doug manages the accounts of VITAC’s largest realtime customers, oversees our sales team, predicts and analyzes revenue, and works to create new technical solutions in our ever-changing industry. His clear understanding of client needs and his ability to grow with the captioning industry have made him an invaluable part of the team.
When not working late into the night, Doug enjoys spending time with his wife, three young children, and his Yellow Lab. He can also be found at every Steeler home game and on the golf course.
Dwight Wagner currently serves as VITAC’s Chief Technology Officer. He brings vast knowledge to the VITAC team and has experience managing a wide range of computer systems and development activities since the late 80s. Mr. Wagner began his career at the company in 1995 as a Computer Systems Analyst before moving on to programming and network administration roles. He is currently leading several technology departments, including IT Services, Engineering, Systems Development, and Encoding.
Mr. Wagner holds a B.S. in Computer Science and Mathematics from Westminster College.
Pete Muck joined VITAC in 2006 as a financial analyst and was later promoted to Director of Finance and Planning. As head of VITAC’s Finance & Administration Department, he is responsible for all facets of financial reporting and operations, budgeting, and cost control.
Prior to coming to VITAC, Pete held managerial positions in the transportation, environmental, and beverage industries with firms ranging in size from Fortune 100 to family-owned enterprises. Pete earned a B.S. degree in Accounting from The Pennsylvania State University and is a certified public accountant.
He enjoys that VITAC has a unique way of retaining a family atmosphere while having the support of a large corporate parent.
Outside of work, Pete is an avid cyclist and runner, has two college-aged children, and is an officer in a local community service organization
Mark Panichella joined VITAC in 2006 to serve as Director of Human Resources. Mark has 18 years of human resources experience including organizational transformation, recruiting, training, performance management, career development, diversity program development, employee relations, benefits, compensation, and compliance issues. Mark received his Bachelor’s Degree from West Virginia University.
He finds great reward in meeting the diverse group of employees that make up our workforce, taking great satisfaction in meeting someone during the interview process, having them join us as an employee, and watch them become successful within the organization.
Mark enjoys spending time outdoors with his family and friends. As a foodie, Mark loves to travel and experience new cuisines. He would be lost without his Yelp app.
Darryn Cleary began his career with VITAC in 1991 as a live captioning production coordinator. He was promoted to supervisor of live operations at our Pittsburgh headquarters before moving into sales in 1995. His broad captioning production and customer service experience gives him a valuable perspective for fulfilling client needs. As Senior Vice President, Sales, Darryn now manages our growing relationships with broadcast and cable networks, syndicators, producers, and post houses based on the East Coast. In 2015, Darryn was named a Top Sales Performer by VITAC’s former parent company, Merrill Corporation.
He holds a B.A. in Communications, with a minor in Business, from Robert Morris University. Darryn lives in Pittsburgh with his wife and two sons, where they enjoy year-round family outdoor activities.
Maggie McDermott joined VITAC’s sales team in 2008 as Director of West Coast Sales and in 2011, was promoted to Vice President. Based in Los Angeles, Maggie focuses on customer growth in the entertainment and media market, providing solutions in captioning, localization and subtitling, scripting, and audio description. Maggie has more than 29 years of media experience, having held leadership positions at MGM, Playboy TV, DirecTV, CMI, and TransPerfect Translations.
What Maggie enjoys most about VITAC is the people she works with. She says that they are smart, funny, and solution-focused and always calm in the face of a challenge situation.
She gives major credit to VITAC’s customer service and support teams, and says they are the best she’s worked with in her career.
She holds a B.A. in Fine Arts from Montclair State College. Maggie and her husband, Dave, are avid scuba divers. They have enjoyed underwater adventures to Belize, Fiji, and the Galapagos Islands. When they are not scuba diving, you can find them hiking the San Gabriel Mountains above their home in Pasadena, California.
Deborah Schuster has held leadership roles in the captioning industry for more than 35 years. She was honored with the Pioneer Award, acknowledging her contributions to accessible media. As SVP, Market Development, Deborah manages relationships with her longstanding broadcast, cable, and syndication customers, and pursues new business opportunities for VITAC.
Deborah particularly enjoys working closely with her customers and the VITAC staff to ensure that viewers of captions and users of video description have the best possible experience while watching their accessible media choices.
Deborah holds a degree in Journalism from Boston University, and enjoys music, theater, hiking, and spending time with her husband and two grown children.
Heather York, with VITAC since 1992, is VITAC’s leader of Marketing, Government Affairs, and Product Development. Her team oversees all facets of VITAC’s marketing, including sales and revenue analysis , digital strategy, new product and solution development, marketing collateral and proposal creation, search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, and revenue budgeting.
Heather is VITAC’s advocacy and government affairs expert, and worked with the Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology (COAT) to ensure the passage of the 21st Century Video Accessibilty Act (CVAA), which ensured persons who rely on captions are not left behind as video is distributed via IP, or online. As a member of the FCC’s Video Programming Accessibility and Advisory Committee (VPAAC) 2010-2012, she helped to create the benchmarks which require nearly all video captioned on TV also be captioned when delivered via IP. Most recently, she represented VITAC as one of four caption companies responsible for creation of captioning “best practices,” issued by the FCC as part of a Report and Order on February 24, 2014. She started her career at VITAC as a production coordinator in our realtime department, and has held multiple positions, including supervisor, realtime captioner scheduler, and account executive. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Journalism and is located in the Washington, D.C. area.
She likes helping caption viewers with problems and says the best part of her job is knowing her efforts are helping millions of caption viewers.
When not staring at work, Heather is a voracious reader who enjoys cooking and eating fine food, and traveling “like a local” with her husband, Andy.
Bob Beyer, who has been involved in captioning since 1985, joined VITAC in 1990 to develop and manage offline captioning services at our Pittsburgh headquarters. In 1992, he expanded services, where he worked closely with area post production facilities and helped to grow the business. He later supervised captioning teams and oversaw the evolution of an updated and diverse workforce and flexible work environment. In 2014, he took the helm of VITAC’s Multilanguage Services, and is now responsible for steering the growth of a team of subtitling specialists, bilingual captioners, and translators, including full-time employees as well as contractors.
Bob is a graduate of the University of Maryland, and his wide-ranging interests include science, writing, many years of coaching youth sports, and a close friendship with coffee.
Debbie Hammond leads our Client Sales and Services department, a team of 18 Client Sales and Services Representatives and Traffic Coordinators, and is responsible for all aspects of the customer experience, from solutions development to order acknowledgement, caption creation to file delivery. She’s known for her attention to detail and ability to quickly and confidently assess a situation, usually solving problems before they occur. She’s deeply involved in VITAC’s development efforts, including envisioning and documenting needs for new software through testing and roll-out, for the company’s proprietary order tracking and realtime and offline scheduling systems. Debbie joined VITAC in 2001 and her long captioning industry experience gives her special insight into the needs of our customers. She graduated magna cum laude from California University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Radio and TV Communication and a minor in Theater.
The best parts of her job, she says, are her co-workers and the knowledge that her efforts help the 30-40 million Americans who rely on captioning.
A fan of musical theater, Debbie is a long-time season ticket holder and can be found sitting front row center for performances of every Pittsburgh CLO production at the Benedum Center. Above all, she enjoys spending time with her family and cherishes adventures with her son, Merrick.
Dina Smith, Director of Offline and Prerecorded Operations, has been with VITAC since 1990. She joined our team as one of VITAC’s first offline Captioners and now oversees the entire offline staff in offices across the country. The offline department produces more than 500 hours of prerecorded programming, including captioning and subtitling, per week.
Dina feels blessed to work every day with such a dedicated, committed group of professionals to provide a valuable service to the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities.
Dina holds a B.A. in Speech Pathology and Audiology, with a minor in American Sign Language, and an M.A. in Deaf Education, both from the University of Pittsburgh. Dina loves spending time with her husband, two young children, and her Yellow Lab, Cooper.
Chris Kallet serves as our Offline Training Manager. After joining us in 1995, he became an experienced offline captioner, and he now trains new employees in offline captioning and helps all of our employees enhance their skills and productivity. His instructional efforts cover computer and software proficiency, English grammar, and pop-on/roll-up captioning.
He enjoys helping new employees learn about closed captioning so they can assist the deaf and hard-of-hearing community in their enjoyment of television and feels it’s very fulfilling to help others serve a greater purpose.
Chris holds a B.A. in Journalism from Duquesne University and is a big local-sports fan, enjoys running, poker, and spending time with his family, which includes his wife, stepdaughter, and son.
Mark Paluso began as one of our first production coordinators on a Wednesday in January of 1989. He now manages VITAC’s realtime coordinator group, which is responsible for research, script preparation, setup, and on-air continuity of closed captioning for more than 220,000 hours of programming per year.
At VITAC, he feels we make a positive, tangible difference in the lives of thousands of deaf people, hard-of-hearing people, and those trying to learn English, without ever having to know them.
Mark graduated from California University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Math and Computer Science.
In his spare time, Mark enjoys going to see as many movies in theaters as he can, rather than waiting to see them at home, and spending time with family.
Manager of Realtime Captioning Training Amy Bowlen was one of VITAC’s first realtime captioners and has contributed significantly to our growth and success during her 26 years with the company. Her captioning experience, technical knowledge, leadership, and teaching skills have made her an invaluable part of the team.
Amy holds several National Court Reporters Association certifications, including the Registered Diplomate Reporter, Certified Realtime Captioner, and Certified Broadcast Captioner. In 2002, she was awarded the distinction of being conferred as a Fellow of the Academy of Professional Reporters.
Amy is proud to have introduced so many court reporters to the world of captioning and helped them renew their enthusiasm for their specialized skill.
Amy grew up in Pittsburgh, and loves cheering on our Pittsburgh sports teams. She enjoys our four seasons, and getting outside to run or play tennis and traveling with her husband.
Danielle Bellows is VITAC’s Manager of Realtime Scheduling, responsible for the department that juggles over 150 realtime captioners with ever-changing client schedules – in all, over 220,000 hours per year. Her department ensures captioners are available to cover every hour of every day, including last-minute requests for local and national breaking news. Like VITAC, Danielle is on call 24/7/365. Danielle joined VITAC in 2002 and is a graduate of Duquesne University.
When not re-arranging and shifting schedules, Danielle can be found with one of her dogs and volunteering at the Humane Society.
Chuck Wall, VITAC’s Engineering Manager, leads VITAC’s encoding department. His expertise includes encoding captions to any digital video format, developing automated workflows for file-based assets, and creating internal solutions for the company’s realtime and offline departments. If it’s video-related, Chuck has the answer. Prior to joining VITAC in 2009, Chuck was employed by dubbing facilities, production houses, and Pittsburgh’s local ABC affiliate, WTAE. His “on the side” jobs included starting one of the first streaming sites in the Pittsburgh area and coding websites before WYSIWYG programs were standard. He’s worked with file-based deliverables since the Internet boom in the mid-nineties.
Chuck likes that his daily tasks are never the same, each client has unique needs, and says, “it always a good feeling meeting those needs.”
When not solving technical conundrums, Chuck enjoys spending time with his family- including his Yorkies, Gizmo and Holly- and taking mainline steam train excursions on The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Societies steam locomotive Nickel Plate 765 and the Virginia Museum of Transportation’s NW J611.
Senior Systems Administrator Tim Keane has been in the captioning industry for 20 years. He began his career with VITAC as a realtime production coordinator, then realtime supervisor. Tim now manages VITAC’s data network infrastructure, security, and performance. He is also responsible for server and storage hardware, as well as software including e-mail, FTP and high-speed transfer protocols, ensuring uptime of critical systems, providing support for internal staff and external clients, and staying on top of technology.
Tim enjoys enjoys the variety of work at VITAC, as no two days are alike.
When not at VITAC, he enjoys traveling and dining with his wife, Christie.
Eric began his career with VITAC in January of 2005 as an Associate Systems Analyst. In his current position of Senior Systems Engineer, he manages the departments responsible for IT support, engineering, and facilities management with an emphasis on all realtime captioning technology. Eric is also primary point of contact for all realtime clients and potential clients for technical issues and questions.
He is proud of the teamwork of his department. Regardless of the challenge, they pull together and get done what needs to be accomplished, often with a very limited time to do so.
Eric earned an Associate’s degree from Community College of Allegheny County with highest honors in Computer Information Technology – Networking and a Web Authoring Certificate.
He’s very involved in both of his kids’ activities from coaching youth sports, to serving as Vice President of Shaler Area Ice Hockey Club and sitting on the Board for the Shaler Area Band Parents Association. Eric and his wife are very often found at either a hockey game or chaperoning anywhere from 150 – 300 teenage musicians to football games and music department trips to places like Disney, and Virginia Beach. If not there, they can be found camping around the Northeastern US along with their Chocolate Lab, Cocoa.
Crystal joined VITAC in 2012 as a Financial Analyst in our Finance and Accounting Department. In 2013, she was promoted to the Marketing Department, where she analyzes sales and market data and manages a variety of projects essential to VITAC’s development.
Besides the awesome co-workers, she enjoys working with numbers and the challenges that every day brings at VITAC.
Crystal holds a B.S. in Crime, Law & Justice from Penn State University, an M.B.A. from Waynesburg University, and is a Certified Associate in Project Management.
Most of Crystal’s time not at VITAC is spent wrangling her 2 young sons, Tyler and Logan. Thankfully, her cat Dixie is older, and there’s no longer wrangling needed! She enjoys Zumba, walking, and spending time with family and friends. While not a fan of winter, she loves all other Pennsylvania seasons and feels there’s nothing quite like fishing out on the lake with her husband on a warm and sunny spring day.
Franco Bonacchi oversees scheduling, monitoring, and billing production for VITAC’s largest customers and can often be found working late into the night to accommodate client requests. As Assistant Manager of our Client Sales and Services department, he trains new coordinators, develops captioning solutions for new customers, and tracks and reports on customer service metrics. His department is ultimately responsible for the delivery of the nearly 60,000 offline files created every year, and scheduling much of our realtime work. He’s been with VITAC since 1994 and was our first Sports Coordinator, maintaining constantly changing sports schedules and ensuring the captioning of all sports programming. He is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a B.A. in English Writing.
Franco likes being able to solve customer problems, and takes pride when he sees our captions on TV.
Franco is an avid runner, enjoys biking, and is a big Pittsburgh Steelers fan.
Steve York joined VITAC in 2006 as a production coordinator in our realtime captioning department in Canonsburg, PA. After being promoted to an Offline Traffic Coordinator in our Client Services department, he packed up his car and moved across the country to Los Angeles, where he supervised our West Coast traffic team and coordinated caption creation and delivery for some of our most important customers. He combined the Los Angeles and Canonsburg traffic teams into one cohesive unit in July 2015, and is now back in headquarters, serving as assistant manager for our Client Sales and Services team, alongside Franco Bonacchi.
The best part of his job, Steve says, is the satisfaction of knowing when offline captions make it to air, no matter the turnaround, last-minute changes, or complex requests, his team played a part in it.
Steve is a Steel City sports fanatic and an avid skier, volunteering in colder climates with Three River’s Adaptive Sports (TRAS) to make downhill skiing possible for people with disabilities.
Larry Corcoran started as a production coordinator at VITAC in February of 1997. He’s since been promoted to Supervisor, Sports Coordinator, and now Assistant Manager. In his current role, Larry is responsible for technical coordination, testing, QC, and monitoring of captions for over 220,000 hours of programming each year.
He enjoys the loose atmosphere in the Realtime Department, where people take the job, but not necessarily themselves, seriously.
Larry holds a Communications degree from the University of Dayton and takes great pride in following the Pittsburgh Pirates and the University of Dayton Flyers, and enjoys taking road trips to visit distilleries and breweries.
Matt Schuman joined VITAC in 2001 as a Production Coordinator, and has since advanced through the realtime ranks to Sports Supervisor, and ultimately to his current position of Assistant Manager of Realtime. He is responsible for technical coordination, testing, and quality control for over 220,000 hours of programming per year for some of the biggest names in broadcast TV.
Matt enjoys that every day is different at VITAC, as it’s an office setting, but no two days are the same. He feels it’s great to know that our hard work and great team effort leads to the best product that we can offer to networks and clients.
Matt earned his degree in Communications at Duquesne University in 2001 and enjoys playing drums and listening to his vinyl record collection in his free time and spending time with his wife and daughter.
Ginetta Tajc joined VITAC in 2006 as a Schedule Administrator. She has since been promoted to Assistant Manager of Realtime Scheduling, where she is responsible for scheduling over 150 captioners for 220,000 hours of live programming per year.
Her favorite part of working at VITAC is her co-workers. Their dedication to the job and humor make for an enjoyable work environment.
Ginetta was a Theatre & Communications major and Human Resources minor at Gannon University, and likes to spend time with her family and travel to visit friends.
Scott Harrington started as a Production Coordinator at VITAC and worked his way up to Realtime Supervisor, then Sports Supervisor, his current position. He is responsible for managing schedules for over 57,000 hours of sports programming per year and communicating with sports clients across the country.
Scott enjoys working with our sports clients on a daily basis to schedule programming.
Scott has a B.A. in Radio-TV-Film from Temple University and a master’s in Elementary Education from California University of Pennsylvania.
Matt Ryan joined VITAC in 2012 as a Production Coordinator. He was promoted to Sports Supervisor in 2013, where he is responsible for scheduling and production of captioning for over 57,000 hours of sports programming per year.
He enjoys working with the great team of people at VITAC.
Matt earned his bachelor’s degree in English from Duquesne University, and his master’s, also in English, from Hunter College.
Drew Blasingame is the Supervisor in our Client Sales and Services department. In his role, he services existing customers, develops solutions for new customers, and trains new Client Services Coordinators. His specialty is explaining even the most complicated processes to captioning novices. From Vantage workflows to frame rate conversion, realtime via IP to web-based file formats, Drew truly serves on the front line when new and complex services must be developed. Drew joined VITAC in 2008 as a Traffic Coordinator and was promoted to the Client Sales and Services department in 2009.
The best part of his job, Drew says, is his co-workers and customers, especially those he was able to help personally make their programming accessible.
Prior to VITAC, he spent 10 years in technical writing and customer service. He has a degree from West Virginia University.
Tim Born started at VITAC in 1999 as an Engineer Assistant. He’s responsible for maintenance of all of the satellite receivers in our technical center, all of the satellite dishes, all wiring from the satellite dish farm, and all the wiring in the building. He also maintains of all the phone lines at headquarters and at the remote realtime captioners’ homes, tracks all maintenance done on the generator, and builds various structures for VITAC hardware.
Tim holds an Associate’s degree in Electronics from Pittsburgh Technical Institute.
In his spare time, he enjoys camping, staying at his place near Conneaut Lake, watching the Steelers, Penguins, and the Pirates, and spending time with his granddaughter and dog.
Brittany Bender joined the VITAC team in 2012 as a Production Coordinator on the night shift in the Realtime department. In December of 2014, she was promoted to the Marketing Department as the Marketing Specialist. Some of her duties include blogging weekly, maintaining and creating content for the VITAC social media accounts, performing market research, writing proposals, and assisting the sales team with various projects.
Brittany thoroughly enjoys learning about the constant changing world of media and accessibility and new ways to communicate and present information to the public.
Brittany is a 2012 graduate of Clarion University of Pennsylvania where she earned her B.S. in Communication and a minor in Political Science. She served as the president of the National Broadcasting Society and was inducted into their honors fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Rho. She also worked at her college radio station, WCUC-FM, where she held many positions, including Assistant Production Director, Program Director, and General Manager.
In addition to spending time with family, friends, and her Yorkie-Shih-Tzu mix, Lita, she’s truly happy when she’s onstage singing karaoke, attending musical theater performances and concerts, and listening to any one of her vinyl records from her collection.
James MacPherson joined VITAC in 2007 as a Realtime Production Coordinator on the late night shift. In 2011 James joined the Client Sales and Services team, where he serves as a late-night point of contact for our current and potential customers. He’s known for his positive attitude and ability to triple task, and is responsible for servicing existing clients, developing solutions, and sending quotes to potential new clients, and ushering most programming through to the proper department for captioning. He is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts.
Along with his reliable and competent co-workers, James likes “the problem solving that comes with meeting the needs of each different client.”
When he is not at work, he enjoys watching anime with his wife, professional wrestling with himself, and hanging out with his pug and his cat.
Christi Dean began her career at VITAC in 2012 as a Production Coordinator on the night shift. In 2014 she joined the Client Sales and Services team, acting as communication liaison and problem solver between various departments and clients.
Besides her co-workers, Christi enjoys that there is never a dull day as Client Sales and Services representative. There is always something happening in CSS!
Christi graduated from California University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Communications Studies: Public Relations.
Outside of work, you can find her taking her dog, Josi, for hikes, running through her neighborhood and parks, binge-viewing TV shows, going to concerts and sporting events, and enjoying happy hours with friends.
Kristin Uhing began working at VITAC in August of 2010 as a production coordinator, and in April of 2012, became a Traffic Coordinator. She was promoted to Client Sales and Services Representative in July of 2015.
She enjoys working at VITAC because it provides a service to those who are hard-of-hearing and also really likes the people that she works with.
She attended Gannon University and holds a Communication Arts degree and a minor in Advertising Communications. While at Gannon, Kristin was a member of the Alpha Sigma Tau sorority, and a member of her college radio station, WERG. At WERG, she was the webmaster for a year and the music director for two years.
Kristin lives in West Mifflin with her husband, Joe, and Lab-Retriever mix named Dobby. A former competitive swimmer, Kristin enjoys swimming in her spare time, and reading, particularly the “Game of Thrones” books. She also likes to spend time with friends and family.
Amanda Kahl began her VITAC career in July of 2013 as a Traffic Coordinator. In her role as a Client Sales and Services Representative, Amanda is responsible for communicating directly with clients and other VITAC departments to meet the needs of our customers.
She has a great sense of pride in helping the deaf community, and the idea of being a part of the “bigger picture”.
Amanda attended California University of Pennsylvania, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a concentration in English Writing. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family. Some of her favorite things are her pug named Librelda, watching anime, and reading.