About Us


Our History

“I wanted to ensure that no American soldier or Marine would again have to ride blind into a foreign culture. I challenged the research community to create a training tool that would teach the brain behind every trigger finger and behind every steering wheel a bit of the gestures, culture and mission-oriented vocabulary of the land they were in. I also told the researchers that they had to do this with only two discontinuous weeks of contact time with the students.”

Dr. Ralph Chatham, Program Manager, Training Superiority, DARPA

Back in 2002, soldiers returning from Afghanistan reported challenges with region specific dialects and cultural etiquette, sparking new research. With military-caliber efficacy, precision and scalability in mind, the original virtual training modules were born. In addition to technological innovation, the mission to improve communication skills in cross-cultural experiences demanded input from professionals across innumerable disciplines. Today, Alelo is industry leading training technology coupled with knowledge and expertise to synthesize solutions to any business, educational, or governmental communications training needs. The Hawaiian word for tongue or language is “Alelo.” We were conceived out of the recognition that effective communication transcends the verbal variety, and the realization that innovative technology can teach it effectively and efficiently.


Why Alelo?

We’ve got you covered behind the screens.

Our patented training technology, with its proven record of success in governmental, educational, and business environments, speaks for itself. What makes Alelo different is our team of experts, unmatched in diversity and expertise, which allows us to devise the most effective training systems as precisely tailored to your specific needs as possible. We aren’t offering a few solutions to try. Where we come from, there weren’t always second chances – so we’re offering the solutions. Our cost-effective, scalable methodology also results in more consistent training, improved retention of material, and faster skill development over more traditional methods.

Alelo Leadership

Communication is all about people and experiences. We’ve hand picked ours to ensure we stay ahead of the competition and produce the best software training products for businesses, educational institutions, and government agencies.

W. Lewis Johnson, Ph.D

Co-Founder and Board Member

Dr. W. Lewis Johnson co-founded Alelo in 2005 as a spinout of the University of Southern California, under his leadership Alelo has developed into a major producer of innovative learning products focusing on communication skills. Alelo has developed courses for use in a number of countries around the world, all using the Virtual Role-Play method.

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Izett Barnett

Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Barnett is a Certified Public Accountant with over 15 years experience in finance and technology. His specialty is streamlining business processes to allow organizations to function more efficiently. He has worked for industry leaders such as Deloitte Consulting as well as smaller companies such as Concur Technologies and Vignette. His industry experience includes transportation, software, telecommunications and State and Local government. During his career he has worked as a Controller, Engagement Manager and Project Manager. Izett received his Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from Loma Linda University and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

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Cliff Kamida

VP – Production

Cliff Kamida has over twenty years of experience in interactive media production. Prior to joining Alelo as Senior Project Manager for Alelo’s Virtual Cultural Awareness Trainers (VCATs), Mr. Kamida produced computer and video games for Knowledge Adventure and the Walt Disney Company, and was Director of Partner Implementation at NearU Search, a mobile marketing company. He has also taught courses in Game Design and Game Production Management at National University. He received his B.A. in Journalism from the University of Hawaii.

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Alelo Board of Directors

Jared Bernstein, Ph.D.

Board Member

Dr. Jared Bernstein has been active in speech technology for over 25 years, focusing on applications in language education and the design of instructional and prosthetic systems. He co-founded Ordinate Corporation in 1997 which is now part of Pearson Knowledge Technologies, where he has designed automated spoken language tests in English, Spanish, Arabic and Chinese. Dr. Bernstein is also Consulting Associate Professor of Linguistics at Stanford University. From 1983-94, Dr. Bernstein was Principal Scientist in the Speech Research Group at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI International) where he served as Principal Investigator for projects sponsored by DARPA, NSF and NIH, including several on the prosthetic use of speech recognition and synthesis for disabled people. Dr. Bernstein holds a PhD in psycholinguistics (1976) from the University of Michigan and is the author or co-author of four patents and over 100 research reports in computational linguistics, speech synthesis, and speech systems engineering.

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Ambassador L. Paul Bremer III

Board Member

During three decades as a professional diplomat, L. Paul Bremer served as Ambassador to the Netherlands and Ambassador at Large for Counter Terrorism in the Reagan administration, and was the Presidential Envoy to Iraq from 2003 to 2004. Among his many other appointments, Mr. Bremer worked in the 1990s as Managing Director of Kissinger Associates, a strategic consulting firm headed by Henry Kissinger, and later served as Chairman and CEO of Marsh Crisis Consulting Company, a firm providing crisis management advice to corporate boards. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the Board of the RAND Corporation’s Center for Middle East Public Policy. Mr. Bremer holds a B.A. from Yale University, a Certificat d’Etudes Politiques from the University of Paris, and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. He speaks several languages, including French, Dutch, and Norwegian. In 2004, Mr. Bremer was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, for his service in Iraq.

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Thomas Lyman Chun

Board Member

Thomas Lyman Chun is a private investor. He served previously on the board of directors of Maxtor Corporation (NYSE) and on the board of advisors of Logitech International S.A. (NASDAQ). He was also a founder and first chairman of the board of the Corporation for Open Systems, a consortium of America’s leading computer and communications companies, and served as an industry spokesman to technology companies and the press in Europe, Asia and the U.S.. Mr. Chun was a vice president of Tandem Computers (NASDAQ) and SyQuest Technology (NASDAQ) as well as a founder and CEO of several start-ups. He holds a BA from Yale, a JD from Harvard, and an MBA from Stanford, and he studied international economics in the doctoral program at the Ecole de Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. He has been a lifetime language learner and has studied French, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Italian, German and Arabic through a variety of online and classroom methods.

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Richard Koffler

Board Member

Richard Koffler is a C-level executive who has been successfully launching and growing technology ventures for over 25 years. He has been a member of the Tech Coast Angels since 2001, and is a founding member of the Tech CEO Network, past president of both the Los Angeles Venture Association and the Technology Council of Southern California, and advisor to the California Emerging Technology Fund and the Wells Fargo Center for Small Business and Entrepreneurship at California State University, Northridge. He is also vice chair of El Centro Latino for Literacy. Richard holds computer science degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California, Berkeley.

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