top of page


Our esteemed team of volunteer board members are dedicated to continuing and expanding our mission. We are a family of creative minds, qualified curators, and professionals in different fields who are bound by an undying passion for Deaf culture.

Meet the board of directors. Click to download a transcript.

Wendy Koch


Wendy is a lifelong learner and facilitator of her children’s lifelong learning. After graduating from Gallaudet University in Washington, DC, she went to support Deaf community services in employment, vocational rehabilitation, community education, advocacy, and empowerment for over 20 years. To supplement the work she did, she obtained her Master's in Public Administration from California State University, East Bay. After years of working at non-profit and public services, she went off the beaten path into a Deaf TV production assisting the creative team launching a film production of No Talking Allowed. After the wrap-up, she went to help her family with their business.

Wendy is currently at metro Seattle, Washington with her husband and their three children. As a lifelong learner, she continues to pursue training to improve Deaf services. Outside of work and volunteering, she enjoys hiking, appreciating the arts, knitting, gardening, and catching up on some great reads. Wendy looks forward in helping MDHAC thrive and help educate both the deaf and hearing worlds the wonders and amazement of Deaf history, art, and culture.

Lorrie Shank

Vice-President of Internal Affairs 

Lorrie loves to be involved in deaf community by being a leader and give various of supports to deaf community and deaf organizations. 

Lorrie was born in Kansas City, Kansas and grew up in Illinois during most of her childhood. She graduated from Wisconsin School for the Deaf and received her Bachelor's degree in Mathematics from Gallaudet University. She moved back to Kansas with her family in 1988.

Lorrie is currently a Board member of Kansas School for the Deaf Endowment Association, Chair of 2025 Deaf Seniors of America Conference in Kansas City and on board with Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. 

Melinni Taylor

Vice-President of External Affairs 

Melinni Taylor, also known as “Mel” is a Certified Community Partner Work Incentives Counselor. She received her certification from Virginia Commonwealth University, in collaboration with the Social Security Administration in 2013. As a deaf owner of Deaf Future Works, she educates Deaf, Deaf Blind, and Hard of Hearing beneficiaries about options under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) programs. Mel also explains other local, state and federal resources for people with disabilities who want to work. She also holds a bachelor and master’s degrees in Social Work from Gallaudet University.

Mel collects artwork from Deaf artists and has
a gallery wall in her home. In her leisure time, Mel enjoys sailing, reading, traveling, spending time with her family, and playing games. She resides in Austin, Texas with her husband, two children, a dog, and a cat.

suz dennis.jpg

Suzanne Dennis

Board Member 

Suzanne obtained her BA in Criminology from Gallaudet University and her Master's in Social Work from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Her credentials are LSCSW and now co-own a Deaf-owned interpreting agency.

Suzanne has and continues to sit on numerous local and national level boards, advisory committees and task forces geared towards services for the Deaf community. Suzanne continues to be involved with a variety of
projects that focuses on striving for the better services for Deaf citizens in her state and nationwide.


Jeanne Ewald

Board Member 

Jeanne currently retired from California School for the Deaf, Fremont, CA where
she was a Culinary Arts teacher for 32 years. She has been a leader within the
Deaf Community for over 30 years. She coordinated successful fundraisers for a
wide variety of non-profit organizations to support the Deaf Community. She
has been a Board member of the Museum of Deaf History, Arts and Culture
(MDHAC) in Olathe, Kansas for more than 5 years until my terms had ended due
to relocation to Southern California from Northern California in 2019. A few
months ago, she returned to serve on the MDHAC Board of Directors.

The Museum of Deaf History, Arts, and Culture has been on an extraordinary
journey since it was founded more than 30 years ago and Jeanne is inspired to
witness the immense transformation of the museum program. The teamwork
of the MDHAC Board has been phenomenal in continuing the museum’s growth.

Jeanne is married to Edward Ewald and a mother of Julia. In her spare time, she
enjoys Pilates classes, reading, cooking, and traveling.


Butch Zein

Board Member 

George "Butch" Zein, a fervent globe-trotter, boasts an eclectic travel dossier. He immersed himself in the vibrant culture of Tokyo for a full year and embarked on a solo odyssey around the world, traversing the landscapes of Southeast Asia, India, Africa, and Europe. His penchant for Mexico, owing to its geographical proximity and its cornucopia of rich and diverse culinary traditions and cultures, led to frequent visits.


In his illustrious career spanning over 25 years, George's professional journey commenced in California, where he assumed the role of Linguistic Research Assistant at the prestigious Salk Institute. There, he delved into the intricacies of how the human brain acquires American Sign Language (ASL). His trajectory culminated in upper management positions within both non-profit organizations and corporate environments, contributing his expertise to entities such as Deaf Community Services of San Diego, Inc., Deaf Counseling, Advocacy & Referral Agency, Sprint, MCI, CSDVRS, and a brief sojourn with Convo.


Furthermore, George stands as one of the founding pillars of the Deafhood Foundation and has conducted an impressive repertoire of over 100 classes and workshops addressing multifaceted issues concerning Deafhood. Presently, he imparts his knowledge as an instructor of ASL and Deaf Culture at Crafton Hills College, located in Yucaipa, CA.


In the realm of personal relationships, George has found profound companionship in his spouse, Allen Baki, a devoted son of a Deaf mother, Rosemary Stapp Mcgaugh, and a proud sibling of a Deaf sister, Risa Lewis. Their familial joy extends to their roles as doting uncles to three remarkable Deaf children: Marika, Karita, and Rory Lewis. Grateful acknowledgment is extended to Risa and Robert for perpetuating the distinguished lineage of Deaf heritage, which has spanned an impressive six generations. The couple currently calls Palm Springs, California, their abode.

kevin clark.jpg

Kevin Clark

Board Member 

Introducing Kevin Clark, a passionate advocate for the Deaf community. With a deep-rooted involvement in various roles, Kevin's unwavering dedication has led him to proudly serve as a board member of the MDHAC. Devoted to the mission and goals of the organization, Kevin actively supports the Deaf individuals, ensuring their rich history, vibrant arts, and diverse culture are celebrated both within the walls of our museum and online. Join Kevin in his noble cause, and together, let us create a lasting impact. Support, donate, and be a part of the MDHAC community today.


Matt Ellis

Board Member 

Matt Ellis hails from the sunny southern part of California, born Deaf to a Deaf family. Matt has experienced the full spectrum of Deaf education, attending a Deaf program in a mainstreamed school setting, finishing out his secondary school education at California School for the Deaf, Riverside, and attended Gallaudet University. Matt currently resides in San Diego where he works as Marketing-Sales representative at a Deaf-owned business, DawnSignPress.

A long-time passionate advocate of the betterment of the Deaf experience, taking the Deafhood 101 course in 2013 was a life-altering event that helped shift Matt’s perception of the existence of Deaf people on earth. Matt is fueled by the conviction that every single Deaf person should take the class once.

At the end of the day, Matt enjoys taking in the great outdoors through the sport of Disc Golf, partaking in stories through the medium of film and comics, and trying out the myriad of creative cuisines out there with family and friends.


Misty Flowers

Board Member 

Misty is a native of Washington State and has been employed by Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services (ADWAS) for 18 years as their Finance Director. At ADWAS, she manages a combined budget of approximately 2.9 million dollars. She has been the Treasurer of the Salish Sea Deaf School Board for 8 years since the school opened in 2015 in WA State. Misty has been working with the Deafhood Institute on their Finances since February 2020. Finally, Misty also volunteers with Deaf Spotlight to develop their annual budget.
Misty loves hiking, backcountry camping, and trekking. In April 2022, she trekked to Everest Base Camp via the Cho La Pass loop in Nepal and looks forward to the next trekking trip in Spring 2024 on the Camino del Norte / Camino Primitivo Route (16 days of trekking) in Spain and France. You will often find her in the mountains on the weekends in WA State year-round.


Chriz Dally

Co-Executive Director

When Chriz first started the process of "finding herself" during college, she fell in love. She fell in love not with a person but with the idea of “being Deaf”. With a stronger sense of a possibilities that there is a better way to define oneself with a right to exist, she graduated and went on in search of her “Deafhood", not realizing, at that time, that there would be such a word to describe this experiencing. For over 20 years, she relished her many roles serving Deaf people through community-involvement, advocacy, education, counseling, and consulting. It is through her connections with others, where her "world-view", or how she sees her world, has evolved, arriving with a deep affirmation that being Deaf is a way of life that is wholesome… not one that is broken or in need of a fix/cure. She is thankful for all the opportunities she had to work alongside wonderful people of various backgrounds and serve hundreds of Deaf children/ youth/ adults, their parents/ families, and allies within homes, schools, colleges, mental-health/ community-based agencies, and grassroots-based social organizations that fills the fabric of life within a Deaf community. While her journey in self-understanding continues, Chriz is enjoying life in Olathe, Kansas with the love of her life (a person, this time!) and their three beautiful CODA children!


Kim Anderson

Co-Executive Director

Kim Anderson is a passionate believer and proponent of lifelong learning. Kim believes that everyone has a creative spark in them and that it should be nurtured to its fullest potential. She strives to find ways to boost creativity and learning in every aspect of living life and share it with others.

Kim received her Master’s of Science in Adult, Occupational and Continuing Education, and a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Development and Family Studies, both from Kansas State University in 1992 and 1994 respectively. Kim also received her certification as a Certified Zentangle® Teacher in April 2016. Kim believes the Deafhood 101 course she took in 2013 was the impetus to all that came after to becoming the confident leader she is today, all because of the amazing Deaf peers, leaders and community that welcomed, embraced, and supported her.

From 1994 to 2016, Kim worked a combined 20+ years in vocational rehabilitation and community mental health programs geared towards serving the Deaf community, often with those who experienced language deprivation, in Kansas. During those years, Kim taught American Sign Language, Deaf Culture, personal enrichment and holistic wellness to a wide range of groups and individuals of all ages, socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.

Kim currently thrives on doing several tasks; as the President of the Kansas Association of the Deaf, as a Lecturer of the popular Introduction to Deaf Studies course offered through the University of Kansas - Edwards Campus, as a volunteer curator for the Chuck Baird Art Gallery, as an De'VIA Artivist and as a watercolorist.

Join The Board of Directors

The Board of Directors, staff and volunteers are an essential part of the Museum of Deaf History, Arts & Culture's growth and success. The MDHAC Board of Directors are always looking for enthusiastic and talented volunteers passionate about Deaf history, arts & culture. 

The talents, energy and skills of volunteers enable the Museum to serve all members of the general public, including children, families, and adults.  If you have the time, energy and talent to share, please consider becoming a volunteer to help the Museum in diverse ways to advance the Mission of the Museum of Deaf History, Arts & Culture.

bottom of page