BOARD OF DIRECTORS
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.
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.
Vice-President of Internal Affairs
Lorrie continues to be a leader in the deaf community by being involved with Olathe Club of the Deaf and Kansas Association of the Deaf.
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 Bachelors degree in Mathematics from Gallaudet University. She moved back to Kansas with her family in 1988.
Lorrie is also Kansas Association of the Deaf Treasurer, President for Olathe Club of the Deaf, and Board member on Kansas School for the Deaf Endowment Association.
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.
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 Masters 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 Denver, Colorado 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.
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.
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!
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.