Richard (Rick) Brown - President
Richard S. Brown retired as the Chief Judge of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals on September 1, 2015. He was the last original member of the court of appeals, having begun on August 1, 1978, 37 years before. At the time of his retirement, he served on the Administration of Justice committee of the Council of Chief Judges of State Court of Appeals. He is active in the ABA. He was on the Nominating Committee and, therefore, the House of Delegates where he was a member of the House Technology and Communications Committee. Prior to that, he served on the Commission on Disability Law from 1992-98 (He was chair from 1995-98 under a former name) and served another term from 2008 -2011. He was a member of the Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs from 2012 to 2015. He was also co-chair of the IR&R Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its advocacy of Amicus Briefs. He, along with Professor Alex Hurder of Vanderbilt, founded the National Association of Law Students with Disabilities under the auspices of the Committee. Judge Brown has a B.A. from Miami University, a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an L.L.M. from the University of Virginia. He interned with the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division and was part of the team which worked on the Georgia Power case. He was an Assistant District Attorney in Racine Wisconsin from 1971-1973 and was in a private practice general litigation firm in Oshkosh until elected to the bench. He taught Decision Making Skills at the National Judicial College for 15 years and also taught “Daubert and the use of Scientific Testimony” He has also been a guest lecturer to judges in 40 states on the ADA and disability law. He is on the Board of Visitors to the University of Wisconsin Law School and, until retirement, was Co-Author and Revision Editor of “Standards of Review in Wisconsin” (State Bar CLE). He has published five articles in legal journals. Judge Brown was a member of the Wisconsin Judicial Council from 1983-1986, was co-chair of the Wisconsin Committee on Use of Technology in the Courtroom, was chair of the Small Claims Revision Committee, was Chair of the Committee on Interpretation in the Courtroom and was also a member of the Wisconsin Committee on Racial and Gender Bias. He was also a member of several committees of the National Center of State Courts. He was the Chair of the Succession Planning Workgroup of the Wisconsin State Bar and was also a committee member of an initiative to introduce young lawyers to the benefits of rural practice and providing legal services to underserved communities in Wisconsin. He lost the hearing in his right ear to measles at age 5 and his left ear to an acoustic neuroma at age 36. He received his first cochlear implant, a single channel House device, in 1980. He was the 69th person to receive an implant. He upgraded to a Cochlear 22 in 1989 and to a Nucleus 24 in 2010.
Cynthia Moynihan - Vice President
Cynthia Moynihan has extensive experience in non-profit organizations and a proud graduate of the two year Peer Mentor Program from Gallaudet University. Over the last 15 years, she has served on various non-profit and education boards and most recently completed her term as President of Hearing Loss Association of Florida in 2017. Cynthia is known for her outside the box approach to bring marketing concepts to life and embraces her extensive work experience and Masters in Business Administration to serve both for profit and non-profit organizations alike. With her own hearing loss that grew from hard of hearing to deaf from third grade on, she is a passionately well known hearing loss and Canine Companions for Independence, CCI, speaker with her CCI hearing dog hero, LaRue. Cynthia has the gift to capture and engage her audience around the nation. In between her full time work at Classic Modern, she embraces the opportunity to serve as Vice President of the ALDA, Inc. Board. Cynthia is excited to work together with fellow ALDA peers and the general public to continue to make hearing loss and the late-deafened visible. Cynthia extends a warm thank you to those who support ALDA and a warm welcome to others to join ALDA today!
Sharaine Rawlinson Roberts - Past President
Sharaine Rawlinson Roberts became completely deaf at the age of 14 after contracting spinal meningitis; twenty-three years later, Sharaine received a cochlear implant. Her board member experiences include various positions on the American Deafness & Rehabilitation Association (ADARA), Greater Kansas City Chapter of ADARA, Kansas Council of Disabled Persons, Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Minnesota Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, the NTID Alumni Association, NTID National Advisory Group, and NTID Foundation Board. Sharaine has been involved with ALDA since 1997.
Matt Ferrara - Treasurer
Matt has extensive experience with non-profit organizations financial systems. Over the past 23 years, he has been ALDA’s treasurer for fourteen years. He has been appointed to complete the terms of treasurers on several occasions. Between his terms as treasurer, Matt served as regional director for three years. He is also ALDA’s advertising director. In addition, Matt has been the business manager/treasurer for twelve ALDAcons, and the co-business manager for two other ALDAcons. Beyond his work for ALDA national, Matt is the treasurer of ALDA-Boston and the home owners’ association where he lives. A graduate of Brooklyn College, Matt is retired from Partners Healthcare Systems (Massachusetts General Hospital). He is hard of hearing and depends on two hearing aids. Matt has been married to his wife, Helen, for twenty years now. They have five children, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Tina Childress - Secretary
Tina Childress, Au.D., CCC-A is an educational audiologist in mainstream and residential school settings, technology and social media aficionado, late-deafened adult fluent in ASL, and a bilateral cochlear implant recipient. With her unique perspective and passion for sharing information through social media, she is a sought out international presenter and adjunct lecturer to families, adults and professionals on a variety of topics but especially Hearing Assistive Technology, apps, cochlear implants, advocacy and effective strategies for coping with hearing loss. Dr. Childress is active on many local and national Boards and Committees where she is a strong advocate for accessibility and disseminating resources.
Laura Sinclair - Region 1 Director
Achieving a BA (Psychology/Sociology UNH-Durham), my career included medical underwriter and landscape design firm owner. During progressive, genetic deafness I raised two children with my husband of 35 years. We now have a manufacturing business to allow family-time, adventure and long trips on our Yamaha Super Tenere. We use a Sena helmet system to communicate as I ride pillion. Having joined four ALDAcons and more hearing loss conventions since 1999, I enjoy mentoring, advocating for loops and captioning, and spreading awareness of new technology thru social media and personal connections. I served on the NH Commission for Hearing Loss 2007-2016 helping pass the 2011 insurance mandate providing coverage towards hearing aids for all ages, the NH Board of Licensure for Sign Language Interpreters consecutive 3-yr terms as the oral-deaf member, and established ALDA Seacoast NH Group (2018). Not fluent in ASL, I use CART, T-coil and cochlear implants (2012/2014).
Diane McDonagh - Region 2 Director
Diane McDonagh has been profoundly deaf since birth due her mother contracting German measles during pregnancy. Diane has been teaching for nearly 39 years at North Hennepin Community College as a full time professor and Augsburg University as a part-time professor. Diane became an author in 2015 with the publishing of her textbook, That’s ASL: Visualization of American Sign Language, Edition II. She is planning to release another book in the near future about her life and experiences as a deaf individual. Diane has two wonderful children and four grandchildren, all of whom are hearing. She is expecting two additional grandchildren in March 2020. Diane’s favorite saying is “never give up”.
Debbe Hagner - Region 3 Director
I have been a member of ALDA for about 5 years. I am currently the treasurer of ALDA Suncoast. I just love ALDAcon. I am looking forward to answering any questions and assisting in any way that I can as RD3.
Michelle Yook - Region 4 Director
Michelle Yook was born in South Korea as a hard of hearing person and was raised in an oral tradition in Korea. When she came to America in her early teens, she took ASL and Deaf culture classes. She received a Masters Degree in Social work from San Francisco State University in 2009, and she has worked as an advocate at the DEAF COUNSELING ADVOCACY & REFERRAL AGENCY (DCARA) since 2016. She has been a member of ALDA - San Jose for a few years and attended her first ALDACON in Portland, Oregon in 2018.