A native of Guatemala – 4th generation, her deaf childhood was spent in Ft. Lauderdale Oral School for 11 years. She attended American School of Guatemala before she went to Florida School for the Deaf and Blind (FSDB). She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and a Master degree in Educational Technology from Gallaudet University. She was an instrumental in setting up Educational Interpreting Program at the University of South Florida in 1995 and worked as a department coordinator for 5 years. Currently, she is married to Bennett Smith Jr and has 3 adult children. Her family relocated to Utah from Florida in 2007 due to her job promotion at Sorenson Communications as the National Training Manager in Outreach department. During her spare time, she enjoys gardening, browsing books at bookstores, and watching Netflix.
Ashli-Marie was born in Alaska and is a Tlingit (Native Alaskan). She was raised in Washington State. She got involved in local politics when she was twelve years old. She has loved community involvement and advocating ever since. She attended Rochester Institute of Technology and now lives in Salt Lake City, where she works as the secretary for Jean Massieu School. She loves traveling, reading, chatting with friends, watching movies, and playing with her deaf dog, Buzz.
Born deaf, Pamela Mower grew up in Salt Lake City. She earned her degrees (Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies) and (Master of Science in Administration and Supervision) from Gallaudet University. She worked at Gallaudet University for over 10 years as an Employer Specialist in the Career Center before moving back to Salt Lake City and worked at Sorenson VRS in the Marketing Department as a studio producer. After four years, in May 2013, Pamela started at Sanderson Community Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing as a statewide employment specialist. She loves to read, watch TV/movies, tease people and spend time with family, friends and cats.
Born to a wonderful hearing family in Iowa, Stephen became deaf at 9 months old from meningitis. His family learned sign language and sent him to a deaf camp almost every summer. In 2006, he went to Rochester Institute of Technology and earned a Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice. He then moved to Utah in 2014 for a job at Sanderson Community Center as a case manager for the deaf and hard of hearing. He loves spending time with his beautiful wife, playing board games, traveling and spending some time outdoors.
I was born deaf in Santa Maria, California. Shortly after I was born my family moved to Germany. Upon learning that I was deaf at age one my family decided to move back to the states. My childhood was spent in Syracuse, Utah. I earned a CNC machinist certificate from Davis Applied Technology College. My whole life I have enjoyed the arts in all forms. My life story is still being written, and I eagerly await what the future has in store for me.
Brooke Grossinger was born Deaf into a Deaf family and grew up near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 2004, Brooke graduated from Gallaudet University with a bachelor’s degree in Deaf studies. In 2008, she earned a master’s degree in American Sign Language (ASL) education. Brooke’s husband Mark is Deaf. They have two children, one of whom is Deaf. Her depth of knowledge about ASL and Deaf culture is rich, something she passionately shares and discusses daily.
Currently, Brooke is in her tenth year of working with Sorenson Communications. She currently serves as community engagement manager in Sorenson’s marketing department, a place she describes as “a blended family” comprised of Deaf and hearing coworkers.
Brooke’s ambition is to ensure all people gain a deep understanding of ASL and of the values and history of Deaf culture.
Liz Jarashow is from Fremont, CA and she has lived in different cities across the country before moving to Salt Lake City, UT. Since she transplanted her roots in Utah, she has been recognized for her contribution to the deaf community and she’s going to be a bigger part by being a board member of Utah Association of the Deaf this year. She currently works as the Marketing Events Coordinator at Sorenson Communications. During her spare time, she enjoys scuba-diving and going on camping trips with her van.
Martin grew up in the backyard of the NAD Headquarters in Maryland where he attended public schools. Upon graduation from NTID/RIT with an associate’s degree in Computational Mathematics, he worked as a deaf advocate and information specialist in Rochester. He then went on to Gallaudet University and graduated with a bachelor’s in dual majors, Mathematics and Government. After a brief stint in working with deaf people in inner cities of Chicago and New York, he graduated from Western Maryland College with a master’s in Deaf Education. After many years as a math teacher and math curriculum specialist at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind (FSDB), he went to obtain a Ed.S degree from Idaho State University in Special Education which enabled him to become the principal of both middle and high schools at FSDB for 10 years. He has been involved in Jr. NAD since 1996 and was instrumental in setting up the Pages program at two NAD Conferences. While serving as a board member of the Florida Association for the Deaf, he also chaired the NAD Youth Strategy Team. Taking a break from education, he served as the National Director of Community Relations with Sorenson Communications for three years. Missing the joy of interacting with students, he returned to the education field by becoming the Director of Kenneth Burdett School of the Deaf in Ogden, Utah as part of Utah School for the Deaf and the Blind.