DEAFinitely, Inc. is governed by a growing Board of Directors, all of whom reflect its mission and community served. The DEAFinitely Board represents a multi-lingual and racial group of African-American, Asian-American and Caucasian individuals between the ages of 22 and 62 years of age. It includes members who are Deaf, hard of hearing, hearing individuals fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) and part of the Deaf community, a nationally certified sign language interpreter, artists in visual and performing arts, disability advocates and individuals with disabilities, community-organizers, entrepreneurs and professionals,
all residing in the Greater Boston Area.
In addition to a Board of Directors that focus on governance and fiduciary oversight, DEAFinitely also has a diverse Advisory Council that offers advice and recommendations on programming and overall impact of the organization. The Advisory Council's thought leadership has a powerful impact on all aspects of DEAFinitely programs. Members help shape outreach strategy and bring critical expertise and experience in a range of areas that relate to the organization's mission.
Jody Steiner is DEAFinitely’s Advisory Council Chair. She brings a 30+ career of working within the Deaf community as a teacher of the Deaf with Newton Public Schools and a nationally certified sign language interpreter. Jody is also a former Director of a nationally-award winning theater company for Deaf youth in Boston at Wheelock Family Theater and an access advocate for people with disabilities in the cultural arts.
Melissa Brown is the Program Director for the Elementary School Program at The Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Horace Mann is the first public school to have district and state approval as a Dual Language program, qualifying students for the Seal of Biliteracy. Horace Mann School empowers students as Deaf individuals to be lifelong learners and innovative thinkers with diverse linguistic, ethnic, and cultural identities who are fluent in both American Sign Language and English. Melissa has been a part of the Horace Mann school and Deaf community for 25 years and has dedicated her life's work to empowering Deaf youth in education. She is an integral part of DEAFinitely programming and family coordination for Deaf youth.
Pauline Menchin is the mother of four children, ages 3, 7, 9 & 11. As a result of her youngest son being born with bilateral profound deafness, she was introduced to the amazing Deaf community. Her family has chosen to embrace American Sign Language as their family’s primary way of communicating with Ian. In turn the connection also led her to the Federation for Children with Special Needs. Pauline is the Central Regional Coordinator for Family TIES of Massachusetts, a project of the Federation for Children with Special Needs in collaboration with and funded by the MA Department of Public Health. As a parent-professional, her goal is to bring information to families across the commonwealth regarding the vast resources available to them. Before working at the Federation, Pauline worked in Finance/Investments and Computer Programming with Bank of America and their Asset Management Group, Columbia Management Group.