“You must be the change you want to see in the world.”
-Mahatma Gandhi

Board Members Wanted!

If you would like to serve on our board of directors, please fill in the information below and we will send you more information.  
We are also in need of regional Parent Leaders.  If you are interested in organizing event, hosting speakers in your area, or attending conferences on behalf of Montana Hands & Voices contact us below.

Moriah Cochran, Parent, Co-Founder, Montana Hands & Voices Board Member

Stevensville

Moriah lives outside of Missoula with her husband and 4 boys. Her youngest is profoundly deaf. Moriah works as a dental hygienist and enjoys camping, baking and spending time with her family. Moriah was drawn to Hands & Voices as she saw the value of parent support and  no bias over communication modes or modalities.

Vena Dagnall, Parent, BA Business Marketing, Co-Founder, Montana Hands & Voices Board Member

Canyon Creek

Vena and her husband live about 25 miles outside of Helena and have 2 children, the second of which was diagnosed as profoundly deaf at 18mo.  She has a Marketing degree from MSU (GO CATS!) and enjoys snowboarding, kayaking, camping and the outdoors in general.  She became involved in Hands & Voices to help improve the many different aspects of life for D/HH children in Montana.  

Rita Brandborg, Deaf Parent, M.A. Curriculum & Instruction, Deaf Mentor, Lead-K Board member, Montna Hands & Voices Board Member since 2018

Missoula

Rita grew up in Cheshire, CT and made the move to Missoula, MT in 2005. She was raised orally and later learned ASL throughout college. She has a background in Fine Arts and Photography from University of Hartford, CT. Rita also holds a M.A. in Curriculum & Instruction from University of Montana. Both Rita and her husband, Flynt, are Deaf, as well as their children. Rita relies solely on hearing aids and Flynt is a cochlear implant recipient along with their children. Because of their children, they primarily communicate using ASL in their home. However, with the inclusion of cochlear implants, both parents are practicing speech development with them. Rita truly enjoys being a stay at home mom and cherishes every moment with her children.

Kiera Kirschner, Parent, BS Enviromental Science, Teacher, Montana Hands & Voices Board Member since 2020

Bozeman

Kiera lives in Bozeman with her husband and young son. They enjoy camping, hiking, biking, and skiing together.  Her son was born hard of hearing and wears hearing aids. Kiera has a B.S. in Environmental Science, and has taught high school, middle school, and most recently preschool. She is excited to be serving on the MT Hands and Voices board.

Heid Houck, Parent, BS Civil Engineering, Montana Hands & Voices Board Member since 2020

Missoula

Heidi lives in Missoula with her husband and 3 children – the oldest twins.  One of her twins was diagnosed as profoundly deaf at 5 months old.  Heidi has a BS in Civil Engineering and works part time at an environmental consulting firm.  She enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, biking, camping, and skiing.  Her family has been members of MT Hands & Voices since it began, and Heidi joined the board in 2020 with hopes of supporting other families and sharing the journey.

Kayla Lee, Parent, Physical Therapist Assistant, Montana Hands & Voices Board Member since 2020

Great Falls

Kayla resides in Great Falls with her husband, two sons and a daughter. Her youngest son has a rare genetic disorder as well as being diagnosed with bilateral atresia at 2 ½ years old. She is a physical therapist assistant serving her community and looking to obtain her doctorate in Physical Therapy. She enjoys spending time with her family, working out at the local CrossFit gym, and being active in anything outdoors including camping, riding dirt bikes, and kayaking.  She became involved with Montana Hands & Voices because of their mission and is passionate in assisting other families on their personal journeys. She is eager to advocate throughout the state of Montana in order to provide needed resources and support for families, advocate for improved educational opportunities, and collaborate across the spectrum for D/HH children.

Katie Opp, Parent, MRID President, LEAK-K Committee, Interpreter, MA Deaf/Hard of Hearing Education, BA Special Ed

Katie currently works as a Deaf/Hard of Hearing Outreach Consultant for the Montana School for the Deaf and Blind (MSDB) and a freelancing community interpreter.  Additionally, she presently serves as President of the Montana Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (MRID) where she has served various positions on the MRID board since 2015, and on the Montana Language Equality Acquisition for Deaf Kids (LEAD-K) Committee.  Before beginning her current position with MSDB in 2018, she worked as an educational interpreter in Montana’s K-12 schools and as an early interventionist (Family Advisor) for MSDB for 8 years.  Katie obtained her master’s degree in Deaf/Hard of Hearing Education from the University of Northern Colorado and her bachelor’s in Special Education from Western Governors University.  Before changing gears in her education, Katie studied ASL-English interpreting and transliterating at a mid-west college following her passion for ASL and connection with the Deaf community that was sparked in high school ASL classes.  In her early years of K-12 interpreting, Katie studied, practiced, and obtained Montana’s required Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA) scores necessary to work in the K-12 sector.  Last, but definitely not least, Katie is a mom to three children, some of whom have special needs.  This means not only has she learned (and still learning) how to support her children at home, but she has also sat on both sides of the table for school meetings (as a mom and as a professional) discussing the needs of children which provides the asset of various perspectives.

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