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Board of directors

The CODA International Board consists of 9 active Board members:

7 regional representatives and 2 Member-at-Large positions. Email Board members by selecting your region below.
Elections for in-coming Board members takes place online, prior to annual conference and
transitions occur at the close of conference.

President, Abby Long
Region 3, Term: 2021-2023

Abby Long is president and , region 3 representative. She has been a D/HH teacher in Chicago Public Schools for 20 years. Abby has lived in Chicago for 20 years and been involved with CODA Illinois for about 10 years. 

Represents US states, region 3: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin

Vice President, Janie Powell
Region 4, Term: 2022-2024

Janie Powell has been a member of CODA International for 30 years. She was honored to receive the CODA International Distinguished Service Award in 2017. Janie co-chaired two CODA International conferences in New Orleans, Louisiana. She has also served six terms as the State President of the Louisiana Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID). Janie served on RID's By-laws committee for four conferences.

Represents US states, region 4: Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Wyoming

Secretary, Leah Monson
Member at Large 2, Term: 2023-2025

My name is Leah Monson and I was born and raised in Seattle, WA. I work primarily as an Interpreter and when I'm not working, I enjoy hanging out with my wiener dog in the beautiful PNW, pottery, traveling and hosting events. I partner with the local Deaf club in the Seattle area to host and promote K/Coda events that are welcome to all ages, sometimes Deaf codas too! Some of my biggest passions are advocacy and connection. These are two things that are essential for self growth, and growth in an organization such as this. I've been a natural born leader my whole life and my mission is to always work diligently, even if it's challenging at times. We all share a precious gift- mother father Deaf, and without mine I wouldn't be who I am today. Being a part of this community has helped me know deeper parts of myself that I didn't know existed and it is truly a gift. I am excited to be part of the board and contribute to positive change and growth.

Represents general membership without restriction to regions.

Treasurer, Trudy Schafer
Member at Large, Term: 2022-2024

Trudy is an OCoda originally from Chicago who has lived in Boston since the early 90s. Married to Coda, Bob Hoffmeister, she has 4 children one of whom is Deaf and 7 grandchildren, one of whom is a koda. She has a long history of board participation with many organizations including CODA International where she served as president for 2 terms (1997-2001). She's a certified interpreter and interpreter educator. She had a dual career in state and local government for 12 years while interpreting. She holds graduate degrees in public administration and interpreter education. Trudy has been a member of CODA International for over 30 years.

Represents general membership without restrictions to regions.

Lily Pacheo
Region 1, Term: 2021-2023

Lily Pacheo is a native New Yorker, Pace University Alumni, holding a B.A. in Business Administration, Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) Certified Interpreter, and a successful business owner. She is currently serving her 2nd term as the Region 1 Director.

Represents US states, region 1: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia

Valerie McMillan
Region 2, Term: 2022-2024

Represents US states, region 2: Alabama, Washington, D.C., Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Virgin Islands

Stella Butora
Region 5, Term: 2021-2023

Stella Butora is a Michigander through and through: "I have also lived in Arizona, Ohio, Missouri, and Indiana. Then my mom was having health issues, so I decided to move to Arizona to assist her with her medical needs. I met some codas that had strong personalities, who introduced me to Coda retreats. Then I went to my first conference. It was a whirlwind and I was tempted to leave and never come back. I’ve always told myself give it three times and then decide, and that is what happened. I fell in love with CODA International. Now I am part of the Conference, I help with the LIVE and SILENT auction.We have increased our scholarship funds; which makes me proud to be a part of conference. As the Representative for Region 5, I am here for the underdog. Especially for people that do not feel heard. My goal for Region 5 is that we be open and listen as we grow."

Represents US states, region 5: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington

Gunilla Karlsson

Region 6, Term: 2022-2024

Gunilla Karlsson comes from Sweden. She has served as chairman for five years in CODA Sweden. She has worked most of her life in industry within the “hearing world”. Since 2015 however she has been able to combine engineering and her  coda experience within our family business, Lidol. Lidol is a retailer and advisory service within the area Complete Communication: accessible telephony and digital meetings on distance as well as locally, for deaf, deaf blind and people with hearing loss. Gunilla's parents Inger Malmberg and Arvid Karlsson were born in 1931 and went to the deaf school Vänerskolan. She has been to four international CODA conferences. Special interest: Codas that don't see themselves as bilingual and often live totally within the hearing world as adults. Many of these could benefit from having contact with deaf people, and most surely deaf community would benefit from having them in. Gunilla want to share information and try to inspire members to engage in arranging meetings and events or to share knowledge within interesting areas. Gunilla is the region 6 representative and as such the board liaisons for the CODA 2023 conference in Incheon, South Korea.

Represents Northern Hemisphere, (excluding United States & US Territories)

Joseph Ameho
Region 7, Term: 2023-2025

Joseph Toyin Ameho, the eldest son of three children and a professional Sign Language Interpreter. He was born into the prestigious Deaf family of Mr. Oliver Ameho & Mrs. Victoria Ameho. He attended Holy Cross Catholic primary school, Ojoku High School, Lagos Government College and Lagos Tolu complex where he completed West African Examination. He further studied English Language and Deaf Education at the Federal College of Education (Special) in Oyo. He proceeded to the better by far University, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria for his Bachelors Degree in Education majored in English Education. He has worked as a Teacher in various Deaf schools, at Wesley School for the Deaf and State Grammar School Special Unit. He has also worked as a Sign Language Interpreter at the Federal College of Education (Special) in Oyo and the University of Ilorin, Ilorin. He is currently based in Sweden since 2019, where he currently works as a Health Care Assistant. He has received many accolades and awards in his profession. In 2010, he was honored with the Wesley School for the Deaf’s Best Teacher of the year award, he also received the Outstanding Sign Language Interpreter Award in 2015 from the Deaf Student Association at the University of Ilorin. He is the founder and Vice President of the growing Coda association in Nigeria (CODANigeria). His first Conference was CODAHaven, hosted in Rhode Island, 2018 and CODALove hosted in Paris, 2019. 

Represents Africa & Southern Hemisphere (excluding United States & US Territories)


CODA International is a private organization maintained and governed by CODA International members. Codas being persons who have one or more parent with a demonstrable and verifiable hearing loss. Non Codas interested in becoming Supporting Members are encouraged and highly welcomed. Persons joining as a voting member or registering for CODA International conference or specified events, found to be non-Coda will automatically have their status changed to Supporting Member and any dues or fees paid to CODA will be forfeited. The privacy and security of all registered members is a top priority for the purpose of admittance, denials, and revocations. 

CODA International is not responsible for non-affiliated social media accounts which may not be a direct representation or share the beliefs that of CODA-International websites etc. 

Official Social Media accounts CODA International:
Facebook: Children of Deaf Adults International Inc.  ~ 
Twitter: @codaintl ~ Instagram: codainternational ~ YouTube: CODA International Inc

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