Children of Deaf Adults, INC. 

CODA celebrates the unique heritage and
identities of adult hearing
individuals with deaf parent(s).

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, Ray Williams
Region 6, Term: 2018-2020

Represents Northern Hemisphere, excluding United States & US Territories

Ray Williams hails from Liverpool, United Kingdom. Both of his parents were deaf along with members of his extended family including 2 Deaf Aunts and 2 Deaf Uncles. Ray was raised using both British Sign Language (BSL) and Spoken English. Since a young age Ray had always aspired to become a British Sign Language Interpreter. This aspiration came to fruition back in early 2011, Ray worked mainly as a Community Interpreter, until now where he is a VRI/VRS Interpreter Part Time. The rest of his time Ray, with his partner, own and operate a chain of Subway restaurants.  

Ray has always been aware of the term 'CODA' but it wasn't until his late teens/early 20's that he started to feel more inclined to be involved with CODA activities. Ray was a Board Member for CODA UK & Ireland from 2012-2016 when he decided to step down.

 Ray's first CODA International conference was New Orleans back in July 2013 and he was hooked, been every year since! 

Vice President, Robin Dragoo
Region 5, Term: 2017-2019

Represents US States: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington

Robin Dragoo has been a Board member since 2013. Currently serving as the organization Treasurer, Robin enjoys the service he is able to give to the members of CODA International. Born in Los Angeles, California, USA, Robin has been a resident of Mesa, Arizona, USA since 2006. He is currently an Interpreter working in a variety of settings and has worked with the local Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) affiliate chapter as its Secretary and President. 

Personally, Robin enjoys running, woodworking and working on his 1970 Chevrolet Nova. In addition, he is an avid college and professional football fan, team favorites are the National Football League's Seattle Seahawks and college football team, University of Southern California Trojans (FIGHT ON!!). When he's not doing the above. Robin enjoys
spending time with his two Koda daughters, Hillary (16) and Danika (10).

Treasurer, Monique Clark

Member at Large, Term: 2017-2019
Represents general membership without restriction to regions.

Monique (Mo) Clark is from the Bay Area of Northern California. There she attended her first CODA Conference in 2010. Monique very passionately attends educational, professional development workshops, conferences and events related to Sign Language Interpreting, Social Justice, Cultural Competence & Accountability and Understanding Diversity & Equality, The Privilege Institutes, Diversity & Inclusion and Empowering Women of Color Conferences. Committed to her quest for Multicultural Diversity & Inclusion, Cultural Sensitivity and equality within CODA organization, Mo has committed whole heartedly to openly contribute from a place of love and innovative mind and spirit for supreme limitless and an unbarred CODA Tribe experience.

Secretary, Suzanne Nace

Region 3, Term: 2017-2019
Represents US states: 
Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin

Hail from OHIO. I am a transplant Coda, originally from Virginia. I've been residing in Ohio for 20 years, where the last 16 years I've been enjoying my Mom status. I have a daughter 16, and a son who is 4. In the chance I have a little down time, I attempt to spend time with dear friends, good food, and the occasional apple cider libations. 

I have decided in all my spare time, to return to college to finish my degree. A dual purpose. I am currently working in the family biz as an interpreter and looking to transition into post-secondary education where it is my hope to be a positive change to future colleagues while demanding a higher standard of quality for our parent's liaisons to the hearing world. Additionally, I am learning techniques to better the non-profit organizations I am affiliated. 

Tommy Walker
Region 1, Term: 2017-2019
Represents US states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia

Tommy lives in Philadelphia PA. He is a freelance and educational Interpeter. Tommy went to his first CODA Conference in 2002 in Philly and have been going since. He loves to travel, hike, camp, beaches, water, forests, nature and loves ASL! 

LaVonia Gorsuch
Region 2, Term: 2018-2020

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

LaVonia Gorsuch is an OCoda (only child) from Birmingham, Alabama. She attended her first SECODA retreat in the spring of 2013 which led her to her first CODA Conference (New Orleans). LaVonia resides with her husband, Chris, and son, Keiran. She is in the family business of interpreting and currently helping her husband pursue his dream of owning and operating a food truck, while also homeschooling her son. Free time is a luxury, but in the event she is afforded such she enjoys hanging out with loved ones, listening to podcasts, meditation, amateur photography, cooking, and random arts and crafts. Beside serving well, she hopes to reach the untapped pockets of Codas throughout Region 2 while also reaching deaf parents of Kodas – who are the future of our organization. LaVonia looks forward to the certain growth and diversification of CODA International and growing her Coda family. 

MateoLuis Ruiz-Williams
Region 4, Term: 2018-2020

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

MateoLuis "ML"  Ruiz-Williams is from the beautiful state of Colorado. The first generation Cuban-American in his family, he is tri-lingual in ASL, Spanish and English. He is currently working on Hindi and ISL (Indian sign language)  He attended his first CODA conference in Novi, Michigan in 2000. Since then he has attended a total of 6. He is the firmer founder and camp director of KODA-rado at Aspen camp for the Deaf. He is a community freelance interpreter who specializes in Mental Health. When he isn't working, he is travelling, eating, or spending time with his family and dog, Rosco. 

Tshepiso Mokoena
Region 7, Term: 2015-2017

Represents Southern Hemisphere

Tshepiso Betty Mokoena born to Deaf parents, currently based in the City of Cape Town: South Africa, working for the University of Cape Town (UCT), worked for the South African Parliament as a South African Sign Language (SASL) Practitioner. She’s the Founder & Director of Tshepiso Mokoena Foundation (

Studied a National Diploma in Linguistics of South African Sign Language at the University of Witwatersrand in 2000. Subsequent to that transcribed and translated Deaf life stories of Gays and Lesbians in South Africa working with Dr. Ruth Morgans at Gays and Lesbian Archives (GALA ). Furthered her studies at Regenesys Business School, completed Post graduate Diploma in Business Management. In addition to that she obtained different advanced certificates in Project Management, Presentation skills and Desmond Tutu Women in Leadership program. Working alongside her paternal uncle who is also Deaf, she has initiated various advocacy programs for the Deaf communities from 2001 to date. Officially founded Tshepiso Mokoena Foundation (TMF) in 2012, a Board Member of Sign Language Education Development (SLED), Mentored SA Sign Language Interpreters, a World Pulse Community Contributor and Listener for Women Development. Advocating for change and utilising Media to raise awareness and to fight for the plight and rights of the Deaf communities of South Africa. This has been her passion and drive from the early days of 2001. She is a recipient of the 2013 Professional Fellows Distinguished Impact Award, commissioned by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S Department of State. Completed Women in Business Mentorship Program with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women based in the UK. 2016 L'oreal Paris Women of Worth Honouree. All these achievements are attributed to the advocacy work she has been doing in the Deaf communities of South Africa.    

Jenny Blake
Member at Large, Term: 2018-2020
Represents general membership without restriction to regions.

Jenny Lambrecht Blake was born to both deaf parents in Honolulu, Hawaii where she currently resides. She grew up in a multiracial family. Mother is Chinese and Hawaiian while her father is Caucasian and Lebanese. Jenny also has 2 deaf uncles, a deaf aunt and sister- in-law. She's a mother to 3 twenty-something sons and a preteen daughter. 

Jenny attended her first CODA conference in 2001. Then hosted the 2004 conference in Waikiki. At the Las Vegas conference in 2005, she set up the first multicultural breakout group to address the additional experiences that impact the lives of our deaf parents as well as ourselves. She's very passionate about more outreach to the marginalized population so they can experience the wonders of CODA International. 

Jenny has been in the family busines since 1998 and had served as president for Hawaii RID for 5 years in which HRID hosted the Region 5 RID conference in 2012.

In her free time, she goes to the beach, travels, binges on Netflix, goes shopping or sleeps. 

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