EARS Board Members

Donicé Kaufman

President

Donicé is a co-founder of EARS, and serves on many other different boards. Donice established the very first health fair in Tennessee specifically for people who are deaf, hard of hearing and deaf-blind; this WellFEST continues strong to this day from Bridges! 

 

She used to work at Bridges (formerly League for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing) as the Director of Wellness & Education, and continues to advocate for the deaf, hard of hearing and deaf-blind as the Outreach Manager for Sprint TN Relay Service. 

When Donice is not busy advocating and sharing her wealth of knowledge to others, she enjoys fiber art, travel, reading, riding horses, caring for her chickens, and training her beautiful Golden Doodle to become a therapy dog. 

John Walsh

Vice President

John is Co-Director of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Program in Disaster Research and Training and former Assistant Professor and Assistant Director of the National Center for Emergency Preparedness at Vanderbilt University. His specialty fields include research related to emergency management, preparedness policy formulation, counter-terrorism theory and operations, human and organizational system factors influencing disaster operations, and utilization of Unmanned Aerial Systems in disasters.  

 

John has been involved in EARS since 2010 and enjoys reading, motorcycling and studying hummingbirds. He is a former US Marine and served in Vietnam. Thank you for your service John!

Sandy Cohen

Secretary

Sandy is a co-founder of EARS, along with being the founder of the statewide Library Services for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing program.

 

But that's not all! She has served in different leadership capacities on numerous boards of non-profit organizations, some of which are related to hearing loss. 

Sandy truly enjoys being able to share her many skills with whomever she can. When Sandy has free time, she enjoys baking, traveling, and reading. (Maybe we should ask her to bake us all a cake!) :-) 

Phil Yater

Treasurer

Phil is a retired Tax Analyst with Deloitte, top 3 CPA's with 35 years experience in Payroll Tax. 

 

He is involved as an Officer, Board and Member of several organizations in Mid Tennessee such as Nashville Chapter Tennessee Association of the Deaf (NCTAD), Iris Deaf Senior Citizen Club (IDSC), Mid-Tennessee Deaf Campout (MTDC), Mockingbird Community and Retirement Center (MCRC), Hearing Loss Association of America, Nashville Chapter (HLAA), and Emergency Awareness and Readiness Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (EARS). 

 

In the past Phil was also involved with the National Association of the Deaf Conference (1994), Tennessee Association of the Deaf (TAD),  Bridges (formerly League for the Deaf And Hard of Hearing) and Tennessee Council for the Deaf, Deaf-Blind and Hard of Hearing (TCDDBHH).

The things he loves the most in life are being with his wife, Nancy, family and grandchildren.  Can't forget to mention how much he loves to travel and relax on a white sandy beach (of course, with his wife Nancy!)  :-)

Nancy Yater

Governance Chair

Nancy is a former employee with Metro Nashville Public School and a seasonal postal worker at the Post Office.  Now, Nancy is a homemaker. 

She is involved as an Advocate, Board and Member of several organizations in Mid Tennessee such as Nashville Chapter Tennessee Association of the Deaf (NCTAD), Iris Deaf Senior Citizen Club (IDSC), Mid-Tennessee Deaf Campout (MTDC), Mockingbird Community and Retirement Center (MCRC), Hearing Loss Association of America, Nashville Chapter (HLAA), Your Heart on Art (YHOA) and Emergency Awareness and Readiness Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (EARS). 

 

In the past, Nancy was involved with the National Association of the Deaf Conference (1994), Tennessee Association of the Deaf (TAD), and former board member of Bridges (formerly League for the Deaf And Hard of Hearing).

The things she loves most in life are being with her husband, Phil, family and the grandchildren. She loves to travel, visit families in New York, Florida and Italy, watch old movies and relax on a white sandy beach.

Heidi Mariscal

Consortium Chair

Heidi has worked for the Nashville Office of Emergency Management for 15 years now, and still loves every minute of it! She is responsible for all aspects of emergency planning, training and emergency exercises for Metro Nashville and Davidson County. Besides being responsible for the activation and smooth running of the city's Emergency Operations Center, Heidi has done most anything with emergency management, including public information, emergency response, critical infrastructure management, shelter management, donation management, damage assessments and so on. She is very active in ensuring the whole community is accounted for in emergency plans, and happily advocates for everyone. 

Heidi has been involved in EARS from very early on, and is driven by seeing the moment when things 'click' in those she's teaching.  She is very passionate about her teachings, as she believes it is vital for others to be better prepared, so they can be self reliant during times of disasters. 

On a side note, if you have any questions about winter weather...Heidi is your go to girl since she was born and raised in the frozen tundra state...Wisconsin! Go Pack Go!

Andrew Perlman

Past President

Andrew is the past president of EARS, and has moved his career all the way to the New York City Emergency Management. He works with agency partners addressing issues related to individuals with disabilities and others with access & functional needs and their service providers. Andrew also chairs New York City’s Access and Functional Needs Working Group, a consortium of governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, disability service providers and advocacy groups. In support of the Operations Division, he also responds to large-scale incidents serving as liaison between response personnel and the Emergency Operation Center, facilitating timely provision of accessible facilities and services.

 

Previously, Andrew worked locally here in Tennessee as the Regional Mass Care and Logistics Manager for the American Red Cross in Nashville. 

Andrew learned many years ago just how overlooked the hearing loss community is when it comes to emergency notifications and emergency preparedness information. He tries to leverage his experience as an emergency manager to ensure all overlooked communities get what they need to be prepared for, respond to and recover from emergencies and disasters. Collaboration between emergency services and the Deaf and hard of hearing communities is the key to success.

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P.O. Box 330702, Nashville, TN 37203-7541

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