Meet our Amazing Volunteers who breathe life into California Hands & Voices.

Executive Board

Rosabel Agbayani

Rosabel Agbayani

President of California Hands & Voices

Rosabel Agbayani (a child of Retired Navy Chief) lives in San Diego, California with her husband Mike and three children. Her son (pictured) was identified as deaf at the age of 3 in September 2010. Rosabel's passion for working with families began in 2002 (long before she knew she would be a mother of a DHH Child) as she worked for a non-profit organization, Supportive Parents Information Network (SPIN) San Diego. Working with low-income families and at-risk youth from a variety of cultural backgrounds, she learned to understand the importance of family engagement and empowerment by building community capacity through education and advocacy. Her career in Healthcare Administration helped branch her knowledge and expertise in Quality Risk Management and Clinical Research. It was a natural shift, applying her life experiences both professionally and personally committing her time to understanding the unique needs of families raising a Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing child. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts in Human Development, Bachelor of Science in Communicative Disorders & Deaf Education, and a Masters in Public Health Specializing in Health Promotion. Rosabel has committed her time working with California Hands & Voices since 2013. Her presentation "Raising a DHH Family" was featured at the 2017 DHH Family Camp in Julian, California. She served as the Regional Representative for Area 8 (San Diego & Imperial Counties) from 2017-2019 and was a member of the Diversity Panel that presented both at the 2017 Hands & Voices Leadership Conference in Galena, IL and the 2018 EHDI Conference in Denver, CO. She was the Unit President for California PTA at Park Village Elementary and currently serves as the Chair of the Special Education Community Advisory Committee for Poway Unified School District. She currently works for Rady Children's Hospital San Diego as the Lead Clinical Research Coordinator for the the Department of Rheumatology.

In all that she does, her spirit of collaboration is the driving force for creating a positive movement for the benefit of ALL children, especially those who are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing. Her hopes is to continue to build on the ideal of Family-Centered Care giving parents the access to comprehensive information from a wide variety of community resources. With the work of the team at California Hands & Voices, Rosabel hopes to bridge those essential connections within the community to enable children who are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing reach their highest potential.




Yiesell Rayon

Yiesell Rayon

Vice President

Yiesell is the Vice President of California Hands & Voices.




Cora Shahid

Cora Shahid

Executive Director

Cora and her husband live in San Diego and are proud parents an adult daughter and two sons. Both boys were born with a moderately severe hearing level. From the very beginning she believed in early parent to parent support, DHH role models (adults and peers) and the importance of nurturing language development. Cora is a founding board member of CA H&V and currently oversees the chapter’s social media presence as well as managing membership, the database and our quarterly article submission for The Hands & Voices Communicator. She is on the planning committee for the CA H&V Family Camp in Southern California. Cora worked as a parent mentor with Parent Links for 6 years and has experience working with families of nearly identified DHH children. Her goal is for CA H&V to flourish so that non-judgmental support can positively impact every family in California raising Deaf and Hard of Hearing children! .





Kat Lowrance

Kat Lowrance


Kat and her husband Stan live in Redding, California, and they have 3 grown children and 2 grandchildren. Dylan is their youngest child and is Deaf. Kat is currently the Executive Director at Rowell Family Empowerment of No. California, a non-profit, IDEA funded Parent Center that provides support, information and training to families who have children with diverse abilities. Kat is also the Parent Links Coordinator for 47 CA counties and a Mentor for families who have Deaf or Hard of Hearing babies in far Northern California. There are 10 Parent Links Mentors in several communities throughout California reaching out to parents who have a Deaf/Hard of Hearing baby and help them navigate their way along the journey! Kat also is the Northern California DHH Family Camp Director for California Hands & Voices. Kat’s journey into the Deaf world started many years ago. I met my best friend, Toni, when I was in Middle School. Her first born son, Jamin, was born Deaf. She supported her navigation through some of those very early systems. When Jamin was 12 she had her youngest son, Dylan. At age 8 months, Dylan got spinal meningitis and as a result could not hear. Toni became her support person! I had learned SEE sign because the medical field told me that he would need this to learn to read and write. Well, as life went on I learned so much more! I continue to learn more everyday! I appreciate all the friends, the Deaf people and the professionals who helped me find my way!



Nancy Sager

Nancy Grosz Sager


Nancy Grosz Sager lives in Yuba City and is the secretary for California Hands & Voices. She was a teacher of the Deaf for the Sutter County Office of Education for 21 years, and she was the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Programs Consultant at the California Department of Education for 18 years. She retired last August, but she still works part time as a retired annuitant. By far, the best part of her job has been the opportunity to work with and support parents through the Parent Links program and the Hands & Voices organization. She is a mom of two great (now grown-up) girls, Jeannette and Michelle. They both live in Oregon. Nancy’s great partner in crime is Ken, and she has a wonderful service dog named Whisper.





Tony Ronco

Tony Ronco

Founding President

Tony is an involved dad, husband, and engineer. With his wife Jenny, they have two children: Their hearing son Austin and their Deaf daughter Dakota. Tony has a particularly strong passion for all children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing achieving Kindergarten Readiness and for those children to have the benefit of full family inclusion.





Board Members

Johanna Wonderlyemail

Johanna Wonderly

Region 2
Sarah Oliphant email

Sarah Oliphant

Region 3
Tina Selfemail

Tina Self

Region 5
Elizabeth Desloge email


Region 7
Brianna Meshke McLay email

Brianna Meshke McLay

Region 8
Elizabeth Harlan email

Elizabeth Harlan

Region 8
Anel Herrera email

Anel Herrera

Region 9

Advisory Board

Mallorie Evans email

Mallorie Evans

Educational Audiologist, Professional
Brandi Castro email

Brandi Castro

Teacher of the Deaf, Professional
Kristal Molina email

Kristal Molina

Southern California Family Camp Co-Director, ASL Interpreter
Julie Rems-Smario email

Julie Rems-Smario

CDE Rep / DHH Adult
Dr. Carvalho email

Dr. Carvalho

Pediatric Otolaryngologist
Leslie Manjarrez email

Leslie Manjarrez

DHH Teacher
Syndi Lyon email

Syndi Lyon

General Ed Teacher / Southern CA Family Camp Co-Director
Griselle Ramirez email

Griselle Ramirez

Parent Links Representative
Anna Phillips email

Anna Phillips

DHH Adult / Professional at CEID
 Michelle Hu email

Dr. Michelle Hu

Au. D. / DHH Adult

Meet Our Webmasters

David Whittaker email

David Whittaker

Sherry Freitas email

Sherry Freitas


About CA Hands & Voices

California Hands & Voices is dedicated to supporting families with children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing in a respectful and non-judgmental manner regarding language opportunities, communication tools or educational approaches. We’re a parent-driven, non-profit organization providing families with the resources, networks, and information to improve communication access and educational outcomes for their children.

Support ♥

California Hands & Voices is a non-profit organization that depends on the support of its members to succeed. Please consider donating or becoming a member.

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Contact Us


California Hands & Voices
c/o Cora Shahid
15274 Andorra Way
San Diego CA 92129


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