Meet our Advisory Council
Our Advisory Council currently has 4 members, including Rachel Friedman Narr, Director of DEAF Project.
Tina Jo Breindel:
“Dream all you want with your eyes wide open.”
Upon discovering that dreams make no obstacle too great, Tina Jo has tirelessly pursued advocacy for Deaf children’s right to ASL from birth. Her most recent passion is community involvement especially with hearing parents so they can better understand the misconceptions and misinformation about ASL. Her life example teaches us to follow our dreams, no matter how great! We are THRILLED Tina Jo is a member of the DEAF Project Advisory Council.
Born in New York to hearing parents and a vibrant Deaf community, Tina Jo, best known as “TJ,” grew up in the late 1950s, and witnessed not only protests against war and racism but also saw the prevalence of Audism.
When not working, educating herself or volunteering her time, Tina Jo authors children books, enjoys writing poetry, the natural world she finds by hiking up the mountains and the seashore, spending time with husband Joe and raising their three children, Jed now a senior at Gallaudet, set of KODA twin teenagers, son Ariel and daughter Beryl. When spending leisure time, she would generally prefer to stay at home with her family. She explains, "children grow like weeds, and before we know, they cultivate their way out from home!" She especially enjoys playing "host" to international guests and friends.
Tina Jo has received numerous awards and acknowledgements including:
· Leadership award from National Deaf Women United (1999)
· California School for the Deaf, Riverside (CSDR) Donna Schiller Award for support and devotion to children and community (2007)
· California Association of the Deaf "Heart of the CAD Community" Award (2013)
· California State University, Northridge National Center on Deafness (NCOD) John Bulwer Award for those who "dare to be different" (2014)
· Deaf Women Herstory month for significant contributions (2015)
· Gallaudet University Alumni Association (GUAA) Pauline "Polly" Peikoff Service to Others Award (2015)
· Inducted on Fanwood Alumni Association (FAA) Hall of Fame (2017).
· Trailblazer award for tireless advocate for literacy rights for Deaf children (2017).
Shawna Goldhammer is a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Itinerant teacher with the Orange County Department of Education. My passion for being a teacher of the Deaf came from my greatest position, a sibling of a Deaf adult (SODA). I am excited and honored to be part of the Advisory Council with the DEAF Project. I believe my personal and professional experience will help me contribute to the mission of our organization.
Marissa Seeman is a mom to three incredible children Raegan, Carter and Nixon. Marissa's son Carter is deaf plus with bilateral Cochlear
Implants. When Carter was six months old Marissa and her family started attending a DEAF Project family ASL class. Marissa and Danny
felt it was important to give Carter the opportunity to chose if he wanted to sign or orally speak. The ASL class taught The Seeman's
another way to connect and communicate with Carter and also provided a community they could lean on, learn from and be inspired by. Through
the classes Marissa was connected with another mom who became Carter's signing school aide. "DEAF Project has positively impacted our family in many ways, so it's important for us give back to the organization and help other families in our same shoes." DEAF Project is honored to be a part of the Seeman family.
Outside of Marissa's personal experience as a mom to a Deaf plus child, Marissa has a background in online and event Marketing, Business
Development, and Strategic partnerships. Marissa graduated from University of Arizona with a BA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship.
After college she moved to Los Angeles and began working at The Marketing Arm, where Marissa produced and managed large-scale experiential marketing campaigns for The Home Depot, Lawry's and Frito Lay. In 2007, Marissa joined The Knot to manage their online wedding registry partnerships and help retailers such as Bloomingdales, Tiffany & Co., and Bed, Bath & Beyond grow online sales. After helping launch The Knot’s 360 Universal Registry, Marissa moved to CheetahMail where she managed an email marketing team of 10 who developed and launched campaigns for Fortune 500 companies. Currently, Marissa is CEO of The Seeman household and is working on legislation for CMV (Cytomegalovirus) Universal Newborn Screening and awareness.