Board of Directors
Sheli Barber, LPCC is a Deaf psychotherapist, licensed in California. She obtained her Master’s degree in mental health counseling from Gallaudet University. Upon graduating from Gallaudet University, she worked as a therapist at Sound Mental Health in Seattle, Washington for five years. She then worked as Direct Services Coordinator and as a counselor with Seattle’s Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services (ADWAS), where she specialized in working with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Vanessa Brown, M.Ed., DPAC Board President, has 35 years of administrative experience working in non-public special education school settings and as an active Board member for several community agencies, including ARC Associates. Ms. Brown has extensive professional and personal experience in mentoring and training families in the successful navigation of the educational, health and social services systems; and is the parent of a deaf plus young adult. She has developed programs for deaf children and other children, youth and adults with special needs. She is a DPAC co-founder. She is currently Transition Services Coordinator for an accredited special education high school.
Thomas St. Dennis
Thomas St. Dennis , DPAC Board Treasurer, is the Chairman of FormFactor, Inc., a leading provider of semiconductor wafer test technologies. Mr. St. Dennis held various positions at Applied Materials, Inc., a semiconductor equipment manufacturer; most recently as Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Silicon Systems Group. From 1999 to 2003, Mr. St. Dennis was President and CEO of Wind River Systems, Inc., a provider of embedded system software and Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Novellus Systems, Inc., a supplier of deposition, thermal processing and surface preparation equipment. In addition to serving on the Board of FormFactor, Mr. St. Dennis serves on the Boards of Axcelis Technologies, Inc., and Veeco Instruments Inc. Additionally, during the past five years, he served as a director of Mattson Technology, Inc., a supplier of dry strip and rapid thermal processing equipment. Mr. St. Dennis has had extensive management experience in large and small organizations throughout the US and Asia. He is also the proud father of a young man who participates in the DPAC program.
Nancy Eddy, DPAC Executive Director, founded the program. She has the experience as parent to her adult child’s lifetime of deafness and developmental disabilities, provider, advocate, friend and ally to other consumers and their families. Her training and professional qualifications include: BA in Social Science, elementary teaching credential, 5 years with Friends of Children with Special Needs where she developed programming and supported living opportunities for deaf and hearing participants, and 10 years with bay area family resource centers helping with families who had children with special needs find their way through the complex support systems. Prior to that she was a program director with American Express. We are very proud that Ms. Eddy received a 2016 Jefferson Award by KPIX television.
Stefanie Ellis-Gonzales, MSW, is a Counselor for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students at Ohlone College in Fremont, California. She provides a wide range of support and services for the culturally, socio-economically, ethnically, academically diverse Deaf and Hard of Hearing student population. Stefanie’s background also includes teaching, presenting workshops, and writing. As a parent of a deaf child with autism, Stefanie has a vested interest in increasing education, resources, advocacy, and networking opportunities for professionals and families of deaf children with autism. She is the Northern California Gallaudet University Alumni Assn. Chapter secretary and enjoys volunteering in the community and at the California School for the Deaf, Fremont (CSD). She and her husband, Len Gonzales, are the proud parents of third-generation Deaf children.
Brad Hatton graduated from the University of San Francisco with a degree in Transformative Leadership. Dr. Hatton has served his community as a Realtor for over 30 years. He serves on the Washington Hospital and Ohlone College Foundations. SSG Hatton is also an active member of the California State Guard. He spends his free time at home cooking and gardening. As a DPAC board member, Brad believes in collaborating with his peers to seek out better solutions and stronger outcomes for DPAC stakeholders.
Patrick is the Vice President of Information Technology at Silicon Valley Community Foundation responsible for leading the development and support of the information systems at one of the world’s leading philanthropic organizations. Previously Patrick supported companies in the robotics and semi-conductor manufacturing sectors leading teams focused on process and operational improvement. Patrick holds a bachelor’s of science degree in computer science from Long Beach State University. He is also the father of two children, one of whom attends Deaf Plus.
Julie Rems-Smario received her B.A. and M.A. from CSU-Northridge and her M.S. from SFSU. She is committed as a language equality activist where she can further her goal to preserve, protect and promote ASL for all Deaf children as a basic human right. As a co-founder of Language Equality and Acquisition for Deaf Kids (LEAD-K), she is involved in the legislative campaign to establish mandated language benchmarks for all Deaf children between the ages of 0 to 5; this legislative move will academically prepare the Deaf babies for Kindergarten. For the work she has done to push for Deaf babies’ rights, she was honored by DeafLife as the Deaf Person of the Year in 2014.
As the founding executive director of DeafHope, Julie was nationally recognized with several awards such as CNN Heroes, Pearls Award, and E-Women Network International Humanitarian Award. Currently, she works at DawnSignPress as marketing content developer for children's literature in ASL and English. She also still works on contractual basis creating public service announcements to educate the community about domestic and sexual violence in the Deaf community.