Our History

Ruann Wood, Founder of Visual Communication Interpreting, Inc.Visual Communication Interpreting, Inc. (previously a sole-proprietorship) was originally founded July 7, of 2007 by Ruann L. Wood, an RID certified sign language interpreter, and incorporated in July 2012. Ruann’s husband of 29 years, Greg (on the board of directors), retired from the U.S. Coast Guard after 20 years of service in 2007, and the Wood family relocated to Knoxville from Portland, Oregon.

Never in a million years, after taking a single business class and preparing one business plan at Portland Community College, did she think she would become the founder and CEO of an interpreting agency. However, God has a sense of humor. The Bible says He gives His children the desires of their heart.  One day Ruann was laying sick on a bed with frozen shoulder and had just started physical therapy to try to correct. She prayed to the Lord for a holy promotion to get out of working in a place she dreaded.  A week later the opportunity to acquire LINC (Language Interpreting Network Consulting – owned and operated by certified interpreter Beth Foreman) presented itself and that’s where this all started.

Ruann’s vision was clear.  She would run an agency that would raise the bar and set a new standard for professional sign language interpreting services in East Tennessee. Excellence, integrity, and sound business policies remain the foundation of this agency. Although many interpreting agencies send interns or non-certified interpreters for assignments they are unqualified to perform, Ruann envisioned an agency that consistently provides customers and clients with certified interpreters that possess skill, commitment to confidentiality, education, and adhere to strict ethical standards.

A shout out to Loren and Jessica Frick, two deaf individuals (currently residing in Georgia), for the name Visual Communication Interpreting (VCI). At a picnic table outside the Baptist Collegiate Center on the campus of the University of Tennessee back in June 2007, Ruann shared with them that she was in the process of acquiring LINC. The three sat down and brainstormed potential names.  The discussion was spirited because of a few constraints.  It was critical to avoid utilizing the word Knoxville so our service area was not limited. We did not want to include the word Deaf because the agency would serve both hearing and deaf people.  And the agency signature colors could not be orange (overused in Tennessee), purple (overused in the profession), and red/yellow (reserved for fast food and other retail outlets).  After a long conversation exchanging ideas, deliberations via email about what would easily roll off “the hands” in sign language, and a good overnight sleep, name Visual Communication Interpreting, VCI came to fruition with signature colors royal blue and lime green.

Over the past 10 years, Ruann’s vision is now a reality. VCI has an incredible team of interpreting professionals from the greater Knoxville and surrounding areas.  They ensure the very best interpretations for all parties.  They respect all individuals in every interaction.  They vow confidentiality across the board and conduct themselves as professionals every day. Many East Tennessee businesses trust VCI as their preferred sign language interpreting serve provider because they know our name is synonymous with certification, confidentiality, professionalism, dependability and integrity. Every customer, deaf client, and interpreting request/assignment is a gift from God.  We are thankful for every opportunity to serve the community and the general public. VCI exists as a testament to what God has done and continues to do in the lives of our staff, professional interpreters, customers, and clients.