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 28 years, Greg (on the board of directors), had just retired from the U.S. Coast Guard after 20 years of service, and the Wood family had relocated to Knoxville.

Never in a million years, after taking a single business class and preparing one business plan, did she ever think that she would become the founder and CEO of an interpreting agency. However, God has a sense of humor. He gives His children the desires of their heart and when Ruann asked for a holy promotion to get out of working in a place she dreaded, the opportunity to become a business owner presented itself. Ruann stepped out of the boat and the result is VCI, the acquisition of LINC’s (Language Interpreting Network Consulting – owned and operated by certified interpreter Beth Foreman) area customers and clients.

Running a business was a new experience for Ruann, but she had a vision for 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 started as – and remain – foundations of the business. Although many interpreting agencies send interns or non-certified interpreters for assignments they are unqualified to perform, Ruann envisioned an agency that consistently provided customers and clients with certified interpreters whose skill, commitment to confidentiality, education, and ethical standards had been verified by a third-party test.

We can thank Loren and Jessica Frick, two area (at the time) deaf individuals, for the name Visual Communication Interpreting (VCI). At a picnic table outside the Baptist Collegiate Center on the campus of the University of Tennessee, Ruann shared that she was in the process of setting up an interpreting agency. The three sat down and brainstormed potential names, avoiding the word Knoxville (because it the potential to “limit” the service area), avoiding the word Deaf because the agency serves both hearing and deaf people. 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, the name Visual Communication Interpreting, VCI, was agreed upon. The colors, well, it was important to avoid orange because it is overused in the area, to avoid purple because it is a signature color in the interpreting profession and is also overused. Clearly red and yellow are associated with food (have you noticed how many fast food restaurants use this combo). Left were pink, blue, green. The choice was clear AND it works.

Over the past eight years, Ruann’s vision has become a reality. VCI has an incredible team of interpreting professional from the greater Knoxville and surrounding areas who ensure the very best interpretations and the utmost in confidentiality. Many East Tennessee businesses choose VCI as their preferred provider because they know our name is synonymous with certification, confidentiality, professionalism, and integrity. VCI staff and team of interpreters understand that every customer, deaf client, and interpreting request/assignment is a gift from God and must be handled with respect, integrity, and thankfulness. VCI exists as a testament to what God has done and is continuing to do in the lives of its staff, interpreting pool, customers, and clients.