Our Interpreters & Staff

Meet Us

Ruann Wood, CEO; B.S. Interpreting; RID: NIC-Advanced; SC:L Candidate
Owner/Operator Since 2007

Greater Knoxville Area

Hello! My name is Ruann Wood. The deaf community gave me a name sign that reflects how happy I am and how often I smile. You may think I hail from Tennessee, but I do not. As a military wife, I have traveled all over the United States and lived in 9 different states during our 20 years in the military. Quite the experience. Oh, by the way, I hail from Wisconsin. I graduated from Tennessee Temple University in Chattanooga with a bachelor’s degree in Sign Language interpreting. I also received an associate’s degree in Sign Language interpreting from Portland Community College (PCC) in Portland, Oregon. I enjoy interpreting in legal settings, for counseling sessions and business meetings; however, I will interpret for anything that comes my way. When I have free time I prefer to spend it hiking and backpacking through the mountains. I also enjoy running, exercising, and reading. I will read books, magazines, or whatever I can get my hands on.

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Sarah Reichert, Staff Interpreter; B.S. Interpreting; RID: Pre-certified

Greater Knoxville Area

Hello. My name is Sarah Reichert. This is my sign name. I received my sign name back when I was learning ASL. I am naturally hyper, excited and eager to learn. As a result my eyelashes were always fluttering. That is why my sign name is the fingerspelled letter “S” near my eye to represent my eye lashes and my high energy. I was born and raised in Lake City which is a small town in Florida. After high school graduation I attended the University of Florida – Gainsville. Yes, I am a proud Gator fan! I earned a bachelors degree in broadcast news. I then transferred to the University of North Florida – Jacksonville to attend their Interpreter Training Program (ITP). In Spring of 2017 I moved to Knoxville to start my internship at VCI. After internship I moved back to Florida and graduated from UNF. I immediately started working as an educational interpreter in the public schools. That didn’t last long. In November I decided to move back to Knoxville to work with VCI as an interpreter. I love it. When I’m not interpreting I enjoy spending quality time with family and friends which makes my heart full. I also enjoy painting and playing the flute. Because I’m from Florida, I love sunshine. So sitting outside in the sun while painting or ready makes for a great day.

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Robin Anderson, RID: NIC-Advanced
VCI Team Since 2010

Greater Knoxville Area

Hi I’m Robin Anderson. I was raised Knoxville. Previously, I worked at Tennessee School for the Deaf for four and a half years in the cottages. Then I work as an interpreter for students who were mainstreamed. For a few years, I wasn’t really involved in interpreting full time. I have worked at VCI since 2010. I have been involved with the deaf community here in Knoxville for more than 20 years. I’m married to a wonderful man and we have two children, a daughter and a son. My certification is RID NIC-Advanced. My preferred interpreting experience is conference interpreting, but really I don’t mind to do anything. When I’m not working, I enjoy singing and I love to mow the grass.

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Anna Bass, M.S. Counseling; B.S. Education.; RID: CI/CT
VCI Team Since 2008

Greater Knoxville Area

Hello, my name is Anna Bass. I grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. While living in Birmingham, I learned American Sign Language from the Deaf community. After many recommendations from the Deaf community, I decided to attend the University of Tennessee where I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in American Sign Language Interpreting. I interpreted for nine years as a freelance interpreter and during that time obtained my CI/CT (Certificate of Interpretation and of Transliteration) through RID (the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf). I then went back to graduate school where I received my degree in mental health counseling. I currently work part time for Visual Communication Interpreting where I tend to interpret weddings, funerals, and business meetings.

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Lydia Harmon, B.A. Interpreting; RID: CT
VCI Team Since 2008

Greater Knoxville Area

Hello, my name is Lydia Harmon and it is wonderful to meet you. In the year 2008, I obtained my national certification to interpret. I enjoy interpreting church services and college classes. I also interpret medical appointments and business events. When I’m not interpreting, I am taking care of my two kids. I also participate in Operation Christmas Child as a volunteer worker.

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Megan Pray, B.A. Interpreting; RID: NIC (currently inactive)
VCI Team Since 2010

Greater Knoxville Area

Hello, I am Megan Pray. Yes like this, P-R-A-Y. I grew up in Pennsylvania and after graduating high school I started studying special education and elementary education at Kutztown University. And after two years of studying, I decided I wasn’t passionate about teaching 24/7 and doing the same thing all day. I made up my mind to transfer here to Tennessee where I went to Maryville College. I graduated in 2009 with my bachelor’s degree in sign language interpreting. After that, I went on to receive my National Interpreter Certification (or the NIC) offered through the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID). I now interpret in the Knoxville area and I prefer medical interpreting. It is my favorite. I also love dogs. People in Knoxville refer to me as the dog lady. I have two dogs of my own. With my available free time, I enjoy participating in a dog rescue group. I drive a Prius which I absolutely adore. Looking back, I can wholeheartedly say that I love my job. I enjoy meeting new people and traveling. I tend to lean towards American Sign Language; however, I can sign English too. UPDATE: Megan is the full time Disabilities Services Coordinator for Maryville College. She will interpret for VCI during school breaks and in the summer.

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MaryAnne Thaldorf, B.A. Deaf Ed K-12; RID: CI/CT
VCI Team Since 2010

Greater Knoxville Area

Hi! I’m MaryAnne Thaldorf. I was born and raised in Florida, the Sunshine State! I love the Sunshine State! While living there, I became a teacher for the Deaf. I lived in different places in Florida before I finally moved here to East Tennessee. When I moved, I no longer taught, but instead focused on working as a freelance interpreter. I enjoy living in this area and in my free time I love to hike, bike ride and travel. I’ve enjoyed meeting new people in the area, and I hope to meet you one day too!

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Elise Turner, B.A. Interpreting; RID: NIC
VCI Team Since 2009

Greater Knoxville Area

Hello my name is Elise Turner. This is my sign name. I was born and raised in Ohio. My family settled down in Columbus, but we later moved to the northwest to the town of Ayersville where I graduated from a small high school. In 2004, I graduated high school and decided to attend Maryville College located in Maryville, Tennessee where I received my bachelor’s degree. My two favorite interpreting situations are medical and theatrical/musical events. I love interpreting doctor’s appointments, trips to the dentist, surgeries, and child birth. My second favorite is interpreting on stage for a singer or presenter.

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Mary Wagenblast, B.S. Sign Language Interpreting; RID: NIC
VCI Team Since 2017

Greater Knoxville Area

Hello, I am Mary Wagenblast. I moved to the Greater Knoxville area from Chula Vista, CA in 2016.  My interpreting experience is mainly in the community college and K12 realm, as well as my current work in video relay service (VRS), and now community interpreting.  I hold a Bachelors degree in American Sign Language interpreting with a Minor in Biblical Studies from Tennessee Temple University.  My favorite interpreting assignments are in community college settings.  When I’m not working I am hiking and mountain biking with my husband and two beautiful dogs.  I also enjoy writing and painting.

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Gwen Walton, M.A. Creative Writing; RID: NIC
VCI Team Since 2017

Greater Chattanooga Area

Hello, I am Gwen Walton. I moved to Chattanooga from Denver, Colorado in 2016.  My interpreting experience spans from working at Rocky Mountain Deaf School, community college, video relay service (VRS), and now community interpreting.  I hold a Masters of Arts and Culture degree, a Bachelor of Arts degree with an emphasis on Studio Arts, and a sign language interpreting degree from Front Range Community College.  My favorite interpreting assignments are in community college settings.  When I’m not working I am hiking and mountain biking with my husband and two beautiful dogs.  I also enjoy writing and painting.

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Rachel Blevins, B.A. Sign Language Interpreting; RID: Pre-Certified
VCI Team Since 2017

Greater Knoxville Area

Hi. I’m Rachel Blevins. I grew up in Georgia but moved to here to start college. I am a 2016 graduate of Maryville College. I enjoy reading and shopping, if I have money, of course. I am currently RID pre-certiifed but I hope to be certified by the end of 2018! I hope to see you around and to interpret for you soon.

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 Deaf Interpreter
Lavona Collins, Language Specialist
VCI Team Since 2016

Greater Knoxville Area

Hello, my name is Lavona Collins. I am from Maryville, Tennessee. I graduated from the Tennessee School for the Deaf in 1974. Here at Visual Communication, I will be working as a Deaf interpreter. If a hearing sign language interpreter is working with a deaf client and there are communication barriers present, preventing successful communication, I will be called to lend my services. With my skills, I will be able to establish a language foundation. A language foundation needs to be established because some deaf clients have limited communication skills. They may use a unique form of sign language only used within their own home, or they may communicate solely through gestures. Other deaf clients may not be able to read or write English. Working alongside the hearing interpreter and deaf client, my role is to make sure the communication process is smooth and successful. All the situations, experiences, and happenings I am involved with are completely confidential.

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Staff

Bobby Kitzmiller

Scheduler

Hello. My name is Bobby Kitzmiller. I live in Rocky Top, Tennessee. I’m the father of two great kids and the fiance to my soon-to-be bride.

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