Staff Directory


Cheryl Heppner

Cheryl Heppner, Executive Director

Cheryl Heppner became Executive Director in January 1991 after previous careers as a librarian, writer/editor, public relations consultant, state outreach specialist and teacher. Deafened by spinal meningitis shortly before her seventh birthday, she likes to have as many tools in her communication tool box as she can. She signs, speechreads, once studied cued speech, and is an avid user of assistive technology. In February 2000, she left behind a hearing aid and had cochlear implant surgery. Cheryl has received numerous awards from national organizations including the Association of Late-Deafened Adults, National Association of the Deaf and Telecommunications for the Deaf, Inc., state awards from the Virginia Association of the Deaf, and local awards from Self Help for Hard of Hearing People and Northern Virginia Association of the Deaf. She is actively involved in advocacy and education activities on the national, state, regional and local levelShe served on the Gallaudet University Board of Trustees from 2006 to 2013, where she was a member of the Executive Committee. Cheryl also served as Chair of the Audit Committee from 2008-2013, Board representative for the Interim Presidential Search Advisory Committee, Co-Chair of the Task Force to Review the Presidential Search in 2007, Long Range Strategic Planning group from 2008-2009, and Co-Chair of the Presidential Transition Planning Committee in 2009. She is currently serving as Vice Chair of the national Deaf and Hard of Hearing Consumer Advocacy Network (DHHCAN).

Marla Dougherty

Marla Dougherty, Arlington/Alexandria Outreach Specialist

Marla Dougherty joined the NVRC staff in 2009 as the Outreach Specialist for Arlington County and the City of Alexandria. A late-deafened adult, Marla provides educational and support services to seniors, their families and caregivers. She also puts her talents to good use helping with special events, membership services and coordinates the ASL classes.  Marla studied sign language and special education in college and worked at Special Olympics International Headquarters in Washington DC. Married to a Foreign Service Officer, Marla lived in Uruguay, Nicaragua, Holland, England and Argentina. Marla has two grown children.

Bruce Greenfield

Bruce Greenfield, Web Media Technologist

Bruce recently joined the NVRC staff  starting July, 2012. He brings a broad range of skills related to web technologies, photography, and mobile communications. A graduate from RIT with a career focused on presentation media, website design, and event audio/video.


Debbie Jones

Debbie Jones, Resource and Technology Specialist

Debbie Jones came to NVRC in January 1995 and is most often the first point of contact for NVRC. Debbie answers consumer questions such as where to find audiologists, Sign Language classes, interpreters or support groups. She is also in charge of the Demonstration Room, and is the person to talk to about assistive devices and technology for people with hearing loss. Additionally, Debbie provides technology trainings to individuals with hearing loss, as well as outreach trainings for businesses, agencies and organizations who work with deaf and hard of hearing people.

SB Morgaine

SB Morgaine, Program Manager, Interpreting and Transliterating Services

SB Morgaine is originally from Washington state, lived in Oregon for a while, moved to Missouri for college, and currently lives in Maryland.  SB graduated from William Woods University with a B.S. degree in ASL Interpreting, and has been living and working in DC as both a staff and freelance interpreter and is now happily working in the position of Program Manager of the Interpreting and Transliteration Program for the Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (NVRC) and moonlighting as a standup comic. SB started working at age 14, and since then has had many, many different jobs until she found interpreting!   Some of them include: dancing in a 50’s diner, managing a low-income apartment complex in Seattle, working for Animal Control, boiling water in a radiation testing lab, working at a Deaf school, and many others!

Bonnie O'Leary

Bonnie O’Leary, Certified Hearing Loss Support Specialist, Outreach Manager

Bonnie O’Leary joined NVRC in January of 2002, focusing on outreach to senior citizens who have hearing loss and education for hearing families, caregivers and supervisors.  She completed her two-year certification as a Peer Mentor and Certified Hearing Loss Support Specialist at Gallaudet University in 2007.  A late-deafened adult, Bonnie has led the development of NVRC’s 3-part outreach series for seniors, “I Can’t Hear You!”, and applies her own personal experience with hearing loss to her outreach work.  She also co-created the “Miscommunication or Missed Communication?” workshop teaching communication strategies for families and caregivers.  During her “hearing” years, Bonnie worked in advertising in New York and London and owned a 24-track recording studio in Burke, Virginia.  She has two grown children, a passion for cats, and enjoys all forms of needle arts, cooking, and Scrabble.

Joan Cassidy


Joan Cassidy, Loudoun County Outreach

Joan Cassidy has been actively advocating for deaf and hard of hearing people in Loudoun County since 1988 first as a member of the Board of Directors and now as an Outreach Specialist for NVRC. Focusing on Loudoun County she is well known as the “go to” person for questions about hearing aids, cochlear implants and coping with hearing loss. She can regularly be found at the County’s Libraries and Senior Centers.