Board of Directors

Russell Palk Headshot.jpg
Russell Palk
Board Chair

As I roll into the Chair of the Board of Directors for Bridges for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, I am excited to see what 2021-2022 will bring to the communities we serve as we continue to navigate a global pandemic.  I am hopeful that we return to a “new normal” that both continues the standards of excellence and relationship but that also leverages all the innovation and agility we have during this challenging time.   

The Bridges’ mission is meaningful to me because I am deaf.  Twelve years ago, I lost my hearing. Having lived as hearing person into adulthood, it was a dramatic change for me, but I now successfully use a cochlear implant.  Searching for a way to serve the deaf and hard of hearing community, I found Bridges two years ago and immediately knew I had found my “home.”  Serving on a very talented, diverse Board of Directors that prioritizes leadership representation from the D/deaf and hard of hearing communities and working with great leaders like Nancy Denning-Martin, I am excited about the future of Bridges and the growth and leadership of the communities we serve both in Middle and West Tennessee. 

We are continuing a trajectory of unprecedented growth in the depth, quality, and number of programs and services we offer from birth through elder years and in our physical reach to deliver those programs and services. It’s an exciting time to be part of the Bridges family. I look forward to leading and serving and hope you will become a part of our family, too.   


Russell Palk, Chair

LifePoint Health

Veronica Mallett, M.D., Vice Chair

Meharry Medical College


Larry Martin, Treasurer


Lynn Winans, Secretary


Gregory Crutchfield, Immediate Past Chair

Vanderbilt Medical Center, Bill Wilkerson Center


Ed Hickey

Community Volunteer

Ashten Johnson

Community Volunteer

Jimmy Jordan

Community Volunteer

Mike Knott

Community Volunteer

Linda Penny

Community Volunteer

Jan Robinson

Community Volunteer



Front Row: Ashten Johnson, Mike Knott, Jan Robinson, Dr. Veronica Mallet, Linda Penny  Back Row: Ed Hickey, Greg Crutchfield, Jimmy Jordan, Lynn Winans, and Russell Palk. Not Pictured: Larry Martin

Board of Directors
Meeting Schedule

 July 26, 2021 

12pm - 1pm 


September 27, 2021

12pm - 1pm

November 22, 2021

12pm - 1pm

January 24, 2022

12pm - 1pm

March 28, 2022

12pm -1pm

May 24, 2022

12pm - 1pm