Emma Faye Rudkin
Founder | Executive Director (deaf)
Emma Faye went profoundly deaf at the age of three. She has spent her life turning a disability into an ability. Emma Faye is an internationally known role model for the (D)deaf and hard-of-hearing (HOH) community and founder to nonprofit organization, Aid the Silent which is a system of support for economically disadvantaged deaf/HOH children and teens to reach their full potential and live life more richly by providing funds for resources, ministry, research and education.
Emma Faye was crowned Miss San Antonio 2015 & 2017 and placed Top 4 in Miss Texas 2017. She was named 2018 San Antonio’s Woman of the Year by the San Antonio Business Journal (SABJ) and Governor Greg Abbott appointed her to serve a second term on the Texas Governor’s Committee on people with Disabilities until 2022. Morgan’s Wonderland placed her on their Wall of Fame as an individual who has gone above and beyond to do great things for people with special needs and she was chosen as Oticon People’s Choice Advocacy Winner. January 2022, Rotary Club of San Antonio announced Emma as Outstanding Young San Antonian of the year.
She and her trusty side-kicked Service Dog, Hank, are on a PBS child’s video series called “Hank & Emma Faye” to teach children sign language, kindness and inclusivity which recently won a Regional Emmy.
Emma Faye travels all around the country speaking at business conventions, school, ministries, churches and conferences sharing her story of redemption and letting others know about the programs Aid the Silent offers. She is the primary fundraiser and Executive Director of Aid the Silent as well as a mission staff member for Deaf Young Life.
Co-Founder | CFO
Kathy graduated with a BA in Advertising and a minor in marketing from University of Central Oklahoma. With a degree in hand, Kathy started Rudkin Productions, an advertising agency in Boerne, Texas. Since 1992, Rudkin Productions has been the exclusive design and production firm for some of the nation’s most well renowned ministries, churches and businesses giving veteran insight to marketing strategies for nonprofits.
One in particular, Aid the Silent, which she would cofound with her profoundly deaf daughter, Emma Faye Rudkin. Kathy is the lead marketing and advertising director for the nonprofit overseeing all design, strategies and general advertising of the organization. Kathy works with the executive director and development director to develop and implement plans for Aid the Silent’s short and long-term goals. She oversees the nonprofit’s large fundraisers and acts as a spokesperson between the community and Aid the Silent.
Magdalena comes to Aid the Silent as an accomplished manager with three years of specialized experience in leadership, effective communication, and excellent customer service in a national large chain restaurant and retail business. She led a team of 30 employees maintaining high levels of customer service while developing action plans and directly motivating and instructing the store team to implement them to meet operational and organizational objectives. Magdalena long-term goal is to become a certified sign language interpreter and she is currently working towards this goal on staff at Aid the Silent. Magdalena has a heart for the deaf and hard-of-hearing to have equal access and inclusion and has come to love advocating for this community and working side-by-side in active role. She has years of volunteer experience in other non-profit areas such as Refuge Church, Texas State Aquarium, Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation and the Galveston Bay Foundation.
Magdalena serves in a caseworker position with the applicants of Aid the Silent. She and the Executive Director work together in reviewing and processing all applications, acquiring all necessary applicant paperwork, working with insurance companies, audiologists, doctors, hearing industry specialists and the Aid the Silent families and educators to ensure applicants are receiving the correct resources to help them succeed. She assists in supporting the implementation and execution of Aid the Silent’s fundraising events as well as facilitates engagement.
Olivia Claire Hull
Olivia graduated SAC ITP (Interpreter Training Program) in 2017 with AAS in American Sign Language. She developed a love for sign language in 7th grade which continued into high school with four years of ASL. Her love for the language and the deaf and hard-of-hearing community shows in the years she has spent working with non-profits and ministries to bridge the gap of any communication barrier. Olivia has been a part of Aid the Silent volunteer team since 2016 and has been involved in all aspects of the organization from 5ks, Good Vibrations Music & Arts Festival, community events, middle school and high school camps to administration work. She was a previous Deaf Young Life leader since inception in 2017 where she volunteered weekly to meet our deaf/HOH teens where they’re at in life through building relationship by going into their world and spending time with them.
At Aid the Silent, Olivia works with our educators, school systems and audiologists to establish strong and collaborative bilateral partnerships. She assists in developing educational events, networking events, attends conferences and works to help provide all the necessary tools and resources to our deaf/HOH children and teens. Olivia also works with our community business partners in fundraising and volunteer opportunities. She herself has been involved as a volunteer with many organizations since high school; serving with children and being creative, encouraging and discipling young teens and leading/organizing large events for young adults.
Olivia Claire is fluent in ASL and helps bridge communication barriers at Aid the Silent events and camps within the ministry branch of Aid the Silent. She shares her knowledge of sign language and the Deaf community/culture to bring awareness to others through hands on and interactive e environments. Her love for people also carries over into the way she manages volunteers and interns, by inviting them to become advocates for Deaf and Hard of Hearing kiddos. She also loves confetti.
Over 20 years’ experience in the accounting field, Nicole is full charge bookkeeper, with A/R, A/R, HR and nonprofit experience. Nicole graduated with her bachelor’s in accounting from Liberty University. Nicole works hand-in-hand with Aid the Silent’s outside controller as well as CPA firm. Nicole’s vast booking experience, knowledge and expertise ensures Aid the Silent is accurate, timely, and in full compliance with state and federal accounting rules as well as restricted grant funding. Nicole works with our staff and board on budget planning and reporting.
Hank the Hearing Dog
“Hank the Hearing Dog” has been trained as the “ears” for his human, Emma Faye, who is deaf. Hank spent the first two years of his life at NEADs World Class Service Dogs training facility in Massachusetts. With over 40 years’ experience, NEADs Service Dogs for Hearing are specially trained canine assistants who help people who are deaf by alerting their partners to sounds around the home and in public such as door knocking, alarm clocks, fire and intruder alarms, traffic approaching, horns honking, the handler’s name being called out, tea kettles and just general sound awareness.
Service Dogs for Hearing are especially sensitive to noises, and Emma Faye can learn a lot about her environment just by watching Hank’s visual cues.
Hank is an International ADI approved Service Dog – which means he can go anywhere in the world with Emma Faye. He has been specifically trained to make long international flights. Hank the Hearing Dog can be seen daily hanging out at the Aid the Silent offices and always Emma Faye’s permanent sidekick wherever she goes. Hank is the ultimate professional when he is dressed for work with his Service vest and gentle leader and when Hank is working – he has to stay focused so the “no petting” policy is in place. When Hank takes off his work clothes, he becomes a pretty cool dog and that when lots of petting and loving can commence. Hank is also a TV star on PBS and recently won an Emmy for his role in the “Hank and Emma Faye” show.