Board Members

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Board Members

Margaret Wallhagen, Ph.D. - Chairperson

Dr. Wallhagen is a Professor of Gerontological Nursing and a Geriatric Nurse Practitioner in the School of Nursing, University of California San Francisco (UCSF). She received her initial nursing degree from St. Luke's Hospital School of Nursing in New York, her Baccalaureate and Master’s degrees from UCSF, and her doctoral degree in nursing from the University of Washington in Seattle. Since joining the faculty at UCSF in 1988, she has taught gerontological nursing at both the masters and doctoral level, and works as a Geriatric Nurse Practitioner. 

Dr. Wallhagen has conducted a number of research projects in gerontology and chronic care management. Her research and publications focus on studies of: the experience of control in caregivers and in persons with diabetes; successful aging for persons with chronic conditions; self care and symptom management; cross cultural interventions to support family caregivers with dementia; and the impact of hearing impairment on older adults. She recently completed a four year longitudinal study of the experience of hearing impairment in older adults and their partners. In January 2006, Dr. Wallhagen became the Director of the UCSF/John A. Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence as it entered its second five years of funding. 

Dr. Wallhagen was appointed to the HLAA Board of Trustees in June 2010. 

Committees:  Dr. Wallhagen serves as the Chair of the Development Committee and also serves on the Executive and Strategic Planning Committees. 

Valerie Stafford-Mallis - Vice Chairperson

Valerie is the Business Development Manager for Alternative Communication Services (ACS) LLC.  Prior to joining ACS, she served as Health Educator Consultant for the Florida Coordinating Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (FCCDHH). Valerie is an oral, late-deafened adult who uses bi-lateral cochlear implants. She also utilizes many other types of assistive technology in her activities of daily living. As a person who lost her hearing while she was still in the workforce, Valerie has experienced first-hand the struggles faced by all persons with disabilities to maintain employment, independence and full-participation in public life. 

Valerie conducts trainings and advises and educates public and private organizations on methods that improve communication access for persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, late-deafened, and deaf-blind. She has presented widely at the national, state, and local level to conventions, professional associations, continuing education organizations, employers, healthcare providers, law enforcement and public safety organizations, and businesses. She also provided subject matter expertise by serving on a number of state councils, commissions, and task forces in Florida.

Valerie is active in the deaf and hard of hearing community. She was appointed to the  HLAA Board of Trustees in May 2013 and serves on the board of trustees of the Sarasota Chapter. She is a member of the Association of Late-Deafened Adults. She was nominated by Communication Access Inc. for its 2013 Hearing Loss Advocate of the Year. She also supports the Humane Society of Manatee County. 

Katherine Bouton - Secretary

Katherine Bouton is the author of “Shouting Won’t Help,” a memoir of adult-onset hearing loss, published in 2013 by Sarah Crichton/Farrar Straus & Giroux. She is a former editor at the New York Times, where she was deputy editor of the Sunday Magazine for ten years. She also held senior editing positions on Science Times, the Sunday Book Review, and Culture. Her nonfiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine and elsewhere.

Katherine has had progressive bilateral hearing loss since 1978, and in September 2009 received a cochlear implant. Her writing and speaking now focus on hearing loss and other disability issues. Her blog What I Hear appears on the Psychology Today website. She is currently working on a practical guide to living with hearing loss, tentatively titled “Come to Your Senses: Learn to Live Better with Hearing Loss.” She has been a member of HLAA since 2010 and was appointed to the Board of Trustees in October 2013.

Michael H. Stone - Treasurer and Stone Family Representative

Michael H. Stone is employed by Donatelli Development. He has a bachelor’s degree in history from Wheeling Jesuit, a master’s degree in International and Strategic Affairs from Georgetown University, a law degree from Antioch, and a L.L.M. in Securities Regulation from Georgetown University. He started his career on Capitol Hill as the legislative director to Representative James L. Oberstar (D-MN). He later became a Washington lobbyist representing Fortune 500 companies. He has worked as Deputy Counsel for the Federal Asset Disposition Association (renamed the Resolution Trust Corporation) which is a part of the administrative branch of government. In 1990 he entered private practice and co-founded Mobile Communications Holdings, Inc., which received a license to provide satellite-based telecommunications service. In 1995 he co-founded Eagle Eye, Inc., a company which provides satellite-based tracking services. He has also taught history at a private school and served as an advisor to the U.S. Conference of Mayors. 

Mr. Stone has written numerous book reviews for Best Sellers magazine, has been an adjunct professor of law at George Mason University and has served on numerous corporate boards of directors. As the Rocky Stone family representative to the Board he brings a unique historical perspective of the organization’s history and a passion for people with hearing loss to the board. In addition he also brings legal experience and problem-solving skills. 

He served on the first Board of the organization, then called Self Help for Hard of Hearing People (SHHH). He has served his current term since 2005. 

Committees:  As Treasurer, Mr. Stone serves as chair of the Finance Committee, and serves on the Executive, Membership, and Rocky Stone Scholarship Committees.

Diana D. Bender, Ph.D.

Diana Bender is a graduate of Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA. She received her master’s and doctorate degrees in organic chemistry at the University of Munich, in Germany. In her professional career she worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Delaware, followed by 21 years as a research chemist and product manager at a Philadelphia area specialty chemicals company. She was first diagnosed with a progressive hearing loss at the age of 10 and received a cochlear implant in 2004. 

She has been a member of HLAA since 1995. Dr. Bender served as chairperson of the HLAA Board of Trustees from 2012 - 2014. She served as the chapter president of the Montgomery County, PA chapter from 1997 until 2001 and has been the editor of that chapter’s newsletter since 1997. She has been a member of the HLA-PA Advisory Council since the state office originated in 2001 and has served as the state director of HLA-PA since 2004. From 2004 – 2006 she represented HLAA on the Courthouse Access Advisory Committee, a committee convened by the U.S. Access Board. She has served on several state advisory committees in Pennsylvania and is a graduate of the Gallaudet University Peer Mentoring Program. 

Committees:   Dr. Bender serves as Chair of the Executive Committee and also serves on the Strategic Planning Committee.

Don Doherty

Don Doherty is a retired Marine Corps combat Veteran (1965 – 1987) who lost his hearing in Vietnam. He has worn hearing aids since June 1970. He has worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs for the last 22 years, and is currently the Education Specialist for the National Chaplain Training Center which serves over 1100 Department of Veterans Affairs Chaplains at over 153 Veterans Affairs Medical Centers nationwide. His specialties include education, chemical dependency, mental health, posttraumatic stress and compassion fatigue.

Don has many years of experience working with different boards and organizations in Virginia. He is the former American Academy of Medical Administrators state director for the states of Virginia and West Virginia; two term Commandant, Senior State Vice Commandant, and State Judge Advocate for the Marine Corps League; former Chair of the Virginia State Standards of Practice Committee; former member Board of Directors for the Virginia Council on Alcoholism; and former member of Virginia Attorney General’s Task Force to Combat Illegal Drug Use in Virginia. Don received the Chapel of Four Chaplains Legion of Honor Award in 1997 in recognition of his record of community service.

Currently Don is a member of Hamilton CapTel’s “Heroes with Hearing Loss” program; HLAA Virginia Beach Chapter President, and HLAA Virginia State Coordinator. He is also currently enrolled in the Gallaudet University two-year certificate program in Peer Mentoring.

Don graduated with a Bachelors of Psychology from Alvernia College in Reading, PA. He also holds a Master’s degree in Education and Human Development and an Education Specialist degree in Higher Education, both from George Washington University.  He is married, has one daughter, and resides in Moyock, NC. Don was appointed to the HLAA Board of Trustees in May 2014.

Richard Einhorn

Composer Richard Einhorn's unique music has been described as "hauntingly beautiful", "sensational", and "overwhelming in its emotional power." Richard Einhorn graduated summa cum laude in music and has written opera, orchestral and chamber music, song cycles, multimedia events, film music, and dance scores. Voices of Light, described as an "opera with silent film" has been hailed as "a great masterpiece of contemporary music" and "a work of meticulous genius." The piece has been performed over 200 times, selling out such venues as Avery Fisher Hall; Kennedy Center (with the National Symphony); National Cathedral of Washington; and the Sydney Opera House in Australia. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his music.

Richard brings an extensive background in all aspects of audio technology to the board of HLAA. During the course of his career, Richard has produced 30 classical recordings with artists like the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, and Murray Perahia. His recording of the Bach Cello Suites with Yo-Yo Ma was awarded a Grammy.

Since losing much of his hearing overnight in 2010, Richard has also become a passionate advocate for people with hearing loss and been the subject and/or author of numerous articles and other media, including the New York Times, the Washington Post and international medical and audiology journals. A compelling public speaker, Richard has given dozens of presentations on hearing loss to conferences both in the US and England, including the Keynote at the Hearing Loss Association of America’s Convention  2014 in Austin, TX. He is also active as a consultant on hearing loss issues both for individuals and companies.

Richard Einhorn lives in New York with his daughter Miranda and wife Amy Singer. He was appointed to the HLAA Board of Trustees in May 2014.

Peggy Ellertsen, M.Ed., C.C.C.-S.L.P.

Peggy Ellertsen, M.Ed., C.C.C.-S.L.P. completed training as a speech pathologist in the graduate program at Northeastern University in 1970. She earned the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech/Language Pathology from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) in 1971 and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Reading and Human Development from Harvard University Graduate School of Education in 1979.  She has worked as a Speech/Language Pathologist and Reading and Language Specialist in clinic, public school and private practice settings for over thirty years. 

In 2003, with the progression of her own sensorineural hearing loss, Peggy began to expand her professional focus to include aural rehabilitation for adults with acquired hearing loss and has studied best practices in aural rehabilitation through membership in ASHA’s Special Interest Group for Aural Rehabilitation and Its Implementation and The Academy of Rehabilitative Audiology (ARA.)  In 2013, her paper on the implementation of aural rehabilitation in hearing loss treatment was published in the Journal of the Academy of Rehabilitation Audiology, and she presented a program, The Use of Patient Stories in Hearing Loss Treatment to the ARA’s 2012 Institute. She is a Certified Peer Mentor for Hearing Loss through the certificate program at Gallaudet University.

Peggy continues to maintain a small private practice, consulting to persons with hearing loss around active management of communication.  As a member of HLAA’s Boston chapter, she has coordinated the chapter’s Speaker and Workshop Series and its outreach initiative to audiology practices throughout Massachusetts. She developed the chapter website as an information station where people with hearing loss and their families can find resources and information about evidence-based practices in hearing loss management.

Peggy was elected to the HLAA Board of Trustees in January, 2015.

Kevin H. Franck, Ph.D., CCC-A

Kevin Franck has worked in the clinical, academic, corporate, entrepreneurial and non-profit environments pertaining to bionic and hearing medical devices. As a clinician, Dr. Franck worked for patients who use cochlear implants at the University of Michigan and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. As an academic, he did his post-doc at the Kresge Hearing Research Institute, was Assistant Professor of Otorhinolaryngology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine studying and teaching psychoacoustic and clinical practice innovations, and regularly lectures at Dartmouth College and Wharton.  In the corporate environment, Kevin was the Head of Clinical Products and Strategy at bionic ear maker Cochlear Ltd. and worked at Artisan Healthcare Consulting, a boutique healthcare management consultancy to big pharma and medical device companies, and now works for Bose Corporation.  As an entrepreneur, Dr. Franck was the Director of Clinical and Health Economic Research at bionic ankle maker BiOM and was co-owner of Ear Machine LLC, an NIH grant funded pre-commercial start-up.  He serves on the boards of the Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech and the Alexander Graham Bell Association.

Kevin received his bachelor’s degree in engineering from Dartmouth College.  He has two master’s degrees in biomedical engineering and business administration from Johns Hopkins University and Wharton, respectively, and his doctorate in hearing sciences and clinical certification in Audiology from the University of Washington.  He has lived on three continents and now resides with his spouse and two daughters in Concord, Massachusetts.

Kevin was elected to the HLAA Board of Trustees in April 2015.

Toni Iacolucci

Toni Iacolucci currently works part-time in donor services at the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. She worked for several years as a social work administrator, supervising adolescent group facilities in New York City. As a second career, Ms. Iacolucci produced and managed non-profit dance companies and was a founding partner of Orbis Design Group, an event design company based in Manhattan. 

Toni joined the HLAA-Manhattan Chapter after becoming profoundly deaf in 2006. She has served on the Manhattan Chapter Planning and Advocacy Committees and was recently appointed NY Downstate Chapter Coordinator. She co-chaired the NYC Walk4Hearing for two years, and has served as team coordinator since the first NYC Walk in 2008. Toni has worked to bring CART to city agencies and captioning to outdoor film festivals in New York City.

Toni holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Adelphi University and a master’s degree in social work from Hunter College. She is also a graduate of the Gallaudet University Peer Mentoring program. 

She was elected to the HLAA Board of Trustees in March of 2012.