Board Members

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Board Members

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.

David M. Jones

David M. Jones is currently a Vocational Rehabilitation Program Specialist with the federal government. During his career, he served on Capitol Hill with the U.S. House Government Reform and Oversight Committee and United Way of America. He also served within the Inspector General (IG) community for three federal agencies. Mr. Jones is committed to using his knowledge gained through government and nonprofit experience to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities through advocacy.

Mr. Jones is a 1994 graduate of Bucknell University with a BA in Political Science and a 2001 graduate of George Mason University with a Masters of Public Administration (MPA). He resides in Alexandria, Virginia. He was appointed to the HLAA Board of Trustees in October 2013.

James C. Saunders, Ph.D.

Dr. Saunders is Professor of Research Otolaryngology, Physiology and Neuroscience at the Perlman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania.  He received his B.A. in Psychology from Ohio Wesleyan University; an M.A. in Experimental Psychology from Connecticut College; and  Ph.D. in Sensory Psychology from Princeton University in 1968.  He has held appointments at Monash University, Australia, and the Central Institute for the Deaf in St. Louis.  In 1973 he joined the Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Human Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and served as Director of Auditory Research until 2007. He serves on the Editorial Board of Hearing Research, and is a member of the Medical Advisory Board of the National Organization for Hearing Research and the Council of Scientific Trustees of the Hearing Health Foundation (formerly the Deafness Research Foundation).

Dr. Saunders has published extensively on topics in hearing research that range in scope from the mechanics of middle ear function, the consequences of exposure to intense sound, the structural organization and micro-mechanics of hair cell stereocilia, and most recently the properties of neural coding in the peripheral and central auditory pathways. Recognition of his research efforts includes the Claude Pepper for research excellence from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). 

 Dr. Saunders is currently a Professor Emeritus and lives outside Philadelphia. He was appointed to the HLAA Board of Trustees in November 2011.

Nancy Lelewer Sonnabend

Nancy Lelewer Sonnabend first became acquainted with SHHH (now HLAA) through her parents as her mother was profoundly hard of hearing and served on the national board of trustees for nine years. This brought Nancy in contact with founder Rocky Stone and his wife Ahme, and she also attended several of the early conferences. Later Nancy became deaf in her left ear and profoundly hard of hearing in her right ear. 

Nancy graduated Sarah Lawrence College in 1957 and was a member of the Smith College exchange program in Madrid from 1955-1956. Her diverse background includes inventor; researcher at MIT and Harvard Medical School; founding director of Permobil of Americal, (today renamed USA Permobil) the world’s leading computerized wheelchair company; lecturer; writer and specialty in dyslexia and other learning differences. She currently has two books on the market: SOMETHING’S NOT RIGHT: One family’s struggle with learning disabilities and THE LELEWER LEGACY, Traditions of a Loving Family. Nancy has served on several boards and chaired two of them. For the past six years, Nancy has served as an advisor for her son's start-up data collection company. 

Nancy lives in Boston, MA, has four grown children and eight grandchildren. She was appointed to the HLAA Board of Trustees in June 2010. 

Committees:  Ms. Sonnabend serves on the Development and Nominating Committees.

Jack J. Wazen, MD, FACS

Jack J. Wazen, M.D., FACS, is a leading authority on hearing and balance disorders, pioneering new research that has expanded treatments for those with single-sided deafness and complex cases of hearing loss. An experienced otological/neurotological surgeon, he specializes in microsurgical procedures, acoustic neuromas, implantable hearing devices and treatment of dizziness and balance disorders.

Dr. Wazen has heavily contributed to otolaryngology community through research and publication of numerous articles, chapters, and books throughout his career. His experience includes training at the American University of Beirut, residency at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York and a Fellowship at the Ear Research Foundation in Sarasota. He then spent 23 years as a researcher, professor and practitioner with Columbia University before returning to Florida in 2006. Dr. Wazen is currently a partner at the Silverstein Institute and the Director of Research at the Ear Research Foundation in Sarasota, Florida.  

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