The Hearing Loss Association of America Presents its 2015 Awards
at the HLAA Convention 2015 in St. Louis, June 25-28
The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) is delighted to announce its awards which will be presented at Convention 2015 in St. Louis this June. Here are some of the highlights. For a complete list of all the awards and recipients see the Awards page. Thank you and congratulations to all the recipients who work tirelessly on behalf of people with hearing loss.
Advocacy Hall of Fame Award
Senator Tom Harkin (Iowa)
Opening Session, June 25, 5 p.m.
Senator Harkin was a key author of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) which served as the foundation for legislation to protect the rights of people with disabilities in the workplace, education and public places. Prior to his recent retirement, Senator Harkin was the chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, which oversees education legislation, and the Senate appropriations subcommittee that deals with K-12 funding. His efforts on disability issues have been inspired in part by his late brother who had hearing loss.
Senator Harkin commented, “I am deeply honored to accept the HLAA Advocacy Hall of Fame Award as the nation celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Since the passage of the ADA and with help of organizations such as HLAA, we have made tremendous strides for people with disabilities, including those with hearing loss. I’m confident that progress on this important issue will continue. Congratulations, HLAA, on your 35th anniversary.”
National Access Award
Regal Entertainment Group
Presented to Randy Smith, chief administrative officer and counsel
Opening Session, June 25, 5 p.m.
This award, nominated by HLAA Chapters and members and chosen by the HLAA Board of Trustees, honors individuals or organizations whose work significantly impacts communication access for people with hearing loss on a national scale.
“Regal is truly honored to receive the National Access Award this year,” stated Randy Smith, CAO and counsel for Regal Entertainment Group. “
Over the years, Regal has remained a strong advocate for making movie going accessible to everyone, no matter the time or the movie. Through this commitment, Regal strives to improve the movie experience for people with hearing loss, or who have vision loss, by providing the best technology available.”
Howard E. “Rocky” Stone Humanitarian Award
Jolie Stone Frank and Melanie Stone Hogan
Banquet, Saturday, June 27, 7 p.m.
Banquet sponsored by Contacta
Nominations for this award are submitted from former and current HLAA Board of Trustees members and the recipients are selected by the current Board. Established in 1990 by the Board of Trustees, this prestigious award honors an outgoing or past trustee for his or her extraordinary contributions toward the furtherance of the objectives and personal exemplification of the philosophy envisioned by Howard E. Stone, founder.
The nomination read, in part: “Since this is a landmark anniversary for HLAA, and the banquet where this very special award is presented is called Rocky Stone : Operation 35, it seems an appropriate time to honor Rocky and Ahme Stone’s daughters, who both took their turn as Stone Family Representatives on the national Board of our organization. Not only did they dutifully serve on the Board, they both took active roles in furthering the status and mission of the organization their father founded in 1979. Further, they continue to exemplify the values and mission of HLAA in their professional lives.”
Jolie Stone Frank (left) was a Board member from 1988-1993. Her willingness to serve when she did was remarkable because not only did she have a toddler and a newborn at home then, she was also developing and managing her own company in the Washington D.C. area, Renal Management. Jolie, like her parents, Rocky and Ahme Stone, cared and continues to care deeply for people. Jolie was on the Board during the time when Self Help for Hard of Hearing People, Inc. was beginning to emerge as a respected organization among hearing health care professionals, policy makers and consumers. She served SHHH at a critical time in the organization’s development.
Post-board service, Jolie remained active in her business and with her growing family. She participates in the annual Walk4Hearing in the D.C. area. Jolie has been instrumental in helping the family perpetuate the Rocky and Ahme Stone Endowment Fund. She continues to work in the background with her mother, and others, to promote the organization her father founded.
Melanie Stone Hogan was on the Board from 1995-2006. Melanie brought a breath of fresh air and a lot of enthusiasm to the Board. Melanie was on the Executive Committee and chaired the Long-Range Planning Committee. Her expertise is in strategic planning; she brought much during a critical time in the growth of the organization.
Melanie Stone Hogan is currently the executive director of the nonprofit organization LEAP (Linking Employment, Abilities, and Potentials) in Cleveland, Ohio. This organization is an agent of positive change in the lives of people with disabilities that works to advance their participation and equality in society. As executive director, she has assured that the needs of people with hearing loss have been included in access and advocacy. Melanie fully understands that people with all disabilities have potential to contribute to society if they have access to the support and technology they need to succeed.
Outstanding Employer Award
Presented to Becky Montgomery, senior content developer of Office 365 and accessibility lead of Office Content Publishing
Awards Breakfast and Ceremony, Sunday, June 28, 8:30 a.m.
Breakfast sponsored by CapTel Captioned Telephone
This award, nominated by HLAA Chapters and members and chosen by the HLAA Board of Trustees, acknowledges employers who have significantly contributed to the employment practices and opportunities for people with hearing loss. The company, agency or organization should be one who has gone beyond token compliance with ADA specifications to ensure an optimal environment that enables people with hearing loss to function in the workplace at their maximum capability.
Jenny Lay-Flurrie, senior director at Microsoft leading the Trusted Experiences Team (TExT) said, “We are humbled and honored to accept this award from HLAA. We are passionate about empowering people with disabilities both as employees and customers. By continuing to foster the inclusion of all our employees, we are best positioned to serve our diverse customer base, including those with disabilities. As a deaf individual, I’m personally grateful to Microsoft for making it easy to come to work every day – I have everything I need, whether it’s ASL interpreting, captioning – to drive hard as a champion for disability at Microsoft. Thank you to HLAA for their support and recognition and have a great event!”
Becky Montgomery, who will accept the award, added, “It’s an exciting time to be working at Microsoft. Each day brings a story about an exciting project, broader awareness and the opportunity to enable people with disabilities to be successful. Our goal is to foster a diverse and inclusive culture that allows us to build great products and services. I feel lucky to work for a company that strives to empower every single one of us to solve big problems.”