FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 27, 2012
Diana Bender, Ph.D.
President, HLAA Board of Trustees
Bethesda, MD: The HLAA Board of Trustees has accepted, with reluctance, Executive Director Brenda Battat’s announcement of her retirement from the organization effective July 31, 2013. The timing of the announcement provides more than a year for the Board to conduct a national search for a strong and effective leader to continue the momentum and direction that the Board and Brenda have set forth in the recently-approved Statement of Strategic Intent.
Brenda has been with HLAA since 1989 serving in several roles including director of public policy and deputy executive director. She became executive director in March 2008. Throughout her tenure, she has successfully worked to execute the policies set forth by the Board and to fulfill the mission of HLAA: “To open the world of communication to people with hearing loss through information, education, advocacy and support.”
Under Brenda’s leadership, HLAA has built a strong national organization with more than 200 chapters and 14 state organizations across the country; is a staunch advocate and well-respected presence on Capitol Hill and before federal and state agencies; expanded media and communication platforms for outreach and education; increased the national Walk4Hearing awareness event to 21 cities across the country; significantly increased participation at annual HLAA Conventions; provided information and support to thousands of people with hearing loss; and secured a strong financial future for the organization through sound fiscal and management policies.
During the next year, Brenda and the national office staff will be working vigorously to continue to accomplish HLAA’s mission. This past June, at the HLAA Convention 2012 in Providence, the Board adopted a Statement of Strategic Intent. Brenda and the staff have already begun planning for implementation in accordance with the plan. The Statement will be printed in the September/October issue of Hearing Loss Magazine.
Staff reacted with sadness at Battat’s announcement but expressed real joy that Brenda will have more time for family and her other interests. The staff and board are optimistic because Battat has laid a strong foundation and built tremendous momentum at all levels of the organization. The organization is perfectly positioned under Brenda’s leadership to move into the future.
Diana Bender, president of the Board, said this about Brenda’s retirement:
“On behalf of the HLAA Board of Trustees I would like to thank Brenda for her more than two decades of service to HLAA. We thank her, too, for graciously giving us more than a year to identify and appoint a successor, time which will allow us a smooth transition to new leadership. Brenda’s early work with our founder, Rocky Stone, laid the foundation for her tireless work on behalf of people with hearing loss. As public policy director, Brenda’s advocacy on behalf of HLAA increased access for people with hearing loss in so many areas of everyday life. During the past four and a half years, HLAA has flourished under her leadership and our organization now finds itself on sound financial footing and hard at work on the programs she and her dedicated staff have developed in order to fulfill our mission. Although we will miss her greatly, we have much to be thankful for as we wish Brenda a long and happy retirement.”
“With the baby boomer generation aging, one in four teens experiencing hearing loss, and thousands of our young veterans returning home with a hearing loss, HLAA has never been more needed or relevant. During my last year together with the HLAA national staff I will push even harder to have hearing loss taken more seriously as a public health issue and for people to value their hearing more; to open the door wider to innovation in accessible and affordable hearing health care; for hearing accessible places and captioning everywhere to be the norm and mainstream technology to be seamlessly usable by hearing aid and cochlear implant wearers.”
The HLAA Board has a search committee in place that will initiate its work on September 1, 2012, to conduct a search for the next executive director to lead HLAA into its next phase, building on the great work and success of the organization. More information will be made available on the HLAA website in the coming months.
About Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA)
HLAA opens the world of communication to people with hearing loss through information, education, support, and advocacy. HLAA’s Walk4Hearing is the largest walk of its kind in the country that raises awareness and helps to eradicate the stigma associated with hearing loss. Walks are held in multiple cities across the country. Since 2006, over 26,000 walkers have stepped up and helped raise funds for programs and services for people with hearing loss and their families. In addition to the Walk4Hearing, HLAA publishes Hearing Loss Magazine, holds annual Conventions (Convention 2013, Portland, Oregon, June 27 – 30), and has an extensive network of chapters and state organizations. The headquarters is located at 7910 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 1200, Bethesda, MD 20814. Phone: 301.657.2248