About the Board of Directors
The Board of Directors consists of up to 21 elected members (excluding ex officio members). Board seats are filled by HLAA members who shall be elected by two-thirds of the members of the Board at any official meeting of the Board. At least two-thirds of the directors shall be people with hearing loss.
Ex officio members of the Board of Directors include the executive director, one member of the founding family, the immediate past president (for one year), and others appointed by the Board.
Board members are the fiduciaries who steer the organization toward a sustainable future by adopting sound ethical and legal governance, setting policy, as well as making sure HLAA has adequate resources to advance its mission. A not-for-profit board helps to establish the mission and purpose of the organization; ensures effective planning; monitors and supports major programs/activities; builds and maintains a competent Board in support of the mission; ensures that management acts in a prudent and ethical manner; and, enhances the organization‘s public standing.
There are five standing committees that are responsible for the regular operations for the organization: Executive Committee, Development Committee, Nominating Committee, Finance Committee and the Audit Committee. Other committees include the Member Engagement and the Rocky Stone Humanitarian Award Committees.
The Board shall endeavor to meet in the months of October or November (the fall meeting); the months of March or April (the spring meeting) and at the HLAA Convention in June of each year. Annual Board meetings, with the exception of executive sessions, are open to members of the organization or any interested individuals.
For further details, please see the HLAA Bylaws.
Become a Board Member
From: James C. Saunders, Ph.D.
Chair, Nominating Committee
Maintaining the strength of our governing Board is a never-ending process. In that connection, I am asking your help in identifying good prospects for service as future HLAA board members.
Members of the HLAA Board of Directors are responsible for policy development and oversight, for establishing long-range plans, and for assuring that the organization has the financial resources to carry out its mission.
The hallmark of strong not-for-profit organizations is that they have an effective, dedicated governing board. For an organization like the HLAA to survive and thrive, it is critical that a strong Board presence be developed and sustained.
We seek a diverse Board in terms of race, age, gender, and constituency representation. Constituencies include people with hearing loss, family members of people with hearing loss, parents of children with hearing loss, hearing loss service providers, and HLAA Chapter leaders. Hearing loss is not a requirement for membership, but members with hearing loss must represent two-thirds the Board.
Qualities sought in candidates include experience in the corporate and nonprofit worlds. Know-how in finance and accounting, media technology, advocacy, fundraising, senior level corporate experience, human resources, government relations, legal, management, marketing, development, public relations, medical, and strategic planning are desirable skills.
Here is how you can help. Please forward information concerning prospects for HLAA Board service to me at email@example.com. Alternatively, send information by mail to: 417 Bryn Mawr Avenue, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004.
The candidate must be someone you personally know and vouch-for in terms of integrity. An inquiry of the candidate should be undertaken to assure an interest in serving on the Board of Directors. Prepare a brief statement about why you think the candidate would be a good Board member for HLAA. Provide the name, address, phone number, and email address. It would be helpful if you include your own contact information so that, if we have questions, we can be in touch.
Interested individuals may also self-nominate. Please forward the form and additional material (electronically or via mail) to the Nominating Committee Chair.
Richard Einhorn – Chairperson
Richard Einhorn is a composer whose 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 more than 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.
Mr. Einhorn brings an extensive background in all aspects of audio technology to the Board of HLAA. During the course of his career, Mr. Einhorn has produced 30 classical recordings with artists such as 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, Mr. Einhorn 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, Mr. Einhorn has given dozens of presentations on hearing loss to conferences in both the United States and England, including the keynote at the Hearing Loss Association of America Convention 2014 in Austin, Texas. He is also active as a consultant on hearing loss issues for both individuals and companies.
Mr. Einhorn was appointed to the HLAA Board of Directors in May 2014.
Shari Eberts – Vice Chairperson
Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer and avid Bikram yogi. She is the founder of livingwithhearingloss.com where she blogs about her experiences living with hearing loss and tinnitus. She has served on the board of Hearing Loss Association of America since October 2015 and is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation (2012-2015).
Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues. Her bylines include The Huffington Post, Woman’s Day, Good Housekeeping, Healthy Living Magazine, Psychology Today, Audiology Practices and The Hearing Journal.
Prior to her advocacy work, Shari had a 20-year career on Wall Street, serving as Associate Director of U.S. Equity Research for JPMorgan and as a ranked Equity Research Senior Analyst covering retail companies. She holds a BS in Psychology from Duke University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
She is also on the board of Lincoln Center Theater. Shari lives in New York City with her husband and two children.
Kevin Franck – Treasurer
Kevin H. Franck has worked in the clinical, academic, corporate, entrepreneurial and nonprofit 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, and regularly lectures at Dartmouth College and Wharton. In the corporate environment, Dr. Franck was the Head of Clinical Products and Strategy at bionic ear maker Cochlear Ltd., worked with pharmaceutical and diagnostic medical products at Artisan Healthcare Consulting, was the Director of Clinical and Health Economic Research at bionic ankle maker BiOM. As an entrepreneur, he was co-owner of Ear Machine LLC, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant-funded pre-commercial start-up. He worked as the head of marketing at Bose Corporation and in October 2017 joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School Department of Otolaryngology and is the Director of Audiology at Massachusetts Eye and Ear in Boston.
Dr. Franck 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 Concord, Massachusetts.
Michael H. Stone, Esq. – Stone Family Representative
Michael 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 an 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.
Mr. Stone served on the first Board of the organization, then known as Self Help for Hard of Hearing People (SHHH). He has served his current term since 2005.
Committees: Mr. Stone serves as chair of the finance committee.
Don Doherty – Immediate Past Chair
Don Doherty is a retired Marine Corps combat veteran (1965-1987) who lost his hearing during his 1965-1966 tour in Vietnam. He has worn hearing aids since June 1970. Mr. Doherty is retired from the Department of Veterans Affairs after 25 years of service. He was the education specialist for the National Chaplain Training Center which served more than 1,000 Department of Veterans Affairs Chaplains at over 153 Veterans Affairs Medical Centers nationwide. His specialties included education, curriculum development, instruction, technology and hearing loss.
Mr. Doherty 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 of the Board of Directors for the Virginia Council on Alcoholism; and former member of the 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. He also is a recipient of the Hearing Loss Association of America Keystone Award in 2016 for his work with hearing loss.
Mr. Doherty is a member of Hamilton CapTel’s “Heroes with Hearing Loss” program; he serves as president of the HLAA-Virginia Beach Chapter and as the HLAA-Virginia State Coordinator. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 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 also completed the two-year Peer Mentorship Program at Gallaudet University and is a Certified Peer Mentor.
He resides with his wife Melanie in Moyock, NC.
Mr. Doherty began his term as Chairperson of the HLAA Board of Directors in June 2017.
Jan Blustein, M.D., Ph.D.
Jan Blustein is a professor of health policy and medicine at New York University, where she teaches courses in statistics, program evaluation, and research methods. Health service equity, chronic illness, and the Medicare program are some of her longstanding interests. Ensuring financial access to health care services has been a consistent theme in her research, which has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, British Medical Journal, Health Affairs, and other leading journals. Her latest work focusses on how hearing loss affects the quality and outcomes of medical care.
Dr. Blustein holds a medical degree from the Yale School of Medicine, and a Ph.D. from New York University. She was nominated to the HLAA Board of Directors in October 2015 and serves as chair of the board’s policy committee.
Peggy Ellertsen, M.Ed., C.C.C.-S.L.P.
Peggy Ellertsen 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. Ms. Ellertsen has worked as a speech/language pathologist and reading and language specialist in clinic, public school and private practice settings for more than 30 years.
In 2003, with the progression of her own sensorineural hearing loss, Ms. Ellertsen 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. Ms. Ellertsen is a certified peer mentor for hearing loss through the certificate program at Gallaudet University.
Ms. Ellertsen continues to maintain a small private practice, consulting to persons with hearing loss around active management of communication. As a member of the HLAA 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.
Ms. Ellertsen was elected to the HLAA Board of Directors in January 2015.
Pete C. Fackler
Pete Fackler graduated from Duke University with an bachelor of arts degree in economics and from University of Michigan with an MBA. Following a five-year stint with the audit staff of Price Waterhouse & Co. (now, PwC) he embarked on a 30-plus year career in higher education financial management. While he is now “retired,” Mr. Fackler takes on occasional interim management appointments at colleges in transition to new financial leadership.
Pete has been a community activist working in behalf of people with hearing loss. He previously served on the board of directors of the Hearing Loss Association of America where he was elected treasurer and, later, board president. Mr. Fackler’s current professional interests are capital markets and investment decision-making.
Mr. Fackler was nominated to the Board of Directors in June 2017.
Larry Guterman is co-founder of SonicCloud and chief customer experience officer of Sonitum, Inc. (makers of SonicCloud), a technology company dedicated to enhancing and personalizing audio on phone calls, computers, and other electronic media for people with hearing loss.
Mr. Guterman brings extensive experience as a successful Hollywood feature film director, along with his passion for technology, to bear in realizing the vision of making hearing accessibility “truly accessible.”
He holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Harvard, where he worked on the Harvard Lampoon after attending MIT in his freshman year. He also holds a master’s degree in film from the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Personally selected by Steven Spielberg to direct DreamWorks’ flagship interactive computer game “Goosebumps” straight out of film school, Mr. Guterman then went on to direct highly profitable films for Warner Bros. (“Cats & Dogs”) and DreamWorks (“Antz,” as director of sequences).
At Sonitum, Mr. Guterman has spearheaded the company’s innovative audiology methodology, novel user interface design, creative branding and more. Diagnosed with acoustic trauma at age 19, he subsequently developed a progressive hearing loss, which is now severe-to-profound in degree. Despite using state of the art hearing aids, he continued to have significant challenges both professionally and personally when using the phone and laptop. This led him to embark on finding a solution, and together with world class audiologists, digital signal processing scientists, and software engineering experts, the Sonitum team was able to come up with a solution that many thought was not possible.
A co-inventor of the company’s foundational patents, Mr. Guterman was named one of Fast Company Magazine’s “100 Most Creative People in Business” in 2018, and will receive the “Annual Integrity Award” alongside CEO Sachin Khanna at San Francisco’s historic “Hearing and Speech Center” Gala in 2019.
He is committed to pushing for innovative, affordable solutions for those with hearing loss in general, and is excited to work with HLAA to make the world a more inclusive place in that regard.
Mr. Guterman was nominated to the HLAA Board of Directors in April 2019.
Zina Jawadi has been passionate about hearing loss science and advocacy since eighth grade. She has bilateral, prelingual sensorineural hearing loss, underwent eight years of speech therapy, and wears hearing aids. Zina was elected and served as HLAA California State Association trustee from February 2013 to February 2019, where she was also elected and served as secretary, vice president, and president.
Ms. Jawadi is currently working on a master’s (graduating 6/2019) in bioengineering with medical device concentration at Stanford University, where she obtained a BS in biology in June 2018. Ms. Jawadi is also an intern at Stanford’s Santa Maria Lab focusing on hearing loss, and she was a user research intern at NeoSensory in 2018 and an undergraduate research assistant in the Stanford Department of Otolaryngology from 2014 to 2017. She previously interned at the UCSF Otology and Cochlear Implant Center and at the House Ear Institute in Los Angeles.
Ms. Jawadi served as president of Power2ACT, Stanford’s disability advocacy organization, and as disability lead in the ASSU Executive Cabinet, representing the undergraduate and graduate Stanford student body. She launched the Abilities Hub at Stanford to secure a campus center for the disability community and founded the Stanford Disability Initiative to incorporate disability across all aspects of campus. Ms. Jawadi is an awardee of the Stanford Award of Excellence, Stanford James Lyons Award for Service, Stanford Psychology One Scholar Award, Bio-X Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship, Stanford Public Service Honor Society, Stanford Politico’s Top 10 (#3) Most Influential Undergrads, HLAA Outstanding Young Adult Award (2014), NCFL oratory national finalist, and a three-time recipient of the United States President’s Volunteer Service Award.
Elaine McCaffrey practiced law as a sole practitioner in the City of Chicago before retiring in June 2018. She specialized in the field of estate planning, wills, trusts, probate, trust administration and real estate. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Loyola University in Chicago and her Juris Doctor degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law at Illinois Institute of Technology.
Ms. McCaffrey has been president of the HLAA Chicago North Shore Chapter since 2016 and has spearheaded the chapter’s annual “Hospital Safety for People with Hearing Loss” program. She has been a member of HLAA since 1991.
As a patient advocate, Ms. McCaffrey has currently been asked to be on a panel in the research department of Northwestern University Center for Audiology, Speech, Language and Learning (NUCASLL). She volunteers in various research projects at NUCASLL and as a beta tester at Sonova USA, Phonak hearing aids.
Ms. McCaffrey has hereditary hearing loss. She was diagnosed with mild-to-moderate hearing loss when she was 19 but wasn’t fitted with bilateral hearing aids until she was 32. She credits her involvement with HLAA and her regular attendance at the Chicago North Shore Chapter meetings for encouraging her to use technology and strategies that has allowed her to live her life to the fullest and pass this knowledge forward by helping others to do the same.
She lives near Chicago with her husband, John.
Elaine is a recipient of the 2020 HLAA Community Service Award and was nominated to the HLAA Board of Directors in March 2020.
Michael Meyer is the vice president of Information Systems at McMaster-Carr Supply Company in Elmhurst, Illinois. McMaster-Carr is a leading ecommerce distributor of more than 560,000 maintenance, repair, and operations products for industrial companies around the world. He has held senior roles in sales, marketing, logistics, and finance during his two decades at the company. He is a 1996 graduate of Stanford University with a degree in economics and a 2001 graduate of Harvard Business School. He lives near Chicago with his wife, Clemen, and son, Andrew.
Mr. Meyer was diagnosed with hereditary hearing loss when he was a toddler. He has benefited greatly from the coping strategies he’s learned over the years from his family and friends at HLAA. He interned in the HLAA national office while in high school and has attended HLAA Conventions since he was a child.
Mr. Meyer was elected to the HLAA Board of Directors in June 2018.
Cheri Perazzoli is a longtime hearing loss advocate. As founder of Loop Washington and an HLAA-Washington trustee, she’s led hearing advocacy and access efforts across Washington state. A natural collaborator and relationship builder, she’s helped craft successful advocacy teams both at HLAA-Washington and with the HLAA Get in the Hearing Loop campaign.
Her accomplishments include securing looping for the Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle’s Town Hall, Volney Auditorium at Virginia Mason Medical Center, and many other venues. Cheri also managed HLAA-WA’s legislative work, helping to pass hearing loss education requirements for Washington’s long-term care workers and restoring hearing aid coverage for adult Medicaid beneficiaries. In 2015, her efforts helped bring about a City of Seattle Resolution (31641) to improve hearing access in city-run facilities and install hearing loops in Seattle Council chambers and a large public meeting room.
Ms. Perazzoli’s hearing loss was diagnosed when she was in the second grade, and she started wearing hearing aids when she was a sophomore in college. She credits HLAA (when it was known as SHHH) for helping her thrive with hearing loss. Her background includes extensive community engagement, board service, and leadership in organizations such as Overlake Friends of the Arts, Girl Scouts, and Cancer Lifeline. She holds a bachelor of science in marketing education from Auburn University.
The recipient of the 2016 Get in the Hearing Loop and the 2017 Keystone Award, Ms. Perazzoli was nominated to the HLAA Board of Directors in March 2018.
Roxana Rotundo is an entrepreneur with more than 25 years of experience in film and TV program distribution in the Hispanic market. In 1992 she founded Intra Royal in Venezuela to distribute TV shows on the local networks, and she later expanded to the Latin American market and distributed her first successful American show, The Geraldo Rivera Show. In 1997 she moved the company to the United States and founded VIP 2000 TV, an independent distribution company with a vast catalog of shows that includes more than 300 films and 3,000 hours of telenovelas and series from 14 countries. In 2014, VIP 2000 TV started producing its own original content and in 2018 the company produced more than 120 hours of content in Spanish. In 2019 the company began producing content in English and is developing four TV series.
Ms. Rotundo began losing her hearing in 1997 and was diagnosed with a progressive sensorineural hearing loss. After wearing hearing aids for 15 years, she received her first cochlear implant in 2017 and is scheduled for a second in 2019. Her focus is advocating about hearing loss for the Hispanic community where there is very limited information.
She serves on the board of directors of the Worldwide Audiovisual Women’s Association (W.A.W.A.), a nonprofit with a mission to empower and connect women in the audiovisual industry by sharing experiences and knowledge. As an executive with her own business in a very competitive world, Roxana considers the professionalism with which a woman handles herself vital to achieve success.
Ms. Rotundo was nominated to the HLAA Board of Directors in March 2019.
James C. Saunders, Ph.D.
James Saunders is professor of research otolaryngology, physiology and neuroscience at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania. He received his bachelor’s in psychology from Ohio Wesleyan University; a master’s in experimental psychology from Connecticut College; and his doctorate 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, Missouri. 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.
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 Award for research excellence from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Dr. Saunders is currently professor emeritus.
He was appointed to the HLAA Board of Directors in November 2011.
Kelly Tremblay, Ph.D.
Kelly Tremblay is a professor at the University of Washington in Seattle. She has a 30-year history of serving and advocating for people with hearing loss. As an audiologist and educator, she teaches graduate students how to prevent, assess and treat hearing loss. As a scientist, she studies the effects of hearing loss and hearing prosthesis on the brain in addition to the public health benefits of intervention for our aging society. Her research is funded by the National Institutes of Health and is published in top-tier medical journals.
As an advocate, her list of activities is long, but some recent examples include: presenting on hearing loss with the HLAA Washington State Association at the Washington State Joint Legislative Executive Committee on Aging and Disability, and serving on Guideline Development Committees for the World Health Organization.
Dr. Tremblay was elected to the HLAA Board of Directors in May 2016.