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 are elected by two-thirds of the members of the Board at any official meeting of the Board. At least two-thirds of the directors are people with hearing loss.
Ex officio members of the HLAA 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, and making sure HLAA has adequate resources to advance its mission. A nonprofit board helps to establish the mission and purpose of the organization; ensures effective planning; monitors 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 fsix standing committees of the Board: Executive Committee, Development Committee, Governance Committee, Nominating Committee, Finance Committee and Audit Committee. Other committees are ad-hoc committees as needed.
The Board meets at least three times a year in the spring, summer (at the HLAA Convention) and in the fall. The annual meeting, open to the public, is held at the HLAA Convention. Other meetings are open with some sessions closed for executive sessions.
Become a Board Member
From: Don Doherty and Pete Fackler, co-chairs of the Nominating Committee
Maintaining the strength of our governing Board is a continual process. In that light, we are asking your help in identifying 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 a strong nonprofit organization is that it has 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, people in the hearing health care community, and HLAA Chapter leaders. Hearing loss is not a requirement for membership, but members with hearing loss must represent two-thirds of the Board.
HLAA’s Board of Directors recognizes the need and value of diversity, including racial/ethnic diversity, in executing the mission of HLAA. We would like your help in identifying exceptional individuals in our community who might be interested in serving on the Board. We seek to ensure our board reflects the diversity of individuals with hearing loss in its broadest definition. In particular, we seek nominations of interested individuals who identify as a person of color, including individuals who identify as Black or African American.
Qualities sought in candidates include experience in the corporate and nonprofit worlds. Knowledge in fundraising and willingness to fundraise is imperative. Other skills that add to a well-rounded board include finance, public policy, senior level corporate experience, government relations, legal, management, marketing, development, public relations, medical, and strategic planning.
Please forward information concerning prospects for HLAA Board service to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Attn: Board Nominations
The candidate must be someone you personally know and can talk about 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 desirable HLAA Board member. 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 chairs at the email listed above.
Kevin H. Franck, Ph.D. – Chair
Kevin H. Franck, Ph.D., is senior vice president of Strategic Marketing and New Product Planning at Frequency Therapeutics. Frequency Therapeutics is developing medicines designed to activate progenitor cells in the cochlea to improve hearing function, as well as other therapeutic areas.
A licensed audiologist, Dr. Franck joined Frequency from Massachusetts Eye and Ear, where he served as director of audiology and Harvard Medical School Faculty of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Prior to Mass Eye and Ear, he was head of marketing for Bose Hear, a division of Bose Corporation, where he led new product management and channel marketing of an emerging category of business focused on hearing loss. Dr. Franck co-founded Ear Machine, a startup funded by the National Institutes of Health before it was acquired by Bose in 2014. He has held senior roles at Cochlear Ltd., Artisan Healthcare Consulting and BiOM and worked as a clinician at the University of Michigan and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Dr. Franck holds an MBA in healthcare management from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, a Ph.D. in hearing science from the University of Washington, an MSE in biomedical engineering from Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. in engineering from Dartmouth College. He has previously lived on three continents.
Dr. Franck was elected to the HLAA Board of Directors in April 2015.
Michael Meyer – Vice Chair
Michael Meyer is the vice president of Information Systems at McMaster-Carr Supply Company in Elmhurst, Illinois. McMaster-Carr is a leading e-commerce 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 B.A. in economics and a 2001 graduate with an MBA from Harvard Business School.
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 and is chair of the development committee.
Jan Blustein, M.D., Ph.D. – Secretary
New York City
Jan Blustein, M.D., Ph.D., 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 focuses 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 elected to the HLAA Board of Directors in October 2015.
Peter C. Fackler – Treasurer
Rochester, New York
Pete C. Fackler graduated from Duke University with a bachelor’s degree in economics and from the University of Michigan with an MBA. Following a five-year tenure with the audit staff of Price Waterhouse & Co. (now, PwC) he embarked on a 30-plus year career in higher education executive positions. While he is now retired, Pete takes on occasional interim management appointments at colleges in transition to new financial or presidential leadership. His ongoing professional interests include capital markets and investment decision-making.
Mr. Fackler has been a community advocate working on behalf of people with hearing loss. He was a part of the original team of the HLAA Board of Directors working under the leadership of Board Chair Anne Pope to introduce the Walk4Hearing in support of HLAA. Working with the HLAA Rochester Chapter, (New York), Pete played a leadership role in bringing closed captions to live theater productions in the region. He served two terms on the HLAA Board of Directors, from 2006 to 2013 then rejoined the board in 2017. Mr. Fackler is past treasurer and past chair of the HLAA Board of Directors and serves as the co-chair of the nominating committee.
Cheri Perazzoli – Assistant Treasurer
Cheri Perazzoli is a longtime hearing loss advocate. As founder of Loop Washington and an HLAA-Washington State Association 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 State Association 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 Washington State Association legislative work, helping to pass hearing loss education requirements for the association’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 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.
A recipient of the 2016 Get in the Hearing Loop and the 2017 Keystone Award, Ms. Perazzoli was elected to the HLAA Board of Directors in March 2018.
Don Doherty – Past Chair
Moyock, North Carolina
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 (VA) after 25 years of service. He was the education specialist for the National Chaplain Training Center which served more than 1,000 Veterans Affairs Chaplains at more than 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 on 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 one of the leaders and founder of the HLAA Virtual Veterans Across America Chapter. He 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, Pennsylvania. 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.
Mr. Doherty was elected to the HLAA Board of Directors in June 2014; served as chair from 2017 to 2019 and currently serves as chair of the governance committee and is a co-chair of the nominating committee.
Ibrahim S. Dabo, Atlanta
Ibrahim S. Dabo is an information technology (IT) leader and journalist. Originally from Sierra Leone, West Africa, he has held several IT and communications leadership positions for global for-profit and nonprofit organizations.
Mr. Dabo is currently the director of enterprise business systems for the General Board of Global Ministries, the global mission agency of the United Methodist Church, which operates in at least 100 countries.
A former Africa editor for Goal.com, the “second largest online sports publication only behind ESPN,” Mr. Dabo has written for several international publications and interviewed people from all walks of life. He is passionate about working with and mentoring young people, sharing other people’s stories and advocating for people in marginalized communities.
In 2002 while living as a refugee in The Gambia, he launched Ib Talk Online to share interviews and stories on topics like technology, education, sport and health.
Mr. Dabo was diagnosed with bilateral sensorineural hearing loss in 2013 during his final year of graduate school. He didn’t realize at the time that young people could have hearing loss, a discovery that made his diagnosis more shocking. His interests now include raising awareness about hearing loss, especially for young people and the Black community.
He holds an associate degree in business administration from Baltimore City Community College, a bachelor’s degree in management information systems from the University of Baltimore, and a master’s degree in applied information technology from Towson University. Mr. Dabo was elected to the HLAA Board of Directors in June 2021.
Shari Eberts, New York City
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).
Ms. Eberts 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 Hearing Life magazine, The Huffington Post, Woman’s Day, Good Housekeeping, Healthy Living Magazine, Psychology Today, Audiology Practices and The Hearing Journal.
Prior to her advocacy work, Ms. Eberts 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 bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Duke University and master’s from Harvard Business School. She is also on the Board of Lincoln Center Theater.
Ms. Eberts currently is chair of the audit committee.
Larry Guterman, Studio City, California
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 University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. Mr. Guterman was 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 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. 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 believed was not possible.
A coinventor 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 received 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 elected to the HLAA Board of Directors in April 2019.
Zina Jawadi, Los Altos Hills, California
Zina Jawadi is a medical school student at UCLA. Previously, she worked as a decision analytics associate for ZS Associates, an international management consulting firm specializing in health care. She has a bachelor’s in biology and a master’s in bioengineering, both from Stanford University. From 2013 to 2019, she was a member of the Board of Trustees of the HLAA California State Association, where she also held officer positions of secretary, vice president and president. Ms. Jawadi has prelingual bilateral sensorineural hearing loss and wears hearing aids. She was elected to the HLAA Board of Directors in June 2019.
Elaine McCaffrey, Esq., Chicago
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.
Ms. McCaffrey is a recipient of the 2020 HLAA Community Service Award and was elected to the HLAA Board of Directors in March 2020.
Carrie Nieman, M.D., Bethesda, Maryland
Carrie Nieman, M.D., is an assistant professor in the division of otology, neurotology and skull base surgery in the Johns Hopkins Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Her clinical practice is dedicated to the medical and surgical management of hearing loss and eustachian tube disorders. Dr. Nieman’s research is directed at understanding and addressing hearing health disparities among older adults, particularly among vulnerable populations. Her work focuses on the development and implementation of innovative, community-delivered approaches to affordable, accessible hearing care.
Dr. Nieman was elected to the HLAA Board of Directors in April 2020.
Roxana Rotundo, Miami
Roxana Rotundo is an entrepreneur with more than 25 years’ 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 2021,the company is producing five TV series: one in English and four in Spanish.
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 her second in 2019. Her focus is advocating about hearing loss for the Hispanic community where there is limited information.
She serves as chair on the Board of Directors of the Worldwide Audiovisual Women’s Association (WAWA), 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 is a member of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (Emmys). She was elected to the HLAA Board of Directors in March 2019.
Michael H. Stone, Esq., Washington, D.C.
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 LLM 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 Stone family representative to the HLAA Board, he brings a unique historical perspective of the organization’s history, is a past chair of the Board and has served on the Board periodically during the history of the organization.
Mr. Stone serves as chair of the finance committee.
Kelly Tremblay, Ph.D., Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Kelly Tremblay, Ph.D., has a 30-year history of serving and advocating for people with hearing loss as a clinical audiologist and professor. In addition to being a retired professor from the University of Washington, where she taught audiology students how to prevent, assess and treat hearing loss, and conducted research as the director of the Brain and Behavior Laboratory on the effects of hearing loss and hearing prosthesis on the aging brain, Dr. Tremblay serves on multiple advocacy committees. Some examples include: the World Health Organization, World Wide Hearing Foundation, and the Amazing Community. She judges grants for the National Institutes of Health as well as other government and nonprofit organizations worldwide. And, because she loves mentoring and coaching, she extended her expertise beyond the walls of academia to serve as a coach for the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association and other organizations. To further support companies and individuals committed to accessibility and healthy aging, she founded Lend an Ear, Inc. coaching and consulting.
Dr. Tremblay was elected to the HLAA Board of Directors in May 2016.