Barbara Kelley, Executive Director
Barbara Kelley became executive director in March 2016. As HLAA’s chief executive officer, she is the primary spokesperson for the organization. She is responsible for overseeing the administration, programs, and strategic plan of the organization. Other key duties include fundraising, advocacy, marketing/media relations, and national and international outreach.
Hired by Founder Rocky Stone in 1988, Barbara has been a part of the organization’s growth, serving as editor for the award-winning magazine for 28 years. Her position as editor allowed her to influence attitudes, establish lexicon, and give people credible, reliable and timely information, and support, through the printed word. She has also helped manage the office team, served as deputy executive director from 2008-2016, and worked on many of the HLAA programs.
Barbara said, “It has been my life’s work to contribute to the mission of the organization. It’s been exciting to be part of an organization that has had so much influence on public policy and people’s lives.”
Barbara serves on various boards and coalitions, among them: member of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Advisory Council of the National Institutes of Health; the Federal Communications Commission Disability Advisory Committee; member of the Food and Drug Administration’s Consumer Nominating Organizations; the U.S. co-chair of the Consumer and Professional Advocacy Committee supporting the Delphi Cochlear Consensus Process; steering group of the Cochlear Implant International Community of Action; member of the Ida Institute Advisory Board and the Ida Institute Person-Centered Hearing Network; Consumer Technology Association Hearing Accessibility leader; and, the External Advisory Committee of the National Center for Deaf Health Research, University of Rochester Medical Center. In August 2020 she was chosen as chair of the Friends of the Hearing Health Caucus, a coalition of organizations who support the Congressional Hearing Health Caucus. The Congressional Hearing Health Caucus (CHHC) was created in 2001 to provide a bipartisan educational setting for discussion of issues related to hearing health for Congressional Members and their staff.
In addition to making her life’s work HLAA, her hobbies once included publishing her own digital magazine, Celebrate Home, blogging about food and hospitality and a video series on how to be the best host. Barbara enjoys reading, Washington Nationals baseball, yoga, and, most of all, preparing tasty food and welcoming people to their home with some Kelley hospitality.
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Lise Hamlin, Director of Public Policy
Lise Hamlin joined the HLAA national staff as director of public policy in April 2008. Lise, who has a hearing loss herself, has worked as an advocate for people with hearing loss for more than 25 years. She currently represents HLAA on federal advisory committees, industry advisory groups, and consumer coalitions, including the Federal Communications Commission’s Disability Advisory Committee, Transportation Security Administration’s Disability and Medical Condition Coalition, LG’s Accessibility Advisory Board, AT&T’s Advisory Panel on Access and Aging, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Alliance and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Consumer Advocacy Network. She has also taken part in developing, maintaining and presenting training programs on hearing assistive technology and on emergency preparedness.
Lise fields emails and calls from people with hearing loss who experience barriers to employment, technology, and health care as well as access to public places and telecommunications. She works directly with consumers to help them understand their rights and responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act and other disability laws. In 2019 she received TDI’s Karen Peltz Strauss Award Public Policy Award and has been recognized with the Oticon Focus on People award, a Spirit of SHHH Award and the F. Michael Taff award from the Human Rights Commission of Rockville, Maryland. [ Contact me ]
Marilyn DiGiacobbe, Director of Development
Marilyn DiGiacobbe joined the staff in September 2019. She leads the fundraising and development efforts at HLAA and is here to assist our donors and corporate partners to best support HLAA in ways that meet their goals. Marilyn’s experience spans higher education and nonprofits with focus on developing sustainable fundraising programs and creating impact through volunteer engagement. She has experience that includes principal and major gifts, corporate alliances, board and volunteer management; leadership and annual giving, strategic and campaign planning, advocacy, and communications. [ Contact me ]
Rini Indrawati, Director of Finance and Operations
Rini Indrawati, CPA, joined HLAA in April 2016. She has more than 20 years of auditing, financial reporting, financial planning and analysis experience. Rini started her career as an auditor with KPMG in Indonesia. Since then, she has been providing services to entrepreneurial businesses and nonprofit organizations in the Washington D.C. area. Rini earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in accounting from Tarumanagara University in Indonesia.
She enjoys exploring new places, baking and trying new recipes, watching her children play sports, volunteering and relaxing with her family. [ Contact me ]
Carrie Johnson, Director of Communications
Carrie Johnson joined the staff on February 22 as the director of communications. She comes to us from the Association of American Colleges and Universities where she served in various communications and marketing positions. Carrie has more than 15 years of experience managing communications teams at nonprofit organizations. She works on content published in both print and digital formats, and has experience leading branding and messaging campaigns, as well as communications audits and other large projects. Carrie is an experienced media spokesperson. She has a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Otterbein University in Ohio, where she is from originally, and a master’s degree in public communication from American University. In 2018-2019, she served as the pro bono co-chair on the board of directors for the Washington Women in Public Relations group. She continues to volunteer as a member of the WWPR Pro Bono Committee. Carrie lives with her twin sister, Beth, in Rockville, very close to the new HLAA office. [ Contact me ]
Carla Beyer-Smolin, Chapter and Membership Coordinator
Carla Beyer-Smolin was part of our staff in the 1990s working in both the chapter and membership departments. During Carla’s time with our organization in previous years, she also coordinated the Children’s Workshops for our conventions. She developed and managed "Heroes for Hearing Loss," a mentoring program for children with hearing loss. Carla also helped created some key publications. She wrote the “ADA Begins with You” column in our then hard-copy publication, "SHHH News," that went to chapters. She also created and published the "SHHH Ventures" newsletter that went to young adults with hearing loss. Carla left to raise her family and is now back with the HLAA family. She looks forward to connecting and working with our membership and strengthening our chapter network to help make a difference for people living with hearing loss and their families. Carla met her husband, Mark, through the SHHH Young Adults Group. They live in Maryland and have two children, a son in college and a teen-age daughter. [ Contact me ]
Ronnie Adler, Walk4Hearing Manager
Ronnie Adler has been an HLAA member since 1988 and was involved with three HLAA Chapters in New York and Connecticut. She joined the staff of HLAA in 2006 working to develop the new Walk4Hearing program. Ronnie is a leader of the HLAA All Generations Chapter in Pennsylvania. In 2007, was recognized with a national Oticon Focus on people award for her advocacy to create awareness about hearing loss in communities across the country. Ronnie works from her home in Pennsylvania where she lives with her husband, son and a lovable dog named Macey. Ronnie loves to travel, cook and bake for social events, and relax with family and friends. [ Contact me ]
Ann Rancourt, Walk4Hearing Manager
Ann Rancourt comes from Cleveland where she was involved with the Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center (CHSC), first as an intern and later, as a member of its associate board, New Partners of CHSC. Through New Partners, Ann managed and experienced her first peer-to-peer fundraising event, Cleveland Big Wheel Relay. From there, Ann was hooked. She joined the HLAA staff in May 2016. Her experiences in Cleveland allowed her to give back to the community and she knows firsthand how important services and programs are for people with hearing loss. She is thrilled to continue that passion with the Walk4Hearing.
In January 2017, Ann co-founded a social group, HLAA Young Professionals in Washington, D.C., to allow young professionals with hearing loss to connect. She is currently a staff liaison with HLAA Young Adults Hear (YAH) which focuses on topics of young adults with hearing loss navigating the transition to adulthood.
She is an avid hockey fan and having played at the college level, she continues to enjoy playing and officiating the game in local leagues. Ann currently resides in Bethesda, Maryland with her dog, Ruthie.
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Alissa Peruzzini, Development Manager
Alissa Peruzzini joined the staff in January 2019. Prior to HLAA, Alissa worked in business operations and investor relations in New York City, where she also earned her MBA from Fordham University. After relocating to Washington, D.C., she graduated from L'Academie de Cuisine and owned a dessert catering business. Alissa became a member of her local HLAA Chapter after experiencing single-sided profound hearing loss. She found it helpful to connect with other people who have hearing loss and was eager to become involved with the annual Walk4Hearing. Alissa enjoys working with volunteers and empowering individuals to better advocate for their own hearing health. [ Contact me ]
Amanda Watson, Meeting Planner
Amanda Watson joined HLAA as the meeting planner in November of 2018. She comes from Chicago and graduated from Miami University of Ohio. Amanda came to HLAA with a background in planning conventions for associations and was drawn to HLAA because of its impact on people’s lives. Amanda loves to plan annual HLAA Conventions that bring people with hearing loss together to meet, learn, and have fun in a communication accessible environment. Amanda lives in Kensington, Maryland. with her husband, son, and two dogs. [ Contact me ]
Tim Browning, Digital Communication and Web Specialist
Tim Browning joined the HLAA staff in November 2020. Prior to joining HLAA, Tim worked in the private sector within information technology where his primary focus was web technologies. He handled a wide array of responsibilities from web design, application development, and management. In 2014, Tim, who has hearing loss, attended his first local HLAA Chapter meeting to fill an emotional and support void from a life of managing in a hearing world. The encouragement and friendships he developed after connecting with others with hearing loss inspired him to join the HLAA Los Angeles Chapter steering committee. Since then, Tim expanded his role to join the HLAA California Chapter Leaders committee and the HLAA California State Association Board of Trustees. In his spare time, Tim enjoys fitness, participating and watching sports, trying new breakfast dishes and smoothies, and spending quality time with family, friends, and his wife.
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