2017 Speaker Biographies

Deb Abel, AuD

As Manager of Coding & Contracting, Deb Abel provides Audigy members her expertise in navigating one of the U.S. healthcare industry's most difficult to understand aspects: The world of Medicare coding, billing, and reimbursements and third party contracts. Abel has held several highly regarded positions in audiology, including a staff position at AAA, and has served as a coding and billing consultant for two other national companies.

Disclosure Statement:
Financial Disclosures: Employee, Audigy Group
Non-Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose

Amyn Amlani, PhD

Amyn M. Amlani, PhD, is Professor and Department Chairperson, Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology, in the consortium program between the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR). Dr. Amlani holds the B.A. degree in Communication Disorders from the University of the Pacific, the M.S. degree in Audiology from Purdue University, and the Ph.D. degree in Audiology/Psychoacoustics (minor in Marketing and Supply Chain Management) from Michigan State University. His research interests include: (1) economic and marketing trends within audiology, particularly with respect to evolving/disruptive technologies, (2) the influence of hearing aid technology on speech and music, (3) hearing conservation for musicians, and (4) room acoustics.

Disclosure Statement:
Financial Disclosures: Consulting Fee, Audioscan
Non-Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose

Sylvia Baffour

Internationally respected Speaker, Trainer and Executive Coach, Sylvia Baffour:
  • teaches individuals how to rise to greater levels of empowerment;
  • coaches organizational leaders to communicate more effectively with those they lead; and
  • enables organizations to better handle change amidst an ever shifting business environment.
Sylvia Baffour is the founder and CEO of the Leaping Beyond Barriers Institute. An organization changing the way companies leap beyond their barriers to achieve peak performance. She is a thought leader in the field of Emotional Intelligence and the author of the forthcoming book, “The Impact Accelerator”, which shares practical strategies for leveraging emotional wisdom to catapult successfully over obstacles.

She is also one of the most sought-after speakers and trainers in the fields of personal empowerment, professional and self-development, leadership and change. Sylvia has traveled to and lived in over 20 countries across the globe and speaks five languages. She is co-author of the book How to Be a Super Achiever and she was a semi finalist at the 2014 World Championship of Public Speaking in Malaysia, competing against 35,000 contestants from 126 countries.

Sylvia served as a Change Management Consultant with a former Big Five Accounting firm and draws from that experience. In addition, she speaks from her own personal leadership experience having been a successful Regional Director for a national college planning firm. In this ground floor initiative, she conducted over 600 presentations and led her team of sales consultants to a record revenue of more than $3 million.

Sylvia Baffour delivers customized, value-packed, thought-provoking presentations that leave audiences energized with useful take-home strategies they will benefit from, long after the session has ended. Her presentation formats range from opening and closing keynotes to breakout sessions to half and full day training sessions using practical material that is tailored to each group’s needs.

Barry J Barresi, OD, PhD

Dr Barry Barresi is an accomplished clinician executive, health policy expert, business entrepreneur and association CEO. He has successfully lead innovation in health care across the nonprofit and business sectors of clinical practice, academia, public policy, and corporate executive leadership.

Current positions include: President and CEO, Association Ventures: Business consulting firm helping leading associations advance mission and financial goals with business venturing, start up incubators and digital platforms. Professor of Health Policy, Salus University, Public Health Program, Policy research and teaching graduate level course - Value Based Health Care: Population Health Strategies to Improve Quality and Manage Costs.

Past positions include, Founder and CEO, OcuHub LLC, Health care information technology company serving specialty providers, health systems and payers with a care collaboration digital platform. Former CEO of the American Optometric Association, a health professional association with over 35,000 members in the United States. In conjunction with his CEO role for AOA, he served as executive director of the association’s charitable foundation, Optometry Cares and the founding CEO of AOAExcel, Inc., a wholly owned for-profit subsidiary of AOA devoted to providing financial, clinical and business services to optometrists across the country. A 40 year member of AOA, with over 20 years of service as an AOA volunteer, Dr. Barresi has a career long record of leadership in federal health policy advocacy efforts and has testified in state legislatures across the nation and participated in federal regulatory advocacy with experience with CMS, HRSA, FTC and FDA policy development.

Natan Bauman, Ed.D, M.S., Eng., FAAA

Dr. Bauman (Ed.D, M.S., Eng., FAAA) is a leader in the field of hearing healthcare. He received a Master's degree in electro-acoustics and electronics from Wroclaw Polytechnic Institute in Poland, and both a Master's degree in Audiology and Doctoral Degree in Audiology from Columbia University. Prior to his work at HBS, Dr. Bauman was the Director of a comparable facility at Yale’s New Haven Hospital for 10 years. He also served as an Assistant Clinical Professor at the Yale School of Medicine. In 1988, he opened Hearing, Balance and Speech Center and The New England Tinnitus and Hyperacusis Clinic (1997). Both establishments offer patients the finest technologically, advanced devices and testing procedures for their hearing health. The New England Tinnitus and Hyperacusis Clinic is the only certified treatment center in Southern New England .Dr. Bauman invented the "Totally Open Canal' Hearing Aid, Vivatone®. Vivatone® was the first hearing aid of its kind known to eliminate hearing aid wearer's common frustrations of “feeling plugged up", or feeling like they were in an echo chamber. Because Vivatone® hearing aids allow an open ear canal, the plugged up and echo chamber are eliminated and a more natural sound is heard. It's size and ability to be worn behind the ear provides wearers with a discreet hearing aid. Dr. Bauman has published numerous articles in professional journals. He is a frequent guest speaker and lecturer at audiological symposiums both nationally and internationally.

Disclosure Statement:
Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose
Non-Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose


Victor Bray, PhD

Victor Bray is an Associate Professor and former dean (2009- 2016) of the Osborne College of Audiology. Dr. Bray was previously the Director of Audiology for the Austin (Texas) Ear Clinic, the Director of Clinical Research for ReSound Corporation, the VP and Chief Audiology Officer for Sonic Innovations, and VP and Chief Audiology Officer of OtoKinetics. Dr. Bray holds a bachelors degree in Biochemistry, a masters degree in Audiology, and a doctorate in Speech and Hearing Science. He has presented nationally and internationally at numerous workshops, seminars and conferences on the clinical applications of audiology.

Disclosure Statement:
Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose
Non-Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose

Kim Cavitt, AuD

Kim Cavitt, AuD, owner of Audiology Resources, Inc., graduated with her Master’s degree in Audiology from Indiana University in 1991 and with her AuD from Salus University in 2005. She spent nine years as a clinical audiologist and preceptor at The Ohio State University and Northwestern University and spent two years as the Director of Professional Relations at HearPO. Since 2001, Dr. Cavitt has operated her own Audiology consulting firm, Audiology Resources, Inc. Audiology Resources, Inc. provides comprehensive operational and reimbursement consulting services to hearing healthcare clinics, providers, organizations, buying groups, and manufacturers who want to be better equipped to compete in the managed care and healthcare arenas. Throughout her career, Dr. Cavitt has been actively involved in issues related to all aspects of Audiology practice operations and management, coding, billing, third-party reimbursement and managed care issues. She has written numerous articles, provided many webinar training events, and given numerous presentations at both the state and national levels on these topics.

Dr. Cavitt is currently the President of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA). She is also a current member of the State of Illinois Speech Pathology and Audiology Licensure Board. She serves on both the 18 x 18 and mentorship committees through ADA and is the ADA representative on the Audiology Quality Consortium and the American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association Health Care Economics subcommittee.

Dr. Cavitt is an Adjunct Lecturer in the AuD program at Northwestern University and is a senior contributor to Audiology Online and Audiology Practices. Dr. Cavitt is the married mother of one daughter and is actively involved in her community. An avid fan of her beloved Indiana Hoosiers and Chicago Cubs, she also enjoys food, travel, and having fun in her adopted hometown of Chicago.

Disclosure Statement:
Financial Disclosures: Employed by Audiology Resources, Inc – Salary and ownership interest
Academy of Doctors of Audiology – Consulting fee and honorarium received
Michigan Academy of Audiology – Consulting fee received
Audiology Online – Speaking fee, consulting fee received

Non-Financial Disclosures: Academy of Doctors of Audiology – Board Member
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association – Committee Member
State of Illinois Board of Speech Pathology and Audiology – State Licensure Board Member

Rita Chaiken, Au.D.

Dr. Rita R. Chaiken graduated from Syracuse University, Emory University, and received an Au.D. from Pennsylvania College of Optometry (Salus University) where she was awarded the 2014 Osborne College of Audiology Alumna of the Year Award. Dr. Chaiken has previously served as an educational audiologist, regional manager for a hearing aid manufacturer, and founder, owner, and operator of a private audiology practice. She served two terms on of State of Georgia Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. Presently, she consults with a private practice in Atlanta, GA., and is an Adjunct Professor of Audiology at Salus University as well as immediate past president of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology. She has traveled in the United States and internationally to provide cerumen management training to audiologists and Au.D. candidates, and was honored by the Audiology Foundation of America with its Professional Leadership Award for her work in this area.

Disclosure Statement:
Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose
Non-Financial Disclosures: Board Member, Academy of Doctors of Audiology

Shreemanti Chakrabarty, AuD

Dr. Chakrabarty is currently working as a clinical audiologist at Southside Regional Medical Centre in Petersburg VA. She submitted previous research on newborn hearing screening to be considered for publication. She gave a research poster presentation at Audiology Now! Annual Conference, in Anaheim, CA (April, 2013) on the topic Comparison of Patient Satisfaction Between Audiologists and Hearing Aid Dispensers in a Multi Office ENT Practice. She presented a poster on the topic: Awareness and knowledge of special dietary patterns for speech and language disorders among dieticians in Delhi: A Survey at the 41st ISHA-CON (Indian Speech and Hearing Association-Conference), January 2009.

Disclosure Statement:
Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose
Non-Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose

David Citron, PhD

David Citron, III, Ph.D., FAAA co-founded South Shore Hearing Center, Inc., a full-service audiology practice in 1982. He received his undergraduate degree in speech pathology and audiology from Northern Illinois University, his Master's Degree in Audiology from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in 1972, and his Ph.D. in Audiology in 1979 from Purdue University. Dr. Citron is a founder and fellow of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA), and served on the Academy's Balance Disorders Task Force and its Committee on Adult Hearing Aid Guidelines. He is a fellow member of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology, serving as its president in 1988-1990 when the blueprint for the Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) was developed. Dr. Citron has been an active Rotarian (Weymouth, MA) since 1983, and was club president in 2008-2009. With the support of the Rotary Foundation, he led a team to Goa India in 2009 and established a newborn hearing screening program. He has authored publications and book chapters on hearing care, and has lectured extensively at local and national Audiology conferences.

Disclosure Statement:
Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose
Non-Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose

Kristin Davis, AuD

Dr. Kristin Davis is originally from North, S.C., and she has been in the audiology profession for over 20 years. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Business from the University of South Carolina and her Master's in Audiology from Memphis State University. Dr. Davis later obtained her Doctorate in Audiology from the Arizona School of Health Sciences. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology, the Academy of Doctors of Audiology, and past President of the SC Academy of Audiology. Dr. Davis is also a member of the Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce and the Upstate Senior Network. She is licensed in Audiology by the State of South Carolina. She has presented at the Phonak Professional Development conference in 2016 and community seminars.

Disclosure Statement:
Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose
Non-Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose

Robert DiSogra, AuD

Dr. Robert M. DiSogra, is a recognized expert on pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals for hearing loss and tinnitus. He has 40 years experienced in the professional and has a deepening interest in the drug side effects on audiological and balance testing. He is the 2016 recipient of the Joel Wernick Award from ADA and 2013 Alumnus of the Year from Salus University.

Disclosure Statement:
Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose
Non-Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose

Kathy Dowd, AuD

Over the past 38 years, Dr. Dowd has spent her career in school systems, ENT clinics, state departments of education and private practice. She has a doctorate degree in Clinical Audiology from Salus University. ADA has been a continual support in her efforts to raise awareness about diabetic ear disease. The Audiology Project for which she is Executive Director is an umbrella organization for all three audiology professional groups. The Project is writing a white paper, developing educational material for CDC and others, and starting state cohorts to bring the message of audiological management of diabetic ear disease to state and local levels.

Disclosure Statement:
Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose
Non-Financial Disclosures: Executive Director, The Audiology Project

Kevin Franck, PhD, MBA, CCC-A

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. Now Dr. Franck works at Bose Corporation and serves on the Boards of Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech, the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and the Hearing Loss Association of America. In October, he will be the Director of Audiology at Massachusetts Eye and Ear / Harvard Department of Otolaryngology.

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.

Disclosure Statement:
Financial Disclosures: Financial Disclosures: Employee, Bose Corporation
Non-Financial Disclosures: Member, Board of Directors: Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech, the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and the Hearing Loss Association of America

Richard Gans, PhD

Dr. Gans is the founder and executive director of The American Institute of Balance; one of the country's largest balance disorders treatment centers. He received his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in Auditory and Vestibular Physiology. Dr. Gans has been a leader in the development of vestibular evaluation and rehabilitation techniques. He has presented or published over 150 programs worldwide and papers in the area of equilibrium disorders. He is adjunct professor at the University of South Florida, Nova Southeastern University and University of Pittsburgh. He has taught vestibular and balance courses for Arizona School of Health Sciences, Pennsylvania College of Optometry-School of Audiology, and the University of Florida distance learning Au.D. programs. Dr. Gans is a past President (2004-2005) of the American Academy of Audiology.

Disclosure Statement:
Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose
Non-Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose

Jennifer Gilligan

Jennifer is a 4th year graduate student at the CUNY-Graduate Center in New York City.

Disclosure Statement:
Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose
Non-Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose

Christopher Hamilton, AuD

Dr. Hamilton received his audiology degree from Northwestern University, and a B.S. of Ed. from Western Carolina University. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology. Dr. Hamilton practices at The Hearing Center, Asheville, North Carolina..

Disclosure Statement:
Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose
Non-Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose

Michael Harvey, PhD

Michael A. Harvey, PhD, ABPP, provides training and consultation on mental health issues having to do with hearing loss, including consultation and training for audiologists regarding motivational interviewing and the psychological aspects of patient care. As a Clinical Psychologist, he has a private practice in Framingham, Mass. and was a consultant faculty at Salus University, where he taught online courses relating to the psychosocial aspects of hearing loss.. He has published over 50 articles in the field and his latest books are Listen with the Heart: Relationships and Hearing Loss and The Odyssey of Hearing Loss: Tales of Triumph.

Disclosure Statement:
Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose
Non-Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose

Jiovanne Hughart, AuD

Jiovanne Hughart received a Masters of Business Administration at Brenau University in Georgia and her Au.D from the University of Florida. She has practiced Audiology for 32 years with 29 years in private practice. She served as President of the Georgia Academy of Audiology in 2007-08. And continues to serve the Georgia academy in other positions Dr. Hughart has taught Practice Management in the Salus University distance-learning program as well as Private Practice Audiology at Auburn University for 2nd year Au.D candidates. She has assisted teaching the hands on lab portion of the Cerumen Management Workshops for approximately 6 years. Dr. Hughart performs cerumen management daily in her busy audiology practice Hearing Doctors of Georgia.

Disclosure Statement:
Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose
Non-Financial Disclosures: Webmaster, Georgia Academy of Audiology; Co-chair, Hearing Commission of Georgia; Adjunct Professor, Salus University and Auburn University

Sara Jagger, AuD

Sara Jagger, Au.D., is the Chief Medical Officer at The American Institute of Balance. She obtained her Doctorate in Audiology at A.T. Still University in Mesa, Arizona, and her undergraduate degree from Penn State University. Prior to obtaining her Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Penn State University, she completed coursework in physical therapy assistance and neurology. Dr. Jagger also teaches in all of AIB’s workshops along with a full-time clinic schedule, and is a preceptor for three 4th Year students each year.

Aaron Jones, AuD, MS, CCC-A

As a hearing healthcare professional and an entrepreneur, Aaron has worked in a variety of clinical settings including the VA San Diego Healthcare System and a private practice, EAR Audiology, which he founded. He is passionate about patient-centered innovation and has spent his career making products and processes better for users, both in and out of the healthcare industry. Aaron is the Director of In-clinic Success at Unitron and an Instructor at San Diego State University where he teaches Hearing Science. He also has 15 years of engineering experience at NASA, Boeing and Illumina. Aaron received his AuD from San Diego State University and the University of California-San Diego, as well as an MS in mechanical engineering from the University of Arizona and an MS in management from Stanford Graduate School of Business where he specialized in patient-centered innovation.

Disclosure Statement:
Financial Disclosures: Employee, Unitron; Employee, San Diego State University
Non-Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose

Mead Killion, PhD

Mead Killion, Ph.D. founded Etymotic Research, Inc. in 1983. Prior to starting Etymotic, he worked for over 20 years for a major electronic component manufacturer where he designed hearing aid transducers, including microphones that were so accurate they were also used in recording and broadcast studios. Dr. Killion earned degrees in mathematics from Wabash College and the Illinois Institute of Technology, and completed his doctorate in audiology at Northwestern University. He was awarded an honorary doctor of science (Sc.D.) degree from Wabash College.

Disclosure Statement:
Financial Disclosures: Employee, Etymotic Research, Inc.; Adjunct Professor, Northwestern University
Non-Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose

Darren Kurtzer, Au.D.

Dr. Kurtzer, Au.D. is AIB’s Director of Sports, Concussion and Wellness Programs. He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from York University in Toronto, Canada with honors, and wrote a thesis in Neuropsychology, working with amnesic and apraxic patients in the areas of auditory, visual, and tactile neural memory. Dr. Kurtzer received his Doctor of Audiology degree from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale FL. He completed his Residency at the AIB and is the senior staff clinician with an emphasis on concussion, neuropsychology and physiological aspects of central compensation and development of vestibular therapies with cognition. He is a co-author of numerous online journals medical textbook chapters.

Sean Lehman, MSgt, USAF, Ret.

Sean Lehman is a retired US Air Force Master Sergeant who worked at the highest levels of the Defense Department as a journalist and combat correspondent. His 20-year career took him from Desert Storm operations in the first Gulf War to Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Now he works with Heroes With Hearing Loss striving to provide solutions to Veterans with hearing loss.

Disclosure Statement:
Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose
Non-Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose

Jason Mayer

Jason Mayer brings 13 years of industry experience to his role at Phonak US, with specific expertise in brand development, strategic planning, leadership, and team building. Prior to his appointment as Vice President of Sales at Phonak US, Mayer served in various capacities at Unitron and Phonak UK since 2003, most recently as Vice President of Sales at Unitron. He had previously served as Sales Director for Phonak UK. Prior to joining Phonak, Mayer was with Nomadic Display, a global leader in trade show exhibit production. Originally from London, England, Mayer earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics at the University of York, and furthered his executive education at the Management School of St Gallen in Switzerland, and INSEAD in Paris, France.

Disclosure Statement:
Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose
Non-Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose

Angela Morris, Au.D.

Dr. Morris has been in private practice for 13 years. She has been involved with many audiology organizations including ADA, AAA, ABA, the Kentucky Academy of Audiology, and the Kentucky Audiology Licensure Board. She is the current president of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology. She obtained her MS from the University of Louisville and her Au.D. from Salus University.

Dr. Morris was elected to serve her community on the Corbin Independent School Board as Vice Chairperson. She is married and has two boys, Kory and Kody, and two dogs, Kouper and Benny.

Rick Musselman

Panel moderator and presenter, Rick Musselman is an industry veteran with over 25 years of experience. Business entrepreneur, multi-office hearing aid practice owner, as well as holding various sales/marketing and operational positions with hearing health care companies, Rick has presented at numerous state and corporate events and conducted product training seminars for audiologists and dispensers. He is presently the Business Unit Manager at earVenture, a company that provides resources and value-positioned products for audiologists to reach an ever expanding marketplace.

Disclosure Statement:
Financial Disclosures: Employee, earVenture, LLC
Non-Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose

Kelly O’Keefe

Kelly currently leads all activities related to Fuel Medical's web strategies, providing direction and growth for 2017. He has over 10 years of industry experience working with both hearing aid manufacturers and healthcare professionals. He brings innovative solutions to enhance patient engagement for providers. Kelly is an expert in using data analytics to educate providers and patients in healthcare trends. As a graduate of Marquette University's Business School with majors in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Kelly brings insight to the healthcare industry for creating a powerful online presence.

Disclosure Statement:
Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose
Non-Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose

John Pumford

John Pumford, Au.D., is the Director of Audiology and Education at Audioscan. He received his Master's Degree in Audiology from the University of Western Ontario (Canada) and his Doctor of Audiology degree from Salus University. Previously, Dr. Pumford held senior audiology, clinical research and management positions at both Phonak and Unitron. He has held clinical audiology positions in both hospital and private practice settings and has also worked as a research audiologist at the National Centre for Audiology (in London, Canada) where he participated in research projects involving directional microphones, compression processing and the Desired Sensation Level (DSL) method. Dr. Pumford has published and presented internationally on various topics including real-ear measurement, hearing aid technologies and the DSL method and currently serves as a reviewer for the American Journal of Audiology.

Disclosure Statement:
Financial Disclosures: Employee, Audioscan
Non-Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose

Dan Quall

Dan Quall is an Audiologist with experience from both the private practice and industry sides of the business. His 35 years of industry experience includes 18 years in private practice and the remaining years in network development with executive roles at Amplifon and Starkey Hearing Technologies. In August of 2015 he joined Fuel Medical to create a division for developing professional networks and contracting with managed health groups.

Disclosure Statement:
Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose
Non-Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose

Jacque Scholl, AUD, CCC/A

Jacque Scholl, Au.D, CCC/A, lives and practices in Tulsa, OK. She has owned her own clinic, The Scholl Center, since 2008 and added a retail component, Sound IQ, in the spring of 2017. Dr. Scholl's current research is on cABR and literacy. The Scholl Center provides comprehensive services for balance, electrophysiology, auditory processing disorders, tinnitus, hearing, implantable technologies, and physical therapy. The addition and intention of Sound IQ is to provide better access to consumers seeking alternatives to traditional hearing healthcare. She is a graduate of Missouri State University and received her doctorate in audiology from Arizona Health Sciences in 2006. Dr. Scholl lives with her husband, son, and daughter (and a plethora of critters). In her spare time she likes to read, sew and scuba dive.

Disclosure Statement:
Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose
Non-Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose

Dan Schumaier, PhD

Dr. Daniel R. Schumaier, president of Ear Technology Corporation, was awarded his master’s degree in Audiology from the Central Institute for the Deaf at Washington University in St. Louis and his Ph.D. in Audiology from Michigan State University in 1972. He is a dispensing audiologist with three offices in northeast Tennessee, and an industrial hearing conservation service with clients in 14 states. An entrepreneur at heart, Dr. Schumaier is the inventor of the Dry & Store ® conditioning system, TransEar®, the hearing instrument for single sided deafness, and now Clik®, holding numerous patents, both domestic and foreign. He formed Ear Technology Corporation to translate innovative ideas into practical applications and products, thus the hallmark of ETC: innovation with a purpose.

Disclosure Statement:
Financial Disclosures: President, Ear Technology Corporation
Non-Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose

Alicia D.D. Spoor, Au.D.

Alicia D.D. Spoor, Au.D. is the owner of Designer Audiology, LLC, located in Highland, Maryland. Previously, she was part of the cochlear implant and hearing aid teams at the Mayo Clinic Arizona and worked at two private audiology practices around the Baltimore, MD and Washington, D.C. areas. Dr. Spoor received her Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) degree from Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. and her Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree from Michigan State University in Audiology and Speech Sciences. Her clinical internship experiences included Bethesda National Naval Medical Center (now the Walter Reed National Military Medial Center), Ft. Belvoir Army Community Hospital, and Kendall Demonstration Elementary School. While at Gallaudet University, Dr. Spoor taught at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. She is currently the Secretary for the Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA), Chair of the Audiology Quality Consortium (AQC), and Legislative Chair of the Maryland Academy of Audiology (MAA).

Disclosure Statement:
Financial Disclosures: Academy of Doctors of Audiology: Convention registration received in kind, as a board member.
Non-Financial Disclosures: Academy of Doctors of Audiology: Board membership.

Misty Stern

Misty Stern joined Audigy Group as an intern in January 2005 after returning from the University of Groningen, Netherlands, where she completed international studies coursework. Misty established the Audigy Group Marketing Department as the company's first and only marketing manager in 2005, where she single-handedly managed all AG Member marketing needs before her promotion to director of marketing in 2009. As director of marketing, Misty oversaw a team of eight marketing managers and worked directly with AG's directors of finance and operations in an effort to promote and sustain consistent growth for more than 200 Member businesses. In 2011 Misty was again promoted for her marketing savvy and attentiveness to AG Member needs, this time to vice president of marketing, where she manages a 30-plus team of media buyers, marketing coordinators, project managers, digital and social media specialists, and a full-scale creative agency. Misty's ambition and direction have been instrumental in the success and development of Audigy Group's vision as hearing care industry leaders. Prior to her work with Audigy Group, Misty received her bachelor's degree in marketing and public relations from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. She graduated magna cum laude and was featured on the dean's list for the NAU School of Communication. She also participated in the Golden Key National Honor Fraternity and the Public Relations Student Society of America.

Disclosure Statement:
Financial Disclosures: Employee, Audigy Group
Non-Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose

Patricia Takacs, DMD

Dr. Takacs opened her first practice over 30 years ago with the purpose to reach out to everyone and improve their dental health in a comfortable, modern environment. Dr. Takacs is a strong advocate of patient education and enjoys getting to know each of her patients.

She is dedicated to staying current with cutting-edge procedures and technology. She has completed advanced training in implant dentistry, neuromuscular analysis, orthodontics, cosmetic dentistry, full-mouth reconstruction and sleep apnea medicine. She is trained and certified in oral conscious sedation.

As an Elite Preferred Invisalign Provider, Dr. Takacs has the highest status as an Invisalign provider and is in the top 1% of all providers in North America. She is a speaker, trainer, and Senior Master Provider of Fastbraces®. She is also certified in the Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique and is a Lumineers-certified doctor.

After attending West Virginia University, Dr. Takacs graduated with high honors from the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry in 1983. After graduation, she worked as an associate in a Lexington practice until opening her own practice in 1984. Since then, she has also taught at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry and coached dentists through a dental management company.

Dr. Takacs is a member of the Academy of GP Orthodontics, the Academy of Laser Dentistry, the Academy of Computerized Dentistry, the Bluegrass Dental Society, the Kentucky Dental Association, the American Dental Association, and the Dental Organization of Conscious Sedation.

She is also the accomplished co-author of two Amazon best-selling books, Principles for Success Vol. 2 and A Cup of Coffee With My Dentist.

Dr. Takacs and her husband, Norm, have two wonderful children, Ryan and Kyle. As a family they enjoy outdoor activities and traveling. Dr. Takacs is an avid reader and lover of dogs.

Disclosure Statement:
Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose
Non-Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose

Alexandra Tarvin, AuD

Dr. Alexandra Tarvin is originally from Queens, NY but grew up in central Florida. She completed her Doctorate in Audiology from the University of South Florida and her B.A. in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Florida. Dr. Tarvin completed her residency year at a not-for-profit audiology clinic in Louisville, Kentucky where she practiced all specialties of audiology. She is also a twice published researcher completing her audiology doctoral project, entitled Acceptable Noise Level and Hearing Aid Noise Reduction, which has also been presented at multiple conferences. She is the Past-President of the South Carolina Academy of Audiology, a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology, and an active member of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology.

Disclosure Statement:
Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose
Non-Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose

Brian Taylor, AuD

Brian Taylor, AuD is the Senior Director of Clinical Affairs at Turtle Beach. He is also the clinical audiology advisor for the Fuel Medical Group. Brian is an adjunct professor for A.T. Still University Arizona School of Health Sciences, and editor of Audiology Practices, the quarterly journal of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology. Brian is also editor of the Hearing News Section of the Hearing Healthcare and Technology Matters (HHTM) blog. He has written four books and several articles on a variety of topics related to audiology and practice management.

Disclosure Statement:
Financial Disclosures: Consultant, Bose; Consultant, Fuel Medical
Non-Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose

Mitch Vakerics

Mitch Vakerics, a Director at Prime Policy Group, joins the firm from Capitol Hill. Mitch served multiple posts in Congress all within the U.S. House of Representatives. Considered the main health care point of contact over seven years within two separate Energy & Commerce Committee Member Offices, Mitch worked closely on key health care legislation and implemented an overarching strategic approach with senior officials at the FDA, NIH, CDC, CMS and HHS.

Most recently, Mitch served as the Legislative Director to Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (R-NC) who currently serves on the powerful Energy & Commerce Committee. During this tenure, Mitch directed the activities of the legislative team and served as the Congresswoman’s link to the Committee during her work on the Health, Energy & Telecommunications Subcommittees. It was during this time that he executed the development of the 21st Century Cures Energy & Commerce Committee package and crafted landmark vaccine legislation at the request and under the direction of the Congresswoman.

Prior to his tenure with Representative Ellmers, Mitch served Congressman Tim Murphy (R-PA), Chairman for the Energy and Commerce Oversight Subcommittee, as a health care and energy policy advisor.

At Prime Policy Group, Mitch continues to focus heavily on federal and regulatory health care and energy policy legislative initiatives. A native of Virginia, Mitch earned his Bachelor’s degree from James Madison University and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh. Mitch currently resides in Arlington, Virginia with his wife Jasmine and their two children.

Craig VanDeVelde

Craig VanDeVelde is the Director of Practice Development for Phonak, a global manufacturer of hearing instruments. He is a seasoned practice development coach whose creative ideas and strategic tools for business success are in high demand by hearing professionals nationwide.

Craig has over 25 years of experience working with retail, private audiology practices, clinics, hospitals, universities and ENTs. His professional expertise, developed during his tenure with multiple hearing instrument manufacturers, includes documented achievements in practice development, sales management, marketing and advertising, sales forecasting, benchmark metrics, best practices development, market analysis, practice start-up, valuation and acquisition. Craig received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics from University of Iowa.

Disclosure Statement:
Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose
Non-Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose

Barbara Weinstein, PhD

Dr. Weinstein is a Professor of Audiology and the Founding Executive Officer of Health Sciences Doctoral Programs. She is the author of both editions of Geriatric Audiology and the Hearing Handicap Inventory. Weinstein has focused her endeavors on the role of audiologists in improving the quality of life of older adults. The focus of her research has been on epidemiology, psychosocial correlates of hearing loss, patient centered care, and outcomes assessment.

Disclosure Statement:
Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose
Non-Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose

Delain Wright

With over 30 years of senior level management experience to back him, Delain is a leader in a quickly changing value based hearing aid market. Over the past three decades he has been at the forefront of the hearing industry working with the NHS, direct-to-consumer markets, OTC, existing traditional models and government legislation. With advances in technology putting more control in the hand of the consumer it is Delain’s goal and Intricon’s mission to be the global leader in the value based hearing market by providing greater accessibility and affordability to millions in need. Delain feels, “ In the next five years we will see the most dramatic change ever in hearing care coupled with new technology and the emerging Hearables market. All of this combined with the dramatic increase of people suffering from age related hearing loss and desire to have better hearing will drive increased hearing wellness.”

Disclosure Statement:
Financial Disclosures: President, earVenture; Vice President of Business Development, Intricon
Non-Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose

Neil Wright, AuD

Neil is an audiologist for GN ReSound in the Global Audiology department. Neil received his AuD from Northwestern University in 2015. He has previously presented at the Academy of Rehabilitative Audiology Conference and the World Congress of Audiology.

Disclosure Statement:
Financial Disclosures: Employee, GN ReSound
Non-Financial Disclosures: Nothing to disclose

Tad Zelski, MBA

Tad has served in various roles throughout his career, which include the following:
  • Dispenser & Owner - Atlanta Hearing Aid Service - 1972-1989
  • Manufacturer's rep for audiology technology, SEHAS, Inc. 1972- 1989
  • Marketing and business consultant as Amplification Consultants, 1989 - curretIndependent Sales Representative for Widex Hearing Aids - 1989 - 2010
  • Regional Sales Manager - Widex USA, New York City - 2010 – 2013
  • Director of Professional Practice Development, Widex USA - 2013-2016
  • Director of Marketing, clEAR Inc. 2016 – present
Disclosure Statement:
Financial Disclosures: clEAR, Inc., St. Louis, MO
Non-Financial Disclosures: Board Member, Hearing Rehabilitation Foundation, Somerville, MA