Friday, March 19, 2010

HLAA Hires National Coordinator for States and Chapters


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 19, 2010

Contact:Brenda Battat, MA,
Executive Director
Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA)
battat@hearingloss.org


The Hearing Loss Association of America Hires
National Coordinator for States and Chapters

The Hearing Loss Association of America® (HLAA) is pleased to announce that they have created and filled a full-time staff position solely charged with supporting and developing the network of HLAA affiliates throughout the United States. HLAA selected Elizabeth LeBarron to fill the position of HLAA chapter and state coordinator.



HLAA created the position after the Board of Trustees named states and chapter organizations as one of their key strategic priorities. Board members emphasized support for the existing state and chapter organizations as the grassroots network to reach people with hearing loss on a personal level.

Executive Director Brenda Battat commented, “Chapters are the grassroots of HLAA, where self-help thrives. We are delighted to have Elizabeth on board to focus on supporting our chapters and state organizations. She brings a wealth of experience in working with chapters and will bring a fresh look at how we can all work together as one organization to further our mission.”

Ms. LeBarron brings a depth of experience in strengthening local organizations. From 1990 – 2001, she worked with 20-plus state chapters as membership manager at the National Glass Association in McLean, Virginia. During her tenure there she transformed the national-chapter relationship from adversarial to a partnership of mutual respect and cooperation.

From there Ms. LeBarron moved to the Association for Conflict Resolution in Washington, D.C., where she served for over a year as director of membership and development. Since then she has worked for the American Occupational Therapy Association and the American Gastroenterological Association in the membership and education fields, respectively.
“I am delighted to be working with HLAA staff and volunteers to reestablish the close ties between the national office and the local affiliates. I am looking forward to continuing Founder Rocky Stone’s legacy in working with states and chapters. I appreciate the opportunity learning how our organizations can support each other as we help people with hearing loss.”

Ms. LeBarron experienced hearing loss herself as a toddler when doctors discovered impacted wax in her ear canals. The surgery left her left eardrum loose and her hearing continued to decline when, in her mid-forties, she sought help from her primary care physician who referred her to an audiologist. Citing vanity and denial as the main reasons for not pursuing treatment previously, she was amazed how much she had not been hearing.

“When I could not understand what my toddler was saying to me from the back seat of the car, I decided to seek help. Right after getting my hearing aids, I could hear the turn signal tone in my car for the first time since buying the car months earlier.” Ms. LeBarron then learned that her own father had sustained a hearing loss at the same point in his life. (At age 80 he wears two, in-the canal hearing aids, while Ms. LeBarron wears two, behind-the-ear hearing aids.)

HLAA’s Toni Barrient, who previously served as chapter coordinator, will continue in her capacity as director of member services. In addition Ms. Barrient is also the national office’s business manager to oversee its expanding technology and information systems operations. Lise Hamlin, who previously coordinated states, will continue to serve in her capacity as HLAA public policy director and advise states on advocacy issues.

Ms. LeBarron’s first opportunity to meet with state and chapter leaders will be during the HLAA annual convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin June 17 – 20, 2010. Ms. LeBarron will oversee the chapter development tract and will conduct the chapter delegate meeting on Saturday, June 19 at 9a.m. She can be reached at Elebarron@hearingloss.org.

About Hearing Loss Association of America
The Hearing Loss Association of America® (HLAA), founded in 1979, opens the world of communication to people with hearing loss through information, education, advocacy and support. HLAA publishes the bimonthly Hearing Loss Magazine, holds annual conventions, produces the national Walk4Hearing™, hosts online learning with the Hearing Loss Academy, holds monthly webinars, and advocates for the rights of people with hearing loss. HLAA has more than 200 chapters and 14 state organizations. The national headquarters is located at 7910 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 1200, Bethesda, MD 20814. Phone: 301.657.2248 or visit www.hearingloss.org.

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