Monday, March 31, 2014

Will All State Chapter Coordinators Please Raise Your Hands (Outgoing and Ingoing Too!)

Hi Leaders:
It's been hustle n' bustle here in the office since I've been filling in for chapters. I have to admit, I do not have a handle on who the state coordinators are. Yes, the database should tell me; however, I look at it and I am just not sure it is complete. Time to get it right. (Especially before Ed Ogiba arrives lest he thinks I've been slacking!)

I'm begging, once again, for your patience and your help. Here is what I need.

#1 -- Need your names and states now
If you are a state coordinator, please email me and tell me what state you coordinate and if you share that with anyone else in the state. (And, anything else you want to report, but, at a minimum, the basic info.) Even if you know I know you, please email me anyhow.

#2 -- Also need this now for HLAA Convention 2014 in Austin, June 26-29
We recognize both outgoing and incoming state chapter coordinators in the Convention Program and Exhibit Guide and at the Awards Breakfast, so please tell me, since last year June 2013 to June 2014, if you are an outgoing or incoming state chapter coordinator.

I need your responses soonest. Many thanks (again).
Humbly and hastily,
Barbara Kelley -- Email me

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Scrumptious Buffet is Waiting for You in Austin

A Smorgasbord of Choices 
Here are the offerings for state and chapter workshops. Try to especially attend the one on Saturday morning, "A New Membership Model." 
If you're still hungry after all the state and chapter entrees,
check out some more workshops here.
Find tasty technology treats in the Exhibit Hall.
Brain food can be found at the Emerging Technologies Symposium.
The icing on the cake is the fun, friend-making, and social events, such as:

Scholz Bier Garten for BBQ and swing dancing on Friday night
 Fiesta Banquet with your host Alan Kutner, member of the Delaware County, PA, Chapter; entertaining remarks by Gael Hannan; presentation of the Rocky Stone Humanitarian Award by Ahme Stone to Wayne Roorda, chapter member and secretary of the HLAA New Jersey State Association; and dancing music by Kenny Luna
Awards Breakfast and Ceremony where we honor HLAA's finest hosted by Michael Eury, member from North Carolina.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Chapter Delegate Registration to HLAA Convention 2014 Closes March 31

Choose a Delegate to Send to Austin, Texas
HLAA Convention 2014
June 26-29
Each HLAA Chapter can send one delegate at a reduced rate. A delegate can be a chapter president, officer, committee chair, or it might be someone being groomed for a leadership role.
This HLAA member/delegate would attend the chapter development workshops including one that is strongly encouraged  -- "A New Membership Model" on Saturday at 8:45 a.m. This will be important information to take back home and report on.

And, it's not all work...come and have fun,visit the Exhibit Hall, dance, party, try new technology, and make new friends and rekindle old friendships.

Meet the new national Director of Chapter Development Ed Ogiba -- he is looking forward to meeting you. Read more about Ed here.

For a Delegate Registration Form, email Nancy Macklin(I couldn't attach one to this blog.) For more on Convention 2014, click here.

See you in Austin,
Barbara Kelley 

Anna Gilmore Hall Heads to Chattanooga this Saturday for Wall4Hearing Kickoff

Chatanooga Walk4Hearing Kickoff
Saturday, March 29, 2014
11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Chattanooga Theatre Centre
400 River Street
Chattanooga, TN 37408

A Walk4hearing Kickoff is a free event open to all interested in the Walk in Chatanooga. We ask that you RSVP asap.

 Text RSVP to Bea Lyons at 423-424-6708; or email her at

Anna will be there to welcome everyone to the kickoff. Hope you can make it.
Find out more about the Chatanooga Walk4Hearing here.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

What does HLAA and Campbell's Soup Have in Common?

When I go to the store and want tomato soup, I automatically go to this brand with its classic red and white label. I don't even have to read the words, I know it's the Campbell's tomato soup I want.

That's what we all want for HLAA -- a recognizable brand. Whether its one of our chapters, a state association, or a national publication or public presentation, we want to all look the same.

Branding of our name and image is a priority from the HLAA Board of Trustees in their Statement of Strategic Intent. It makes good sense -- one brand, one image, one logo, one mission. There is strength in this approach when creating awareness about hearing loss or advocating on a state or national level. Plus, it shows we have our act together.

Take AARP, for example...
I remember when AARP was a national sponsor of the HLAA Walk4Hearing and we used their logo in our materials. They sent us branding guidelines that were about 40 pages long. And, we had to use our rulers; e.g., "must have at least 1/4" white space around the logo...." and more! But, it was all for good reason and no one knows that better than a successful company or a household name like AARP.

HLAA Branding Guidelines
All the new logos for chapters and states have been created and can be found here for download. Please refer to the HLAA Branding Guidelines here. (Note: they are in the Leader Support section of Even more, coming this fall we will have an online store for chapters with items with the chapter logo -- tablecloths, display items, small gifts and more.

Please follow the guidelines and use your new logos. We are all in this together. If you need some help or have questions, drop me line.

Thanks to everyone for all you do. Now please excuse me while I go heat up some soup!
Barbara Kelley


Thursday, March 20, 2014

HLAA Welcomes Ed Ogiba as the New Director of Chapter Development

The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) has appointed Edward F. Ogiba of Sarasota, Florida, to be its new director of chapter development with the primary charge of helping current chapters to grow and building new ones through strategic development, best practices and leadership training.

The post entails providing HLAA’s state organizations and chapters around the country with the direction and support they need to deliver the organization’s acclaimed education, support and advocacy services to open the world of communication for those with hearing loss.

Ed will offficially start in his new position on April 21, 2014. Click here for the complete media release with more details.

HLAA Executive Director Anna Gilmore Hall comments in the media release. I echo her thoughts as I'm pleased about having Ed join the staff. He not only is a talented professional, he joins us with experience in HLAA Chapters. And, I have to add, you can't go wrong with a Notre Dame grad. He also has his MBA from New York University along with broad-ranging experience in marketing and advertising.

In the meantime, until April 21, I'm here to help you in any way I can. And, when Ed comes, I'll still be here. We will be working closely together for awhile. I have really enjoyed my time with you!

Warm Regards,
Barbara Kelley

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Three Events this Weekend in Michigan

EVENT ADDED: Lunch on Saturday

The ground is frozen and there is no sign of a snow melt for this weekend as HLAA Executive Director Anna Gilmore Hall flies into Detroit to join HLAA members for a weekend of activities. If you’re in the area, don your winter coat and come out to meet Anna, attend a chapter meeting on Friday, lunch on Saturday, and a Walk4Hearing kickoff on Sunday.

Meeting: HLAA Downriver Area Chapter in Michigan
Friday, March 21
1 p.m.
William Ford Senior Activity Center
6750 Troy Street
Taylor, MI 48180-1633

Lunch in East Lansing
Anna will address attendees and CART will be provided.

Saturday, March 22
11 .am. – 2 p.m.
Hall of Fame Café
1601 W. Lake Lansing Road
East Lansing, MI (just off 127 N)

Attendees will order from menu and pay for their own lunches.
Email Ann Liming ASAP if you would like to attend the lunch.

Southeast Michigan Walk4Hearing Kickoff
Sunday, March 23
1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
C K Diggs Bar & Grill
2010 Auburn Road
Rochester Hills, MI 48309

If you would like to attend the kickoff (free and communication accessible) and find out more about the Southeast Michigan Walk4Hearing and to RSVP, click

Find a Walk4Hearing near you or sponsor a friend. Go to

They're Noticing

National Company Recognizes HLAA Chapters

EarQ, a company that sells hearing aids, recognizes the contributions of HLAA Chapters. Their website states: "At local community levels, organizations are building a foundation from which great changes can be made. There are hundreds of these localized movements occurring, but here are snapshots of just some of the efforts made by organizations in 2013 and plans for 2014.

EarQ goes on to highlight some HLAA Chapter activities.
Read more here.

Good work HLAA members! You're respected organizations in communites across the country and creating awareness about hearing loss while giving support and helping people live well with hearing loss.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Not a Blade of Grass to Be Found in Michigan, but that Won’t Stop Them

The ground is frozen and there is no sign of a snow melt for this weekend as HLAA Executive Director Anna Gilmore Hall flies into Detroit to join HLAA members for a weekend of activities. If you’re in the area, don your winter coat and come out to meet Anna, attend a chapter meeting, and a Walk4Hearing kickoff.

Meeting: HLAA Downriver Area Chapter in Michigan
Friday, March 21, 2014
1 p.m.
William Ford Senior Activity Center
6750 Troy Street
Taylor, MI 48180-1633

For more information:
Dorothy Wendell
Phone: 734-692-6975
Email Dorothy here.

Southeast Michigan Walk4Hearing Kickoff
Sunday, March 23, 2014
1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
C K Diggs Bar & Grill
2010 Auburn Road
Rochester Hills, MI 48309

If you would like to attend the kickoff (free and communication accessible) and find out more about the Southeast Michigan Walk4Hearing and to RSVP, click

Find a Walk4Hearing near you or sponsor a friend. Go to

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A Good Story: Northern California’s Chapter Coordinator-in-Training

Great ideas happen because prudent people look ahead. Don Senger, long-time member with years of involvement at the local, state and national levels, agreed to reprise his role as the Northern California Chapter Coordinator until another one could be appointed. He likes networking with chapters, but can’t travel to visit them. Don, retired from Wells Fargo Bank, has a second career—driving his grandkids to and from school and anywhere in between. All you parents can appreciate that!

Appointing State Chapter Coordinators

State chapter coordinators are appointed by the HLAA office in Bethesda because they are liaisons between the national office and the chapters. However, the recommendations about who to appoint has to come from you—members in the states who know people well enough to suggest them. 

Not only has Don recommended Janel Edmiston for the Northern California chapter coordinator, he has agreed to work with her, mentor her, and support her as a coordinator-in-training until she is ready to solo. And, if she decides this isn’t the role she would like to have with HLAA, nothing is lost because we will have one more person who knows more about chapters and who might take a leadership role in the future. But Don and Janel have talked in depth enough to know what the job entails, so we hope Janel will stay the course. As Don says, “I’ll be the back seat driver for a while.” 

This is the ideal way to find, appoint, and train state coordinators. Grooming leaders ensures a healthy organization and means we can plan for a future of HLAA Chapters who can be counted on to support people with hearing loss in communities across the county.

Janel Edmiston is Appointed Northern California Chapter Coordinator-in-Training
March 16, 2014

Janel Edmiston, from Elk Grove, California, and has been married for 24 years to Jim, a Sacramento Fire Department Battalion Chief. They have three children ages 21, 19 and 15. She has a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and coordinated bone marrow transplants before staying home full time to raise their children. For the past seven years, she has worked as a substitute teacher to work around their children’s schedules as all three children have played competitive soccer. 

Janel’s progressive hearing loss began when she was 25. She wore hearing aids and in 2012 received a cochlear implant. She has two hearing dogs from Canine Companions for Independence. One is retired (Gannon) and one is working (Onalee).

She learned about HLAA through online friendships and decided to attend the HLAA Convention last year in Portland, Oregon. Right away she wanted to get more involved with HLAA so she is starting a chapter in the Elk Grove area and is a new member of the HLAA-CA Board. She is also enrolled in the Gallaudet Peer Mentoring Program and will graduate in 2015.

Janel says, “I have developed a strong desire to help others navigate through their own hearing loss, hoping to provide information and support so they are more successful in adapting to their loss. I definitely feel I am a more interesting person because of my hearing loss! I love meeting new people with hearing loss and hearing their stories."

Thank you, Janel and Don. And, thanks to state chapter coordinators across the country or are developing and strengthening the HLAA Chapter network.

Click here to email Janel Edmiston.
For more information about HLAA state chapter coordinators, click here.
For information about Northern California HLAA Chapters, contact Don Senger, chapter coordinator.
For more information about Southern California HLAA Chapters, contact Nanci Linke-Ellis, chapter coordinator.

Friday, March 14, 2014

“Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night” (Dylan Thomas)

HLAA Chapters have a lot going on this time of year. While some are involved in the Walk4Hearing, Florida held a one-day Hearing Loss Expo, and others have top-notch programs for spring hoping to attract new members and keep current ones interested. State chapter coordinators and delegates are looking forward to getting together in Austin for the HLAA Convention 2014, June 26-29.

Feeling upbeat one day about the happenings in chapters, I got a phone call. It was Mary McAllister from the HLAA Orange and Durham Counties Chapter in North Carolina. Mary called to tell me they were closing the chapter. She said that she and Wayne Benson were getting up in years and there was no one to continue the chapter and assume leadership.

I understood, but it hit me hard. What do you say? Words like “I’m sorry” or “thank you for all the years of work” don’t seem enough. Mary was efficient in wrapping up the business of their official closing. Yes, we do have a section on our Leaders Resource page for Closing a Chapter. We don’t like it, but we have it.

I looked in their file which showed years of work and dedication since the late 1980s. They started as the Durham Chapter with dedicated members such as Mimi Clifford, Dare Carden, Cheryl Bivens, Patricia Carrier, Beth Puffenberger, Idrix Knox, Tina Jones, and others whose names are not on record. 

They weathered IRS requirements especially when the IRS revoked the tax-exempt status of 275,000 organizations including several of our HLAA Chapters. The Durham Chapter re-organized in 2012 with a new EIN under the name of HLAA Orange and Durham Counties Chapter.

The chapter accomplished a lot and they helped a lot of people. If we follow the national statistics that says 20 percent of the U.S. population has some kind of hearing loss, then, according to the population of the Orange and Durham counties, there are roughly 76,000 people in this area with hearing loss. I know that doesn’t translate to people who might seek help in an HLAA Chapter, but you get the point.

Referrals to Chapters
Daily, here at the national office we refer people to HLAA Chapters to get the support and help they need. We send them information, talk to them, but we depend on you―the troops on the ground―to offer the warm welcome, let them know they are not alone and help them learn how to live successfully with hearing loss. Who will be there now when someone needs help in that area of North Carolina?

Could We Have Helped Durham and Orange Counties?
This article is not to blame the Orange and Durham Counties Chapter for closing; rather, it’s to look at how we might have helped. Do we need to teach people how to groom leaders to take over when they no longer can? Do chapter leaders need to mentor each other? What? All ideas welcome here.

Hopefully, this can be an ongoing discussion about how we all hold each other up. We are one HLAA and when a chapter closes, we all lose. And so do those looking for help.

Thank you Orange and Durham Counties Chapter. We won't let you go gentle. We look forward to the day when another group of people come forth and want to form a chapter in the same geographical area. If so, we are here. 
      --Barbara Kelley

Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night
By Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Anna Gilmore Hall Headed to West Coast

HLAA Executive Director Anna Gilmore Hall in California this Week

Anna will attend the American Society on Aging Conference in San Diego, March 11-14. She will co-present with Noreen Gibbons, Au.D., lead audiologist at hi HealthInnovations, on "The Serious Nature of Hearing Loss and Innovations in Hearing Health Care Delivery.  (Friday, March 14, 11 a.m. - Noon)

On Thursday, March 13, Anna will meet with local HLAA leaders from the San Diego area.

She will be back in California in April to speak at two HLAA Chapter meetings. 
HLAA Diablo Valley Chapter
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
7 p.m.
Walnut Creek United Methodist Church
1543 Sunnyvale Avenue
Walnut Creek, CA 94597

For more information:

HLAA Peninsula Chapter
Thursday, April 3, 2014
1 p.m.
Veterans Memorial Building
1455 Madison Avenue
Redwood City, CA 94062

For more information:

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Julie Olson Talks about HLAA’s History and Why it Matters

March 12, 2014 – 1 p.m.-2 p.m. Eastern Time
Guest Speaker Julie Olson

How and why did HLAA become an organization for people with hearing loss? Why does it matter to Julie Olson, 34 years after it started? 

Learn the answers and more in a careful review of the organization’s proud history. Julie, former national Board of Trustees president and Wisconsin leader and newsletter editor, makes the information interesting to learn with a highly visual and humorous talk.

Join the Webinar here. No login required. The webinar will be captioned. You don’t need a camera but at the very least have a microphone so you can participate. If you have any questions about how to access the webinars, email Nancy Macklin.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Wayne Roorda, South Jersey Chapter Member, Will Receive Rocky Stone Award

Wayne L. Roorda of Voorhees, New Jersey, will receive the Howard E. “Rocky” Stone Humanitarian Award at the HLAA Convention 2014 in Austin, Texas, during the Fiesta Banquet, on Saturday, June 28.

The Howard E. “Rocky” Stone Humanitarian Award was established in 1990. The recipient of this prestigious award is elected by the Board of Trustees to honor an outgoing or past trustee for his or her extraordinary contributions toward the furtherance of the objectives and personal exemplification of the philosophy envisioned by Howard E. Stone, founder of Self Help for Hard of Hearing People (SHHH). Stone founded SHHH in 1979, now known as the Hearing Loss Association of America.

The Board selected Roorda as the 2014 recipient at their February 28, 2014, Board meeting in Bethesda, Maryland.

Wayne Roorda has been a member of the organization since 1983 and has served two terms on the Board of Trustees (1986-1990 and 2005-2008). In his first term he served as treasurer and, since 1986, has given continuous service on the Finance Committee on the Board. He had the pleasure of working with Founder Rocky Stone for many years. He started the first chapter in New Jersey and is a founding member of the New Jersey State Association and currently serves as secretary. Roorda has also been a two-time chair of the New Jersey Walk4Hearing.

Selected by his peers, Roorda is described as:

“…self-effacing, not one to write his own press releases. Few know the extent of time he has given to HLAA and to people with hearing loss. He serves as a peer mentor for those interested in receiving cochlear implants. He is a staunch advocate and has made more than one trip to Capitol Hill to advocate for such issues as the hearing aid tax credit bill. At home he is frequently asked to conduct training sessions in places such as the Department of Defense, libraries, and community places. As a federal employee, he promotes workplace giving to HLAA through the Combined Federal Campaign. Few can rival his integrity, devotion or loyalty to HLAA and its mission.

“The word 'humanitarian' (one who seeks to promote human welfare) can readily be used to describe Wayne Roorda. Spend a little time with him, and you will soon know that his only agenda is for the good of HLAA and those who have hearing loss. He doesn’t just talk about it, his 31-year membership, along with his unbroken service to the HLAA Board since 1986 is proof of his actions backing up his beliefs.”

For more information about the HLAA Convention 2014 where the award will be presented, go to Or email Nancy Macklin, director of events and marketing.

State Chapter Coordinators -- Webinar Wednesday, March 5, 1 p.m. - 2 p.m.

State Coordinators...This One's For You

Come join Executive Director Anna Gilmore Hall for a discussion about your work as chapter coordinators. Due to lack of time to discuss important business, we ask that only state coordinators attend this meeting.

We know this might be an inconvenient time for some of you, but there will be other meetings, and this will be available for replay.

Webinars are captioned and at the very least please have a microphone on your computer so you can talk and not have to type your comments or questions. (Best Buy or Radio Shack has microphones for less than $20.)

Join the webinar here. No need to login.

For more information about HLAA Webinars and how to get your computer ready, click here.

Hope to meet you in the Webinar.
Barbara Kelley
Deputy Executive Director
Editor-in-Chief, Hearing Loss Magazine