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.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations Janel and Don. Wish you the best in your new position. :)

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