Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Phonak Roger Pen User's Survey

Hello Chapter leaders!
I hope you and your Chapters enjoyed a wonderful Spring and that you are making plans to come to Convention 2016.  It will be here before we know it!
Each of you received the Roger Pen at the 2015 HLAA Convention in St. Louis. We hope you have used it, and have shared it with other chapter members and that you plan to continue to loan out the pen to your chapter members. 

Phonak was looking to HLAA users to provide a great deal of feedback on their experiences with the Roger Pen. To date, we have not received many completed surveys, which means many of you have either not shared the Roger Pen, or have shared it, but the people with whom you shared the pen have not completed a survey. Or you haven't completed a survey yourself.
Phonak is looking for feedback on the design and usefulness of this listening device. It will not only help them, but if this is successful, other device makers could seek out HLAA – and your chapters – to help them in the design and upgrade of hearing technology. This could be the start not only of helping chapters get the word out about assistive technology, but also help us get in the ground floor for other products with hearing assistive devices. So, completing the survey helps Phonak and it helps HLAA.

If you have not yet loaned out the Roger Pen to any Chapter members, we encourage you to do so.   If you are currently loaning out the Roger Pen, but have forgotten to pass along the survey to your members, here is a link to the survey.
We need for you and everyone who has used the Roger Pen to complete the survey before Memorial Day, please.  If you have already done so...thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!

Please let me know if you have any difficulty accessing the survey
Best regards,
Valerie Stafford-Mallis
Director of Chapter Development
Hearing Loss Association of America
7910 Woodmont Ave, Ste 1200
Bethesda, MD 20814
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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Chapter Development Appoints Two State Coordinators

It is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of two very talented State Chapter Coordinators.  Please join me in welcoming Toni Barrient of Laguna Woods, CA and Tonya Williams of Clermont, FL.  Toni and Tanya will begin their terms as Chapter Coordinators  immediately following HLAA Convention 2016. 
State Chapter Coordinators work in partnership with the HLAA Director of Chapter Development, other chapter coordinators in the state, chapter leaders, and state associations.  They make MAJOR contributions to the strength and development of the chapter network in states fortunate enough to have them.  I would ideally like to see Chapter coordinators in every state that has HLAA Chapters.  They provide the one-on-one assistance to chapters based on knowledge of local opportunities and challenges. 
For more information about becoming a State Chapter coordinator, please click here. 
If you are coming to Convention, we will have a Chapter Coordinators Workshop on Wednesday afternoon, June 22, from 3:30 to 5:30 in the State/Chapter Development room.  Click here for a schedule of the State Chapter Development Track
Southern California State Chapter Coordinator, Toni Barrient.  
Toni is no stranger to HLAA.  For 10 years she worked in Chapter Co-ordination, Membership, and Office Management at the National office in Bethesda.  Toni understands our chapters and is uniquely positioned to serve them.  She has deep professional experience in hearing assistive technology (Caption Call, Harris Communications, Med-EL). Toni is highly skilled in the use of social media and other 21st century technology to support chapter development. She has assisted the City of Orange and the Mission Viejo Chapters, as well as a hearing and vision club that serves her retirement community.
Toni will be building upon the strong foundation laid by Nanci Linke-Ellis, who recently announced her intent to step down from the Southern California Chapter Coordinator’s position after Convention.  HLAA thanks Nanci for her many years of dedicated service to the Southern California chapters and wants her to know she made a difference.
Toni plans to hit the ground running with an impressive initial 6-month chapter development plan.  Please join me in extending a warm HLAA welcome to Toni Barrient. We are looking forward to great things on behalf of the Southern California HLAA Chapters.  You can reach out to Toni by email 
Florida State Chapter Coordinator Tanya Williams
Tanya is a hearing specialist and family service coordination supervisor of Florida’s Early Steps Program. She has served on the HLAA Florida State Association’s Board of Trustees as the vice president and co-chair of the Nominating Committee. Tanya is actively developing and executing a transition plan with the HLAA-FL Board President Cynthia Moynihan.  Thank you, Cynthia, for letting us borrow Tanya for a couple of years! 
Tanya is an active member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, where she was recently asked to elevate hearing loss awareness at the national, regional, and local level of the sorority.  Tanya has earned many accolades and awards: Iota Delta Zeta’s Zeta of the Year Award, March of Dimes’ Outstanding Community Service Award, Hometown Hero of the Year, AmeriGroup Corporation’s Innovative Community Service of Florida, Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Community Service of the Year, and Epsilon Zeta Blue Indigo Community Service awards. 
Tanya lives her belief that hearing loss is not an impairment, it is but one aspect of a person's uniqueness.  There is no doubt Tanya will distinguish herself in her work with Florida’s chapters. Please join me in extending a warm HLAA welcome to Tanya. You can reach out to Tanya by email.
I have enjoyed getting to know Toni and Tanya during the interview and selection process very much.  Both impressed me early on with their desire to serve, their understanding of the issues chapters face, and their ability to support those needs.  I think you will really enjoy getting to know Toni and Tanya.
As always, thank you for sharing your time and talents with HLAA.  You ARE appreciated!
All the best,
Valerie Stafford-Mallis

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Merry Month of May Chapter Development News

Good afternoon, everyone,
I hope you are doing well and that you are enjoying a wonderful spring. I feel like HLAA Chapters are really having a Spring Awakening, if you will.  I can feel the energy and enthusiasm buzzing through the phone calls, emails, and newsletters.
A lot of requests have been coming in to assist chapters with important chapter business:
  • helping maintain IRS tax-exempt status by meeting IRS requirements for 501c3 nonprofit organizations,
  • assisting with their annual Chapter Updates,
  • maintaining up-to-date chapter contact information on the HLAA website, 
  • guidance on utilizing the HLAA brand in chapter communications,
  • and generally just being there to provide chapter leaders with whatever direction, program options, and support they might need to deliver the HLAA mission to their members and communities.
I hope I have been able to respond to your requests in a timely fashion and to provide the assistance for which you reached out.  If not, please do not hesitate to ask me again.  I am still discovering many exciting new things about HLAA and its chapters!
A number of volunteers have reached out with a desire to establish new HLAA chapters.  Interest in living better with hearing loss and the role HLAA chapters play in this has never been higher.  You can expect to read about many new chapters as time goes on.  HLAA's newest chapter is the HLAA Chapter of Midlands, South Carolina which held its first meeting as an official HLAA Chapter in April. You may reach out to Chapter President Dave Bitters with a warm HLAA welcome at dabitters@gmail.com.
If you or someone you know would like information about starting an HLAA Chapter, please go to the Start A Chapter section of the HLAA Leader Support Page http://www.hearingloss.org/content/chapter-start 
Other volunteers are working hard to revitalize existing chapters.  Off the top of my head, recently I've had the honor of working with the Central Illinois Chapter, the SW Ohio Chapter, the City of Orange CA Chapter, the Miami FL Chapter, the Prescott AZ Chapter.  I am working with others as well.  I cherish the opportunity to work with each and every one of them.  If you or someone you know would like to check out some innovative chapter revitalization ideas, please look on the Run A Strong Chapter section of the HLAA Leader Support Page http://www.hearingloss.org/content/chapter-run.
Some very talented individuals have applied to become HLAA State Chapter Coordinators and I could not be more excited about this.  Coordinators are volunteers who work closely with Chapter Development (A.K.A. me) and they play a key role in HLAA.  There is one of me and about 150 of you.  State Chapter coordinators provide the individualized assistance I am not always able to provide.  HLAA does provide limited travel expense reimbursement to coordinators (up to $750 per year for HLAA-related travel expenses).  HLAA Chapter Coordinators: 
  • advise, support, and strengthen existing chapters
  • initiate and coordinate the development of new chapters
  • identify and nurture potential chapter leaders
Our goal is for each state to have at least one chapter coordinator and for every urbanized area of every state to have at least one HLAA Chapter. (An urbanized area is defined as 10,000 people surrounding a central city with a population density of at least 1,000 people per square mile.) For more information about becoming a State Chapter coordinator, please go to the Coordinators section of the HLAA Leaders Support Page http://www.hearingloss.org/content/chapter-coordinators
You've probably figured out that volunteers are the life blood of HLAA. Our organization is so fortunate to have volunteers who are passionate about building strong HLAA chapters and opening the world of communication to people with hearing loss.  I am honored to support your efforts.  If you would like to become more involved or if you have ideas about how we can forge a stronger collaboration, please reach out. Let's explore possibilities together. 
Thank you, each and every one of you, for sharing your time and talents with HLAA.   As Rocky Stone said when he started HLAA, "Hearing loss is a daily challenge you can overcome.  You do not have to hide your hearing loss.  You do not have to face hearing loss alone."  Our HLAA chapters are the living legacy of Rocky Stone's words. Stay tuned, folks, we're in for an exciting ride!
All the best,
Valerie Stafford-Mallis
HLAA Director of Chapter Development