Presenters

Instructional Personnel

Rachel Atar joined AHAA in 2015 as the Marketing Account Executive. With experience in multiple industries, Rachel has consistently helped small businesses navigate marketing to their end consumer. Prior to joining AHAA, she was Taylored Home Health Care’s Marketing Manager, responsible for creating branding materials, the company’s social media presence, and expanding strategic partnerships.*

Carissa Baker is an Associate Manager for the South Central Division. A successful director of operations for an AHAA practice in Colorado, she has extensive operations management experience in the healthcare, entertainment and recruiting industries.*

Walter Bass is AHAA’s Director of Training and Development. He spent the last 15 years in training and operations, working with business owners in the automotive and education industries. Walter is dedicated to providing the tools and training necessary to contribute to the development of AHAA Associates and their staffs.*

Leah Breuers is Director, North ENT Division. She has more than 15 years of sales and consulting experience, both inside and outside of the medical industry, and has worked with emerging and Fortune 500 companies.*

Jodi Bryan is AHAA’s Human Resource Manager. Prior to joining the organization in 2013, she held HR positions with progressive responsibilities in the pharmaceutical, manufacturing and banking industries. Jodi has been certified as a Professional in Human Resources since 2000.*

Dr. Heather Carter is an Associate Manager for the Northeast Division and brings a unique perspective to AHAA as a clinical audiologist. She received both her master’s and doctoral degrees in audiology from Gallaudet University, the only liberal arts college for the deaf in the U.S. She has more than 15 years of experience working with individuals with hearing loss. As assistant director of audiology in a private practice, she was able to utilize AHAA’s tools to more than double the practice’s hearing aid sales.*

Bill Connerton is the Divisional Vice President for the Northeast Division. Prior to AHAA, Bill worked for J&A Marketing, a military distribution firm. While there, he managed key accounts and vendor partnerships, and increased sales from $4 million to $32 million.*

Andrew Daly is an Associate Manager for the Northeast Division. Prior to joining AHAA, Andy was a senior sales executive with RR Donnelley, a global provider of integrated communications. While there, he achieved 1,500+ percent sales growth and negotiated/delivered over $40 million in new business for the organization. Andy brings extensive experience in the areas of business development, marketing strategy, healthcare sales, and ROI.*

Jerry DeRosa is AHAA’s Director of Marketing and Creative Services. He draws from more than 25 years of marketing experience with expertise in direct and retail marketing, advertising and digital media. Previously, Jerry was director of marketing communications for Wolters Kluwer Health, a medical information, data and publishing company.*

Diana Dobo was as an Associate Manager for three years before being named Divisional Vice President for the West Division. Prior to joining AHAA, Diana was a Senior Sales Manager with AcusisLite Practice Transcription Services and served as an Adjunct Faculty member with the International Academy of Design and Technology. Diana has 16+ years of experience in sales, marketing and business development. She is passionate about helping her team and her customers achieve outstanding results.*

Michael Edgar is the Strategic Account Manager for the South Central Division. He has a proven track record in the healthcare sales field and practice operations management.*

Kenneth Gregory serves as Training Manager for AHAA. Formerly an Associate Manager for the Northeast Division, he has worked with numerous Fortune 500 companies and has more than 20 years of operations experience in retail and pharmacy healthcare.*

Paul Johanson is an Associate Manager with the ENTA Division. Prior to joining AHAA, Paul served as COO for one of New Jersey’s largest ENT practices and established strategic business initiatives to improve the practice’s audiology division, clinical research, and allergy care. He also worked for an international franchise organization where he designed business expansion strategies for North and South America. Paul is Six Sigma Certified with a focus in Healthcare Strategies and is working to obtain his Six Sigma Black Belt.*

Pat Marotta is an Associate Manager for AHAA’s ENT Division and has been with the organization since 1998. After dispensing hearing aids for six years, Pat became the New England regional manager for Beltone. While with Beltone, he primarily worked with dispensers to increase market share through advertising and manpower, and set up more efficient office processes and procedures.*

Mary Catherine McDonald is an Associate Manager for the South Central Division. Before joining AHAA, she worked for an education franchising company and was responsible for the training, support and growth of 70+ locations. Mary Catherine has a master’s degree in administration and leadership from Niagara University.*

Philesa Monden is AHAA’s National Call Center Supervisor, as well as Team Lead for the Oticon Call Center. Prior to working in the hearing aid industry, Philesa was a general manager for Spinnaker Resorts and oversaw the company’s call centers in
Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Charlotte, N.C.*

Ernie Paolini is responsible for Human Resources and Recruiting Services at AHAA. He has more than 20 years of experience in building and managing technology-driven HR and recruitment organizations. His areas of expertise include behavioral interviewing, employee relations, compliance, and onboarding.*

Gary Rosenblum is the US President for Oticon, a division of William Demant Holdings, a global leader in hearing healthcare. Oticon is one of the world’s most innovative hearing device manufacturers with more than 110 years of experience putting the needs of people with hearing loss first. Oticon has spearheaded a number of technological breakthroughs which have made a significant difference for people with hearing loss. Gary is responsible for driving forward Oticon’s leadership in innovation, product quality and customer support. He brings a rich understanding of how healthcare customers are adapting to a changing hearing care marketplace.*

Jamie Rudy is AHAA’s National Vice President of Sales. He spent the last 19 years in successful roles within the medical device industry. A previous business owner himself, he developed has worked with start-ups all the way up to Fortune 100 companies.*

Ridgely Samuel is a Manager of Training and Development. Prior to joining AHAA in 2005, she was employed in a management development program in the finance and accounting department of Circuit City Stores, Inc.*

Marceil Van Camp is an Associate Manager with the West Division. A former franchise consultant in the education field, she has worked closely with hundreds of businesses. She also spent time as the Director of Marketing and Brand Development in various industries. A prior business owner herself, Marceil brings that unique perspective and insight to AHAA Associates nationwide. She holds an M.B.A. in Management from the University of Connecticut.*

*Financial: AHAA employee who receives a salary for employment. Nonfinancial: No relevant nonfinancial relationships exists.

Manufacturer Biographies

Dr. Bopanna Ballachanda ,- Interacoustics – will be sharing his successes learned from his multiple years of experiences working in many of his clinics in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. He was instrumental in establishing a diagnostic and dispensing practice using teleaudiology to reach patients in rural areas as well as supplementing clinical activities in a busy clinic. This presentation will include the rationale for establishing a teleaudiology program using ten (ten) critical steps as well as identifying the necessary equipments and training of critical personnel. The session will also address licensure, coding and reimbursement, and HIPAA issues. Helpful tips to creating successful telepratice in audiology, generating extra income, as well excellent patient care will be discussed. These key performance indicators are fundamental to the success of a practice/facility.*

James (Jim) Skjeveland – Sprint Cap Tel – received a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) from Mankato State University in Minnesota and is currently completing his Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing at Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland. Mr. Skjeveland, who is hearing, has a deaf wife and several deaf family members. He is active in the community. He started his career teaching elementary-aged students with special needs at the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf (MSAD), and then began working for Sprint in 1993. In 1995, Mr. Skjeveland was hired by Communication Service for the Deaf as the Senior Vice President of Call Center Operations. In 2009, he returned to Sprint as a Senior Client Director. In total, Mr. Skjeveland has over 25 years of experience in the relay industry serving customers with a hearing loss.
Mr. Skjeveland’s currently leads the Sprint CapTel Sales and Marketing approach throughout the country. Mr. Skjeveland works with Hearing Health Providers, caregivers, veterans and other service providers to share the benefits of offering Sprint CapTel as a communication solution to those with a hearing loss.*

Don Schum is Vice President for Audiology for Oticon, Inc. and a member of the Board of Directors of the Eriksholm Research Facility. Previous to his position at Oticon in Somerset, Don served as the Director of Audiology for the main Oticon office in Copenhagen Denmark. In addition, he served on the faculty of the University of Iowa, School of Medicine the Medical University of South Carolina. During his professional career, Dr. Schum has been an active researcher in the areas of Hearing Aids, Speech Understanding, and Aging. He received a B.S. in Speech & Hearing Science, University of Illinois; M.A. in Audiology, University of Iowa; and Ph.D. in Audiology, Louisiana State University.*

Rose Bongiovanni joined Phonak in June of 2007 as Director of Education and Customer Development. She was promoted to Director of Sales and Training West in November, 2008, then in 2010 to VP of Sales and Training for Commercial. In December of 2011 she was promoted to VP of Lyric Sales and Training. In April of 2014 she combined the Lyric and Commercial field teams as the VP Commercial Sales and Training. She is currently the Vice-President of Strategic Accounts and her business units include Government Services, National Accounts, Large Retail, Clinical Training and Pediatrics. Rose has always been passionate about providing the best in products and services for the hearing impaired. Her 30+ years of professional experience comes from a variety of settings; private practice, clinical, university and hearing aid manufacturing. She has written journal articles, book chapters and is Past-President of the California Academy of Audiology.*

Dr. Tiffany Brown & Dr James Martin have spent decades focusing on understanding the mechanics of hearing aid technology and how it could be best utilized to improve the communication needs of the wearer. They both have had extensive experience in private practice and have spend the many years researching and learning about all types of hearing aid technology and how the auditory system processes acoustic information. They typically see some of the most challenging wearers across the US to improve the satisfaction of their listening and communication needs and supporting clinicians by thoroughly evaluating all aspects of the amplification selection, fitting, and verification process. They both work on the audiology and product development team at Widex and focus on making sure that hearing aid technology continues to advance in such a way where meeting communication needs is the primary focus.*

Dr. Carol Meyers is a Sr. Educational Specialist for Sivantos, Inc. She is responsible for the support and ongoing training of the Sivantos Educational Specialists and for creating new and innovative training methods to enhance customer service. She trains staff and hearing care professionals in the U.S. on the company’s products, technology, software, services, and audiology-related topics at industry events, face-to-face meetings, in publications, and through virtual courses. She is responsible for the planning and execution of online courses, including The Expert Series, which reaches a growing number of hearing care professionals each year. Prior to joining Sivantos (then Siemens Hearing Instruments) in 2007, Dr. Meyers dedicated more than 25 years to clinical practice, during which she attained a comprehensive understanding of diagnostics, hearing aid technology, and how to address the communication needs of individuals. Dr. Meyers holds a doctorate degree in Audiology from Arizona School of Health Sciences and graduate and undergraduate degrees from the University of Nebraska.*

Dr. Diana Theokas is an Educational Specialist for Sivantos, Inc. She is responsible for training customers and sales staff on the company’s current technology and products. Trainings are conducted in customer offices, remote locations, via webinars, and at regional and national events. Areas of particular expertise include digital wireless accessories and FM for children and adults. Prior to joining Sivantos in 2015, she worked in Audiology Technical Support for another hearing aid manufacturer for 6 years. Other clinical experiences include owning a private audiology dispensing practice, working in a hospital setting (mainly testing children and newborns), and working in ENT practices. Dianna obtained her doctorate degree in Audiology from Arizona School of Health Sciences in 2002.*

*No relevant financial or nonfinancial relationship exists.