AuDacity 2021 — Speaker Bios
Kim Cavitt, Au.D. was a clinical audiologist and preceptor at The Ohio State University and Northwestern University. Since 2001, Dr. Cavitt has operated her own Audiology consulting firm, Audiology Resources, Inc.
Audiology Resources, Inc. provides comprehensive operational, compliance and reimbursement consulting services to hearing healthcare providers. She is a Past President of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA), serves as the Chair of the State of Illinois Speech Pathology and Audiology Licensure Board, serves on the Audiology Quality Consortium and serves on committees through ADA and ASHA. Dr. Cavitt is also Adjunct Lecturer at Northwestern University.
Nikki is a life-long hearing aid user and Director of Operations at Corvallis Hearing Center overseeing daily operations and assisting in all audiological services. She has published in the Hearing Review journal and is a presenter at all Oregon Association for Better Hearing monthly educational seminars at the local hospital.
John A. Coverstone, AuD, is the President and CEO of Sentient Healthcare, an audiology consulting company and parent company of Audiology Ear Care clinic in New Brighton, MN, where he provides clinical and educational audiology services. Dr. Coverstone received B.S. degrees in Speech Communication and in Speech & Hearing Science from Portland State University, an M.S. degree from Portland State University, and an AuD degree from Salus University School of Audiology.
Dr. Coverstone is a current writer for the American Tinnitus Association and a former columnist for Advance for Audiologists, Feedback (former ADA member publication) and Audiology Today. He has lectured at numerous state and national conferences, private meetings, and universities. Dr. Coverstone is the 2008 recipient of the Audiology Foundation of America Professional Leadership award, 2012. Dr. Coverstone is the co-host of AudiologyTalk, a monthly podcast for audiologists.
Dr. Davis has a passion for improving communication for patients and believes music has a significant impact on our ability to understand speech. She received her Bachelor's and Doctorate of Audiology from the University of Cincinnati and has been and audiologist for 14 years. She owns a private practice in Austin, Texas and specializes in adult diagnostics, hearing aid fittings, tinnitus, APD, and cochlear implants. Dr. Davis created a music-based auditory training program for patients in order to improve speech understanding in noise, increase cognitive function, and to supplement APD therapy.
Dr. Crystal Bleu Dvorak, daughter of deceased “Grandma YoYo” of TikTok fame, works as a clinical audiologist in Billings, MT. After being a teacher, she went back to school to become a SLP…but fell in love with Audiology, specifically the transduction process. She received her doctorate from the University of South Dakota. Beyond clinical audiology, Dr. Dvorak also serves as a captain in the Army Reserve. Majority of her time is spent doing regular army training, but a fair share of her time includes her reminding soldiers to wear hearing protection. Her teen daughters keep her busy with soccer, track, & theatre. Her oldest daughter Ashlyn has committed to play NCAA Div. I soccer beginning the Fall 2022. Her youngest daughter Alexis spends her time performing in community productions, dancing and pole vaulting on the high school track team. She and her husband own Big Sky Reptiles & Enclosures, which specializes in breeding exotic reptiles and PVC enclosures.
Josiah Dykstra, Ph.D. is an experienced expert in cybersecurity. He is founder and consultant of Designer Security, LLC, which provides security services for audiologists. Dr. Dykstra is also a technical leader in cybersecurity at the Department of Defense. Over the past 16 years, he has worked as a researcher and practitioner in network security and digital forensics. He is a frequent speaker, the author of numerous peer-reviewed publications, and wrote the book Essential Cybersecurity Science. Josiah is a Distinguished Member of the American Academy of Computing Machinery and Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.
Dr. Flexer received her doctorate in audiology from Kent State University in 1982. She is a Distinguished Professor of Audiology in the School of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. Areas of expertise include pediatric and educational audiology. Dr. Flexer continues to lecture extensively nationally and internationally and has authored more than 155 publications. She is past president of the Educational Audiology Association, the American Academy of Audiology, and the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Academy for Listening and Spoken Language.
Dr. Flexer has received six prestigious awards from the Educational Audiology Association; three awards from The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf ,the Volta Award, the Professional of the Year Award, and the 2019 Honors of the Association; and the 2012 Distinguished Achievement Award; and The EHHS Hall of Fame Distinguished Alumni Award 2015 from Kent State.
The Director of Audiology, Dr. Kevin Franck is a practice-certified audiologist who directs non-profit deaf advocacy organizations as Board Chair for the Hearing Loss Association of America and the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
Dr. Franck has twenty years of academic, clinical, and industry experience in health care and bionic medical/hearing devices. Before working at Mass. Eye and Ear, he directed clinical programs and provided care in the hospital environment, led independent grant-funded research and educational programs as faculty in the university environment, developed products and strategy on the leadership teams for established global and start-up bionic medical and consumer hearing product companies, and provided management consulting professional services.
He holds an MBA (healthcare management) from the Wharton School of Business, a PhD (hearing science) from the University of Washington, an MSE (biomedical engineering) from the Johns Hopkins University, and a BA (engineering) from Dartmouth College.
Dr. Gans is a clinical psychologist specializing in the psychological impact of deafness and hearing on well-being. In her private practice in San Francisco, CA, Dr. Gans treats clients with tinnitus, hyperacusis, misophonia, and other hearing-related difficulties. She completed research at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in the Department of Otolaryngology’s Audiology Clinic on Mindfulness-Based Tinnitus Stress Reduction (MBTSR), with promising results. She is the CEO/Founder of MindfulTinnitusRelief.com, the first-ever self-administered 8-week online skill-building course of its kind for learning how to shift tinnitus from 'bothersome' to 'non-bothersome'. Dr. Gans presents globally to audiologist, otolaryngologists, and hearing-health providers on how to integrate and give support to tinnitus patient counseling; a critical piece of the tinnitus management puzzle. Dr. Gans is fluent in American Sign Language and works closely with the Deaf community.
Since obtaining his PhD from The Ohio State University, Dr. Gans has been recognized as a thought leader and innovator in clinical practice, research and as a global educator in the vestibular and equilibrium sciences. With 150 international presentations in 30 countries, dozens of articles, his work is used by Audiologists, Otolaryngologists, Neurologists and Physical Therapists worldwide. As the founder of AIB, among the largest private practices focused on diagnosis and rehabilitation of balance disorders in children and adults, he has a unique perspective on the convergence of patient care, evidence based protocols and business.
Dr. Gans has served AAA as BOD Member, Chair of the PAC and President (2004-05). He is devoted to the advancement of the profession and the AIB has served as a site for 46 student externs from 27 universities. The AIB Foundation supports Audiology students and Research Grants as well as seeing children free, whose families are without insurance.
Archelle Georgiou, MD, is the Chief Health Officer for Starkey. She is responsible for Starkey’s initiative to improve individuals’ overall wellness and quality of life through our products and better hearing. She develops and maintains strategic relationships within the medical community, oversees the Healthable features embedded in the company’s hearing aids, and brings hearing health to the forefront of overall health.
Dr. Archelle Georgiou is a nationally recognized physician, author, medical executive and health reporter. She earned her medical degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and served as a senior executive and the Chief Medical Officer of UnitedHealth Group from 1995 to 2007. Since 2008, she has used Georgiou Consulting as her business platform to coordinate a diverse portfolio of relationships, clients and projects that ultimately improve health and the healthcare system. As a medical expert, she has covered over 1,200 medical topics during her weekly segments on KSTP-TV, the ABC affiliate in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Based on her interactions with viewers, Archelle Georgiou developed the CARES Model, a five-step approach that consumers can use to make healthcare decisions, and in February 2017, published her first book, Health Care Choices: 5 Steps to Getting the Medical Care You Want and Need (Rowman & Littlefield). Archelle Georgiou was trained and board certified in Internal Medicine.
Dr. Nancy Gilliom had a successful private practice for 24 years in Jacksonville, FL. She retired in 2019. She earned her doctoral degree from Purdue University in 1995. She has presented to numerous community organizations, written several editorials for local media, contributed articles for Audiology Practices, presented at Academy of Audiology and American Audiology Association. She continues to promote better hearing and often consults with local audiologist. She was the Editor for Audiology Practices and Feedback, the official publications for the Academy of Doctors of Audiology from 2006-2010 and served as an ex-officio board member for the Academy of Doctors of Audiology.
Dr. G’s leadership in Audiology began when he joined a licensure committee and quickly learned the struggles of the profession. He became the chair of the Arizona PAC for audiology, and then ran and was elected President of the Arizona Speech-Language-Hearing Association in 2006. He served a 3-year term on the BOD for the ABA in 2012-2015, served as Chair of the AAA Marketing sub-committee, Chair of the Public Awareness Committee, and was recently completed a term as President of APSO.He purchased his first practice in WA in 2012, grew the business, sold the business in 2017, and moved to L.A. Dr. G is board certified by the ABA and is a member of AAA, the California Academy of Audiology and ADA. He is the co-founder of the highly successful AudBoss Private Practice Summits, which sells out annually! He is passionate leader for audiology, philanthropic within and outside of audiology and is always looking to help audiologists and students achieve their goals.
KC Grzelka is an experienced financial professional who’s lead multiple small businesses through growth and expansion in both retail and manufacturing industries. KC has over 20 years’ experience in management, and applying a strong expertise in data-driven, long-term strategic planning. He has been supporting the Audigy membership for 8 years. Prior to joining Audigy, KC earned a Master’s degree from DePaul University and a Bachelor’s degree from the College for Creative Studies and was a Controller for Environmental Fibers International, where he directed the financial health of four divisions and implemented systems to improve efficiencies to facilitate their rapid growth. His responsibilities there included financial planning, budget management, forecasting, and designing system controls. KC was also the Controller for Moosejaw Mountaineering managing an outdoor retailer with 7 locations and a large e-commerce presence.
Dr. Leavitt received his bachelor's and master's degrees at University of Arizona and his Doctorate at Arizona School of Health Sciences. He has written a number of book chapters, journal articles and presented at international conferences. He has been a consultant for the Hearing Loss Association of America, The American Bar Association and the U.S. Forest service.
His awards include Best Graduate Student University of Arizona Speech and Hearing Department, the Larry Mauldin Excellence in Teaching Award, Best Audiologist Western U.S. from Rayovac and winner of the Audioscan Challenge.
Claudia Lorraine Gordon is the Director of Government and Compliance with Sprint Accessibility, a Business Unit within Sprint Corporation that offers communication products and services to reduce or eliminate communication barriers for customers who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, have a hearing or vision loss, and cognitive, speech or mobility disability.
Claudia was a member of the Obama Administration from December 2009 to January 2017 initially serving as Special Assistant to the Director of the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and then as OFCCP’s Chief of Staff. OFCCP is a worker protection agency that enforces the civil rights of American workers who either work for or seek employment with companies that benefit from government contracts. From July 2013 to March 2014 Claudia conducted a temporary assignment with the White House Office of Public Engagement where she was an Associate Director of Public Engagement. In that capacity, she served as the liaison to the disability community and advised on disability policies. Notably, Claudia served as a member of President Obama’s Presidential Delegation to the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Paralympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Federative Republic of Brazil.
Prior to DOL she was a Senior Policy Advisor with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. In 2000, Claudia received the prestigious Skadden Fellowship to work as a staff attorney with the National Association of the Deaf Law and Advocacy Center. She also worked as a consulting attorney with the National Council on Disability. Claudia, a native of Jamaica W.I., graduated with honors from Howard University in Washington, DC in 1995 and went on to complete law school with honors at American University’s Washington College of Law in 2000.
Ms. Manning currently is the Director of Operations for a large non-profit organization, Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center. She works directly with team of Audiologist, Speech-Language Pathologists, Audiology Assistants, SLP Assistants, administrative personnel and management staff. Prior to working in the non-profit sector, she was the office manager for a successful audiology private practice for 7 years. She was instrumental in that practice’s growth. In addition, during her tenure in private practice, she obtained her Audiology Assistant License so that she could help meet the overall practice and patient needs. Before finding her passion for helping individuals with communication disorders, she gained years of experience in communication, creative marketing, office management and project management. She has presented numerous community seminars, leads professional development and strategic planning meetings, and is a volunteer for a local young adult’s ministry.
Michael Page, AuD has served as a member of the Utah Cochlear Implant team, and as president, Utah Speech-Language-Hearing Association, member of the Primary Children’s Medical Center Bioethics Committee, and board chair for the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing. He has held adjunct faculty positions at Salus University, Utah State University, Brigham Young University, University of Utah and University of the Pacific. He served as chair and committee member of the AAA Ethical Practices Committee, Manager of Audiology/Cochlear Implant Program at Primary Children’s Hospital (Salt Lake City), as well as management and executive positions with industry. He is presently functioning as a business consultant for healthcare practices specializing in aspects of workplace culture, ethical practice, professional boundaries, industry relationships, employee relations, and strategic planning.
Ernie Paolini is responsible for Human Resources and Recruiting Services at Consult YHN. 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. He has managed international recruitment campaigns (SE Asia, Canada, UK and Australia) and is very familiar with US-CIS processes for work visas. Ernie attended Rutgers University and the Widener University School of Law.
Dr. Natalie Phillips is Founder and CEO of Connect4Excellence, LLC, a company dedicated to guide individuals, entrepreneurs, and businesses to build authentic connections on social media and at events. She is host of Connecting A Better World, a podcast aimed to highlight people doing good in this world and creating social impact. Dr. Phillips is Co-Founder and Owner of ACT Now Consulting, LLC and Co-Author of ACT Now! A Simple Guide to Take Action on Your Greatest Goals and Dreams, helping creatives confidently take action on the ideas they’ve been dreaming of pursuing. Dr. Phillips is also Senior Audiologist with Advanced Otolaryngology and Audiology in Fort Collins, Colorado and co-host of a weekly Facebook Live show, All Things AuD. In addition to seeing patients, being involved in research and on clinical advisory boards, she has volunteered her time to fit hearing aids in India, Peru, Guyana, and Mexico as well as in the United States.
Dan Quall has a wealth of experience from both the private practice and industry sides of the audiology profession. He owned and operated several audiology clinics in the Pacific Northwest in the 1980s and 1990s. Following his 18-years in private practice, Quall served in executive roles at Amplifon and Starkey Hearing Technologies where he worked to facilitate the development of Hearing Benefits Programs. He has spent much of his executive career focusing on developing network programs, clinical protocols and strategies for private practice growth. In August of 2015 he joined Fuel Medical to help develop strategic partnerships to enhance clinical revenue and efficiencies for businesses in the hearing industry.
For the past 15 years, Vanessa Rentschler has been a clinical audiologist in the ENT setting. She currently explores neurodevelopmental parallels within auditory processing disorder and decreased sound tolerance. Her interest in neurodivergence grew along with her autistic son, where real-world inequities and dearth of concrete supports continually alarm and compel her. Through pursuit of deeper understanding, Dr. Rentschler became a Certified Autism Specialist (IBCCES). She has also completed supplementary trainings and/or certifications in Tinnitus Retraining Therapy, Buffalo Model direct auditory training (The Auditory Processing Institute), PEERS for adolescent social skills (UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior), and Interactive Metronome. Dr. Rentschler has delivered audiology-focused presentations both live and online, regarding hearing assistive technology use on autistic students and patient-centered care through a neurodiversity lens, respectively.
After growing up with a hearing impairment, Catherine Richardson received her Masters degree in Audiology from Louisiana State University in 1998. To share her passion for great hearing solutions, Catherine has worked for leading hearing instrument manufacturers, business development groups and as a practice owner. Today, Catherine is the Director of Market Expansion and Integration for Cochlear Americas.
Dr. Liz Rogers is a graduate of Indiana University-Bloomington, where she earned both her bachelor’s and doctoral degrees. Dr. Rogers completed her audiology externship at the prestigious House Research Institute in Los Angeles, CA, where she focused on pediatrics and cochlear implants. In 2014, Dr. Rogers realized there was a need for cochlear implant services in Southeastern Kentucky, a rural area of Kentucky. At this time, she was able to join the team at Southeast Kentucky Audiology and began providing cochlear implant services to children and adults in the area.
In 2017, the opportunity arose for Dr. Rogers to take on the role as owner of Southeast Kentucky Audiology. Since that time, she has grown the practice to be a full-scope clinic, including a balance program with rotary chair, and 8 employees. She is excited to share her passion for rural healthcare and inspire others to choose a similar path!
Dr. Joseph Sakumura, received the Doctor of Audiology (AuD) degree from the University of Kansas Medical Center and his undergraduate from the University of Kansas. Dr. Sakumura completed his residency training at the American Institute of Balance. He is a lead faculty member in AIB's online, live and hybrid workshops and training programs and publishes regularly as part of the research team.
Dr. Sakumura serves as AIB's Director of Centers of Specialty Care & Clinical Innovation, directing a team of clinical staff in assisting practices worldwide in practice development, clinical protocols, and in the application of new and emerging technologies.
Erik is passionate about growing business. In his 18 years of experience, his marketing and strategy have provided substantial growth for his clients. Now Erik is deploying his proven strategies in Hearing Health Care Private Practice & ENT to bring new innovations, technology, and strategy to combat the threats that face them. In addition to growing business, his goal is to help these organizations thrive and raise the entire level of the industry.
Before selling in 2016, Erik generated over $56 million dollars in his advertising agency business handling many Fortune 500 and 1000 companies like Walt Disney, TDS Telecom, The FBI, the US Air Force, Kia Motors, MaxxSouth Broadband, USA Communications, Rio Alto, and JF Capital to name a few. Erik then co-founded the industry’s first Automation company before developing the marketing & automation systems for HearWorks.
Erik has owned multiple marketing related businesses and is currently a private practice owner with clinics in Phoenix and Surprise. He has 10 children, yes 10 and is a marathon runner, Ironman triathlete, and instrument-rated pilot.
Alicia D.D. Spoor, Au.D. is President and Audiologist of Designer Audiology, LLC in Highland, MD. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Michigan State University and earned her Doctor of Audiology degree from Gallaudet University. She completed her fourth-year externship at the Mayo Clinic Arizona and joined the hearing aid and cochlear implant teams before moving back to Maryland. She opened her own practice in 2015 with an unbundled/itemized pricing structure, one of the first in the nation to do so from day one, to benefit the patient and demonstrate the value of the audiologist. Dr. Spoor is the current ADA Advocacy Chair and Maryland Academy of Audiology Legislative Chair. She precepts audiology doctoral students in her practice and serves on the Osborne College of Audiology College Advisory Board at Salus University. Alicia is a past recipient of ADA’s Craig W. Johnson Advocacy Award and MSU’s College of Communication Arts & Sciences’ Outstanding Alumni.
Brian Taylor, AuD, is the director of clinical content development for Signia. He is also the editor of Audiology Practices, a quarterly journal of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology and editor-at-large for Hearing Health and Technology Matters (HHTM), a leading industry blog. Dr. Taylor has authored several peer reviewed articles and textbooks and is a highly sought out lecturer. Brian has 30 years of experience as both a clinician, business manager and university instructor. His most recent textbooks, Audiology Practice Management was published in 2019, and the 3rd edition of his Selecting and Fitting Hearing Aids was published in 2020.
Alexandra Tarvin, Au.D. is the founder and owner of Elevate Audiology- Hearing and Tinnitus Center in Easley, SC. She earned her Doctor of Audiology degree from the University of South Florida and her Bachelors in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Florida. She is focused on patient-centered care and evidence-based practices, constantly learning, growing, and changing to better herself as an audiologist and her clinical protocols. She is an audiology preceptor, a Certified Fellow of the Tinnitus Practitioners Association specializing in tinnitus and sound sensitivity, member of the American Tinnitus Association, volunteers as Technology Chair and former President of the South Carolina Academy of Audiology, is an Advocacy committee member of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology and in the SC cohort for The Audiology Project.
Colette received her Doctorate in audiology at City University New York. She has been a life-long hearing aid user and has worked in audiology clinics in New York, California and Oregon. She was awarded Best Undergraduate Poster at the American Academy of Audiology Conference in Orlando Florida in 2014. She has published papers in Audiology Today and Hearing Review.