The nominating committee of the Hearing Loss Association of America, California State Association (HLAA-CA) is pleased to announce the results of the elections. Candidates Thibault Duchemin, Marjorie Iller, and Rachel Otto have been elected HLAA-CA trustees. Also, current HLAA-CA trustee and president, Zina Jawadi, has been reelected.
The HLAA-CA nominating committee and the entire HLAA-CA board of trustees would like to welcome Thibault Duchemin, Marjorie Iller, and Rachel Otto to the board. The new trustees term officially begins at the start of the next annual HLAA-CA board meeting in March 2016. The HLAA-CA nominating committee and the entire HLAA-CA board of trustees would also like to thank the HLAA members in California who participated by voting.
Thibault Duchemin grew up the only hearing person in his family, helping his parents and sister get through the communication challenges associated with hearing loss and advocating, throughout his whole life, for his parents’ and sister’s rights in a society largely lacking of solutions to hearing loss problems. Engineer by training, with a Masters degree from UC Berkeley, Thibault has devoted recent years to creating radically innovative hearing loss accessibility solutions, founding the first speech recognition enabled group captioning system, named Ava, designed specifically to help people with hearing loss follow group conversations and business meetings. Thibault was named one of Inc.’s 2015 Top 50 Emerging Global Impact Entrepreneurs to Watch. Thibault lives in the greater San Francisco Bay Area.
Marjorie (Maggie) Iller was diagnosed at the age of four with severe, mixed (conductive and sensorineural), bilateral hearing loss. She grew up with hearing loss. Maggie has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Gallaudet College. She worked for 20 years as an instructional aide for hearing-impaired/deaf children and blind children. Maggie has been an active member of HLAA Silicon Valley Chapter for many years, including serving, since 2004, as president, vice president, and secretary. Maggie has also worked with the HLAA-CA board on several state conferences and has done extensive outreach and volunteering work related to hearing loss. Maggie lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Dr. Rachel Otto is a an audiologist. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois, and her AuD degree at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Her doctoral research project focused on maximizing the perception and enjoyment of music for hearing aid users. She was awarded the grand prize in the Academy of Doctors of Audiology Student Business Plan Competition in 2014. She completed her clinical externship at the University of Chicago Hospital. Rachel works for Pacific Hearing Service in Los Altos, California. Rachel has also volunteered in HLAA’s Walk4Hearing and in an overseas mission trip, fitting needy people with hearing aids. Rachel lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.