History of Hearing Loss Association of America, California State Association, Inc. (HLAA-CA)
In November 1979, HLAA national founder, Howard E. “Rocky” Stone, Bethesda, Maryland, incorporated a non-profit educational membership organization under the name Self Help for Hard of Hearing People, Inc. (SHHH). By 1982, SHHH was a national organization with 25 chapters.
In the early 1980s, a group of SHHH chapter leaders, including the late William B. (Bill) Cutler (then residing in Palo Alto, California), founded a new SHHH coalition of four Bay Area SHHH chapters: SHHH Peninsula chapter, SHHH San Jose chapter, SHHH Santa Clara chapter, and SHHH San Francisco chapter. Bill Cutler was appointed president. The new organization was named Self Help for Hard-of-Hearing People – Bay Area Members (SHHH-BAM). Bill Cutler also published a SHHH-BAM newsletter.
On September 25, 1984, Articles of Incorporation (dated July 5, 1984) were filed by Bill Cutler, president, and Kate Lowenstein, secretary, to incorporate Self Help for Hard-of-Hearing People – Bay Area Members (SHHH-BAM). The articles were recorded in the State of California on October 2, 1984. The organization was intended as SHHH Chapter and was setup as a nonprofit, charitable organization. Section 1 (b) of the Articles of Incorporation states: “The specific purposes of this corporation are to provide education, assistance and advisory services to and about hard of hearing persons and to encourage medical research into hearing loss and technical- research into remedial aids.”
By 1987, SHHH-BAM had 10 chapter members: Alum Rock, Diablo Valley, East Bay, Marin, North Bay, Peninsula, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz.
In February, 1989, the very first SHHH California state convention, organized by Don Senger as California state coordinator, took place in Fresno. During the convention, a meeting was held by a group consisting of Bill Cutler, president of the SHHH national Board of Trustees and Region IX coordinator, Jim Montgomery, deputy Northern California state coordinator, Leo Maggio, deputy Southern California state coordinator, Don Senger, California State coordinator, Joan Kleinrock, national chapter coordinator, and Dana Mulvany, Special Projects Coordinator. During that meeting, Bill Cutler recommended forming a SHHH California state association and Joan Kleinrock gave approval. Don Senger was appointed president pro tem until formal approval from SHHH national, completion of the necessary paperwork, and election of Board of Trustees members. Most of the above founders were also former SHHH chapter presidents: Bill Cutler – Peninsula, Don Senger – Diablo Valley, Jim Montgomery – Diablo Valley, and Leo Maggio – San Fernando Valley.
The SHHH California state newsletter began in January, 1991.
As of October 1992, SHHH California state board consisted of: Don Senger, Bill Cutler, Lucy Case, Cathy Gaspar, Jim Montgomery, Leo Maggio, Julie Mason (San Diego, joined in 1992) and Lou Spiros (Diablo Valley, joined in 1992).
Also in 1992, the SHHH California state association founders, based on a recommendation by founding member Bill Cutler, decided to assume the SHHH-BAM corporate status, corporate bylaws, tax ID, and tax exemption status for the SHHH California state association, to have the SHHH California state association be responsible for the entire state of California, and to disband SHHH-BAM. It was deemed that, with the SHHH California state association, SHHH-BAM was no longer needed and that SHHH-BAM could give up its infrastructure to the SHHH California state association.
On January 25, 1993, Certificate of Amendment of Articles of Incorporation was filed by Don Senger, president, and Dana Mulvany, vice president acting as secretary, to change the SHHH-BAM name to Self Help for Hard of Hearing People – California (SHHH-CA). The Certificate of Amendment was recorded by the State of California on February 11, 1993. Don Senger was the first president, Dana Mulvany was the first secretary, and Bill Cutler was the first treasurer for SHHH-CA.
In December 1993, formal board elections were held resulting: Don Senger, Bill Cutler, Jim Montgomery, Leo Maggio, Dana Malvany, Lucy Case, Lou Spiros, Julie Mason, Lorraine Fanizza, and Jonathan Frieman. Elected Officers were: Don Senger, president, Dana Mulvany, vice president, Bill Cutler, treasurer, and Lucy Case, secretary.
By 1994, there were 30 SHHH chapters, 15 chapters in Northern California (Diablo Valley, East Bay, Fresno, Marin County, North Bay, Peninsula, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Clara, Shasta, Simi Valley, Solano, Sonoma County, Tri-Valley), and 15 chapters in Southern California (San Fernando Valley, Conejo Valley, Orange County, Redlands, Long Beach/Lakewood, Leisure Village, Escondido, Rancho Bernardo, Sport Arena (San Diego), Los Angeles/Culver City, Ventura, Inland Empire, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Temecula/Murrieta).
In November 2005, the SHHH national board of directors voted to change the name Self Help for Hard of Hearing People, Inc. (SHHH) to Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA).
On September 29, 2006, Certificate of Amendment of Articles of Incorporation (dated September 5, 2006) was filed by Marilyn Finn, SHHH-CA president, and Mary Clark, SHHH-CA secretary, to change the SHHH-CA name to Hearing Loss Association of California (HLA-CA). The Certificate of Amendment was recorded by the State of California on September 29, 2006.
On September 21, 2013, the HLA-CA board of trustees voted to change the HLA-CA name to Hearing Loss Association of America, California State Association, Inc. (HLAA-CA).
On October 17, 2013, Certificate of Amendment of Articles of Incorporation (dated September 22, 2013) was filed by Jim Montgomery, HLA-CA president, and Zina Jawadi, HLA-CA secretary, to change the HLA-CA name to Hearing Loss Association of America, California State Association, Inc. (HLAA-CA). The Certificate of Amendment was recorded by the State of California on October 22, 2013.
Sources: Communications with Don Senger, HLAA national website, HLAA-CA/HLA-CA/SHHH-BAM articles of incorporation and certificates of amendment, HLAA-CA/HLA-CA/SHHH-BAM newsletters