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President/Treasurer: Alex DeMolina
Secretary: Rachel Cohen
Historian/Librarian: Janice Nardandrea Pickron
Scholarships: Kelly Teegardin
Media/Communications: Stephanie Stadler
Brian & Patricia Lum
Scholarships: Kelly Teegardin & Alex DeMolina
Media/Communications: Stephanie Stadler & Wendy Kupfer
FLASHA LSLS Track: Karalee Needelman & Lynn Miskiel
Convention Activities: Wendy Kupfer & Debra Knox
Development/Fundraising: Alex DeMolina
AG Bell Florida Executive Board of Directors Profiles
Danielle M. Austin
Raised in a small South Georgia town, Danielle now calls Tallahassee her home. Danielle works full time, and is married. She and her husband Darrell have three children (Natalie 13, Abbott, 4 & Colton 2). Abbott was born with bi-lateral profound deafness and received his first cochlear implant at a mere five months of age making him the youngest implant recipient that his surgeon has implanted to date. Abbott received his second cochlear implant at 11 months of age.
Danielle was recently appointed by Governor Rick Scott to the Florida Coordinating Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. She is cur-rently employed at HCA where she assists the National Group President as well as the Vice President for Government Relations. Prior to joining HCA, Danielle worked in Governor Bush’s Executive Legal Office.
Michelle has been married to her husband, Dale, for 14 years. She has 3 beautiful children, ages 12, 9 and 8 and has been staying home with her children for 9 years. Her 9 year old son, Garrett, has bilateral moderate-severe hearing loss. He attended Clarke School for Hear-ing and Speech for 4 years. During the family’s Clarke years, she was very active in the school. Michelle was the FaCeS (parent group) Vice Presi-dent for 2 years, coordinated many school activities, and participated in countless therapy sessions. Garrett is mainstreamed in the public school system and will be entering the 4th grade for the 2014-2015 school year. Since Garrett was diagnosed as hard of hearing, Michelle has had a passion to spread the awareness for auditory/oral education. Michelle believes early intervention is the key to success and loves to share her story with new parents.
Rachel E. Cohen, Au.D., CCC-A , LSLS Cert. AVEd, is a Pediatric Audiologist and Certified Listening and Spoken Language Specialist. She received her undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a minor in Education from the University of Florida and her Doc-toral degree in Audiology from Gallaudet University. Dr. Cohen currently works for the Lee County Public Schools, Early Steps and does private AV therapy. She lives in Estero, Fl with her husband and 2 year old son, Eli Reed Cohen.
Alex graduated from University of South Florida with a degree in Cultural Anthropology. She then joined AmeriCorps VISTA’s 20/20 Vista Vision program, where she served in Manatee County’s Neighborhood Services. Her daughter, Kiersta, was born in 2010 and was diagnosed with a severe-to-profound bilateral sensorineural hearing loss. Her and her partner, Brian Archer, chose listening and spoken language for Kiersta. At that point, Alex decided to become a stay-at-home to provide the best early intervention for her daughter. Kiersta received her right cochlear implant at 16 months and her left cochlear implant at 3 years. In 2013, Alex graduated from Partners in Policymaking, which is sponsored by the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, and now works with University of South Florida’s Bay Area Early Steps program as their Family Resource Special-ist.
Melissa J.W. Hall, Au.D., CCC-A/SLP is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor at University of Florida, Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences. She works on the University of Florida Cochlear Implant team and also performs electrophysiology assessments, coordinates with ENTs, and works with pediatric patients on a regular basis. Melissa teaches the pediatric aural habilitation course at University of Florida for the audiology program.
Debra Knox,M.S., CCC-SLP is currently the Coordinator of the Board of Clinical Educators and a Clinical Instructor in the Communication Disorders Clinic at the University of Central Florida. She formerly served as the Executive Director of the Hearing and Speech Center of Florida in Miami where she was responsible for the Center’s administration, grants and fundraising as well as programmatic and fiscal oversight. Prior to as-suming that position in January 2007, Ms. Knox served as HSCF’s Program Director overseeing the clinical and program aspects of the organization. In addition to these positions, she was a member of the multidisciplinary team at the University of Miami/Mailman Center Cleft Lip and Palate Clinic and was also an SLP with the University of Miami/Debbie School. Her experience also includes a seven-year-long role as a speech-language pathologist with Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Debra is currently in the process of completing her LSLS certification.
Wendy is the proud author of Let’s Hear It For Almigal , which is about a spunky little girl who wants to hear “every single sound in the whole entire universe” and reminds children that we are all special in different ways. Wendy has gained much expertise, raising a child born with a profound hearing loss, with listening and spoken language. She has worked closely with Dr. Thomas Balkany and the cochlear implant team at the University of Miami as a development professional. Throughout her adult life, Wendy has served many non-for-profit organizations. She has served as the first female President of the Rotary Club of Boca Raton and served on the Rotary Fund Board as well. She has been a board member of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County and served on several committees at the Levis Jewish Community Center, The Boca Raton Regional Hospital and The Boca Raton Chapter of the American Heart Association. After retiring from the financial services industry, Wendy has dedicated herself to making a difference in the lives of those with hearing loss.
Brian & Patricia Lum
Brian and Patricia are parents of a child with hearing loss. Brian graduated from Florida State University, with a dual major in Marketing and Finance, and is employed with Morgan Stanley for 15 years as a Financial Advisor. Patricia graduated with a degree in Marketing and then further advanced her education by getting an MBA from Nova Southeastern University. Tricia has worked for Royal Caribbean International for the past nine years, where she is a National Account Manager. They both take a lot of pride in their jobs whether it be cruising or financial, knowing all the benefits of helping individuals. They now want to make sure that they can spread their experience and knowledge in helping others who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Virgi Mills, M.E.D., a Florida certified Educator and a bilateral MED-EL cochlear implant user, taught Pre-K children with hearing loss using listening and spoken language in auditory-oral programs in the Alachua County Public Schools, Gainesville, FL and the Duval County Public Schools, Jacksonville, FL. Currently, Virgi is an Outreach Manager for MED-EL, a hearing implants company, in the southeast region and counsels families in the cochlear implant journey. Virgi presents about hearing loss and aural rehabilitation for professionals and hearing loss support groups.
Lynn W. Miskiel, M.A., CCC-SLP/A, LSLS Cert. AVEd is an ASHA certified and Florida licensed speech-language pathologist and audiologist. She received her Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Colorado and her Master’s Degree at the University of Illinois. She has worked in the field of aural rehabilitation since 1988 and is currently the Director for Ancillary Services and the Auditory-Oral Education Program at the University of Miami Debbie Institute. Lynn has presented nationally and internationally on speech and language development for children who are deaf and hard of hearing. She co-edited with Kathleen Vergara the Miami Cochlear Implant Auditory and Tactile Skills Curriculum. She is also active in local, state, and national professional organizations, serving in a variety of committee and leadership roles.
Stephanie Stadler, MS, CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert AVT, is a clinical supervisor, as well as a LSLS Cert AVT mentor, for graduate student clinicians as part of the cochlear implant team at Nemours Children’s Clinic. Additionally, Stephanie helps families stay connected with others around the state by posting news articles and current events on AG Bell Florida’s social media sites. She is excited about the growth our community has had over the recent years and looks forward to increasing collaboration with professionals from around the state.
Janice Nardandrea Pickron
Janice, profoundly deaf since birth caused by RH factor incompatibility and prematurity, was mainstreamed through public schools in Volusia County and graduated from DeLand Senior High School, DeLand, FL, with high honors. She then went on to get her Associate of Art degree with Computer Science and Business from University of Central Florida. Janice then achieved her Bachelors of Science in Computer Information Systems from Florida Atlantic University. She worked at various companies such as Florida Power and Light, Motorola, IBM, American Express, Naval Research Laboratory (Department of the Navy), and small software firms. She also has her own web design business for over 20 years. In her leisure time, she was a certified tennis instructor with United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA). Janice has been an AG Bell Florida/Florida Oral member for over 40 years and has served as a Board member for 23 years. Her mother Irene was the IPO Chairperson for the 1988 AG Bell Na-tional convention in Orlando, FL. Janice also is a member of Deaf/Hard of Hearing Section (DDHS) of the AG Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and served on some committees. She was also in the board of directors on the Boca Raton chapter of HLAA for a decade. With all the volunteering actions, University of Central Florida Alumni Association recognized her in their alumni magazine Pegasus on a July/August 1999 issue. Janice is married to Robert Pickron for 14 years and reside in Deerfield Beach, FL with two cats.
Kelly Teegardin, M.S. CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert AVT, has been a clinical instructor at the University of South Florida at the Bolesta Center at USF since 2010. She is a certified Listening and Spoken Language Auditory Verbal Therapist and clinical instructor for advanced practicum graduate level speech language students. She specializes in family based therapy with children with hearing impairments from ages birth to 19 and serves as a team member of the USF cochlear implant team. Prior to joining USF, Kelly worked at the Bolesta Center, Inc., where she served as a direct care provider and as clinical supervisor for student externs from a variety of academic settings specializing in auditory verbal therapy. Prior to her posi-tion at Bolesta Center, Inc. Kelly facilitated the development of the first Oral-Deaf program in Pasco County, Florida for pre-school and school aged children who are deaf and hard of hearing from 2005-2008.
Fred F. Telischi
Dr. Fred Telischi, MEE, MD, FACS holds the position of Chairman of Otolaryngology and is a Professor of Neurological Surgery and Biomed-ical Engineering at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. As a neurotologist who has been treating patients of all ages with hearing loss and ear disease for over twenty years, Dr. Telischi is impressed with the longstanding commitment of the AG Bell Association – both locally and nationally – to helping individuals and families affected by deafness and hearing loss.