CYNTHIA AMERMAN, President
Cynthia has been a member of ALOHA since moving to Tucson in 2007. She is a retired teacher and social worker. Her current memberships also include Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), the Association of Late-Deafened Adults, Inc. (ALDA), and the International Federation for Hard of Hearing People (IFHOH). She served as national president of ALDA, Inc. from 2010-2012. At ALOHA, she has served several terms on the Board of Directors and enjoys connecting with people in other hearing loss organizations, working at area health fairs and delivering presentations on understanding hearing loss. Recently she became a member of the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Hard of Hearing Task Force. Her progressive deafness developed over many years, and Cynthia now has bilateral cochlear implants.
SUSAN VARDON, Vice President
Susan is a lifelong educator. She has been hard of hearing her entire life. During her professional career, Susan developed literacy programs, mentored special need high school students, evaluated and developed educational plans for individuals with special needs, including parents and students. She was a volunteer representative for the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Susan has been an active volunteer at ALOHA since she joined in 2000. As a cochlear implant wearer, she pulls from her experience and education training to benefit ALOHA members. She developed and facilitates the Desert Cochlear Connections and is the volunteer education coordinator for Cochlear America, one of the cochlear implant manufacturers.
STANLEY M. KRUGGEL, Treasurer
Stan grew up in Iowa in a musical family. He attended the UofA on a band scholarship and received his undergraduate degree in Instrumental Music Education and a masters in Vocal Performance. Stan sang for the Arizona Opera for 25 years. His career focus was insurance sales and management. After gradually losing his hearing about 15 years ago, he decided to get a cochlear implant which has been life-changing for him. He is a mentor for Advanced Bionics Cochlear Implants and serves as a “guinea pig” in many of their research projects. Stan has been active with ALOHA; he facilitates the Tuesday evening support group and serves as Executive Board Treasurer. In that role, he closely monitors the structural needs of The ALOHA Center.
JUDY THOMAS, Secretary
Now retired, Judy has spent most of her career in health care policy, advocating with Medicare and other health insurance payors for coverage of therapy services. She has a Master of Administration from the University of Maryland and previously worked for the Health Care Financing Administration. As Policy Manager for the American Occupational Therapy Association, she worked with other non-physician member associations, including the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and American Audiology Association, to assure fair payment for services by non-physician practitioners. She has been hard of hearing for over 30 years and served on the ALOHA Board for the past 3 years.
KARL HALLSTEN, Past President, Executive Board Member
Karl Hallsten is a retired social worker living in Sierra Vista. He is legally deaf, but a Cochlear N5 Implant activated in April 2010 has tremendously improved his hearing. His professional social work experience was in community mental health and social work education having taught at University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and at Western Michigan University. Apart from the Universities, he worked in the non-profit sector much of the time in clinical administration. Late in his career, he worked in public relations, marketing, fund-raising, grant-writing community relations and staff development. Karl brings leadership and advocacy skills to his role on the ALOHA board.
PAMELA WOOD, Executive Board Member
Pamela has been a practicing audiologist in Tucson since 1982. Her primary focus as an audiologist is aural rehabilitation. She has served as the district audiologist since 1991. Pam has been a Master Trainer for the State of Arizona since 1993, training school personnel in the administration of school hearing screening programs. She has been involved with ALOHA since 1984 and has been a productive and consistent board member since 1986.
Judy Esbit, Member
Raised just outside NYC, Judy headed to Tucson after graduating from Skidmore College in 1982 to train and travel with Up with People. In 1983 she moved to Los Angeles and landed a job as the contestant coordinator of a popular game show. Staying in the entertainment industry, Judy became a publicist and then a marketing executive before giving it all up to open a health food store. In 2006 Judy, her husband and their two sons left Los Angeles and moved to Oro Valley. Soon after, she was hired as a patient service coordinator at a local hearing health care center. When Judy experienced hearing loss after receiving 12 rounds of chemo in 2010, she gained an even greater understanding and appreciation for valuable resources available to those with hearing loss. Since 2012, professionally and personally, Judy has been helping ALOHA and its members as an educator and an advocate of captioned telephone services. Judy shares her passion by helping seniors in southern Arizona connect with their families, friends and LIFE!
Wayno Guerrini, Member
Wayne is originally from San Diego and is a long time ALOHA member. He is a computer programmer with a background working with and training air traffic controllers. Being hearing impaired, Wayne felt he had a vested interest to be involved with ALOHA and find a way to help others cope with hearing loss.
Joy Newman, Member
Bruce Stewart, MD, Member
Dr. Stewart is a practicing Otolaryngologist at Banner/University Medical Center in Tucson. He was born and raised in Tucson, attending both the University of Arizona and the University of Utah. He has deep roots in the Tucson medical community. He has served on the Board of Directors at ALOHA for many years and has served as president.
Gail Swarbrick, Member
Please welcome ALOHA’s newest board member. Gail brings with her a BS in Mechanical Engineering as well as an MBA, both from California State University Northridge. Gail was employed by Hughes Aircraft Missile Systems Division in California and subsequently Raytheon Missile Systems working missile environmental requirements as well as prototype electronic designs for missile guidance electronics. Gail has been married to husband, John, for 54 years. They split their time between their home in Tucson and their home in California. Gail enjoys traveling, gardening, photography. She has spent many years volunteering. Having family members with impaired hearing, Gail felt she could utilize her many skills working with ALOHA and those suffering from hearing loss in Southern Arizona.