Oticon Recognizes 13 Individuals for Outstanding Achievement in Hearing Loss Awareness and Advocacy

The 2017 Oticon Focus on People Awards honors adults, students,
advocates and hearing care professionals from across the U.S. for
contributions to the hearing impaired community

SOMERSET, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#FocusOnPeopleOticon,
announced the winners of its 2017
Focus on People Awards
, a program honoring outstanding people with
hearing loss and hearing care professionals who have made a positive
impact on the hearing impaired community. Now in its 19th
year, the Oticon Focus on People Awards recognize individuals in four
categoriesStudent, Adult, Advocacy, and Practitionerwho
have challenged outdated stereotypes and demonstrate that hearing loss
does not limit a person’s ability to succeed and make a difference.

The first place winners of the 2017 Oticon Focus on People Awards are:

  • Ellie Kobak of Portland, Oregon is a high school senior who
    devotes her time to tutoring and mentoring other students. She has
    testified before state senators on behalf of students with
    disabilities, and provides support for parents of hearing-impaired
    children as part of the Oregon Department of Education’s program for
    students with select disabilities.
  • Lt. Commander Michael McManus of Honolulu hesitated to wear
    hearing aids for fear of how it would impact his military career. Now
    the decorated naval officer campaigns to reduce the stigma of hearing
    loss in the military, and mentors other hearing-impaired members of
    the armed forces.
  • John Cartwright of Anchorage, Alaska is a lifelong advocate for
    early hearing loss detection. As a volunteer with the local Alexander
    Graham Bell committee, John provides his expertise and support for
    families of children with hearing loss.
  • Marilyn M. Hinrichs, AuD, CCC-A of Dallas participates in
    hundreds of community events each year to increase awareness of the
    impact of untreated hearing loss. She is also establishing a
    non-profit foundation, Ears4Years, which will provide hearing services
    and hearing aids to less fortunate people in her community.

This year, Oticon also issued an Outstanding Achievement Award to
10-year-old Braden Baker. Braden started a GoFundMe campaign to help
children who can’t afford hearing aids, and has so far raised more than
$66,000 for the cause.

“The Focus on People Awards winners each have a powerful story about how
they’ve helped to drive awareness and open new doors for themselves and
for the millions of people with hearing loss,” said Nancy Palmere,
Director of Consumer Marketing and PR for Oticon, Inc. “We commend these
individuals for their exceptional work as hearing loss champions, and
hope their stories inspire others to get involved and become an advocate
for all people with disabilities.”

Second and third place winners for the 2017 Focus on People Awards

  • Student – Rachel Friedman of Weston, Florida; Tsering Shola, of Camas,
  • Adult – Mala Bawer of Bernardsville, New Jersey; Dan Beck of Rockville
    Centre, New York
  • Advocacy – Jena Howell, RN, MSN of Texarkana, Arkansas; Cheri
    Perazzoli of Redmond, Washington
  • Practitioner – Diane Kenworthy, AuD of Utica, New York; Doug Wesson,
    BC-HIS, ACA of Manteca, California

First place winners were honored at Oticon’s annual Focus
on People Awards ceremony
held on Nov. 11 at the Gaylord Texan
Resort & Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas. All winners received a
cash prize and Certificate of Recognition from Oticon. First place
winners received a donation to a charity of his or her choice, and
winners in the Student, Adult, and Advocacy categories also received a
pair of Oticon hearing aids.

To learn more about all of the 2017 Oticon Focus on People Award winners
visit: www.Oticon.com/FOP.
Photos of the award ceremony are also available

About Oticon

Oticon is one of the most innovative hearing device manufacturers with
more than 110 years of experience putting the needs of people with
hearing loss first. Oticon has spearheaded a number of technological
breakthroughs which have made a significant difference for people with
hearing loss. Oticon’s “brain first” audiological focus recognizes that
speech understanding and comprehension are cognitive processes that
happen in the brain. Oticon’s innovative BrainHearing™ technology is
helping to provide better hearing with less effort by giving the brain
the clearest, purest sound signals to decode. Oticon designs and
manufactures hearing solutions for adults and specialized pediatric
instruments. “People First” is Oticon’s strongest and most valued
commitment to empower people to communicate freely, interact naturally
and participate actively. For more information visit www.oticon.com.


Gregory FCA
Denise DiMeglio, 610-228-2102