IHS Holds 53rd Annual Convention in Orlando

Outgoing President W.F. Samuel Hopmeier hands over the organization’s leadership gavel to incoming president Harlan Cato.

The International Hearing Society (IHS) held its 53rd Annual Convention at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel in Orlando, Fla, during late August. This year’s convention offered a range of seminars, events, and an exhibition hall featuring the products and services of approximately 60 companies.

The 2004 Hearing Review Professional Leadership Award was presented to Richard H. Nodar, PhD, for his steadfast commitment to excellence in educating dispensing professionals.

IHS Outgoing-President W.F. Samuel Hopmeier, MBA, BC-HIS, passed the leadership gavel to incoming President Harlan Cato, BC-HIS, of Charlotte, NC. Hopmeier, who in recent years sold his 7-office business near St. Louis, reflected on his career and thanked the many dispensing professionals in Missouri with whom he has developed close friendships. He speculated that his legacy as IHS president will be most remembered for the establishment of the Progressive Action Committee Team (PACT) that provides for more membership input and offers new ideas through a committee system. He also cited as major accomplishments the revised IHS Code of Ethics, work of the ACA, and the recently published Professional Practice Profile for Hearing Health Professionals.

Better Hearing Institute Executive Director Sergei Kochkin, PhD, presented results from a study showing that the BHI’s Physician Referral Program will add more than 15,000 hearing aids and $29 million more in sales at the dispenser level in 2004.

Kathy Harvey, MA, received the Joel S. Wernick Award for Dispenser Education from Hearing Journal Publisher Jerrold Laux.

Newly installed IHS President Harlan Cato outlined his goals for the organization in the next 2 years, which includes more “common-ground” initiatives with other professional organizations, greater educational and online CEU offerings, and an emphasis on membership growth.

Neil Waingrow, former secretary and Southeastern Regional Governor of IHS, was installed as the new president-elect of the organization. John Letts was installed at IHS’s new secretary.

Better Hearing Institute (BHI) Executive Director Sergei Kochkin presented results on a study on the effectiveness of increasing sales through the use of the BHI’s Physicians Referral Program (visit www.betterhearing.org), and said “Those who are not involved are missing out on something big.” He says the study suggests that 15,000 additional hearing aids will be sold in 2004 by those dispensing professionals who actively participated in the program.

Hearing Industries Association (HIA) President Jerry Ruzicka (president of Starkey Laboratories) lauded IHS for being a proactive organization in legislative affairs.

Neil Waingrow was named the new president-elect, joining a long line of IHS presidents from Florida, including Joe Lucky, Herb Gorlin, and Alan Lowell.

Many of former presidents of IHS were on hand at the IHS President’s Reception, including (l to r) Alan Lowell, John Kenwood, Ray Rich, Charlie Stone, Kathy Harvey, Robin Clowers, Scott Austin, W.F. Samuel Hopmeier, and Incoming President Harlan Cato.

Next Year
The IHS 2005 Convention will be the first to be held outside of the United States. It will take place in Quebec City, Canada, October 19-23. For more information, contact IHS at (734) 522-7200; Web site: www.ihsinfo.org