Meet the Board
Dr. Charles (Chuck) Berlin – World Renowned Researcher and Professor of Audiology
Charles I. Berlin, Ph.D., retired on 9/1/02 as Professor of Otorhinolaryngology and Physiology and Director of the Kresge Hearing Research Laboratory of the South at LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. He was also a practicing licensed audiologist who sees patients weekly in the audiology clinic he directs which was selected by Family Circle magazine in 1987 as the Best Place in the United States for Hearing Problems. His clinical activities specialize in fitting hearing aids with real ear measurement to difficult-to-manage patients, both children and adults. He is the recipient of the American Academy of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery's highest award, the Presidential Citation; the recipient of the Frank J. Kleffner Award for Lifetime Clinical Achievement from ASHA; and the recipient of the Lifetime Career Research Award from the American Academy of Audiology. He was also a founding Member of the Advisory Board to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. He is also recipient of the James P. Snow MD Award from SHHH and the Robert J. Ruben MD Award from the Society of Ear Nose and Throat Advances in Children.
His current research with Drs Linda Hood and Thierry Morlet is on otoacoustic emissions and efferent suppression and he is collaborating on teams isolating and identifying genes for deafness in humans and rodents with Dr. Bronya Keats. He is currently engaged in studies of Auditory Neuropathy/Dyssynchrony, a condition which precludes the use of hearing aids and Auditory Verbal Therapy, despite mild audiometric hearing loss, unless cochlear implantation is used.
Tom Carney – Business Executive, CART Consumer
Mr. Carney is a retired Sales, Marketing, and Operations International Executive from The Coca-Cola Company, retiring from his last assignment as Vice President of The Coca-Cola Bottling Company in Istanbul, Turkey. Following retirement, he operated Global Resources International, a consulting firm with clients all over the world. Mr. Carney founded Cruise’n for Cancer, promoting awarness throughout the lower 48 states while traveling on his Harley. He is the father of two daughters and the grandfather of two grandsons. He has recently relocated to Bella Vista, Arkansas and retains an active cyber connection to all board functions.
On a personal note, Mr. Carney continues to remain active in both road races and triathlons.
Tess Crowder – Executive Director, CART Provider
Tess Crowder is a Registered Professional Reporter, a Certified Realtime Reporter, Certified CART Provider, and a Certified Broadcast Captioner. She is the president and owner of Realtime Communication Services, Inc. (Realtime CSI), providing CART Services for people with hearing loss. She is the founder, president, treasurer, and executive director of Communication Access, Inc. She has conducted many workshops and presentations about hearing loss services for various audiences at the local, state, and national levels. She has also developed and conducted two-day seminars focusing on basic conversational sign language and psychosocial issues related to hearing loss. Tess is a member of Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), the Association of Late-Deafened Adults (ALDA), Florida Association of the Deaf (FAD), National Association of the Deaf (NAD), and serves on the board as President of the Florida Hearing Loss Association, vice president of the local chapter of Association of Late-Deafened Adults, vice president of the Clearwater Chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America, and a member of the board of Blossom Montessori School for the Deaf. She is also the recipient of the Service to Mankind Award from the Tampa Breakfast Sertoma Club and the Able ALDAn Award from the national Association of Late-Deafened Adults.
Richard Herring – CART Consumer
A graduate from Fairleigh Dickinson University, Richard worked for 20 years with the New Jersey State Government as a Division Director in the NJ Departments of Labor and then Human Services where he and his staff carried out legislative mandates statewide for people with hearing loss. Upon retiring from government work, he retired to Florida and became involved with the Florida Lions Hearing & Speech Foundation as a volunteer director. He later became a member and served as president of the Hearing Loss Association of America’s Florida state organization. He also became one of the four founders of the Hearing Loss Association of America’s Sun City Center chapter. Currently, Richard continues in his long time role as an advocate for people with hearing loss as a board member of Communication Access, Inc. in Tampa.
Chris Littlewood – CART Consumer, Training Provider
Chris has a severe hearing loss himself and is very involved with many deaf, late-deaf, and hard of hearing communities and advocacy groups at the local, state, and federal level. He currently holds the Association for Late-Deaf Adults (ALDA) seat for the Florida Coordinating Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, appointed by Governor Crist in July 2010. He has a Master’s Degree in Instructional Technology from the University of South Florida. He has been an adult educator for more than fifteen years with an emphasis on technology and public safety. Chris is a project coordinator with the Center for Public Safety Innovation’s National Terrorism Preparedness Institute division at St. Petersburg College. He believes in friendly advocacy and self-advocacy for ALL people with varying functional needs and disabilities. Chris has developed curriculum and facilitated courses for police officers, military personnel, government employees, and the general public. His background includes interactive course design, including accessible training for functional need populations and people with disabilities. He also has an extensive background in various civilian law enforcement roles. Chris lives in Pinellas County with his wife and two young children.
Lois Maroney – Licensed Mental Health & Rehabilitation Counselor & CART Consumer
Lois Maroney is a Licensed Mental Health & Rehabilitation Counselor and a member and past president of the Board of the National Association of Late-Deafened Adults (ALDA). She is also the founder of the local Suncoast Chapter of ALDA. Lois has presented workshops and seminars locally and nationally on hearing loss issues. In addition to counseling adults with hearing loss at the Deaf and Hearing Connection for Tampa Bay for many years, she also provides counseling services for children with hearing loss at the Blossom Montessori School for the Deaf and for adults at the Community Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing of Manatee and Sarasota counties. Lois is the recipient of the JC Penny Golden Rule Award and the Florida Advocate Award.
David Reed – Business Consultant
David Reed is President of Zebra 3 Investments, a real estate investment company. He has earned graduate degrees in economics and business, and has over 20 years of experience in marketing and sales. David is an Executive Board Member of the Walton Center for Retailing Excellence, Executive Director and Vice President of New Business Development for Catalina Marketing, as well as serves on the Board of Directors of SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise), and is a guest lecturer at Walton School of Business. He is also the past president of the Town N’ Country Rotary Club. David is an instructor of the High School Boys Bible Group at Idlewild Baptist Church. He has also received a Black Belt in ATA Taekwondo and is a Certified Spinning Instructor.
Julia Michalka - Treasurer
Julia Michalka is a mother of 5 beautiful children. She has 2 children who are deaf and she is deaf herself. She has been heavily involved in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community and with the disability community for many years serving in various capacities; as a coordinator/facilitator, volunteer, advocate, etc. She has been crucial in setting up the Deaf and Hard of Hearing programs at two local Centers for Independent Living in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelors in Anthropology and was able to maintain her love of Culture via her work in the disability community. She has recently changed venue and is now self-employed as a bookkeeper certified in QuickBooks and works with several clients remotely and on-site. She is working throughout Central Florida for both the for-profit and the non-profit entities. She is proud to serve as the Treasurer for Communication Access, Inc.
William L. Reese – Engineer & CART Consumer
Bill Reese is a civil engineering design consultant and an advocate for people with hearing loss. Bill has been hard of hearing for many years and became “stone-deaf” in 2002. He currently serves as the President of the local Suncoast Chapter of the Association of Late-Deafened Adults and is a member of the Deaf Action Committee (DAC) for SignWriting. He is involved with advocacy and support for people with hearing loss, supports Deaf literacy, supports people with Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2), and is a member of the Tampa Bay WAP list, a health focused cooperative. Bill is the recipient of the Fearless Leader Award, which was presented by the National Association of Late-Deafened Adults.
Judy Robinson – Advocate
Judy Robinson is a graduate from Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. She taught reading in many schools prior to joining the Job Corps community in 1985. Judy opened and worked in the Connecticut Job Corps Center, now the New Haven Job Corps Center, where she learned sign language and became involved with the Deaf Community. Judy is presently Academic Supervisor at the Pinellas County Job Corps Center.
Arlete Roche - Advocate
Arlete Rocha spent more than 25 years in working with the deaf in various professional capacities, and worked in Brazil with Deaf and Deaf-Blind from 1988 to 2001. She was born in Brazil, and now she is a U.S. citizen, which country she chose to live for her lifetime and to continue her passionate philanthropic work with the Deaf and the Deaf-Blind. She currently resides in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Robyn Rinberger - Publicity and Development Consultant
Robyn earned her bachlor's degree in Mass Communication, PR from USF. She has helped other non-profits in the Tampa Bay area develop marketing plans, and has worked as a marketing and event manager in the private sector as well. She is currently also serving as the Publicity Chair for Clearwater Garden Club and as a Volunteer Child Ambassador for World Vision.
Past Board Members
Cindy Reese - CART Consumer & Advocate
Cindy Reese is the past president of the local chapter of the Association of Late-Deafened Adults' local chapter, ALDA Suncoast. Being late-deafened herself, she has volunteered for many years for ALDA Suncoast. She is also a founding member of Advocure NF2, an organization to raise funds for research for Neurofibromatosis, a disease which manifests itself with tumors throughout the nervous system and of which there is no cure. Cindy is also a talented writer, writing many articles for the ALDA organization.
Kathy Borzell – CART Consumer
Kathy Borzell presently serves on the board of trustees of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) and the Hearing Loss Association of Florida (HLA-FL). She is also a representative on the Telecommunications Access Systems Act Advisory Committee, a member of the Academy of Hearing Loss Support Specialists of HLAA, and a member of the Association of Late-Deafened Adults (ALDA). Kathy is the recipient of the Service to Mankind Award from the Tampa Breakfast Sertoma Club.
Gayl Hardeman – CART Provider
Gayl Hardeman is a Registered Merit Reporter, a Registered Diplomate Reporter, a Certified Realtime Reporter, and a Certified CART Provider. She is the business owner of Hardeman Realtime, Inc. and Hardeman Academy for Realtime. She is a member of the Association of Late-Deafened Adults Suncoast Chapter. Gayl's awards include the Distinguished Service Award from the Florida Court Reporters Association and the Distinguished Service Award from the Massachusetts Court Reporters Association. She has also been named a Fellow of the Academy of Professional Reporters. Gayl has served as vice president and secretary of Communication Access, Inc.
Mike Cano – CART Provider
Mike Cano is a Registered Merit Reporter, a Certified Realtime Reporter, Certified CART Provider, and a Certified Broadcast Captioner. He is a founder and co-owner of Alternative Communication Services, LLC which provides CART and captioning services. He serves on the board of the Hearing Loss Association of America, Tampa Chapter and is a member of the Hearing Loss Association of America. He is also the recipient of the HLAA Professional Advisor Award.
Terri Pendleton – Licensed Mental Health & Rehabilitation Counselor
Terri Pendleton is a Licensed Mental Health & Rehabilitation Counselor that specializes in counseling people with hearing loss. Terri provides counseling services at the Family Psychological Services in Palm Harbor, Florida and also at the Family Center on Deafness in Pinellas Park, Florida. Terri is certified in Critical Incidence Stress Debriefing, is a Certified Supervisor of mental health interns, and a Certified Personal Coach. She has also served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Deaf Service Center of Pasco/Hernando County.