Board of Directors

Ellen Babbitt

Ellen Babbitt is a partner with the Chicago law firm of Husch Blackwell LLP, where she concentrates in counseling colleges, universities and not-for-profitorganizations on compliance issues that include reasonable accommodation and accessibility challenges arising under the ADA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and state and local anti-discrimination laws. Ms. Babbitt brings to FHSR not only a high level of professional knowledge but also a personal passion, as her daughter Laura was born profoundly deaf. Laura received her first cochlear implant in 1994, at the age of nine; her other ear was implanted when she was just completingcollege. Laura is currently a law student herself, attending William & Mary Law School in Williamsburg, Virginia. In her capacity as parent and as lawyer, Ms. Babbitt has worked to increase technological and therapy support for children with cochlear implants. She has previously led the Board as Co-Chair and held the position of Board Secretary.

Heather H. Bennett, MBA

Heather H. Bennett received an MBA from the University of Illinois and has over twenty years of experience in Marketing and Brand Management.  Ms. Bennett’s vast marketing experience includes a keen insight on Social Media campaigns across multiple platforms that drive results for clients of her consulting business, Creative Brand Coach.    Ms. Bennett spearheaded the FHSR Social Media plan including the FHSR Blog inception along with Instagram, Twitter and Facebook cross-marketing plans to drive an increased awareness of pediatric hearing loss.  This laser focused strategic marketing strategy allows FHSR to reach more children and families who are living with pediatric hearing loss. Ms. Bennett also brings to the Board her passion as a mother of a daughter born with hearing loss who has received cochlear implants.   She is a key member of the Community Outreach Committee, an advocate for all deaf/hard of hearing children, and a liaison to the FHSR Associate Board.

Jim Borovsky

Jim Borovsky has been a Director on the FHSR Board for thirty years, serving as Treasurer for the past twenty years. He brings a wealth of experience to the Board through both his professional expertise and his volunteer endeavors. Mr. Borovsky is a senior partner at Gofen & Glossberg LLC, an investment counsel firm that manages funds for a national clientele of individuals, retirement funds, foundations and endowments. He is also the past Board Chair of the Chicago Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation and a past Vice Chair of the Arthritis Foundation’s National Board of Directors. In addition, Mr. Borovsky serves as Treasurer and Executive Committee member of the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation, and is a former Chair of Governing Members and a former trustee of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association.

Jennifer Evangelides

Jennifer Evangelides is Midwest Sales Manager at Hulu, where she oversees a national sales team based in Chicago. Hulu is the leading premium streaming service offering live and on-demand TV and movies, with and without commercials, both in and outside the home. Under Ms. Evangelides’ leadership, her sales team has significantly increased ad revenue with new and compelling offerings for brands, including interactive ad units, alternate ad solutions, and deeper data and analytics. Ms. Evangelides marries both her professional media expertise and personal passion for hearing loss in her work with FHSR. As a mother of a daughter who experienced hearing loss due to meningitis, Ms. Evangelides’ family has personally benefitted from the programs that FHSR funds. This connection has propelled the Evangelides family to be one of the highest fundraisers for FHSR with the Move for The Kids 5k Walk through their team, Mal’s Pals. She has also served as a volunteer for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Queens of All Saints United Parish Program Auction Committee. Ms. Evangelides brings to the Board extensive fundraising and community service work along with public relations / communication expertise.

Carey Gelfand

Carey Gelfand first learned of the Foundation for Hearing and Speech Rehabilitation when her youngest daughter, Heather, was being treated at the Siegel Institute’s total communication program. Heather, born deaf in 1981, was diagnosed at 13 months at Children’s Memorial Hospital. The Siegel Institute, then fully supported by the FHSR, was the only total communication program in Chicago-land. Mrs. Gelfand was compelled to give back for the superior level of services provided and joined the Foundation’s Board of Trustees in 1985, where she was active in fundraising and program development. Two years later she joined the Board of Directors and subsequently served as Foundation Chair for over ten years. During her Chair term, Mrs. Gelfand strove to make the Foundation’s programs available to as many children as possible. To further this goal, she was part of the leadership team that transferred the Foundation’s affiliation from Northwestern University to Children’s Memorial Hospital. Mrs. Gelfand is a Senior Vice President of New Business Development for Corporate Artworks, Ltd/Health Environment Art Services/Commiuncare Products.

David Gelfand

David Gelfand brings numerous years of experience and active involvement in the not-for-profit sector to the Foundation for Hearing and Speech Rehabilitation.  He has been a Board Director for more than ten years and currently holds the role of the FHSR Board Secretary, allowing him to play an integral role in the guidance of the FHSR Board operations.  Mr. Gelfand is an independent real estate managing broker/ investor and is a licensed attorney.  Previously, he acted as Executive Vice-President of Colliers International, a commercial real estate firm.  Mr. Gelfand serves on the Real Estate Property Law committee of the Chicago Bar Association.  He has also dedicated his time to serving on the Board of the National Center for Wilson’s Disease and the Corporate Committee of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  Currently, Mr. Gelfand is an active member of the Eliot Society for Washington University.

Jeff Graunke

Jeff Graunke has spent the bulk of his career in the medical device field with the last fifteen years focused on the hearing health industry. As the Regional Director and Director of Government Services for Cochlear Americas, one of the premier cochlear implant manufacturers, Mr. Graunke is a valuable resource to the Foundation. Charged with leading Cochlear’s U.S. sales and field operations in the Midwest and Government Services nationally, Mr. Graunke has first hand knowledge of both the barriers children face when living with hearing loss and remarkable impact that today’s implantable technology and habilitation therapies can have on a child’s future.

Robert Handler

Mr. Handler has over thirty years of professional experience in commercial financial transactions, with most of his involvement in managing restructuring and turnarounds of financially and operationally distressed businesses. He has handled business reorganizations, sales, acquisitions, mergers, court-supervised receiverships, and assignments for the benefit of creditors across the country and in a wide variety of industries. Mr. Handler serves in the position of Board Co-Chair  and brings to FHSR a personal dedication to supporting hearing loss programming. Due to a necessary surgery Mr. Handler was left deaf in one ear and was motivated to seek out alternatives to living with single sided deafness. Mr. Handler eventually decided on the BAHA device five years ago. Through his personal journey, Mr. Handler was moved by the sizable community of hearing impaired people who do not have the resources he had to make an educated choice regarding their hearing loss. As a beneficiary of the research and resources dedicated to assist people living with hearing loss, Mr. Handler is committed to supporting research along with current and future technologies.

Louise Hart

Louise Hart has been associated with the Foundation for Hearing and Speech Rehabilitation since the 1950’s. A parent of a young, deaf daughter, she jumped at the opportunity to become involved in the Foundation. She served as het first President of the Women’s Board and held that position on two other occasions. In that capacity, Mrs. Hart was actively engaged in leading the FHSR’s fundraising efforts, helping to coordinate several extremely successful bridge fundraisers. She later joined the Foundation’s Board of Directors where she served in a variety of roles in addition to continuing her strong fundraising efforts. A long time proponent of medical research, Mrs. Hart is proud of all the research funded by the Foundation and marvels at the important developments in the hearing sciences made during her tenure with the FHSR.

In 2007, Mrs. Hart provided the funding for the Hart Family Cochlear Implant Education Liaison for the Lurie Children’s Memorial Hospital’s cochlear implant program.

To honor the Foundation’s 60th Anniversary, the Hart Family Foundation stepped forward to support the creation and initial funding drive for the Music To My Ears Scholarship Fund.

S. Benjamin Kanters

Mr. Kanters has been on the faculty of Columbia College since 1993, where he directs the Audio Design & Production Program. His teaching responsibilities include recording technology, audio theory, and hearing physiology. Prior to Columbia, Mr. Kanters spent twenty years in the audio and music industries. These years included fourteen as an adjunct professor of audio in the Schools of Music and Communications of Northwestern University, a partner and sound engineer in aconcert club, and a partner and chief managing engineer for a recording company in Evanston. Mr. Kanters continues to research developments in the field of hearing physiology including hearing disorders and conservation. It is through this dedication to conservation and research that he provides keen insight to the FHSR and assists in the long range planning for The Foundation’s programmatic work.

Patricia M. Livingston

Pat Livingston joined the FHSR Board in 1961, while a college student at theUniversity of Michigan. Her mother, Dorothy Meyer, was one of the original founders of the Foundation. Mrs. Livingston fondly recalls the early years when lip reading classes were held in the basement of her parents’ house. During her tenure on the Board, Mrs. Livingston has served in many capacities including Chairman ofthe Board in the 1970s for three years. She currently serves on the Foundation’s Finance committee, while playing a key role in strategic planning and guidance and fund raising.

Daniel Lockwood

Dan Lockwood is a First Vice President with Raymond James, where he advises individuals, corporate executives, foundations, families, and business owners in financial planning, investing, philanthropic giving. In addition, he provides tax and estate planning, as well as any banking or lending needs. Mr. Lockwood’s son, Luke, has congenital bilateral sensorineural hearing loss, which has sparked a passion in him for helping families of Deaf and Hard of Hearing children. In working with Luke’s teachers, speech therapist, and school administration to provide Luke with the necessary accommodations for his needs, he realized how challenging the process can be for families trying to advocate for their child. It is for this reason that he desired to join an organization with a purpose of educating teachers and parents on how to obtain the supports and services in school that are needed by Deaf and Hard of Hearing students in order for them to succeed educationally and prepare them for life after school.

Amanda J. Long, Au.D.

Amanda Long, Au.D., is currently the Regional Manager of the Great Lakes region for Advanced Bionics, a manufacturer of cochlear implants. Ms. Long’s previous experience includes working with both pediatric and adult cochlear implant patients at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the Edward Hines Junior Veterans Health Administration. In addition to serving as a Director for FHSR, Ms. Long is amember of the Illinois Academy of Audiology (IAA). She serves as a Co-VP of Education for the IAA along with being a fellow member of the American Academy of Audiology. Ms. Long plays a key role in keeping the Foundation up to date on the most recent research out comes and technological advances in pediatric cochlear implants.

Enrique Lopez

Enrique Lopez, is the Principal and Founder of Lopez and Company, CPAs, Ltd and a registered CPA since 1994. Previously, Mr. Lopez was the Principal and Co-Founder of Lopez Sandoval LLC for three years and the CFO for Air Angels until 2007. With a Masters of Science in Taxation, Mr. Lopez has specialized in serving the needs of closely-held businesses, high net-worth individuals and not-for-profit organizations. Mr. Lopez manages the areas of audit, tax planning/ compliance, outsourced accounting and management consulting for his clients. With a strong dedication to serving his communities, Mr. Lopez has volunteered his services as both a mentor to students and as a member of the Board of Trustees for Norwegian American Hospital until 2014. In addition, Mr. Lopez was the 2010 recipient of the Illinois CPA Society Distinguished Media Service Award. Mr. Lopez brings to FHSR an intimate knowledge of board work within the health care industry and a dedication for access to early childhood services in low-income communities. Mr. Lopez Chairs the Audit Committee and sits on the Finance Committee for the Foundation.

Paul M. Lurie

Paul Lurie brings to FHSR extensive experience developing, guiding and directing not-for-profit organizations. In 1966 he became a founder and general counsel of what is now the Chicago Architectural Foundation, a major Chicagoland cultural institution which saved Glessner House and created the impetus for preservation of Chicago’s architectural heritage. He co-chaired the capital campaign and was legal counsel to Northlight Theater as it moved into its new home in Skokie, now one ofthe largest subscription base theaters in the Midwest. He was a long time board member and served as Board Chair of The Family Institute at Northwestern University, a major research and teaching institution.

As a result of his own hearing loss, Mr. Lurie became active in the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), serving in many capacities and has been a board member for ten years. He currently sits on the nominating committee and played an integral role in assisting with the establishment of the groups Consumer Technology Initiative. Mr. Lurie has been an active member on the FHSR Board and is serving as the lead Director for the Foundation’s public relations program and musical events. Mr. Lurie is a partner in the construction law group for Schiff Hardin LLP while also being an active arbitrator and mediator.

Rudy Radasevich

Mr. Radasevich has over thirty years of professional experience in Financial Restructuring & Bankruptcy and Commercial Litigation for the law firm Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LP.  As an Equity Partner, he has argued cases before several appellate courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States and the Illinois Supreme Court, representing secured creditors, creditors’ committees and trustees in business-related bankruptcy proceedings.  Since 2013, Mr. Radasevich has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America in commercial litigation.   Mr. Radasevich has a strong personal connection to hearing loss having raised a daughter with severe hearing loss for the past 28 years and watching her become a pediatric audiologist herself.  This family legacy of taking on hearing loss related issues head on influenced Mr. Radasevich’s decision to join the FHSR Board.  He brings a strong fundraising and volunteerism background to the Foundation, having served as a lawyer volunteer for Equip for Equality for the past decade and as Director for Nick’s Network of Hope since 2015.  In addition, his vast experience in policy work and program evaluation makes Mr. Radasevich an asset to the Community Outreach & Advocacy Committee and the Nominating Committee.

Steve Salzman

Steve Salzman brings a unique perspective to the FHSR board, having spent much of his professional life contributing to the development and execution of the strategic planning, design, and construction of health care facilities. In his role as FHSR Board Co-Chair, paired with a passion for community service, Mr. Salzman brings the expertise necessary to focus on the Foundation’s strategic planning along with grant initiatives. His personal dedication comes from an understanding of the challenges of hearing loss, as he has a close relative who is deaf. He is the founder and President of The Syntec Group and is a licensed architect.

Kristen J. Van Dyke, Executive Director

Kristen J. Van Dyke, Executive Director, first joined FHSR nine years ago as a Board Director with a personal understanding of childhood hearing loss. In 2006, shortly after the birth of her son, Maxwell, she and her husband learned that Max was deaf. Since then, she has seen first-hand the benefits of cochlear implantation. In 2015, Ms. Van Dyke transitioned into the position of Executive Director.  With a Masters in Public Policy from the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, Ms. Van Dyke brings both professional expertise and personal experience to the Executive Director position.  Driven by a keen focus on early childhood challenges due to income and health disparities, she works to create programs that address all the needs of children born with hearing loss. 

“I am thrilled to be able to marry my professional passion for early childhood disparities to my family’s personal experience with pediatric hearing loss though this position.”  

Ms. Van Dyke is looking forward to expanding the work of the Foundation, “ As we are approaching our 60th year as a Foundation, I am struck by the dedication of those founding members to assist children with hearing loss achieve all of their life goals.  I take that drive as FHSR’s guiding force while we move into the next phase working on advocacy issues, new programming and community building for all children with hearing loss. “

Jean Gutheim Kaiser, Manager

Having spent more than 20 years as a managing partner in a small design/build firm in Chicago, Ms. Kaiser brings a repertoire of leadership and management skills to the Foundation for Hearing and Speech Rehabilitation.  She is not afraid to take charge and handle any problems that come her way and pursues the many opportunities that the non-profit sector brings.   Ms. Kaiser’s experience and expertise in event planning, accounting, legal, financial and human resources, and passion for public service makes her a great asset to FHSR.

Anna Tess, M. ED, Chair

Ms. Tess is a teacher of the deaf at Child’s Voice, an oral deaf school located in Wood Dale Illinois for the past two years. Prior to joining Child’s Voice, she received her Masters in Deaf Education at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. Ms. Tess is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Special Education from Illinois State University. Having been born deaf herself, Ms. Tess was one of the first generation recipients of cochlear implants, having received her first implant at the age of 8 and her second at the age of 18. When she is not teaching children with hearing loss, Ms. Tess competes in marathons and Iron Man races.

Jamie Davidson

Jamie Davidson completed her Special Education degree from Illinois State University with a concentration in Deaf and Hard of Hearing education. She has been teaching children ages 3-21 for the past 3 years at the Cooperative Association for Special Education (CASE). Ms. Davidson recently completed a graduate certificate program through Illinois State University to provide Early Intervention therapy for children who are deaf and hard of hearing. She is credentialed to work in the early intervention field as a Developmental Therapist specialized in Hearing (DT-H).

Kim Tasharski

Kim Tasharski, BA, received her BA from Illinois State University in Special Education in Deaf and Hard of Hearing. For the past three years, Ms. Tasharski has been educating children with hearing loss, ages 3-5, at Child’s Voice in Wood Dale, IL..  In addition, Ms. Tasharski is credentialed in Early Intervention and provides Aural Rehabilitation therapy in the home for children with hearing loss. She brings nearly ten years of experience to the field of Deaf Education and is passionate about creating an environment for her students that is rich in literacy, music, and language.

Scott Murray, B.S. – Aerospace Studies, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Mr. Murray, a Cochlear Implant user, is a proponent of not allowing hearing loss to limit one’s pursuits in life.  Serving as a Market Manager in Revenue Management with United Airlines, Mr. Murray advocates for creating work place support systems for young adults living with hearing loss.  When he is not traveling, Mr. Murray takes full advantage of living in the city of Chicago. Mr. Murray serves on the Med-El Patient Support Team and is proud to encourage high achievement of both children and adults in the hearing loss community.

Laura Conway, J.D.

Ms. Conway, a recent graduated of William & Mary Law School, serves as a legal advocate for individuals with disabilities with Illinois Legal Aid. As one of the first generation of children with hearing loss to receive a Cochlear Implant, Ms. Conway has worked tirelessly to assure equity and parity for all individuals. Happy to be back in Chicago, Ms. Conway looks forward to continuing her work on special education and disability rights while she serves on the Associate Board.