Meet Our Sponsor of the Year – ClearSounds Communications
“Keeping People Connected”
By Richard J. Anthony, Sr.
GRAND Magazine is fortunate to have the support of some outstanding companies and organizations. So we decided to recognize one such partner a year, and the inaugural GRAND Magazine Sponsor of the Year is ClearSounds Communications.
ClearSounds Communications is the leading developer and manufacturer of advanced listening devices for the hearing impaired. The company, founded in 1982, also provides audio listening devices for people who simply want a superior sound experience.
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Michele Ahlman, the president of ClearSounds. Here is an excerpt of our interview:
GM: What accounts for the passion you have for your family business?
MA: I’ve seen the effects of hearing loss in my own family—the frustration that turns to irritation and the strain hearing loss can put on relationships. It doesn’t have to be that way. That’s what motivated us to create new assistive listening devices using cutting-edge technology to provide advanced solutions to individual needs.
GM: Who in your family has hearing problems?
MA: My dad, grandparents, and aunt. They are members of a large and growing community of people who struggle with staying connected with family, friends, and coworkers because of diminished hearing.
GM: The company didn’t start as a manufacturer, right?
MA: The original company, HITEC Group International, was started by my mother, Madeline Uzuanis, as a distributor of amplified communications systems. I started helping after school, and my dad—who, like thousands of his generation, lost his hearing after military service—eventually earned an MBA and left his job to help my mom.
GM: Why did you decide to produce your own line of assistive listening devices?
MA: My parents are both entrepreneurs—the type who are never satisfied with the status quo. We weren’t satisfied with what was “available,” so we decided to create our own line of user-friendly assistive hearing devices designed around the lifestyle needs of our customers.
GM: What else is the company doing to make a difference in the community?
MA: We see ourselves as educators and advocates as well as providers of products. A program we’re especially interested in is our Teen Hearing Challenge, an outreach program to educate teens on the dangers of loud noise and how to protect their hearing.
GM: What’s next for ClearSounds?
MA: Just as the vision/eyewear industry has gone mainstream with retail storefronts, hearing health practitioners will soon showcase their communication products and services in consumer-driven spaces. Hearing technology is advancing at a rate that matches the rapid-fire pace of the PC industry, [generating] a proliferation of personal communication devices to improve the quality and value of the communication experience. That’s the kind of disruptive innovation we see in ClearSounds’ future.
Richard J. Anthony, Sr. serves as executive vice president of GRAND Media. He is a consultant, teacher, author, TV producer/host, and entrepreneur.
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