Guest Bios

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Guest Bios

Michael D. Seidman, MD

Michael D. Seidman, MD attained both his B.S. in Human Nutrition and M.D. from the University of Michigan. After a five-year residency in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) he completed a fellowship in Otologic/Neurotologic and Skull Base Surgery at the Ear Research Foundation in Florida. 

Seidman is the Director-Division of Otologic/Neurotologic Surgery in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery for HFHS, Past Director of Otolaryngology Research Laboratory, the Co-Director of the Tinnitus Center, the Chair of the Center for Integrative Medicine for HFHS, Director of Product Development (nutritional science/projects) for ViSalus Sciences, a past President of the Michigan Otolaryngology Society, and was elected in 2009 to be the next Chair of the Board of Governors for the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery. 

Seidman is an active scientist and has extramural funding from the National Institute of Health and other major institutions. He is considered an expert on the molecular basis of aging, noise induced hearing loss, otologic/neurotologic-skull base surgery, all aspects of ear, nose, throat, head and neck surgery, tinnitus, herbal therapies, nutrition/antioxidants and their relationship to health, sports and aging and complementary/integrative medicine. 

Seidman lectures internationally on such topics; has more than 80 major publications; a book published by Time Warner “Save Your Hearing Now” numerous awards including being honored as one of the top Doctors in the USA. He has been interviewed on Good Morning America, CNN and other national news venues and has been quoted nationally and internationally in such magazines as “O”, “Shape”, Women’s World, Men’s Health, The Wall Street Journal, New York and the London Times 

He has been recognized by the American Academy of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, when he was honored with the Clinical Practitioner Excellence Award (given to one Otolaryngologist each year) and has been awarded two patents, one on a supplement that positively effects age-related hearing loss and a second one that is able to determine an individuals “molecular age”. Additionally, he has multiple patents pending on, aging, mitochondrial function endurance enhancement, Alzheimer’s disease, and surgical tools and techniques. 

Seidman is also a Co-Editor for the International Tinnitus Journal, the Associate Editor for Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery journal and is on the Editorial Review Board for seven major Otolaryngology Journals and the American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 

He has been appointed to the State Medical Board of Audiology (appointment by Gov. Granholm), the Scientific or Medical Advisory Board of the Hearing Loss Association, the Life Extension Foundation, IntraEar, the Ear Research Foundation, Arches Company, Auris Medical, the American Tinnitus Association, Gel Tech (producers of homeopathic remedies), BASF (specifically on the work for SAMe) and WebMD (work related to analysis of weight loss/nutrition software). 

In 1997 he founded Body Language Vitamin Co, whose emphasis is to promote health and enhance the lives of everyone through responsible vitamin, mineral, herbal and phytonutrient supplementation as well as dietary modifications, exercise and stress reduction. 

He has also served as a consultant to professional athletes, and has been an advisor to teams in the NHL, NFL and the ABA .

Nanci Linke-Ellis

Nanci Linke-Ellis has been a lifelong advocate for captions since forming Tripod Captioned Films in 1993, and later, InSight Cinema, a non-profit organization that forged alliances with the major film studios and theatre chains to distribute and promote captioned versions of first-run films to deaf and hard of hearing audiences nationwide. Nanci’s outreach and advocacy efforts have grown to include in two new projects: Captions West, an entity to bring live theatre, opera and all forms of captioned entertainment to the DHH communities. She has also formed a new company, known as SightLine Media; along with a group of partners to bring an innovative wireless captioning technology designed for deaf and hard of hearing and deaf-blind audiences to market. 

In 1994, Linke-Ellis received her first Advanced Bionics Cochlear Implant, and her second in 2006. She has been a Bionic Ear Association Volunteer since its inception and continues to mentor new and prospective CI users. 

Nanci is a member of the HLA-CA Board of Trustees. She founded the Santa Monica chapter of HLAA and is presently part of the HLAA-LA and HLAA-Carlsbad steering committees. 

Before her entry into the world of film captioning and advocacy, Linke-Ellis began her career in television with diverse production credits and is a member of the Director's Guild of America. She was given the 1982 Silver Award by the International Film and TV Festival in New York for her short on the Fashion Institute of Technology. She served on the Educational Programs Committee for the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (ATAS) Foundation for 15 years. Linke-Ellis is a member of the Motion Picture Industry’s Digital Cinema Initiative’s Committee created to establish captioning standards and a universal file for digital transmission. 

Ms. Linke-Ellis is a member of the Entertainment Industry Council and the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation and Women In Film. Linke-Ellis has also served on the FCC Consumer Disability Telecommunications Advisory Committee. 

Ms. Linke-Ellis also serves on the advisory boards of VITAC and RAPIDTEXT captioning companies. She has been honored for her efforts in media access and as a captioning advocate 1982 Outstanding Young Women in America, the 1998 Who's Who of Media, the 2001 Academy of American Audiologists with the “Oticon Focus on People” Award. Additionally she was honored by the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) in 2001, Tripod in 2002, and the SHHH-CA State Association in 2005 for her work in Media Access. 

Ms. Linke-Ellis received 2007 James C. Marsters Promotion Award, recognizing outstanding contributions to improving the accessibility of telecommunications or media for people in the United through efforts in promotion, marketing, or public relations and in recognition of her past efforts in raising public awareness by consumers, as well as Hollywood film industry through the promotion of movie captioning and the development of a grassroots network of local theaters committed to making the magic of movies accessible to everyone. This award was given at TDI International’s Biennial Conference in San Mateo, CA. In February of this year, she was honored at the Creative Access PAH Festival in Philadelphia for her work in movie captioning access. 

Ms. Linke-Ellis lives with her husband in Santa Monica, CA.

Nancy Macklin

You might recognize Nancy Macklin from the 1990s when she worked for the organization (then Self Help for Hard of Hearing People, Inc.) as the business manager and liaison to the board of trustees. As the director of events and marketing, Nancy enjoys planning HLAA Conventions – after all, Nancy’s philosophy is to work hard, think outside the box, strive to make HLAA a household name, and to have fun. She lives in Silver Spring, MD with her husband and three boys.

Natalie D. Ryan

Natalie D. Ryan graduated from the University of Mississippi in 2009 with a bachelor of science in marketing. Shortly thereafter, Natalie began working with Sprint as a Care Support team member, learning the Sprint Relay business from the very core. She began with assisting all Relay staff members on their state business requirements including traffic reports, yearly filings, and daily administrative activities. Her role slowly transitioned to focusing on the Federal Relay business, where she became the Federal Relay Account Manager.

Natalie is currently responsible for the Federal Relay business, under which six different services are provided to federal government employees (including TTY, STS, CapTel, IP Relay, VRS/VRI, and RCC). Her roles include outreach and education on the Federal Relay program, responsibility for monthly invoices and deliverables, maintaining contract compliance, and working with more than 85 different government agencies on the procurement and provision of services.

Natalie has a passion for the Sprint Relay business as she is a CODA (child of deaf adults), and was raised relying on the Relay services to speak with her parents. She sees the empowerment that Relay provides to the deaf, hard of hearing, and speech disabled community, and thoroughly enjoys being a part of Sprint Relay’s mission. Natalie resides in Denver, Colorado. 

Nicole Raia

Nicole Raia, Sc.D., CCC-A, FAAA, pediatric audiologist at University Hospital, Newark, NJ.
Dr. Nicole Raia received her Doctorate of Science in Audiology from Montclair State University. She joined the staff of University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey in July 2012 after completing her Fourth Year Clinical Externship at Weill Cornell Medical College where she focused on the diagnosis and management of hearing loss in a vast pediatric population. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology from the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University.

Dr. Raia is licensed in audiology through the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General and holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A) from the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA). Her expertise is the diagnosis and management of pediatric hearing loss, including ear-specific behavioral audiometry and electrophysiologic testing. Additionally she is an active member of the cochlear implant team at University Hospital, where she evaluates, fits and maintains cochlear implants as well as osseointegrated auditory implants.

Paul E. Hammerschlag, MD, FACS

Paul E. Hammerschlag, MD, FACS is currently a Clinical Associate Professor at NYU School of Medicine Dept. of Otolaryngology, New York. His areas of expertise include Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss(SSNHL), Surgical Treatment of Hearing Loss, Cochlear Implants, Ménière's Disease, Facial Nerve Reanimation, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease(AIED), Sensorineural Hearing Loss, Tumors of the ear/skull base, Acoustic Neuroma, and Stereotaxic Surgery of Acoustic Neuroma. 

Medical Education
Albert Einstein College of Medicine

University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle 1972-1973

Residency Training
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Harvard Medical School (Otolaryngology) 1974-1977; Virginia Mason Hospital (General Surgery) 1973-1974

Clinical Fellowships
Harvard Medical School (Otolaryngology) 1976-1977

Roger Goldblatt

Roger Goldblatt is responsible for advising the Bureau Chief of FCC’s Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau on consumer outreach and consumer education activities related to the digital transition (DTV). Currently he is serving as the Pacific Region Coordinator for the Commission’s Nationwide DTV outreach program. He has concentrated his efforts on the Commission’s Outreach towards underserved communities, such as non English speaking, low income, seniors, children and the disabled community. Mr. Goldblatt has created our DTV deputy program and leads presentations of the program nationally. 

Mr. Goldblatt has been with the FCC since the year 2000. Prior to joining the Commission, he was the Federal Outreach Manager for the federal Government’s Y2K transition, working with other federal and local agencies, businesses and associations. He created and managed the Y2K federal hotline and Web site, organized informational town hall meetings and worked extensively with the media. As a senior public affairs officer at the Department of Labor, he managed outreach programs for their Pension Welfare & Benefits Administration. He worked at the White House as the director of the Health Care Reform Information Center and then Director of the Office of Special Projects. Over his long federal career, Mr. Goldblatt has developed a reputation for creating consumer outreach programs on sensitive and difficult to understand issues. He has also written and designed hundreds of publications and outreach tool kits. 

Mr. Goldblatt has a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, a Masters in Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelors in Communications from George Washington University.

Samuel Trychin, Ph.D

Samuel Trychin, Ph.D. has served as the HLAA mental health/rehabilitation advisor for more than twenty years. He has worked with hundreds of people who have hearing loss and with their communication partners, has written numerous books, chapters, and articles on coping with hearing loss. Sam has a hearing loss resulting from military service.

Dr. Trychin also has a private practice in which conducts on-line and self-study classes for people who have hearing loss and their families. He also continues to conduct national training programs, classes, and workshops for people who are hard of hearing, their family members, and professionals who provide services to them. His specialty is the application of psychological concepts, principles, and procedures to problems and issues related to hearing loss. 

Dr. Trychin has written 15 books, authored several professional book chapters and journal articles, and produced a variety of videotapes related to coping with hearing loss. He has conducted hundreds of workshops and training programs across the United States and in Canada. He and his wife Janet, an audiologist, frequently conduct workshops together. 

Dr. Trychin received his Ph.D. in Psychology from the George Washington University, Washington, DC. He is a member of the American Psychological Association, is listed in the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, and is a licensed psychologist in Pennsylvania. He is currently the Mental Health and Rehabilitation Advisor to the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA). Previously, he was a member of the Advisory Committees for Persons who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. 

Dr. Trychin is hard of hearing himself and was issued his first hearing aids while serving in the United States Air Force. He has been a hearing aid user since that time. Further information about Dr. Trychin’s program for people who are hard of hearing, their family members, and professionals who provide services to them can be obtained at

Sean Smith

Sean Smith, HLAA Controller, Registered IRS Agent
With his background working with HLAA as the controller, Mr. Smith brings professional experience as the owner of an accounting firm as well as more than a decade of experience working with HLAA volunteer leaders.

Valerie Stafford-Mallis

Valerie Stafford-Mallis is the Business Development Manager for Alternative Communication Services (ACS) LLC. Prior to joining ACS, she served as Health Educator Consultant for the Florida Coordinating Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (FCCDHH). Valerie is an oral, late-deafened adult who uses bi-lateral cochlear implants. She also utilizes many other types of assistive technology in her activities of daily living. As a person who lost her hearing while she was still in the workforce, Valerie has experienced first-hand the struggles faced by all persons with disabilities to maintain employment, independence and full-participation in public-life.

Valerie is active in the deaf and hard of hearing community. She was appointed to the HLAA Board of Trustees in May 2013 and serves on the board of trustees of the Sarasota Chapter. She is a member of the Association of Late-Deafened Adults and chairs the Outreach Committee. She was nominated by Communication Access, Inc. for its 2013 Hearing Loss Advocate of the Year. She also supports the Humane Society of Manatee County.