February 3, 2008

Starkey Laboratories Inc, announces Barry Freeman, PhD, has joined the company as director of education and training, while Dennis Van Vliet, AuD, has taken the firm’s office for regional director for the Western Region (California, Arizona and Nevada).

In his new assignment, Freeman will work closely with product development, marketing and sales in developing and delivering professional training and education materials, as well as leading the department of education and training.

Freeman comes to Starkey from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla, where he spent the last 10 years as chair and professor of the school’s audiology department. In 2004, Freeman received the American Academy of Audiology’s Presidential Award for Contributions to the Profession of Audiology, and in 2003 earned the American Academy of Audiology’s Larry Mauldin Award for Excellence in Education.

In 1996-1997, Freeman served as president of the American Academy of Audiology, and continues to be visible in the industry by serving on the advisory board for the National Association of Future Doctors of Audiology, the board of directors for the Accreditation Commission for Audiology Education (ACAE) and as co-chair of the Organization of AuD Program Directors.

“To bring such a renowned audiologist like Barry Freeman to Starkey is a great thing for our company,” said Brandon Sawalich, vice president, sales and marketing. “His expertise in audiology along with his leadership skills will be a tremendous asset to the Education and Training Department.”

Van Vliet is assigned to manage a team of inside and field sales executives, as well as regional trainers in the West. According to a company source, Van Vliet will be responsible for sharing the latest Starkey innovations with hearing care professionals while strengthening existing Starkey customer relationships. Van Vliet is characterized in a Starkey news release as a "distinguished audiologist" who is currently a trustee with the American Academy of Audiology Foundation and will assume the Chair position in July 2008.

Starkey reports Van Vliet has been active serving the field including participating in the Independent Hearing Aid Fitting Forum developing protocols for fitting of non-linear hearing aid; as a board member of the American Academy of Audiology; California Academy of Audiology; and serving as the Convention Chair at the 1998 annual American Academy of Audiology Convention in Los Angeles. He also is frequently invited to present on a variety of hearing aid technology and professional issues for domestic and international professional organizations. Van Vliet holds an Au.D. from Central Michigan University, and an MA from California State University, Fullerton. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Irvine. A Vietnam veteran, Van Vliet served in the United States Navy from 1966 to 1970.

“Dennis Van Vliet’s experience as an audiologist and industry leader will serve our Western Region and Starkey extremely well,” Sawalich says. “We look forward to him bringing continued growth and success to the region.”

According to Starkey, Van Vliet and Freeman will begin their new assignments in early 2008.

Source: Starkey