Speech-Language-Pathology Advisory Council Candidate Statements


Barbara B. Cady, CCC-SLP

As an enthusiastic lifelong learner, after 40+ years of working in a University environment teaching new colleagues, I have learned more than I have taught. I would now like to serve and give back to the profession which has given me so much.

Serving as Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee on the Board of Directors for the Harris Home for Children, a state agency to provide residential foster care to homeless children, I am learning and beginning to understand financial statements. Familiarity with budgets has occurred over the years while I served as Chair of the Department of Special Education and wrote multiple funded grants in excess of several million as well as serving as a field reader for OSEP for special education and speech pathology grants. Also, as Chairman, I took initiative to spearhead the development of several new programs within the department and had them approved by the State Department of Education. I have served as Vice President and Membership Secretary for the Speech and Hearing Association of Alabama (SHAA) as well as on numerous standing and ad hoc committees. I have served on the state licensure board (ABESPA) making me familiar with credentialing of licensees. As Coordinator of the Speech Pathology program, I also spearheaded the successful initial CAA accreditation of our program at Alabama A&M. I have served as the President of the Faculty Senate and been a member of the Board of Trustees at A&M.

I have been an active and energetic member of SHAA and at my place of employment. I will devote the time, energy and travel for service on the Council if given the opportunity to serve.

Tamara Davis Harrison, CCC-SLP

I am seeking nomination to the Advisory Council to become involved with our national organization in an effort to "give back" to a profession that has wonderfully supported me for over 30 years. I am a excited about the possibilities of learning a different side of ASHA and I am seeking opportunities such as this to serve in a related fashion (versus hands on therapy or teaching) that will support and sustain our organization for the next generation of young professionals. It would be an honor to collaborate with fellow knowledgeable and experienced ASHA members to promote ongoing feedback and provide encouragement for future potential programming that would benefit our membership.

My career spanning 30+ years has given me a wide range of experiences that qualifies me for positions such as the ASHA Advisory Council. In addition to my daily responsibilities as an SLP at our state school for deaf and blind and working for our state early intervention program, I have supervised our team of SLP's, served on a number of local and state level committees, established a private practice, served as adjunct instructor in the Communication Science and Disorders department at the University of Montevallo, and recently helped establish a Spoken Language program at the Alabama School for the Deaf-the first state school in our country to successfully support an oral deaf education preschool class in a traditional sign language program!

Without hesitation, one of the greatest experiences of my career and another reason I feel qualified to serve on the Advisory Council was my participation in the ASHA LDP! Post LDP, I have served on our state (Speech and Hearing Association of Alabama) convention planning committee and continued serving in various leadership positions through my employer as well as our state level EI system. It would be an honor to be considered for a position on the Advisory Council.


Nancy C. Lovering, CCC-SLP

I am honored to accept the nomination to the ASHA Advisory Council. I have an interest and a history of service to my state association and would like to further it at the national level with advocacy, contributions regarding policy and problem solving for my state, our national association and our profession.

I believe that my experiences working at the state level has given me a perspective of the members of our state and my work with the STAR Network for the past 4 years has further developed my understanding of issues at a national level. As the STAR representative I have worked closely with AKSHA (Alaska Speech and Hearing Association) members to communicate their needs and concerns not only to ASHA but also to local government officials including providing legislative testimony, organizing grass roots efforts to educate Alaska Medicaid, the governor and the legislature regarding the variety of services provided and the scope of practice of speech-language pathologists. AKSHA members expressed their concerns regarding the lack of direction for compliance with the regulations regarding billing and documentation for Alaska Medicaid. Through a grant applied for and received through ASHA and the STAR Network I managed a project which developed a Medicaid Audit Tool for use of AKSHA members to provided clear guidance for best practice based in conjunction with current state regulations.

I am a past, two term president of the Alaska Speech and Hearing Association, conference chair of our annual state convention for three consecutive years and chair of the association's Ethics and Regulations committee for four years. As the state association president my accomplishments included implementing the creation of a strategic plan, the development of policies and procedures for the executive board and re-structured the board as to be aligned more closely with the current needs of the association.

My experience with teaching through the University of Alaska in the speech- pathology assistant program for the past five years has provided me with a tremendous opportunity to use technology on a daily basis to connect with students across the state. Teaching students entering the field as para-professionals allows me the opportunity to not only educate regarding theory and practices of the profession but also the mission and policies of ASHA.

As a sole proprietor of my pediatric practice I am responsible for every aspect of my business from the clinical to the financial. These skills and those skills and experiences that are mentioned above will be beneficial in a role as an advisory counsellor. I am dedicated to leadership, advocacy and innovative thinking on behalf of my profession.

I would greatly appreciate your consideration of my nomination to the American Speech-Language- Hearing Association Advisory Council.


Cass Faux, CCC-SLP

This position will provide me the opportunity to work with colleagues from across the nation to address issues affecting the profession at both the local and national levels, and support ASHA's mission while concurrently advocating for our members. An advisory council position will allow me to analyze these issues and give voice to concerns of the membership given the cultural, political, and economic climates in which we work.

I have been a BOD member for the Arizona Speech Language and Hearing Association (ArSHA) for the past 14 years. During that time I have chaired various committees, including ethics, convention and publications. I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of the ArSHA board and serving our members to the best of my abilities. These roles have given me the privilege of working with a diverse, dynamic, and dedicated group of speech-language pathologists and audiologists from across the state. We have advocated and lobbied for our members and have promoted service, science, and ethical standards in keeping with ASHA's mission.

I am the Director of Clinical Education in Speech-Language Pathology at The University of Arizona; I have been in this role for four years. This position has afforded me the opportunity to think strategically and creatively as I oversee undergraduate and graduate students' education and collaborate with clinical and academic faculty. I believe strongly in a team effort and I strive to consider multiple viewpoints regardless of whether we address routine or controversial issues. Prior to this appointment, I was the lead clinical instructor for 12 years. Before coming to the university, I worked in school and hospital settings with pediatric and adult populations for 20 years.

I am a member of the Western States Directors of Clinical Education and the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CAPCSD). This provides me the opportunity to collaborate with clinic directors to advance clinical instruction of our speech-language pathology graduate students, and thus advance the future of our profession.

Change is ever present for us in the field of Communication Disorders, with health care reform, imperatives for interprofessional education and practice, new billing codes and requirements, technology, and the over-arching goal to provide services in a culturally sensitive manner. I will do my best to be well informed about the Association's mission, services, policies and programs and to identify, discuss, and rank issues of concern to members. I am willing to serve on the Advisory Council and would be honored if appointed.


Carol B. Fleming, CCC-SLP

As a school-based clinician and Arkansas' Advisory Council member, I have advocated for legislation; maintained a working relationship with professionals; and provided input to ASHA. Furthering my service on the Council for another term would enable me to continue these efforts.

I have served in leadership capacities that have provided opportunities to work with a variety of professional leaders. These interactions have allowed me to develop the skills to listen, analyze, and consider multiple viewpoints about controversial issues; work with others; and effectively communicate ideas. I believe in transparency and full disclosure of activities, which has been evident in every position I have held. My service and leadership has included: ArkSHA Past President, CSAP Past President, 2008 ASHA LDP Graduate, Chair of ASHA SFC and Joint Committee of State/National Relationships, ASHA SEAL, a STEP mentor, a stakeholder in the SLP Professional Summit regarding service delivery, SIG 16 Coordinating Committee member, and SIG 1 membership. Throughout, I have demonstrated the ability to multi-task and balance activities.

Continuing as an Advisory Council member, I would bring forth my passion for advocacy, leadership, and professional issues impacting speech, language, and hearing intervention and prevention. With challenges and changes in our future, we must work together to make our associations the best they can be to serve our colleagues, consumers, and future professionals. My goal is to continue to develop collaborative relationships to meet these challenges and needs. I appreciate your consideration and the opportunity to serve. Thank you.

Dee M. Lance, CCC-SLP

I would like to be elected to represent Arkansas on ASHA's Advisory Council. The Advisory Council is charged with identifying and discussing different issues and concerns of the profession and helping the Board of Directors with the programs and services important to the membership. This is one mechanism allowing for self-governance within the organization, which in turn allows us to better serve our patients. It is important to give back to the profession and this is an avenue that will allow me to serve on both a national and state level.

I am currently employed at the University of Central Arkansas and have been involved in providing clinical services and educating future speech-language pathologists since my husband and I returned to Arkansas in 1996. Additionally, since 2006, I have been an active site visitor for the Council of Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. I have been an SLP in Arkansas for nearly 20 years, and I believe my professional experiences in schools, private practice, and universities place me in a position to advocate for both members and patients.


Diane Renee Collins, CCC-SLP

I have been on ASHA's SLP Advisory Council for the past two and a half years, and I am now seeking to be re-elected to that position as I want to make a difference for speech-language pathologists and audiologists nation-wide. I wish to provide ongoing support to the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology through continued conversations with both our nation's legislators and the ASHA organization. The voices of speech-language pathologists and audiologists, as well as their consumers, need to be constantly heard so that the highest quality standards and services can be maintained. Through conversations with our country's senators and congressmen, I believe the SLP and Audiology Advisory Council members can continue to keep legislators knowledgeable of ongoing speech-language/audiology issues and consumer needs. It is important that Communication be protected as one of our precious rights. I would like to continue to actively pursue these goals as an SLP Advisory Council member.

As a current member of the SLP Advisory Council, as well as, a previous representative on ASHA's Legislative Council, I have established rapport with staff members and legislators of both the Senate and the House of Representatives. I believe I can continue to work positively, in conjunction with them, on issues relevant to both medical and school-based SLPs and to audiologists, including hearing health care, loan forgiveness, Medicaid reimbursement, SLP shortages, and the paperwork burden.

I have previous experience as a California Speech-Language Hearing Association President, in addition to holding other state and district positions. I am a member of the National Stuttering Association and the Medical Speech Pathology Council of California. I have worked in the public school system since 1975 in a variety of settings (preschool, elementary and secondary schools, alternative high school, community school), allowing me to speak knowledgeably on behalf of these populations. I believe my various experiences over the past forty years will continue to enable me to properly represent the speech-language pathology and audiology professions as an SLP Advisory Council member.

Alison R. Scheer-Cohen, CCC-SLP

As a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), I would like to contribute to the Association's continued success by helping identify interests and concerns of ASHA's audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists. Taking part in discussions regarding ASHA's role in resolving and/or supporting these current issues will allow me to contribute to ASHA's purpose: specifically, advancing science, setting standards, fostering excellence in professional practice, and advocating for members and those they serve (ASHA, 2014).

According to some definitions, leadership is “organizing a group of people to achieve a common goal.” In this sense, as a member of the Advisory Council, I will have the opportunity to obtain valuable feedback from current professionals to aid ASHA in achieving the Association's goals. For more than a decade, many leaders of our association have inspired me and made a positive difference in my own life and career. I now want to contribute to the profession in the same way by helping our members, making connections, and providing resources to a community with a shared vision, mission, and core values.

As a Council for Clinical Certification (CFCC) in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology member, I have been a part of aiding the certification process: specifically, defining, establishing, and administering standards for certification and certification maintenance.

I hope to use this background knowledge, in addition to my experience as a clinician, teacher, and researcher to address education, research, and professional issues (e.g., services; policies; programs) of the current ASHA members. My experiences vary across settings, including the university, school, hospital, and private clinical settings. In these settings, I have worked with a variety of professionals, support service personnel and students each with individual professional, scientific, and credentialing interests and concerns.

I would also like to use my previous leadership experience as a CFCC and NSSLHA board member and vice president of University of California, Santa Barbara Associated Students to positively impact the ASHA Advisory Council. These leadership experiences have contributed to my knowledge of the Association's mission, in addition to services, policies, and programs at the national, state, and local levels. Specific activities include: planning and designing questionnaires to obtain information and opinion; writing and modifying standards; conducting discussions regarding long-term and short-term goals (e.g., strategic planning); and participating in reviews of ethical conduct in professional practice.

I believe my previous experiences as an educator, researcher, and leader will allow me to positively contribute to this council and identify, discuss, and rank current issues that reflect scientific accomplishment, educational curriculum, and clinical practice, foundations of our field.


Katheryn L. Boada, CCC-SLP

I am seeking re-election to the Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Council as I am passionate about advocating for our profession and the students/clients we serve. Clearly articulating current issues of concern for practicing speech-language pathologists in Colorado and advocating for improving access to our services are two primary areas that I see the Advisory Council providing valuable input to the ASHA Board of Directors. Access to our services involves a multitude of issues including both financial (regulatory issues & third party payer recognition of our services), professional (workload/caseload, appropriate use & supervision of assistants) and educational (public and professional understanding of our scope of services). I am committed to informing and seeking input from speech-language pathologists across the state about the issues before the Council. I will pledge to provide regular updates to the state regarding the activities of the Council and be available for feedback and direction from Colorado speech-language pathologists.

As evidence of this commitment, I offer my service record with the Colorado Speech-Language Hearing Association (CSHA, active member since 1994) and the Colorado Department of Education's Speech-Language Advisory Committee (active since 2003). I am a two-time, past President of CSHA and have served on either committees or other board of director positions since 1998. I am currently serving on the Public Policy Committee and provide regular updates to the association members and the public via the CSHA website. Additionally, I have experience lobbying legislators at our State Capital (regularly attend monthly constituent meetings in my district, and recently, I lead the committee which finally achieved state regulation for SLPs in 2014). As the current SLP Advisory Council member, I have also met with our State Senators, Representatives and their staff in Washington D.C. and have maintained contact with their offices throughout the year.

My experience in clinical leadership and management has also prepared me for this position. As the director of a large, multicenter Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology program, I strive to gather and consider multiple viewpoints, especially surrounding controversial topics, and seek evidence and common ground to advance professional goals. I am skilled at evaluating budgets, forecasts and financial plans and have served on multiple hospital financial and strategic planning committees. I look forward to this opportunity to serve Colorado on the National level and to advance the goals of our profession.

Tami Cassel, CCC-SLP

Through my affiliation with ASHA and my work in the public schools I am interested in becoming more involved to further the knowledge and role of the SLP in the public schools in order to influence leadership at a national level in ways to provide guidance which will support members in their professional practice and work environments. I view this appointment as an opportunity to advocate for the significant number of ASHA certified SLPs in the school setting on their issues and concerns while at the same time being cognizant of the issues facing SLPs in other employment settings.

I have worked in the field of speech–language pathology for over 25 years in a variety of settings and positions. As a speech-language pathologist I collaborated with families, teachers, medical staff and other agencies for the best interests of my student or client. I have supervised SLPs, SLPAs, graduate students and CF candidates along with being an administrator within a school district. At this juncture in my career as the state specialist for speech-language pathologists with the Colorado Department of Education I represent the interests and concerns of the speech-language pathologists working for the public schools in Colorado. I have the opportunity to work strategically and creatively with these professionals through technical assistance provided across the state. These trainings provide an avenue to engage in conversations about the issues concerning the SLPs in public school settings and how policies at national level can affect the work conditions of a SLP in rural Colorado. I also chair a state advisory council which works collaboratively with institutions of higher education and medical agencies in order to discuss issues and concerns regarding preparation for the next generation of speech-language pathologists and how to continue to strengthen and develop interactions between agencies. Currently I am the president–elect for the State Educational Agency Communication Disabilities Council (SEACDC). With the variety of positions and interaction with other agencies, I have a well–rounded perspective of the field that allows me to provide insight on our professional practices at a national level.


Virginia McGoey-Radshaw, CCC-SLP

As a clinical manager of speech-language pathology at Connecticut Children's Medical Center, I am involved in numerous statewide groups, such as the Rehab Directors group for Connecticut Hospital Association (CHA), the Connecticut Speech and Hearing Association (CSHA) board, and national groups such as the Rehab Directors forum for Children's Hospital Association (CHCA). In all these roles above, I interact with numerous rehab professionals, which positions me well to advocate and to be at the forefront in terms of a multitude of interdisciplinary issues.

I am the incumbent SLPAC member and have served in this capacity for the past three years. Also, beyond my years in the pediatric medical setting, I have worked in direct care with adults and early intervention. As an administrator in the hospital setting, I have also been involved in many efforts regarding compliance, evidence-based practice, insurance coverage, quality assurance, and advocacy. I interface with school leadership to provide contract services and early intervention leadership in the state related to policy and research. My experience is well rounded in the field and my reach is fairly broad, and I feel these factors make me an ideal candidate for this position.

Richard P. Zipoli, Jr., CCC-SLP

I would be honored to serve on the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's Speech-Language-Pathology Advisory Council for Connecticut because it would afford me the opportunity to directly advocate for persons with communication disorders and for professionals who serve these individuals and their families. As an assistant professor and clinical instructor who teaches, supervises, and advises both undergraduate and graduate students, I frequently discuss professional issues with students and their seek comments and perspectives regarding developments in our field. Service on the Advisory Council would enhance my ability to promote students' knowledge of professional issues and their emerging sense of advocacy. Moreover, I serve on several statewide committees and working groups related to professional practice in speech-language pathology (see below); additional knowledge and experience gained through my participation on the Advisory Council could help to inform and increase the effectiveness of our work in Connecticut.

My experience and qualifications align well with the themes articulated in the ASHA Strategic Pathway to Excellence. First, my professional relationships with audiologists have been consistently excellent. These strong working relationships with colleagues in audiology reflect my respect for their unique training and scope of practice, as well as my own interdisciplinary training, which has included degrees and/or certifications in speech-language pathology, special education, physical therapy, psychology, and assistive technology.

Second, I have a strong professional interest in scientifically based practice that was refined during a Graduate Research Fellowship in 2003-2004, when I explored evidence-based practice among SLPs. Since that time, I've had numerous opportunities to deliver professional development and technical assistance on or related to the topic of EBP, with an emphasis on exploring and addressing systems-level barriers to EBP.

Third, I've had numerous opportunities to develop advocacy skills. As a clinician and former Rehabilitation Program Manager, for example, I gained experience communicating with case managers and other representatives of insurance companies on behalf of patients in health care settings. More recently, I advocated for school-based SLPs and their pupils through statewide service on the Connecticut Speech-Language-Hearing Association's School Affairs Committee and School Leadership Council, as well as Connecticut's Comprehensive System of Professional Development Council.

Finally, I remain a clinician who understands the myriad demands on SLPs working in schools and health care settings. This real world perspective will motivate me to help assure that the Advisory Council is responsive to the needs of all of ASHA's members.


Janet Cates, CCC-SLP

My name is Janet Cates and I am offering to serve as the Delaware representative to the ASHA Advisory Council. I have been a speech-language pathologist in the public schools in Delaware for seventeen years and counting.I received my master's degree with an emphasis in early intervention from Temple University in August 1997. I am a member of ASHA's Special Interest Divisions 1 (Language, Learning and Education) and 16 (School Issues).I have worked with DSHA in several different capacities – as the Delaware State Education Advocacy Leader for ASHA, Co-chair of DSHA's School Committee and as DSHA President Elect. I have served on several state committees involving speech-language pathology.

I feel that I have many of the desired personal characteristics required of a member of the ASHA Advisory Council. I am able to listen, analyze, think strategically and creatively, and work well with people individually and in groups. I have the ability to consider multiple viewpoints about issues and to discuss the benefits of each different viewpoint. I feel that I have the ability to communicate effectively. I have the desire to develop the additional skills that I will need for the position. I have the computer knowledge and the time required for this commitment.

Thank you for considering me for this position.

District of Columbia

Regina Grimmett, CCC-SLP

I am seeking to serve in this position to work with the association on issues important to the speech-language pathologists in my area. The advisory council is a good opportunity to utilize my budgetary, policy, and strategic skills to support the goals of ASHA's board of directors.

In my position as a school district Director for Related Services' Operations, I consistently work with internal and external stakeholders to develop policies, procedures and program guidelines for service delivery. In addition, my responsibilities include aligning the fiscal operating budget to the strategic goals for related services which are linked to the evidence based practices. In December 2013, I completed a three-year term on ASHA's Government Relations & Public Policy Board. By serving on this board, I increased my knowledge and understanding of the association's advocacy goals and vision. I learned about ASHA's programs and committees and how they work for the benefits of the membership community.


Melissa W. Edrich, CCC-SLP

I would like to serve on ASHA's Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Council for two reasons. The first is that I feel it is important to volunteer and be a valued member of your national organization. The second is that I want to continue to be in a position to assist the SLPs in the state of Florida. I feel that I am uniquely qualified for the Advisory Council position because of my experience as FLASHA President from June 2010-2011, my present faculty position in Nova Southeastern University's Program for Speech, Language Pathology and my experience serving in this position 2013-2015. As FLASHA president, I was successful increasing membership in our organization and improving membership communication using social networking. I also had the opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge of the issues affecting the speech-language pathologists in Florida. My role as a program instructor, clinical supervisor, and coordinator of the Bachelor of Science Program in Speech, Language, and Communication Disorders is allowing me to teach, mentor, and shape our future SLPs. As the Florida representative for the SLPAC from 2013-2015, I have had the experience working collaboratively with other AC members to identify and discuss concerns within our field and provide the Board of Directors with recommendations for future consideration. In addition, while in this position, I have had the opportunity to educate my state legislatures on important issues affecting our profession. In all of these roles I have had the chance to develop positive working relationships with individuals and groups. I possess skills, such as active listening, critical thinking, and problem solving that will allow me to be an effective liaison between the ASHA Board of Directors and the state of Florida. I have been an active member of ASHA and FLASHA for the 18 years that I have been a practicing SLP. I am energetic, driven and passionate about the field of speech-language pathology and believe that those qualities along with my leadership skills make me the perfect candidate for this position.

David Ursel, CCC-SLP

Since receiving ASHA recognition while serving as the NSSLHA chapter president at the University of Florida, I have embraced the profession and have sought to make a real difference in the communication-life skills of individuals and families. I also know the first-hand benefits of receiving speech therapy and have extensive experience as a speech-language pathologist in various employment settings. I myself was diagnosed with a profound phonological impairment as a young child and received speech therapy in the public schools. Both of my daughters received speech therapy while they were preschool-age. Ten years ago, I suffered a brain-stem stroke and required extensive therapies, including speech therapy, as I was paralyzed on the entire right-side of my body and suffered from Dysarthria. Because of the significant amount of therapy which I received and strong family support, I made a full recovery. I have first-hand knowledge as a child and an adult about receiving speech therapy, as well as a parent's perspective.

Another discernable difference between me and other nominees is that I grew up in Florida, graduated from the University of Florida, and have held Florida certification and licensure since 1987. I am extremely knowledgeable about the issues of this state. Being a male in this female-dominated profession also gives me added insight to this minority membership group. It is my desire to use this understanding as an active participant of the Advisory Council representing the State of Florida.

While working full-time in Florida's public schools as a speech-language pathologist, I have also owned my own private practice and have contracted with numerous rehab centers and home health agencies in the area as a PRN-SLP. Serving as the president of the Sarasota County Gator Club this past year and also having been elected by my colleagues as Teacher of the Year has allowed me the opportunity to reflect upon my leadership skills, which include being able to listen, analyze, problem solve, think strategically and creatively, and demonstrate my ability to work well with others. Due to my leadership qualities, I have been appointed to serve another year as the ESE Team Leader at my school. I have also held a board position on the Suncoast Speech and Hearing Association for the past 10 years. Recently, I was selected to participate in the Gulf Coast Community Foundation Leadership Academy. I am most pleased to announce that I have been selected to serve as an ASHA STEP Mentor for the fourth straight year which has afforded me the opportunity to help students interested in the field of speech-language pathology.

My experiences are extensive, varied and extremely unique. I believe that I am highly qualified to serve as a member of the ASHA Advisory Council representing the State of Florida and my chosen profession. Thank you for your time and consideration of my nomination.


Edgar Vincent (Vince) Clark, CCC-SLP

I am seeking to be considered for the Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Council (SLPAC) because I recognize that service to my profession is a critical part of the continuing health of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. Members should step forward to present the association new ideas and new visions for the future, while helping to preserve the foundation of our esteemed professions. ASHA is only as strong as the members it serves and likewise the membership must be active and functioning in order for our professions to remain secure, relevant, and vital.

At this point in my career and professional development, I believe that my experience with leadership roles with my employer and state organization have prepared me for a greater role within the SLP national leadership community and I look forward to aiding our professions advance and evolve. Our professions have many challenges and opportunities ahead and I seek to be a part of ASHA's continued significance and advancement into the future.

Since I was in the undergraduate program at Valdosta State University in the mid 1990s, I have been a member of the Georgia Speech-Language Hearing Association and have been humbly honored to serve in many capacities and roles within that organization. I have served as State Convention Co-Chair and then Chair, President of the Association, Continuing Education Chair and on various other committees as the need arose. In 2012, I was given the privilege of working directly as a liaison for the 2012 ASHA Convention in Atlanta and was responsible for the pre-convention program arrangements.

In my work setting, I have served in various leadership positions as needed. I have functioned as a Director of Rehabilitation and I have been responsible for the day to day operations of a therapy department. I regularly assist with clinical education and skills advancement of the SLPs within my organization. My true professional calling is in the supervision, mentoring, and fostering of clinical skills in new graduates and in those SLPs new to the medical environment. I am at heart a clinician first and will always want to be “hands on” providing treatment to the communication and swallowing patients that come to my organization seeking to regain their lives.

I am a firm believer that a true leader is a servant. I desire to serve ASHA and the membership as I serve the patients I see on a daily basis.

Melanie W. Hudson, CCC-SLP

I am respectfully seeking your support as a member of the SLP Advisory Council. The Advisory Council is charged with identifying and discussing issues of concern to ASHA members. Because of my long-term volunteer participation as a speech-language pathologist at both the state and national levels, and my ongoing demonstrated concern for the positive growth and development of our profession, you may be assured of my ability to fulfill this requirement.

As a certified ASHA member since 1979, I have maintained a keen interest in issues relevant to our profession for many years. My concern for and commitment to ASHA's mission, services, policies, and programs are evidenced by a number of volunteer activities including service on the Legislative Council, the Advisory Council, the Board of Special Interest Group Coordinators, and Board of Ethics. These and other experiences have afforded me numerous opportunities to review and analyze information related to issues of concern that I share with my professional colleagues.

My professional activities at the state level include formerly serving as President of GSHA and currently as an appointed member of the GA Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. These activities have also provided me with a broad base of experience in advocacy, strategic planning, forward planning, and collaboration, and serve to highlight my qualifications for this important role.

I have had the honor of recently being elected to serve as the Vice Chair for the 2015 SLP Advisory Council. I would sincerely welcome the opportunity to continue my service as a member of the Advisory Council for the next term. I am most grateful for your support and demonstration of your confidence in my abilities as an advocate for our shared profession.


Verna Mae Chinen, CCC-SLP

There are several reasons that I am seeking this appointment on the advisory council for the State of Hawaii. Most importantly, I want to represent our organization (HSHA) and be the voice that shares our unique perspective with ASHA. I anticipate that this will be an opportunity to listen, learn and collaborate; and I intend to keep the lines of communication open between ASHA and our organization. Additionally, I would like to use this opportunity to demonstrate to the HSHA membership that despite our size, we will be heard by ASHA. Lastly, I am hoping that my actions will encourage a few members to volunteer and make a difference in our respective organizations.

In my current position as the statewide program manager/coordinator of speech-language pathology, occupational therapy and physical therapy services for the Hawaii Department of Education, I have both the experience and personal characteristics to be an effective listener, communicator and collaborator. In addition to my working responsibilities, I was the past president of the Hawaii Speech-Language Hearing Association (2013-2014) and am a current member of the State Education Agency Communication Disabilities Council. These opportunities have provided me with the experience needed to fill this position, as I am accustomed to reviewing large issues from a national perspective, and applying and implementing policies at a statewide/local level in a thoughtful and mindful manner that is sensitive to the needs of the professionals and individuals that we service.


Rachelle Ruffing, CCC-SLP

I approached four different people in the state of Idaho to consider being nominated for the position of Idaho Advisory Council and they all declined the offer stating a wide variety of reasons. I made the decision to nominate myself because I knew that I had formed initial connections with the legislators in Idaho and I would like to continue to build upon these relationships on behalf of our association. I did not want the seat to go vacant either.

I believe I am a good candidate to serve as the Idaho Advisory Council because I am currently serving as the Advisor Council and have experience in this council. I have attended the Spring Conference in Washington D.C. two times and I understand how to go about making appointments with our legislators. I also understand how to navigate and understand legislation. This was very complex and overwhelming to me. I am developing a deeper understanding of this council and the purpose of the group. I also believe I have started making strong connections that are developing with the Idaho legislators I feel that Senator Jim Risch of Idaho could be instrumental in Medicare reform and therapy cap legislation. Senator Risch is friends with another legislator from Oregon. These two make a great team and I believe with my involvement we will be successful with making changes in this legislation.

My past leadership experience includes managing a practice of 24 employees including speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists and administrative staff. I have also served as the Idaho Speech and Hearing Association's President-Elect, President and Past President. My past experience as a leader in the state of Idaho will allow me to be a good candidate for this position.


Barbara T. Goodson, CCC-SLP

I am seeking this appointment to provide representation for speech-language pathologists in the State of Illinois on the ASHA Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Council. Illinois is a strong state organization known for its commitment to providing high quality continuing education, advocacy, and information to it's members. The Illinois Speech-Language-Hearing Association has a strong voice in our state and I feel that I can bring a favorable contribution of representation to the national level as well.

I believe that I have the necessary related experience and knowledge to represent my colleagues. As a member of ISHA for over 20 years, I have served in a variety of positions: Chairperson of the website committee, member of the distance learning committee, member and Chairperson of the Representative Council, Vice-President for Professional Services, and currently President of the Association. In each of these capacities, I have dedicated countless time and energies to further the mission and vision of ISHA and to working for the membership. I have participated in executive board meetings, policy and procedure and by-law revisions and in the development of several long-range strategic plans. In addition, I am familiar with the speech-language issues that have been and are currently pertinent in the State of Illinois in the areas of school services, medical and private practice, early intervention and our new initiative of telepractice. I have the ability to listen to the concerns and needs of members and then assist in formulating responses and/or actions for those interests. I feel that I can bring the skills that I have learned to the national level as ASHA continues to identify and respond to the needs of its members.

Furthermore, I have demonstrated sound leadership skills at the local and state levels. It is through listening to both individuals and other groups of practicing professionals that I have gained valuable experience. Not only have I provided service to ISHA, I also have served as the Department Chair of my districts' speech-language department for over 20 years. I am a daily practitioner of speech-language services and the rules, regulations, and laws that effect our profession directly impact my daily work and the clients I serve. I can bring applicable knowledge of the issues of our profession and serve as a voice for the concerns of others.

In addition to being a practicing SLP, I also teach speech-language pathology and special education courses, and supervise graduate students. The higher-education aspects of my career require me to look at the practice of speech-language pathology from a variety of viewpoints. With constant changes in coursework requirements, certification/licensure issues, and the economic impact of financial affairs, I am required to maintain current knowledge and best practice.

My passion for speech-language pathology is what continues to drive me to work for improved programming, better services, and a superior voice for my clients and my colleagues. It is through continued service in ISHA and hopefully the ASHA Advisory council that I can continue to advocate and make an impact for our profession.

Aaron M. Wilkins, CCC-SLP

As a member of ASHA for 20 years, it is an honor to be a member of an organization with sustained membership growth, adaptability to the many changes in education and healthcare, strong ethical standards, and a drive to support service provision with evidence-based principles. As an Advisory Councilor, I will act as a liaison for all ASHA members of the state of Illinois to convey issues and concerns to the Advisory Council and Board of Directors. I have worked in a variety of settings including healthcare and higher education. As an active service provider and clinical educator, and having served in several leadership roles including directorships in various settings, I am sensitive to the needs of clinicians working in schools, healthcare, and higher education. One of the most important responsibilities is interfacing with all provider settings to build and expand relationships in order to better understand the needs of service providers and how ASHA can further benefit you. I support the advocacy plan and initiatives put forth by the Government Relations and Public Policy Board of ASHA that includes commitment to ethics, diversity, quality outcomes, and evidence-based practice. With this plan, there is widespread agreement pertaining to challenges we face with reimbursement and school funding that requires new vision and leadership. I look forward to the opportunity to collaborate with you and serve as your advocate.


Laura A. Karcher, CCC-SLP

I am seeking appointment to the SLP Advisory Committee as a representative of Indiana. I have been practicing for 23 years in the area of adult neurogenic communication disorders and providing clinical training of graduate students for the last 18 years. I am fortunate to have a career that I love. Actively learning along side clients and care partners and contributing to the growth of students as they discover a passion for the profession are driving forces in my career. I am at a point in my career where I have the experience and perspective to contribute to the mission of the Association in a global manner. I want to represent the interests of the membership as the Association looks to the future and the challenges that exist. In particular, I want to contribute to the mission of ASHA in the following areas: Communication to members, strategic relationships and safeguarding the discipline

I have served in a leadership position in the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences at Indiana University for 13 years as Speech-Language Clinic Director. My skills in leadership, negotiation, program development and collaboration are important to the success of an Advisory Council member in communicating and representing the interests of the ASHA members of Indiana. I have also served for two years as the IU NSSLHA Advisor and understand the interests of those who aspire to be speech pathologists and audiologists as well as those who have been admitted into training programs. I have also spent the last 12 years working as a PRN speech pathologist in home health in order to satisfy my love of working 1:1 with patients and families. This work has also expanded my understanding of reimbursement issues, which affect everyone in the profession as well as the need for interprofessional training and collaboration.

Dawn Wetzel, CCC-SLP

I have served as Indiana's SLP Advisory Council representative for the past two years. What an amazing experience! The opportunity to interface with our exceptional leaders and to provide input into ASHA policies has been so educational and rewarding. It would be a privilege to continue to serve. As a clinical associate professor at Purdue University I am fortunate to work with faculty members who possess expertise in a wide range of disorders across the age continuum. I am continually struck by the diverse perspectives presented dependent upon an individual's primary area of practice. My exposure to these perspectives enables me to better understand the needs of my colleagues throughout the state. The opportunity to serve on the ASHA Advisory Council allows me to assure that their interests are represented.

My clinical background in medical SLP and current responsibilities at the university have provided a number of related experiences that would serve me well as an ASHA advisory council member. As the director of a large SLP section at a tertiary care center, I was responsible for advocating for the diverse needs of SLPs who served varied caseloads at pediatric, adult, and county hospitals. I am familiar with budget processes, productivity demands, and reimbursement issues. I have served on a number of teams in which multiple viewpoints must be considered and consensus achieved for change to occur. As a past chair of our state Ethics Committee, I was required to listen, to consider the evidence, and to effectively communicate with colleagues throughout the state. I currently serve the university as a member of the Diversity Council. If elected to the advisory council, I will rely on these experiences and look forward to further developing skills to best represent the interests of ASHA members throughout Indiana.


Elizabeth M. Delsandro, CCC-SLP

I am interested in seeking an appointment to the ASHA Advisory Council because I sincerely care about our field of speech-language pathology and the future of the organization I have been a proud member of for over 20 years. Our field is exciting and continues to evolve, and ASHA is on the forefront of this evolution. Being a member of the ASHA Advisory Council would provide me with an opportunity to be directly informed of proposed ASHA goals and initiatives, and help contribute to the future direction of ASHA as a volunteer. I do believe that volunteer work can be transformative, in that it helps one understand the culture of an organization, provides one with networking opportunities, and more fully engages an individual in the mission of the organization. Collectively, a group of dedicated and effective volunteers can have significant impact on an organization, of which ASHA has repeatedly demonstrated. I strongly interested in being part of ASHA's volunteer culture.

Nearly five years ago, I was hired as a clinical faculty member in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Iowa. That sparked my journey in directly contributing to the future of our field through the clinical supervision and teaching of graduate students in speech-language pathology. Many of our students, much like students across the nation, are bright, enthusiastic, and altruistic. As a co-advisor for our chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA), I have the charge to help guide students in developing their own leadership skills. I also have a role in modeling leadership and volunteering for students, who will be our potential future leaders. Our students benefit from observing their mentors actively and passionately engaged in leadership roles, and my appointment to the ASHA Advisory Council would model that engagement and leadership for our future leaders.

Please see highlights of my volunteer experience related to the field of speech-language pathology, as follows:

  • December 2014-Present: Advisory Council Member of the University of Iowa Children's Hospital Autism Center
  • February 2014-Present: Iowa State Affiliate and Assembly Member for the Autism Society of America (ASA)
  • October 2012-Present: Co-advisor for the National Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA), University of Iowa Chapter
  • April 2009-Present: The Autism Society of Iowa (ASI), Executive Board and Education Board Member

Through my professional and volunteer experiences, I have developed strong leadership skills, specifically in the art of listening, advising, problem-solving, and collaboration. Thank you for your consideration of my nomination to the ASHA Advisory Council. It would truly be an honor to serve ASHA in this capacity.

Kelli Zeimetz-Mehmert, CCC-SLP

I am seeking appointment to the ASHA Advisory Council as a representative of Iowa because I am committed to our profession and have a specific interest in collaborating with other professionals regarding the challenges we face in all aspects of speech language pathology and audiology.

I have 11 years of experience working as a speech pathologist in the medical setting. During that time, I have had the opportunity to initiate program development including education, problem solving, use of various strategic tools, crucial conversation techniques and collaborating with individuals across multiple disciplines. My work experience has lead to positive outcomes and growth impacting speech pathology at our medical center.

I am currently Past President of the Iowa Speech and Hearing Association. I am also fortunate to be participating in the ASHA Leadership Development Program. These professional leadership experiences, along with my personal work experiences, have helped me grow as an individual, professional, and a leader. I feel I have the skills necessary to serve as a positive representative of Iowa as a member of the ASHA Advisory Council.


Jane Wegner, CCC-SLP

I would like to serve on ASHA's Advisory Council because I am committed to the advancement of our profession and to the individuals with communication challenges that we serve. I would also like to continue to contribute to ASHA in appreciation of the benefits that I have received from the organization during my career. I am entering my 3rd year of service on the SLP Advisory Council. I believe my experience as an SLP Advisory Council member has prepared me for continued and effective service. I understand the roles and responsibilities of council members and I am willing and able to work with the other Advisory Council members and the Board of Directors to strengthen our association by addressing issues that affect all of us. In addition, my clinical and leadership experiences have provided me with opportunities to learn skills that are valuable to the Advisory Council. I have provided services in schools and in private practice and appreciate the challenges and rewards of both. I am currently a Clinical Professor and Director of the Schiefelbusch Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic at the University of Kansas. My past and current experiences have allowed me to appreciate the issues the profession faces. I have learned the importance of listening and taking the perspective of others when working toward outcomes that affect a diverse group of people. I am prepared to devote the time and energy it takes to serve on the Advisory Council and welcome the opportunities and challenges involved. I would be honored to continue on the SLP Advisory Council.

Our Partners