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Our Team

Meet the dedicated professionals and volunteers behind The Hearing & Speech Foundation who work tirelessly to fulfill our mission of improving access to hearing healthcare services.

Staff

photo of John hinkle

John A. Hinkle

Executive Director

The Hearing & Speech Foundation

Retired First Horizon Bank

John A. Hinkle is retired from First Horizon Bank after 40 years of service. Before retiring, he was Senior Vice President of First Horizon Bank’s Government Banking Department in Knoxville for 3 years. Prior to that, he was Senior Vice President of the bank’s Regional Bank Operations Center located in Maryville which processed banking transactions for all of the middle and east Tennessee First Horizon locations.

John attended the University of Tennessee. He graduated from the American Bankers Association Business of Banking School and the Bank Administration Institute’s University of Wisconsin School of Banking.

Active in the community, Mr. Hinkle has served on numerous United Way committees over the past 15 years, as well as chairing the 2009 United Way Campaign and was Chairman of the Board of Directors in 2012. He is a graduate of Leadership Blount County’s class of 1999 and is Leadership Blount County’s Past Chair of the Board of Directors. John was on The Hearing & Speech Foundation’s Board from 2008 – 2010 where he created the signature fundraising event, “The Away Game Tailgate Party”. He also served on the Hearing and Speech Advocacy Board in 2011 and 2012 and was the Foundation’s building project manager for the foundation offices. John is also on the board of James White’s Fort and serves as Secretary of the Board, the birthplace of Knoxville TN. He and his wife Vicki reside in Maryville and enjoy traveling.

Bernadette Kos

MA-CCC/A – Audiologist

Bernadette Kos, MA CCC-A, obtained her undergraduate degree from Minot State University, and her graduate degree in Audiology from Wichita State University.
Bernadette is originally from Canada, and relocated to Knoxville, TN with her husband and family in 2019 where she volunteered at the Hearing & Speech Foundation as a hearing advocate. Before taking time to raise a family, she worked at a private practice and an ENT clinic in Stow, Ohio.

Bernadette is passionate about hearing health! She wants to see that all community members live life to their fullest potential! The most beautiful outcome is the patient’s emotional response when professional services and hearing technology take flight. She has a deep understanding of the social/emotional impact hearing loss has on a person and the family having grown up with a mother who suffered from hearing loss since childhood.

Bernadette Kos is certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and currently lives in Knoxville with her husband and children. She enjoys the great outdoors and a good old-fashioned homemade fruit pie!

Board

John S. Berry

The Hearing & Speech Foundation Co-Founder

Former Owner

Blount Hearing and Speech Services

John Seymour Berry received a BA from Saint Edwards University in 1968. During his tenure at the University of St. Edwards, John worked as house parent and supervisor at the Texas School for the Deaf. Because of this experience, John began his Masters in Deaf Education at the University of Texas in 1968. He transferred to the University of Tennessee where he received his MS in Deaf Education in 1972.

After graduating, John worked at the University of Tennessee for 10 years and served as a teacher-clinician and coordinator of the Verbotonal Preschool Program. He was an instructor and supervisor of the Verbotonal Adult Aural Rehabilitation Program. John also studied in Zagreb, Croatia, at the Centre SUVAG to become a trainer in the Verbotonal Method and is a certified Verbotonal Aural Rehabilitation Therapist.

In 1975, John started Blount Hearing and Speech Services, which has served over 20,000 patients and has a staff of eight employees. In 1981, John and Tutt Bradford co-founded the Hearing and Speech Foundation (HSF), fulfilling John’s passion to provide quality services for the hearing needs of economically disadvantaged hearing-impaired individuals. John also focused his energies to launch the HSF Research and Development Program that houses an anechoic chamber used in studies on speech acoustics.

John’s career goals have included establishing both domestic and international hearing aid assistance programs, being involved in research to explore the field of auditory perception, and establishing a therapy and training center to promote the principles and strategies of the Verbotonal System. In June 2012, the center became a reality. The HSF is housed in a facility conducive to therapy, research, and training; it joins a network of 22 countries that implement the Verbotonal techniques in helping individuals with hearing and other communication difficulties.

John was born December 25, 1943, in Blanco, Texas, and is the oldest of eleven children. He has two children and several grandchildren. John and his wife, Sara, live in Laurel Valley with their dog, Seymour.

Noel H. Case

Retired – Sun Trust Bank

Noel H. Case is retired from Sun Trust Bank. Noel began his banking career in 1975 with Citizens Bank of Blount County.

Noel attended Maryville High School and went on to the University of Tennessee’s School of Business/Transportation from 1973-1977. He attended many Banking schools; Tennessee School of Banking at Vanderbilt, General Banking School, Consumer Lending and Commercial Lending School. Noel also is a graduate of the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University.

Noel has been involved in many organizations and served on many boards in Blount County: Blount County Chamber of Commerce, Maryville City Schools Foundation, Habitat for Humanity of Blount County – President, Boys and Girls Club, American Heart Association – Chair of founding board, Alcoa Rotary Club – President, United Way of Blount County – Division Chair, Leadership Blount, and Dogwood Arts Festival Co-Chair.

Noel is married to Laura Case and has a daughter, Jennifer Morgan (James Morgan), and two grandchildren, Riley and Sam.

Susan Caylor

Director of Case Management, Cherokee Health Systems

Susan Caylor is the Director of Case Management services for Cherokee Health Systems where she has been working for 23 years. She has a master’s degree in Counseling from Lincoln Memorial University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Susan has lived in Townsend since 1998. She is a member of Campground United Methodist Church in Townsend. She enjoys hiking, biking, cooking, and photography. She loves the mountains and Townsend, and when she is not working, you can usually find her riding her bike or hiking in the Smokies.

Susan has one daughter, Eva, and lots of animals. Her passion lies in helping those who no one else will help…those with no insurance, no money, no home, and little hope are the clients she enjoys working with the most. It has been her life’s mission to help the underserved, which is why she feels passionate about the Hearing and Speech Foundation. Everyone deserves health care.

Mandy Dockery

Teacher

Blount County Schools - Deaf & Hard of Hearing & Visually Impaired

Mandy currently works for Blount County Schools as an Itinerant Teacher for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Visually Impaired. She also serves as an instructional coach and Child Find coordinator. She has been with Blount County Schools for six years. Before that, she served as Reading Interventionist for Anderson County Schools. Mandy graduated from the University of Tennessee with a bachelor’s degree in Special Education and a minor in Child and Family Studies. She then went on to earn a master’s degree in Education for Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Mandy’s second master’s degree is from Trevecca Nazarene University in Education for Visual Impairments.

At a very young age, Mandy was diagnosed with Bilateral Sensorineural Moderate-Severe Hearing loss and Aided. She attended an oral/aural program at the University of Tennessee for 2 years before mainstreaming into a public school system. She was a recipient of The Hearing and Speech Foundation from diagnosis to early adulthood and through their support and resources has become successful in navigating a hearing world. For this reason, she decided to pursue a degree in education after exploring various career fields.

In addition to teaching, Mandy works as a developmental therapist with Little Tennessee Valley Educational Cooperative working with families and their children ages birth-3+ with hearing loss. This job allows her to pursue her passion to ensure that every student is offered equal access to his or her education and to offer her unique personal experience in navigating a world made for the hearing. Mandy is also a co-president for the local Knoxville Hearing Loss Association chapter, which is a support group for adults and families who are living with hearing loss. Mandy received the Southeast Regional Institute on Deafness Outstanding Teacher of the Year award in 2022.

Jackie Eul

Office Marketing Coordinator

Leadership Blount County, Inc.

Jackie Eul currently works at Leadership Blount as the Office and Marketing Coordinator. She is also the Program Director for Fit.Green.Happy., the nonprofit arm of Mountain Challenge. Jackie grew up in the west suburbs of Chicago in DuPage County where she found her love for dance, adventure, and outdoor recreation. She then graduated from College of DuPage with an Associate’s Degree before transferring to Maryville College to further explore her love for Outdoor Education. In 2018, she graduated from Maryville College as the first recipient of the Outdoor Studies and Tourism Bachelor’s degree. After college, she spent a few years serving as a CAC AmeriCorps member in Knoxville as the outdoor classroom coordinator for three South Knoxville elementary schools, all while continuing to grow her position at Mountain Challenge and return back to Maryville College. Her service in AmeriCorps ignited a love for volunteering which she has done for multiple nonprofits in both Knox and Blount County. Currently, she is serving on the Blount BEneFITs committee, is involved in AmeriCorps mentor programs, and serves on the Maryville College Wellness Council.

photo of Carolyn Forster

Carolyn Forster

Community Leader & Volunteer

Carolyn is currently a community leader and volunteer. She served as the PACE 10 Partners Council Facilitator with KUB from 2005 – 2014 and she was the Executive Director of Leadership Blount from 1995 – 2004. Prior to that, she was secretary to the commander of McGhee Tyson Airbase.

Carolyn is a graduate of Porter High School in Maryville and holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee.

Carolyn currently serves on the board of directors of the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center, the Senior Advisory Council of SMiles, and is a member of the United Way of Blount County Community Impact Committee. She has previously served on the following organizations, just to name a few: Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center Guild, Legal Aid of East Tennessee, Blount County Library Board of Trustees, Blount Memorial Hospital, Pellissippi State Technical Community College Advisory Board, United Way of Blount County Board of Directors, Leadership Blount Board of Directors, Blount County American Red Cross Board of Directors, Haven House Board of Directors, Child and Family Services Blount County Board of Directors, and the Sam Houston Historic Schoolhouse Association.

Carolyn has also served on regional and statewide organization boards including Nine Counties One Vision, WUOT 91.9 Inc., East Tennessee Regional Leadership Association, and the Tennessee Association of Community Leadership.

Carolyn has been named as a Lifetime Member, Blount County Chamber of Commerce, received the DAR Excellence in Community Service Award, named to The Daily Times Wall of Fame, received the Leadership Blount Community Leadership Award, the Bob Gonia Leadership Award, and the Adjutant General’s Distinguished Patriot Medal.

Carolyn has two daughters, Joy Carver owner of Dandy Lions Gifts in Maryville, and Rebecca Forster also in Maryville.

Laura Grayble

DeLozier Realty & Auction

Laura is a Realtor® with DeLozier Realty & Auction. She became acquainted with the Hearing and Speech Foundation during her years of employment with Blount Hearing and Speech. It was during this time of employment that she began to understand the scope of the need the Foundation provided to the underserved/under-insured in East Tennessee. She is honored to be able to volunteer as a board member and to provide support to the efforts of the Hearing and Speech Foundation.

Laura was born and raised in Blount Co, TN where she still resides with her husband, Kevin, and son, Logan, 2 dogs (Milo and Otis), and 3 chinchillas (Mocha, Frappe, and Java).

For stress relief, she and her husband take off in their Jeep and see where the roads lead.

photo of John hinkle

John A. Hinkle

Executive Director

The Hearing & Speech Foundation

Retired First Horizon Bank

John A. Hinkle is retired from First Horizon Bank after 40 years of service. Before retiring, he was Senior Vice President of First Horizon Bank’s Government Banking Department in Knoxville for 3 years. Prior to that, he was Senior Vice President of the bank’s Regional Bank Operations Center located in Maryville which processed banking transactions for all of the middle and east Tennessee First Horizon locations.

John attended the University of Tennessee. He graduated from the American Bankers Association Business of Banking School and the Bank Administration Institute’s University of Wisconsin School of Banking.

Active in the community, Mr. Hinkle has served on numerous United Way committees over the past 15 years, as well as chairing the 2009 United Way Campaign and was Chairman of the Board of Directors in 2012. He is a graduate of Leadership Blount County’s class of 1999 and is Leadership Blount County’s Past Chair of the Board of Directors. John was on The Hearing & Speech Foundation’s Board from 2008 – 2010 where he created the signature fundraising event, “The Away Game Tailgate Party”. He also served on the Hearing and Speech Advocacy Board in 2011 and 2012 and was the Foundation’s building project manager for the foundation offices. John is also on the board of James White’s Fort and serves as Secretary of the Board, the birthplace of Knoxville TN. He and his wife Vicki reside in Maryville and enjoy traveling.

Melinda James

Retired Registered Nurse

Melinda is a retired Registered Nurse after 25 years of practice at the University of Tennessee Medical Center. She began her career in nursing in the operating room at UT. After earning specialty certifications in the OR and Orthopedics, she worked with University Orthopedic Surgeons until her retirement. Currently, Melinda volunteers in the community for several nonprofit organizations. She is on the board of James White’s Fort in Knoxville and is chair of the Fort’s Beautification Committee.

photo of Tonia Latham

Tonia Latham

Board Chair

Epic Nine Marketing

Tonia Latham creates change! She is the Marketing Consultant and Social Media Expert with Epic Nine Marketing in Maryville. Previously, she was the Director of Development with Family Promise of Blount County and the Director of Finance & Operations with the Tennessee Valley Coalition for the Homeless. With decades of communications and marketing experience in for-profit and non-profit organizations in East Tennessee, she understands what local businesses need to market successfully in a continually changing digital landscape.

Tonia is a graduate of Leadership Blount Class of 2019. She was the Blount County Chamber Ambassador of the Year in 2020, and chaired the 2021 Chamber Ambassadors. A member of the Morning Cup Toastmasters, Tonia is the 2021 Toastmasters District 63 reigning champion for Table Topics Impromptu Speech Contest and Evaluation Speech Contest. She is a member of the Board of Directors for The Hearing and Speech Foundation and is a member of the Chilhowee Club. Tonia also leads multiple marketing workshops throughout Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia, and Kentucky, has been a guest speaker at the UT Haslam College of Business, and has been a guest lecturer in non-profit studies & advocacy at Maryville College and Carson-Newman University. Additionally, Tonia leads Visioneering classes for individuals and businesses, helping people define and design their visions for the future.

Tonia’s passion is to help her friends and our community reach the top of their mountains.

Luis Ramos

Luis is a native of Veracruz, Mexico. He has lived in East Tennessee since 2000, and began working at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in 2012. Among his duties at the church, Luis works with the various media and communication platforms of the parish as well as does the parish event scheduling. In his role in Youth Ministry, he coordinates the High School Ministry Program & the Fellowship of Young Adults (FOYA) Program.

Luis completed the Diocese of Knoxville Catechetical Formation Program through Aquinas College to fulfill certification requirements as a Certified Catechist. Luis additionally works as an interpreter with Blount Memorial Hospital.

In his free time, Luis enjoys learning, reading, spending time with his dog Toby, and art.

photo of Leslie Rook

Leslee Rook

Retired Director of Training & Therapy Services

The Hearing and Speech Foundation

Leslee is from Knoxville, Tennessee, and received her Bachelor of Science in Special Education from the University of Tennessee in 1972. Focusing on applying the Verbotonal Method with hearing-impaired children, Leslee worked 11 years as a demonstration teacher and program supervisor in the Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. During this time she received Verbotonal training from Dr. Carl Asp, Professor of Audiology and Speech Pathology; Dr. Petar Guberina, the method’s originator; and two Croatian experts from SUVAG CENTRE in Croatia.

Leslee studied in Zagreb, Croatia, in 1974 and 1976, and received Trainer Certification from the Institute of Aural Rehabilitation in 1980 in the specialty areas of body movements, classroom and individual therapy techniques. While at the University, Leslee taught English as a second language to deaf Taiwanese children, and consulted with professionals throughout the United States to implement the Verbotonal Method in schools, clinics and schools for the deaf, including the Dade County School System (Miami, Fla.) and the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf.

Leslee developed a manual “Strategies for Developing Speech, Language and Auditory Perception: Body Movements” in 2010, the first of a series of training manuals and DVDs produced by The Hearing and Speech Foundation. She has served on the Advocacy Board of the Hearing and Speech Foundation since 2004 and has been involved in the Training Program since 2001.
Leslee joined the HSF staff in June 2011 as the Director of Therapy and Training Programs. She and her husband Paul, a retired audiologist, reside in Farragut and enjoy boating, fishing, reading, and traveling.

photo of Jasmine Satterfield

Jasmine Satterfield

Registered Nurse

Senior Care Partners of East Tennessee

Native Maryvillian and Cades Cove descendant, Jasmine Satterfield has made a career of helping the people of Blount County and East Tennessee. This wife and mother of three serves as a registered nurse at Senior Care Partners of East Tennessee as their Community Outreach Director, with a focus on senior care services and caregiver support. Jasmine was voted Best Nurse in Blount County in 2020. She and her husband, Greg, are also local business owners, and Jasmine is active in the community and in volunteer programs. Jasmine has a passion with a servant’s heart for helping others and serving her community.

Rick Shepard

Secretary/Treasurer

Retired President-Blount County United Community Bank

William R. Shepard (Rick), currently is the County President of United Community Bank in Blount County. Prior to his current position, Mr. Shepard retired from SunTrust Bank after 21 years, serving as Regional President, Commercial Lender, and various positions during his career at SunTrust. Mr. Shepard is retired from the Tennessee Air National Guard after 21 years of service and a veteran of the Gulf War in 1991. Mr. Shepard is a graduate of East Tennessee State, Community College of the Air Force, Tennessee School of Banking, and LSU Graduate School of Banking. Mr. Shepard is an Eagle Scout.

Mr. Shepard’s current and past community involvements include:
Member of New Providence Presbyterian Church, Board member of Smoky Mountain Council Boy Scouts of America and District Chairman, United Way of Blount County Board Chairman in 2007 and Campaign Chairman in 2016, Board member of Secret Safe Place for Newborns, Alumni and Board Member and Board Chairman of Leadership Blount, Past Board Member and Board Chair of New Hope Children’s Advocacy Center, Board member and VIP Chair of Blount County Chamber of Commerce, Board Member and Treasurer of Blount County Education Foundation, Board member and President of East Tennessee American Cancer Society Leadership Council and Relay for Life Chairman. Other community initiatives and involvement include Knox Area Rescue Ministries, Maryville College Community Campaign, and Blount Memorial Hospital Foundation.

His family is the fifth generation of Blount County natives who settled in Cades Cove in the 1800s and he was raised on a small family farm in Wildwood. For 38 years, he’s been a banker in the Knox and Blount County area.

photo of Bethany Stokes

Bethany Stokes

Occupational Therapist OTR/L

Atlas Therapy

Bethany Stokes is a licensed and registered occupational therapist (OTR/L) with a heart to serve the pediatric population. She currently works at Atlas Therapy. Her passion is to support children to engage in everyday life and achieve their biggest dreams, overcoming any obstacles in their way. Additionally, Bethany is an adjunct professor for the health and human performance department at Tennessee Wesleyan University where she teaches pre-occupation therapy. She enjoys introducing students to the field of occupational therapy and providing support to further their education in occupational therapy.

In 2019, Bethany graduated from Tennessee Wesleyan University with her BS in health and human performance. She then continued her education with TWU, earning her master of occupational therapy degree in 2021. It was then that Bethany first learned about The Hearing and Speech Foundation while completing a fieldwork rotation at Knox Area Rescue Ministries (KARM) where she assisted clients in life skills and resource attainment. During this time, she was able to connect a KARM resident with the Hearing and Speech Foundation where he was successful in receiving hearing aids to improve his overall quality of life and ability to engage with those around him.

Bethany lives in McMinn County with her husband, Hunter, and her daughter, Mackenzie. She attends Unity Baptist Church, teaching Sunday School and participating in youth events.

She hopes to continue to give back to her community and is always searching for new ways to be involved!

Advocacy Members

The Hearing and Speech Foundation has opportunities for volunteers to contribute to the coordination and implementation of all local HSF events and activities.

Current members include the HSF Staff, Board of Directors and the following volunteers.

Sara Berry
Community Leader
Bernadette Kos
HSF Audiologist
Jane Ellen Rawdon
Community Leader
Jayne Perry
Community Leader
Jeanie VanWinkle, Ph.D.
Retired Tenured Professor
Carole Cavendar-Witt, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor - South College