MHHP Board of Directors

MHHP Board of Directors

PRESIDENT
Brian Hillesland  BC-HIS     March 2022 - March 2023

2022 Headshot

Brian is the owner of Jefferson Hearing Aid Center in Wadena, MN and Preferred Hearing Aid Center in Brainerd, MN. He got started in the hearing health care profession in 1986 when his father first got hearing aids and Brian saw how it changed his life in a positive way. He has seen numerous changes in the industry and is always amazed at how far hearing aids have come.

"I find it very rewarding to be able to help people improve their communications and enhance their relationships with friends and family". 

Brian and his wife Patti, have two sons, who are both married to wonderful women, and one grandson. Brian enjoys golf, racquetball, pickleball, and fishing.


Contact:  bhilles@arvig.net

​​​​​​​​​

SECRETARY
Gina Kontz M.A.     March 2022 - March 2024

Headshot 2022

Gina Kontz, M.A.,  is the Audiologist/Owner of Hearing Care by Gina, which she opened in 2018. Gina has been an Audiologist since 1994 and has 28 years of experience testing hearing and fitting hearing aids.  She'd always worked for somebody else until 2018, when she opened her own business in Montevideo, MN.         

Hearing Care by Gina is a full-time office open 5 days a week.  Gina also has a part-time office in Ortonville, MN open one day a week, located at Fairway View Neighborhoods.

Gina lives on a farm outside of Dawson, MN with her husband, Michael, of 30 years.  Michael is a licensed contractor and also has his own business, Kontz Construction.  She has twin boys who are now 25 years old.  Her son Connor got married in May 2022, and her Son Luke is attending college in Moorhead, MN.


Contact:  
hearingcarebygina@hotmail.com

​​​​​​​

VICE PRESIDENT
Scott Hagans     March 2022 - March 2024

Scott Hagans is a graduate of Brown College, a certified Hearing Instrument Specialist in the state of Minnesota and has been member of the Minnesota Hearing Healthcare Providers for many years. Scott’s background stems from his family’s long-term involvement in the hearing industry, a solid foundation from which he’s built his skillset. Scott’s ability to blend this background with a high measure of compassion and care allows him to provide a level of service that enables him to be one of the best among hearing professionals.

Scott’s experience includes working in private practice environments where he dispensed all major brands of hearing instruments. Scott is proficient in hearing evaluations, testing and fittings, Real Ear/Speech Mapping verification, tinnitus therapy and aural rehabilitation. 


Contact: 
hagans.scott@gmail.com


DIRECTOR OF MEMBERSHIP
Karl Benson, HID    March 2022 - March 2024

Headshot

Karl took ownership of Hutch Hearing in 2018 where he enjoys the challenges of navigating the business world while continuing his passion for helping people improve their lives with better hearing. Karl was drawn to the hearing healthcare industry by his father-in-law in 2006, after moving out of the Twin Cities.   

Karl and his wife have since settled on eight acres in the country where they are raising our three children. There are often a half dozen or so ducks settling in on the property and have more recently been joined by a few peacocks his family enjoys taking care of. 

Most of Karl’s time spent outside of work consists of parenting, ministry and teaching at church, and playing tennis or softball.

“I am glad to serve on the MHHP board of directors in an effort to build on the organization’s standing in our industry, preserve our profession, and lift each other up in serving our patients with best practices”.


Contact:  hutchhearingaid@gmail.com


DIRECTOR OF GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS
Travis Simonson, HIS    March 2022 - March 2024
2022 Headshot TS

Travis has worked in the hearing industry for over 20 years. He spent the first 14 years on the manufacturing side of the business where he started in an Inside Sales position at Rexton/Siemens.  Travis worked my way up into management and spent the last few years with them managing the Inside Sales department.  He then took a two-year break from the hearing aid industry and worked for a medical device company.

Travis was drawn back to the hearing aid industry and decided to work toward obtaining his Hearing Instrument Specialist Certification License for the State of Minnesota at the same time working for Sonova as a Sales Representative.  Once he became a Licensed Dispenser, he opened his first clinic in Cokato ‘Minnesota Hearing Solutions’ and just a year and a half later he opened a second clinic in Cold Spring.  He has been working full time, sharing time between his two clinics for over five years.

Travis has been married to his lovely wife for 23 years and together they have been blessed with 12 children. Eight boys and four girls, with ages ranging from their baby, who is just three years old to their oldest at twenty-two years.  He loves spending time with his kids, where they enjoy travel in their RV. He keeps busy with activities year-round; golfing in the summer and playing ice hockey and downhill skiing in the winter. 


Contact: travis.mnhearingsolutions@gmail.com

DIRECTOR OF MARKETING
Raphael Cheron, MA, HID    March 2022 - March 2024

2022 Headshot RC

Raphael M. Cheron has a MA in Healthcare Administration and directs Sound Good!. Originally from Haiti, Raphael moved to New York as a teenager, attended college and went on to receive his master’s degree.

Raphael began working in New York with adults living with disabilities, going on to operate five residential homes. Raphael was responsible for all the operations and direction of these residential homes, ranging from staffing and managing service delivery to nutrition and activities. In his work with residential care for individuals of all abilities, Raphael worked closely with the state to abide by rules and regulations, a relationship and experience he brings into his current role as a Certified Hearing Instrument Dispenser with the State of Minnesota.

After having worked for a couple of hearing healthcare chains, Raphael decided to open his own practices in Burnsville and St Louis Park to help people and provide his clients with unique service offerings. When Raphael describes the core of who he is, he immediately mentions the desire to connect, help, and make others’ lives better, values that have followed him from Haiti to New York and from residential care for adults with different abilities to his current role as a hearing instrument specialist in Minnesota.

 
Contact:  raphael@soundsgood4u.com

​​​​​​​​​​

DIRECTOR AT LARGE
Richard F.J. Caruso, BC-HIS   March 2022 - March 2023

2022 Headshot RC

Rich is a decorated 20 year US Navy Hospital Corpsman (Retired), spending most of his military career assigned as a medical asset to the United States Marine Corps.  Rich trained as an Otorhinolaryngology (ENT) Technician in 1979, early in his military career.  He has worked within the Veteran’s Administration as one of its first Audiology Technicians from 1998-2004.  Rich has been a Board-Certified Hearing Instrument Dispenser since 2004.  He has worked with a major manufacturer as well as with a Hearing Foundation.  Since 2012 he has worked for Lucid Hearing, LLC. 

Rich sits on the Minnesota Hearing Instrument Dispenser Advisory Council and the Competency Review Board at the Minnesota Department of Health as well as being an HID Exam Proctor.  Rich has been a member of the International Hearing Society since 2007 and member of Minnesota Hearing Healthcare Providers since 2009.  Currently Rich sits on the IHS Federal and State Advocacy Committee, IHS State Chapter Strategic Planning Committee and the IHS State Chapter Handbook Committee.  Rich has visited over 60 countries, is active within the community, church and multiple Veteran’s Organizations both as a member and various Officer positions.  Rich is an avid motorcycle enthusiast, and rides for charitable causes with multiple Veteran Motorcycle Groups.  Rich is the proud father of three boys, and five grandchildren.

 
Contact:  
rcaruso@lucidhearing.com

​​​​​​​​​​

CENTRAL TERRITORY GOVERNOR (IL, IA, MO, MN, WI)
Scott Lau, ACA, BC-HIS

Scott is licensed in both Minnesota and Wisconsin as a Hearing Instrument Specialist, he began practicing in 2002 and in 2004 became a Board-Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist, he went on to complete the ACA program in 2008 and obtained the designation of Audioprosthologist.

For over 20 years, Scott has been the Managing Partner of a 50+ unit Miracle-Ear Hearing Center franchise with locations in Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin. This had all started in 2001 from a small practice in Western Wisconsin.  Scott has been involved with every aspect of practice development and operations.  He recruits and trains dispensing professionals as well as does the strategic market planning.  His experience ranges from the patient side to the financial and administrative aspects.  He manages, mentors and coaches over 45 employees.  Scott is a past Secretary and Treasurer of the Minnesota Hearing Healthcare Providers, Inc., and is currently a Licensed Hearing Instrument Specialist in both Minnesota and Wisconsin.  Scott served as Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Board For Certification In Hearing Instrument Sciences from January 2018-2020.  Scott is an active member of the International Hearing Society.

“These are certainly challenging times for not only the Hearing Impaired, but also for the Dispensing Professional, and our future will be defined by our leadership and actions going forward.  I promise to be a strong advocate of the Dispensing Professional and the laws and regulations that define our careers and those we serve.”

Contact: 
scott@valleyhearing.com

 

​​​​​​​​​

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Sheri Lumley, BS, MS 
2022 Headshot SL Sheri Lumley grew up in San Diego California and attended San Diego State University, after graduating with a BS in  Criminal Justice Administration, she joined the United States Marine Corps as an Administrative Officer.  Sheri then decided a sub-zero climate might be the thing for her and moved to Minnesota.  Sheri surprised herself and stayed, where she ended up working in county government for 23 years, during those years she decided to further her education and attended St. Cloud State University where she studied economics with an emphasis on Public and Nonprofit Institutions. Even after all of these years, Sheri claims she still hasn’t acclimated, although happily lives across from the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge with her husband Robert.  Together they have five children, with only the youngest (15), still living at home.  

Sheri is active in her community. Sheri served on the Becker School Board, as Campaign Finance Manager for a Minnesota House of Representatives Candidate and is involved with her church where she has made costumes, organized kickball tournaments and was Race Director for the PumkinFest 5k.  Sheri has also designed and created costumes for local productions and plays viola in the Buffalo Community Orchestra. Sheri loves to travel, learn foreign languages and is an avid runner.  On one occasion she was able to combine all three of these passions and ran a ½ Marathon in Szekesfehervar Hungary.  Sheri is excited to be a part of MHHP and is really looking forward to helping the organization grow and thrive.

Contact: executivedirector@minnesotahearinghealthcareproviders.org

​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​

TREASURER
Vacant      March 2022 - March 2024