Our Steering Committee

The Steering Committee Members are elected by the chapter members.  They are required to be members of HLAA National and typically serve a 2-year term but it can vary.

Among the shared responsibilities of the SC is the planning and leading of the monthly meetings, planning events and finding new and inventive ways for outreach.

The SC is responsible for using our resources (the membership and funds) to further our mission — to open the world of communication to people with hearing loss — through advocacy, education, information and support.

Steering Committee members come from every background and experience.  Members have various levels of hearing loss or no loss at all, and share the desire to “pay it forward”.

Here are our current Steering Committee members and a little bit about themselves:

Sharon Swerdlow, President

Sharon Swerdlow, President

It took me having hearing loss for 25 years until I found out about HLAA. Once I did, I jumped right in to HLAA-LA and have benefited greatly from the meetings I have attended and the wonderful people I have met along the way. I am no longer alone! My hearing “disorder” is genetic. It is called cochlear otosclerosis and has been progressive. I have been a grateful cochlear implant recipient since 2015. After having worked in the corporate world for decades, I am FINALLY in acceptance of the need for accommodations in all aspects of my day-to-day life. Getting to this place has been very liberating.
I am the proud mother of three and enjoy the outdoors, cooking, the Dodgers and movies (with captions of course!) I look forward to working on the Steering Committee and sharing in our hearing journey together.
 Wendi Washington, Vice-President

Wendi Washington,
Vice-President

I am honored to be a member of the steering committee for the second time. I joined the Los Angeles chapter of HLAA in 2007, after meetng up with some of the members at the Long Beach Walk4Hearing. They were a friendly group and I felt comfortable right away. This chapter has made a tremendous difference in my life. I’ve gotten support, information, a convention scholarship and enjoyed many social occasions. I have also made some lifelong friends.
My bilateral sensorineural hearing loss started in elementary school as a mild loss. Over the years it got progressively worse. I started wearing one analog hearing aid when I began college. I now wear two BTE digital hearing aids to combat my severe to profound hearing loss. I am grateful that they are a huge help. I am also grateful for this chapter.
Tim Browning, Secretary and Webmaster

Tim Browning, Secretary and Webmaster

I have been a member of HLAA-LA since August 2014 looking for people who have similar stories to mine regarding hearing loss and challenges. I was born with hearing less, moderate to severe, so the years growing up were challenging and set some assumptions in my mind regarding who I thought I was and my worth. Through this chapter, I got more than I could imagine. Not just to hear the support and talking to people who “get it”, but just the profoundly wonderful individuals I’ve meet. We are known as the “Party Group” after all! In my spare time I enjoy fitness, movies, making breakfast dishes and smoothies and spending quality time with family, friends and my wife.
Sandy Blake, Steering Committee Member

Sandy Blake, Steering Committee Member

My hearing loss began in August 2009 with a bad case of tinnitus in my left ear . The doctors called it sensineural hearing loss and told me that it happened to people of all ages. Then in May 2017 I woke up feeling like someone had put a blanket over my head. I went back to the House Clinic and this time it was recommended to get hearing aids and possibly a cochlear implant.
The trauma, unknown future, and just plain shock was overwhelming and depressing. Finding the right audiologist made all the difference in the world. A few months after the surgery I discovered HLAA and found positive fun people who “got it”. My career as a singer and voice teacher is off the table right now but we’re working on that. I enjoy writing, cooking, entertaining friends, piano scales, rehabbing exercises, my husband, daughters, and rescue pups.
Georgia Fleischer , Steering Committee Member

Georgia Fleischer , Steering Committee Member

Hello everyone! I have been a member of HLAA-LA since it's inception 15 years ago. I grew up with a hearing loss and wore hearing aids for 30 years. In 1994 & 2006, I received a cochlear implant so I am now a bi-lateral user. This chapter has been a ground breaker for me. I have made many life-long friends. The support & love shown is beyond measure. We are all at different levels of hearing loss. However, each and everyone is embraced. We are here for you! I was on the Steering Committee a few years ago for 4 years as Advocacy Chairman. I am now back on the Steering Committee doing just that, once again. I love advocating for our rights and accessibility!
Gary Jacobson, Treasurer

Gary Jacobson, Treasurer

Bio coming soon!