About Starkey Hearing Technologies

Helping people hear - it's the reason we're here

  • William F. Austin William F. Austin

    Owner and CEO

    William F. "Bill" Austin is the Founder of Starkey Hearing Foundation and the Owner and CEO of Starkey Hearing Technologies. He has more than 50 years of experience in the hearing industry.

    Mr. Austin turned Starkey Labs, a small earmold company he purchased in 1970 for $13,000 into Starkey Hearing Technologies, the largest hearing aid manufacturer in the U.S.

    No matter how much success he achieves in business, Mr. Austin will always be remembered for his generosity and steadfast belief that the gift of hearing can change the world. He built Starkey Hearing Foundation on his vision: So the World May Hear. He leads the Foundation on dozens of hearing missions every year, having visited more than 100 countries to give the gift of hearing. Under his leadership, Starkey Hearing Foundation is fitting more than 100,000 hearing aids annually.

    Mr. Austin has received many honors for his philanthropic work, including: the Horatio Alger Award, Mexico's Aztec Eagle Award, the Jefferson Award, the Albert Schweitzer Leadership Award, the National Caring Award, and the Humanitarian Award from Variety International.

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  • Tani Austin Tani Austin

    Chief Philanthropy Officer

    Named Female Philanthropist of the Year and honored at the First Ladies Summit at the UN General Assembly in 2015, Tani has helped develop a sustainable world hearing health program to deliver the gift of hearing to people in need around the globe. In her role as Chief Philanthropy Officer, she executes Starkey Hearing Technologies’ humanitarian efforts, focusing on empowering communities to create ownership over local hearing health services.

    Participating in dozens of hearing missions every year with her husband, Starkey Hearing Technologies Founder and CEO William F. Austin, Tani has visited over 100 countries to provide hearing aids and hearing care. Her relentless efforts have guided Starkey Hearing Foundation to become a global leader in developing sustainable, community-based systems of hearing healthcare.

    Tani holds more than 30 years of experience in the hearing industry, including: maintaining her own hearing aid practice for 10 years and serving as the Illinois Department of Public Health Practicum Examiner for the hearing aid dispensing of state licensing, Secretary of the Illinois Hearing Society and on the National Board of Certification in Hearing Sciences.

    Tani’s commitment to philanthropy goes beyond hearing. By supporting a multitude of both local and global charitable causes, her inspiring vision and selfless dedication helps change countless lives.

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  • Achin Bhowmik Achin Bhowmik, Ph.D.

    Chief Technology Officer & Executive Vice President of Engineering

    As Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President of Engineering for Starkey Hearing Technologies, Dr. Achin Bhowmik leads the company’s research and product development efforts. Prior to joining Starkey, Dr. Bhowmik was vice president and general manager of the Perceptual Computing Group at Intel Corporation. There, he was responsible for the R&D, engineering, operations, and businesses in the areas of 3D sensing and interactive computing, computer vision and artificial intelligence, autonomous robots and drones, and immersive virtual and merged reality devices.

    Dr. Bhowmik holds adjunct and guest professor positions, advises graduate research and lectures on human-computer interactions and perceptual computing technologies at the Liquid Crystal Institute of Kent State University; Kyung Hee University, Seoul; Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar; Stanford University; and the University of California, Berkeley, where he is on the board of advisors for the Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership. Dr. Bhowmik has over 200 publications, including two books and 34 issued patents.

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  • Sara Burdak Sara Burdak, Au.D.

    Chief Audiology Officer

    Dr. Sara Burdak joined Starkey Hearing Technologies as an audiologist on the Hearing Research and Technology team in 1999. Over the last 16 years, Burdak has worked to bring impactful programs to our global customer base. She is responsible for developing and aligning Starkey’s global audiology strategy as it relates to education and training programs, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and customer and industry relations. Burdak earned her bachelor's degree in audiology and speech sciences from Michigan State University, her master's degree in audiology from Wayne State University, and her Au.D. from the Arizona School of Health Sciences.

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  • bio_chris_hillman Chris Hillman

    Chief Operations Officer

    With over 20 years of experience in operations, manufacturing, strategic planning and large-scale transformation, Chris Hillman is responsible for Starkey Hearing Technologies’ operational efficiencies and analytics. In his previous role as Vice President and General Manager of Global Services Supply Chain for GE Healthcare, Hillman successfully executed the aftermarket equipment business’ commercial operations, supply chain and operations strategies.

    Prior to GE, Hillman held multiple leadership positions at Scientific Games and Motorola. He holds a B.A. in business from DePaul University.

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  • Mary Jeffries Mary Jeffries

    Chief Strategy Officer

    As Chief Strategy Officer, Mary Jeffries is responsible for Starkey Hearing Technologies’ strategy formulation, strategic planning and key enterprise initiatives.

    Jeffries has 30 years of experience leading business transformation initiatives for billion dollar conglomerates, start-ups, private equity and venture capital firms; including C-level leadership roles for name brands like Polaroid Corporation, Weber Shandwick, St. Paul Venture Capital and ZINK Imaging. Most recently, Jeffries served as Starkey Hearing Technologies’ Interim Chief Technology Officer.

    Jeffries received her B.A. in business and accounting from the University of Northern Iowa and is a CPA (inactive).

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  • Chris McCormick Chris McCormick

    Chief Marketing Officer

    Since joining Starkey Hearing Technologies in 1988, Chris McCormick has worked and excelled in multiple sales, service and marketing positions with Starkey's mission in mind – to serve our customers better than anyone else. His deep knowledge of Starkey and our customers and consumers will allow Chris to lead our marketing efforts to a new and unified global level. His leadership and vision will drive Starkey's strategy to strengthen our brand loyalty and values to our customers and their consumers. Chris earned his bachelor's degree in marketing from the Herberger College of Business at St. Cloud State University in 1995.

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  • Paul Phillips Paul Phillips

    Executive Vice President of International Sales

    As Executive Vice President of International Sales, Paul Phillips leads our efforts in growing and developing our markets throughout the world. For the last 24 years, Phillips has given his time and talent to Starkey in many capacities in the United States, Europe and New Zealand. Having worked in sales, marketing and retail roles, he has a deep understanding of how and why we provide better hearing around the globe.

    Phillips holds a B.A. in international business and economics from Temple University.

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  • Doug Reynolds Doug Reynolds

    Chief Information Officer

    With more than 25 years of executive-level experience in information technology, Doug Reynolds is responsible for aligning Starkey Hearing Technologies' Computer Systems and Information Technology. His passion for strategy, execution, results and accountability is instrumental to the company's success in the rapidly changing industry.

    Previous experience includes leadership roles at companies such as Prudential Insurance, Delta Dental, Best Buy, Allianz, Regis Corporation, and, most recently, Digineer. Reynolds received his bachelor's degree from Metropolitan State University (Minnesota) and holds an MBA from the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota).

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  • Lisa Richards Lisa Richards

    Chief Customer Officer

    Lisa Richards has been a champion in the field of hearing healthcare for more than 20 years and is currently serving as Chief Customer Officer for Starkey Hearing Technologies. In her role, Richards is responsible for developing Starkey Hearing Technologies’ customer relations teams and expanding corporate resources and operations globally. She has demonstrated exceptional leadership and is a proven expert in the areas of cross-departmental process improvement, team building and organizational development. Richards’ primary objective is to advance the company’s vision – which is to “serve our customers better than anyone else.”

    Richards holds a B.A. in marketing and psychology from Upper Iowa University.

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  • Steve Richards Steve Richards

    Executive Vice President of North American Sales

    Steve Richards is responsible for growing Starkey Hearing Technologies’ North American revenue and market share. With more than 30 years of industry experience, Richards has a proven track record in sales and management. He began his career as a hearing aid technician in 1985 and joined Starkey Hearing Technologies in 1992 as a field sales representative for Omni Hearing Systems, a Starkey subsidiary located in Carrollton, Texas. He has held a number of leadership roles in the company including Vice President of Network Development, Managing Director of Starkey Texas, Managing Director of Audibel and Senior Managing Director of Exclusive Networks.

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  • Brandon Sawalich Brandon Sawalich

    President

    Brandon Sawalich began his career at Starkey Hearing Technologies in 1994 and has led various teams throughout the organization including customer service, marketing and sales. As President, Sawalich leads a global team of over 5,000 employees with facilities in 23 countries.

    Sawalich uses his vast industry experience and understanding of our customers and employees to position Starkey Hearing Technologies as the premier provider of better hearing solutions. He works with the Executive Team and leaders throughout the organization to define and implement Starkey Hearing Technologies’ strategic direction, support the company’s mission and goals, and grow partnerships around the world.

    Sawalich is the chairman of the Hearing Industries Association and is actively involved in charitable work through Starkey Hearing Foundation, which has provided hearing help to over 1 million people this decade.

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  • Tom Ting Tom Ting

    General Counsel

    Tom Ting holds 14 years of extensive legal and business experience gained in various company settings. During his time as General Counsel at Sun Country Airlines, he provided legal counsel and business consultation to management teams.

    Prior to Sun Country, Ting held essential counsel positions at Moneygram International, Polaroid Corporation and Petters Group Worldwide. He received his Juris Doctorate from the University of North Carolina School of Law, and he holds a B.A. in medical ethics from Davidson College. 

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  • JeanAnn Trombley JeanAnn Trombley

    Chief Human Resources Officer

    JeanAnn Trombley has over 25 years of human resources and talent management experience. Prior to joining Starkey Hearing Technologies, Trombley held several leadership roles within medical device, healthcare, technology, and travel organizations, including Vice President of Global Human Resources at Kroll Ontrack and Vice President of Human Resources at WuXi AppTec. With the experience of working for establishments around the world, she is able to ensure that our Human Resources Department is a catalyst for attracting and developing world-class talent and strategic initiatives of our company.

    Trombley holds a B.S. in finance and marketing from Minnesota State University, Mankato, earned her MBA in Human Resource Management at the University of St. Thomas (Minneapolis), and completed the Executive HR Leadership program at the University of Michigan.

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  • Todd Watterson Todd Watterson

    Chief Financial Officer

    Todd Watterson has over 20 years of executive financial leadership, excelling in transactional structuring, strategic and tactical planning, and policy-making. During his time as Chief Financial Officer at Aimia Inc., Watterson successfully managed all controllership, finances, banking operations and capital planning for the U.S. region.

    Prior to Aimia, Watterson held multiple fundamental positions during his seven years at Datacard Group. He obtained his CPA accreditation in Illinois, and he holds a B.S. in accountancy from the University of Colorado Boulder and an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

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