ILAA History

The Formative Years 1992-1997

The Illinois Academy of Audiology, "The Voice of Audiology in Illinois," was founded in November 1992.  The Steering Committee was composed of Mary Cay Chisholm, Carol Clifford, Mary Evans, Alan Freint, Gail Gudmundsen, David Hill, Roger Larose, and Paul Pessis.   In addition to the steering committee members, founding members were Ann Broughton, Lyn Brown, Mary Burke-Peterson, Larry Clayton, Judy Drumright, Judy Elkayam, Pam Fiebig, Jill Firszt, Karen Glay, Carolyn Greenwald-Horton, George Holtzscher, David Klodd, James Lankford, Patricia McCarthy, Mark McShane, Jill Meltzer, Dianne Meyer, Deborah Milling, Dolly Moneka, Barbara Murphy, Elizabeth Pearsall, Maria Secaris, Laszlo Stein, Madonna Stoioff, Natalie Stukas, Tom Thunder, Bernie Torri, Steve Wolinsky, Bill Yacullo, Barbara Yale, and Sue Zurales.


  • The first continuing education function, a cerumen management seminar, was presented jointly with the Academy of Dispensing Audiologists on February 25, 1993 at the Palmer House in Chicago.
  • A membership brochure was developed by Gail Gudmundsen, and membership in the Academy grew quickly, with nearly a 100 members reported in the June 7, 1993 memorandum. 
  • The first joint Steering Committee/Board meeting was held June 16, 1993. 
  • The inaugural issue of the newsletter Sounding Board was published August 1993.
  • The first Fall Conference was held September 10-11, 1993 at the Radisson Suite Hotel in Glenview.


  • At the January 18, 1994 Board meeting the name of the association was officially changed from American Academy of Audiology-Illinois Chapter to the Illinois Academy of Audiology (ILAA).  A new logo was designed by Dr. Alan Freint, ILAA Medical Consultant, incorporating the Academy name with an outline of the state of Illinois.  The phrase "The Voice of Audiology in Illinois", which had been used since the Academy's inception, was incorporated with the logo on the Academy letterhead.
  • The first Annual Convention was held January 28-30, 1994 at the Embassy Suites in Chicago.   There were 120 registrants.
  • A Strategic Planning Meeting was held July 27, 1994.  The mission and goals of the Academy were subsequently set based on discussions at that meeting.  
  • The second Fall Conference was held October 1, 1994 at the Inn of University Village in Chicago


  • The second Annual Convention was held January 26-28, 1995 at the Swissotel in Chicago.  The first Great Debate was held at that convention.  It was on universal screening with debaters Marion Downs and Charles Berlin for UNHS with Fred Bess and Michael Raffin arguing against it.
  • On May 9, 1995 nine ILAA members went to Springfield to conduct free hearing screenings and audiologic consultations for individuals at the Capitol Building.  A total of 108 individuals were tested, including 35 legislators, staff members, lobbyists, media personnel and other governmental officials.


  • The third Annual Convention was held January 25-27, 1996 at the Swissotel in Chicago.  The second annual Great Debate was Au.D. Entitlement and Earned Equivalency, with David Goldstein and Anita Pikus arguing for and Vic Gladstone and Larry Higdon arguing against.  The first annual Auction and Raffle was held at this convention. 
  • ILAA co-sponsored with CASLA the Mayo Symposium Teleconference at Lutheran General Hospital November 9, 1996.


  • The fourth Annual Convention was held January 23-25, 1997 at the Swissotel in Chicago.  The Great Debate was on Audiology Support Personnel with David Fabry and Martin Robinette vs. Harvey Abrams and Donald Bender.

A New Age Within the Illinois Academy of Audiology

  • In 2017, the ILAA organization went back to being a member-run organization and split ties with its management company. The organization aims to be the "Voice of Audiology in Illinois" and is committed to serving the needs of the entire state.  
  • In 2018, ILAA had its first- ever conference outside of the Chicagoland area. The 2018 conference was held in Bloomington/Normal and was sold out. 
  • The years 2020 and 2021 brought about many changes for the world as we adapted to life during a global pandemic. ILAA hosted its first ever virtual conference in January 2020 with great success.