Oticon focus on people awards

Congratulations 2019 Oticon Focus on People Award winners

Meet the 2019 Oticon Focus on People Award winners

Since 1997, the Oticon Focus on People Awards has honored more than 280 outstanding people who are helping to show the world that hearing loss does not limit a person's ability to achieve, contribute and inspire. This year's winners are a dedicated and diverse group who share a common goal:  to eliminate negative stereotypes of what it means to live with hearing loss.

Our 2019 award winners are remarkable individuals whose courage, vision and commitment to changing attitudes and opening doors benefits all, but especially people with hearing loss.

More than 100 hearing care professionals and Oticon staff gathered at Oticon’s Somerset headquarters to celebrate the 2019 Focus on People Award winners. Nearly 15,000 votes cast by people from across the US helped to select this year’s honorees – the most votes ever and a testimony to the outstanding achievements of all 12 finalists!

[iframe data-category-consent="cookie_cat_marketing" data-consent-src="//wdh.23video.com/v.ihtml/player.html?token=10a928f542a64ef2a517419daacf2fb5&source=embed&photo%5fid=58249284" width="900" height="655" frameborder="0" border="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="1" mozallowfullscreen="1" webkitallowfullscreen="1" allow="autoplay; fullscreen"]

Special Award for Outstanding Achievement

Amanda Mooneyham, MD
Redding, CA

Amanda (Goyne) Mooneyham, MD, is living proof that Focus on People Award winners continue to make a positive difference! The 2001 Student category winner is a former Deaf United States Junior Alpine Racing Champion and served on United States Deaflympics Team in 2003 and 2007, where she won a gold medal in Alpine Skiing. Amanda attended UC Davis School of Medicine, where she earned both her MD and MPH degrees. As a primary care physician at Shasta Community Health Center, Amanda serves as a role model to all, delivering expert care to children and adults with the help of hearing aids, lip-reading and an electronic stethoscope with headphones. She is proficient in American Sign Language and is a member of the Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Loss.



1st Place
Catherine Fitzgerald
Mansfield, MA

Eighteen-year-old Catherine combined her experience of profound hearing loss and passion for criminal justice in a volunteer initiative to make it easier for police in her hometown to help people with hearing loss. The determined high school senior developed and conducted American Sign Language (ASL) training sessions for Mansfield Police Department officers and civilian employees to help them bridge the communication gap with hearing impaired people in her community. Catherine also produced an ASL pocket guide for on the job use that has already been requested by other police departments. This fall, she enters Curry College to pursue a degree in criminal justice.

  • 2nd Place

    Eryk Mejia
    Marana, AZ

  • 3rd Place

    Daniel Cary
    Virginia Beach, VA



1st Place
Tony Reisdorff
Papillion, NE

Tony is a middle school teacher and coach who teaches by example. As a person with hearing loss and the father of a young son born with a genetic disorder that impacts speech, communication and learning, he is passionate about creating a world that accepts and respects people of all abilities. In classes throughout the school year, his hearing aids become a compelling and very personal talking point to promote inclusion among students and athletes. Tony has taught industrial technology for more than 20 years and also coaches football, wrestling, track and robotics. In his free time each summer, he volunteers with the local division of Special Olympics.

  • 2nd Place

    Allison Adams
    Fuquay Varina, NC

  • 3rd Place

    William Dunckelman
    Houma, LA



1st Place
Emma Faye Rudkin
Boerne, TX

Emma Faye Rudkin has dedicated her life to helping people with hearing loss through the non-profit Aid the Silent, a program she founded in her teenage years. Today, the program helps economically disadvantaged deaf and hard-of-hearing children and teens reach their full potential and live more richly through funding for needed hearing aids and resources. Emma Faye also created global impact with a self-affirming campaign — #ShowYourAids — that went viral with tens of thousands of people posting their hearing aids and implants.

  • 2nd Place

    Kerry Cerra
    Coral Springs, FL

  • 3rd Place

    Max Chartrand, PhD, CSP
    Casa Grande, AZ



1st Place
Jennifer Lightfoot, AuD
Alexandria, VA

Born prior to mandatory newborn hearing screenings, Dr. Lightfoot was not diagnosed with hearing loss until age 5. That may explain why she has a special place in her heart for the young students with hearing loss, ranging from infants to 8th graders, that she cares for at Kendall elementary school on the campus of Gallaudet University. A caring and dedicated practitioner, her focus on the importance of early hearing intervention extends far beyond the classroom. She has traveled to Guatemala to assist in the fitting of hearing aids for hundreds of disadvantaged children and has served as the co-chair for the early intervention committee for the DC Chapter of Early Hearing Detection and Intervention.

  • 2nd Place

    Stephanie Long, AuD
    Appleton, WI

  • 3rd Place

    Evonne Long, AuD
    Jacksonville, FL


Congratulations to all our 2019 Focus on People Award winners!

Keep the inspiration going! Meet Clare, a firefighter with a story about perseverance.

Watch now