BETHESDA, MD - Diana D. Bender, Ph.D., from Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, has been named president of the Board of Trustees of the Hearing Loss Association of America® (HLAA), the nation’s largest organization for people with hearing loss. She officially assumed her new role at Convention 2012 in Providence, Rhode Island, in June. Other officers installed at the Convention were: Vice President James J. DeCaro, Ph.D., NY; Treasurer Roy Kulick, M.D., OH; and Secretary Zachary S. La Fratta, CO. Nancy R. Peterson from Pennsylvania joined the Board as a new member. She is VP/Deputy General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of AlliedBarton Security Services.
Diana Bender was born in Brooklyn, and grew up in Mineola, New York. She graduated in 1961 from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, with a bachelor of science degree in chemistry. She received her master’s (1964) and doctoral (1967) degrees in organic chemistry at the University of Munich, in Munich, Germany. She investigated new cancer drugs as a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. K.C. Tsou at the University of Pennsylvania from 1968 until 1970. After the birth of her first son, she was a full-time homemaker and volunteer.
She returned to the academic world in 1979, working on palladium-catalyzed coupling reactions as a post-doctoral fellow with Dr. Richard Heck at the University of Delaware. Dr. Heck was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry for his many years of research in this field in 2010. Beginning in 1980, Diana worked as a research chemist and product manager in the Agricultural Products division of Rohm and Haas Company, a Philadelphia-area specialty chemicals company. She retired in 2001 when the Agricultural Products division was sold to Dow Chemical Company.
Diana was first diagnosed with a progressive hearing loss at the age of 10 and began wearing a hearing aid at the age of 15. She received a cochlear implant in 2004. She has been a member of Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) since 1995. She served as president of the Montgomery County Chapter in Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania, from 1997-2001 and has been the editor of that chapter’s newsletter since 1997. She has been a member of the Hearing Loss Association of PA (HLA-PA) Advisory Council since the Pennsylvania state office was established in 2001 and served as the state director of HLA-PA from 2003-2011. From 2004-2006 she represented HLAA on the Courthouse Access Advisory Committee, a committee convened by the U.S. Access Board. She has served on several state advisory committees in Pennsylvania and is a graduate of the Gallaudet University Peer Mentoring Program. She began serving on the HLAA Board of Trustees in 2009 and was elected secretary in 2010 and president in 2012.
Diana says, "I am deeply honored and humbled to have been chosen to serve as president of the HLAA Board of Trustees for the next two years. I look forward to working towards the day when Rocky Stone’s vision of opening the world of communication to people with hearing loss through information, education, advocacy, and support becomes a reality, not for just a few, but for all people who have a hearing loss."
About Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA)
HLAA opens the world of communication to people with hearing loss through information, education, support, and advocacy. HLAA’s Walk4Hearing® is the largest walk of its kind in the country that raises awareness and helps to eradicate the stigma associated with hearing loss. Walks are held in multiple cities across the country. Since 2006, more than 26,000 walkers have stepped up and helped raise funds for programs and services for people with hearing loss and their families. In addition to the Walk4Hearing, HLAA publishes Hearing Loss Magazine, holds annual Conventions (Convention 2013, Portland, Oregon, June 27–30), and has an extensive network of chapters and state organizations. The headquarters is located at 7910 Woodmont Ave., Suite 1200, Bethesda, MD 20814. Phone: 301.657.2248.