Pictured from left are Brian Urban, president of ADA; competition winners Rachel Magann Faivre and Liz Tusler; and Ed Keller, president of EarQ.
BONITA SPRINGS, FL–It’s not just its undefeated and top 20 ranked football team that is bringing glory to Northern Illinois University these days. A team of two AuD candidates at the Dekalb, IL, university, took home first place and a $5000 cash grant from the 2013 Academy of Doctors of Audiology convention in Bonita Springs, FL, as winners of ADA’s inaugural Student Business Plan Competition.
Liz Tusler and Rachel Magann Faivre were selected by the competition’s judges as having developed the best plan for building a new audiology practice. The judges said that Faivre and Tusler had assembled a realistic and carefully crafted financial plan for their practice, Joliet Hearing Care, LLC. That, coupled with their flair for creative marketing strategies and diversified services, resulted in their victory.
Contestants in the ADA competition, which received financial support from EarQ Group, were required to develop a business plan for building an audiology practice from scratch. Plans were judged for their creativity, feasibility, completeness, cohesiveness, and professionalism.
The competition, designed to give future audiology practice owners meaningful hands-on business experience, culminated in a live event on November 9 attended by 300 audiologists and other hearing industry leaders. It was emceed by Brian Taylor, AuD, who is editor of the ADA publication, Audiology Practices, and a frequent contributor to the Hearing Views blog at HearingHealthMatters.org.
Tusler, who hails from Appleton, WI, is completing her fourth-year externship at Edward Hines VA Hospital in Hines, IL. Magann Faivre, who is originally from Oklahoma City, is an audiology doctoral intern at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.
Other finalists included Lana Joseph, representing Washington University St. Louis Medical School, who placed second in the competition; third-place finisher Stacy O’Brien, from the University of South Florida; and Rachel Crout and Lindsay Bush, representing Auburn University, and Dana Matthyssen of Missouri State University, who tied as honorable mention recipients.
In addition to the $5000 cash grant awarded by ADA to be shared by the first place finishers, an anonymous donor provided a $3000 grant for the runner up and a $1000 grant for the third place recipient.
Brian Urban, AuD, president of ADA, said, “The level of preparation and creativity that was demonstrated by the students throughout this competition is a testament to the bright future of audiology and practice management.” The organization intends to continue the program in 2014.
The judges were Sally Baerman, AuD, owner of Bridgewater Balance & Hearing in Tennessee; Keith Lewis, vice-president, business development, at ReSound; and Andrew Hebert, vice-president at EarQ.