New executive director named to succeed Brenda Battat at Hearing Loss Association

Anna Gilmore Hall
Anna Gilmore Hall

BETHESDA, MD–Anna Gilmore Hall, who began her career as a registered nurse and has worked in association management for two decades, will become the next executive director of the Hearing Loss Association of America, the HLAA board of trustees announced on May 22. She will officially assume her duties on July 8, succeeding Brenda Battat, who announced her plans to retire last July.

Battat’s early announcement  of her decision to step down allowed HLAA to conduct a deliberate and thorough search for her successor. James DeCaro, chair of the search committee, said that more than 170 candidates were screened before Hall was selected. DeCaro added that the process “has yielded a truly exceptional executive director designate.”

The new executive director, the sixth in the organization’s 34-year history, will be officially introduced to the membership at the Board of Trustees meeting on June 27, in conjunction with HLAA Convention 2013 in Portland, Oregon.

Diana Bender, PhD, president of the HLAA board, said, “The Board of Trustees is excited to welcome Anna Gilmore Hall. Anna has the experience, skills, and, above all, the passion needed to lead HLAA and to build on the successes of our retiring executive director, Brenda Battat. In Anna, we have found a strong leader who will strive to implement the goals of our Statement of Strategic Intent.”



Anna Gilmore Hall, RN, MS, CAE, brings to HLAA more than 20 years of experience managing non-profit organizations, during which she has been involved in executive planning, administration, communications, and marketing.

She holds a master’s degree in leadership and organizational management from Capella University, a bachelor’s degree in university studies from the University of Maine, and a diploma in nursing from Eastern Maine Medical Center. She has also earned a certification in association management from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).

Prior to joining HLAA, Hall was executive director of Practice Greenhealth, a national health care community that seeks to empower members to increase their efficiencies and environmental stewardship while improving patient safety and care. From 2004-2008, she was co-executive director of Health Care Without Harm, an international campaign for environmentally responsible healthcare. She also held executive leadership positions in the American Nurses Association and the Maine State Nurses Association.

“I am honored to be HLAA’s next executive director,” said Hall. “HLAA is at an exciting growth point in its history. I look forward to enthusiastically partnering with the board, staff, and members in advancing our mission of opening the world of communication to people with hearing loss.”



The Hearing Loss Association of America provides assistance and resources for people with hearing loss and their families to learn how to adjust to living with the condition. It works to eradicate the stigma associated with hearing loss and to raise public awareness about the need for prevention, treatment, and regular hearing screenings throughout life.

The organization was founded in 1979 as Self Help for Hard of Hearing People (SHHH) by Howard E. “Rocky” Stone, who suffered severe hearing loss at age 19 while serving in World War II. After the war, Stone spent 25 years in the Central Intelligence Agency, where he received its highest honor, the Distinguished Intelligence Medal, when he retired in 1975. He then turned his formidable talents and energy to SHHH, where he served as an inspiration to people with hearing loss to help themselves and one another to participate fully in society.

Brenda Battat joined SHHH in 1989, and in 1990 became deputy executive director under Stone. Other than two brief periods as acting executive director, Battat remained as deputy executive director until accepting appointment as executive director in 2008.