AuDacity 2022 Conference Recap and Interview with Winners of the ADA Student Business Plan Competition

November 30, 2022

In this week’s episode, host Andrew Bellavia offers his thought on attending the Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA) 2022 AuDacity Conference as a non-audiologist. The conference was held from October 20-23, in Grapevine, Texas.

In addition, we hear from practice owner, Dr. Yasmin Battat, SADA President Shannon Kim, and ADA Executive Director, Stephanie Czuhajewski, on what made this year’s ADA event unique and plans for future conferences.

Full Episode Transcript

Andy Bellavia 0:00
Hi everyone and welcome. I’m Andrew Bellavia, your host for this episode of This Week in hearing. Recently, the Academy of Doctors of Audiology or ADA held their annual AuDacity conference near Dallas, Texas. It was an informative convivial event, and it was my privilege to have attended for the first time. For this episode, I’ve invited a selection of attendees to share what’s the top of their mind heading into the conference. And what were their key takeaways. A couple of them are included here, too, which I’ll add my own as a conference rookie will close with executive director Stephanie Czuhajewski, who will share what she thought were the highlights of this year’s event, and how ADA intends to build on them as they prepare for 2023 also going to ask that at the four finalists of the ADA student business plan competition presented and defended their plans, which were developed with guidance and mentorship from the ADA over the preceding months. I love that all four sought to provide services to an underserved population. I interviewed the winners, whose combination of passion and solid planning had me from the beginning as they outline their proposed business and share what it was like to go through the competition process. We broke that out as a separate episode to follow. Watch for that. I think you’ll enjoy the conversation as much as I did. Now, let’s hear from our guests, their impressions of Audacity. 2022.

Yasmin Battat 1:42
Hey, it’s Dr. Battat with Oracle Hearing Center in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. I’m a private practice owner. I was fortunate enough to attend ADA this year in Grapevine, Texas. I really enjoyed it. I walked in thinking that it was going to be OTC heavy, what to do about OTC all that good stuff, and was pleasantly surprised at the very practical takeaways. And there were so many I really enjoyed the financial session by Amyn Amlani and Alicia Amlani, on how to practically diagnose where your where the pitfalls are of your financial statements, and to figure out how to understand them a little bit better how to utilize them in your practice, how to diagnose your practice. I thought that was a wonderful practical session and I really enjoyed it. I think ADA this year was really focused in on the audiologist and on the practitioner. I think they put aside a lot of the industry chitter-chatter and just focused on how we can fully expand to the full scope of our practice, and how other audiologists are doing it and doing it really well. I was impressed by that. I think that you know it to me, it signifies taking back our profession. I think that’s what it’s all about. I think that’s the movement that audiologists are in right now. That’s the space that we’re in. And if we’re not, we shouldn’t be there. So I really really enjoyed that, that it was about the private practitioner, and working to the full scope of practice and learning from one another on how to do that. So great job with that ADA. Some of my favorite sessions at the ADA conference this year were the tinnitus workshops and the APD workshops. And what I loved about them was being able to hear other private practitioners, so people who are on the ground, people who are seeing patients, and so it was really, really relatable, it seemed pretty understandable, pretty easy to go back to work and say okay, this is what we want to implement, or this is what we want to learn more about. And other people have done it, we can do it too. So I was inspired by them. I thought it was wonderful to have audiologists share and teach other audiologists. I think we as audiologist have so much to provide and support one another and that’s what I loved about those sessions and I’m so glad I attended

Shannon Kim 4:27
Hello, my name is Shannon Kim and I’m the current president of the Student Academy of Doctors of Audiology. I’m a student at AT Still University and a recipient of the emerging leaders scholarship award. Thank you ADA and AudiologyOnline. So what does the ADA conference mean to me? autonomy. According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, autonomy means the idea of self governing more specifically with professional autonomy, it means being able to practice our full scope of auditory balance disorders. Currently, we don’t hold practitioner status and Medicare’s outdated policy in our Patients lack direct access due to the physician order requirements. As President of SADA. I got to the lobby for the Medicare audiologist access and Services Act with the ADA board, the US Capitol, I got to represent 1000s of student voices and show the importance and value of our profession. I got to advocate for our profession, and also show the value of audiological services in our patients lives. The ADA board taught me to use my voice as a student. To all the students that are currently watching this, we are the future of Audiology. We do more than just treat hearing aids, we are able to help those with BPPV and as we know dizziness can be incredibly debilitating. For our patient’s with tinnitus is being able to educate them and also show that they are, in fact, valid in how they feel. Coming to the ADA conference, I got meet incredible professionals in each session was very valuable to my future career. I helped to have my own future private practice in La Jolla, California, and also provide our full scope of practice. I want to show my community the importance of audiology and also being able to provide an array of archaeological services. So what are my key takeaways of at a conference that I am so excited for the future of audiology, the sessions included information about amplification, APD, tinnitus, balance disorders, and more. So I look forward to seeing you all at the next ADA conference. Be the change that you want to see.

Andy Bellavia 6:31
My goals for attending Audacity 2022 are twofold. My background in business development and marketing is primarily on the hardware and device side. And my new role as founder, the consultancy AuraFuturity one goal for the conference was to gain deeper knowledge about the practice of audiology and the forces that work on audiology businesses today. This included federal rules in their effect on state legislation, insurance issues, and how practices can and are thinking creatively to create value reach more people extend the range of services, and improve profitability in a changing environment. What I saw through my lens as an outsider, meaning a non- audiologist, was an engaged and dynamic group of people looking for and sharing ways to evolve and improve their practices. After attending audacity, I have no doubt that those who are there will make the challenges and changes work for them. Ultimately, bringing more and better care services to a broader population was great to learn more about how that’s taking place. I was especially impressed with the pre conference workshop on mobile audiology. In two different presentations, the point was made that in the US, there are far too few audiologists to meet the need for hearing care services, and that most practices are concentrated in densely populated areas. One driver to the legislation to create OTC hearing aids was lack of access. While there will be people who will buy an OTC hearing aid or rural pharmacy or online and achieve good results, this will be a small fraction of those who need hearing care. The workshop was an eye opener to me to the creative ways people are delivering services to populations who would otherwise find access to professional care, either difficult or impossible. If I recall correctly, one or two of the people operating mobile or in home services, so that they never even created a business plan. They just saw the need made the necessary investment to make it happen. It were successful almost from the beginning. The need is that great. And I loved hearing how the presenters were making it happen. Thanks also to shoebox, who sponsored to worshop lawns for spending time showing me how their latest portable solutions weren’t. My second goal of attending was to either reconnect with those I’d met before, or to meet for the first time those I knew only online. I had so many terrific conversations and met so many interesting people. I also learned a lot from those informal conversations and could see that this was going on all over the place. That kind of sharing and collaboration is hard to replicate online. And that respect my attending was a complete success, which also shows the valuable it is to actually get together in person. Everyone was so open and welcoming to me and I was delighted to be there. I’m so looking forward to next year.

Stephanie Czuhajewski 9:24
My name is Stephanie Czuhajewski. And I’m the executive director of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology. And I had the privilege of being part of the staff team this year that put on AuDacity 2022, in Dallas, Texas, and it was an extremely rewarding experience. I had a wonderful opportunity to engage with a lot of ADA members. And I did get a lot of feedback on some of their key takeaways from the conference. The word that I that really comes to mind for me as I’m thinking about what the key takeaways really were is really impact Our people felt empowered in their practice empowered in the profession, and also empowered in things like advocacy, which I think is really directly related to the information that they got while they were at the conference. So we, the event was completely different this year than it’s been structured in prior years. And that is owed to the leadership of Dr. Tom Tedeschi and Dr. Amyn Amlani, who were this year’s conference chairs for the 2022 audacity event. And what what we did from the very beginning of the planning stages was really attempt to curate content that was extremely practical and extremely relevant, that would result in a lot of peer to peer learning opportunities that don’t always happen at conferences, so we didn’t bring in a lot of high level, talking head, thought leader type speakers, what we really tried to do was to bring in people who may not be as well known, but who are really, really good at what they do as audiologists, and practice owners and invite them to share all of their great ideas with their peers, and to really help their their peers. And in that way, we really were able, I think, to build out a community of resources. So when people arrived at the conference, they received a different type of program this year, which was truly more of a workbook which had resources in it. We tried to build every session, to make it build off the session prior to it, and so that people had, by the end of the conference, a true roadmap to take back to their practices and and implement in a roadmap that was really unique for their individual needs. So I heard from a lot of people that that was something they really liked to build upon for 2023. And I think we’ll try very much to do that. One of the most fascinating sessions that got a lot of fantastic feedback was the pre conference workshop, which ADA partnered with Hearing Health and Technology Matters to put on, and that was on the topic of mobile audiology. So we spent about six hours. Some of it was didactic, a lot of it was hands on opportunities for people to actually walk through a mobile unit, to actually put their hands on and look at equipment and get a better understanding of exactly the different types of opportunities that exist as it relates to mobile audiology. That’s something that I think will want to continue to bring forward our sessions like that, in 2023. And beyond. One of the ideas that we have as we go and start thinking about 2023, which we already are, believe it or not, we’re already building out that conference, which is going to be November 2 through 5th at the Hyatt Regency in Bonita Springs, Florida. We are actually considering how we can crowdsource next year’s topics. So we what we would really like is for the audio audience to really design and drive that program. And I think we can get there through a number of different activities that we may do early in the year to help really think about what kinds of panels do we want to do for that session, the things that were highly successful this year, were those peer to peer panels. People wanted to hear from different sizes of practices, different types of services, wanted to learn about how they could implement new services or different services into their practices. And really, the only way to do that is to talk to and learn from people who have done that themselves. And I think that worked really well. So we’re going to take that and sort of blow it up next year, we’re going to look for some new opportunities, maybe for micro sessions, maybe shorter sessions, maybe different types of unstructured learning opportunities. We started some of those this year, I think you’ll see some more of that next year and some build out there. What we really want to do is put people in the mind of curiosity, things that are cutting edge, and maybe even a little bit controversial. These are the things that we need to be talking about to really push the envelope for the profession to go forward. So that’s what we’re really hoping to do in 2023 is it’s to take what we did this year, and actually just push it out even further. And I know that we’ll be successful in doing that. So I encourage everyone if you haven’t done so already and you’re still interested, please go to you can get information you can still watch a lot of the sessions were recorded, happy to have people still engage. If folks are interested in serving on the program committee for 2023 they can reach out to me at [email protected] send something there they’ll find its way to me and I thank you for the opportunity for providing this recap and certainly contact us if there’s anything that we can do to be of service to you or the audiology community. Thanks so much

In a follow-up episode, Andrew Bellavia chats with the winners of the ADA student business plan competition: Pallavi (Pooja) Sobun, Au.D. and Camden Orologio, Au.D.

Their business plan was nominated among a group of finalists who were selected to present at the 2022 AuDacity Conference. As winners, the pair received a $5,000 ADA cash grant to be used to advance business objectives and enhance business and leadership skills.

Full episode transcript

Andy Bellavia 0:10
Hi everyone and welcome. This is Andrew Bellavia, your host for this episode of This Week in Hearing and this follow up to the previous episode on the Academy of Doctors of Audiology is AuDacity 2022 conference, I sat down with the winners of the ADA student business plan competition, Pallavi Sobun, who also goes by the name Pooja and Camden Orologio. Their passion is evident as they described their idea to open the first audiology practice ever in the nation of Mauritius. The hard work they put into developing a solid business plan comes through as they relate the months of work spent to refining their concept. Join me as they tell their story. Joining me now are the winners of the ADA student business plan competition. Camden Orologio, and Pooja Sobun, thanks for being on the podcast. I’m personally interested to hear about your business plan and process which culminated in the award at the audacity conference. Let’s start with some brief introductions. Pooja, please tell everyone a bit about yourself and where you’re at in your journeys in audiologist.

Pooja 1:19
So my name is Pooja. I am right now and audiologist for HearingLife in Staten Island office. I have been here for three months but I started with Bayside where I did my residency. And I started working there. And we just graduated this year in May from St. John’s University, which is part of the Long Island Doctors of Audiology program in New York. And yeah, this is pretty much all about myself.

Andy Bellavia 1:48
Excellent and Camden?

Camden 1:50
Yes. So as Pooja said, we reached recently graduated from the Long Island Consortium. In May, I completed my residency with HearingLife as well. So besides coursework me and Bucha became very close in our work environment. I’m now working for ear works, which is a large private practice on Long Island. Most of my experience has been in private practice with a few clinical opportunities. But right now, yep, I’m in private practice.

Andy Bellavia 2:18
Okay, terrific. So you both have now graduated and have ventured private practice. All right. So how did you to actually decide to collaborate and enter the competition.

Pooja 2:31
So we had a course we had a business class in our third year of our coursework, and we had to do a business plan, like a summary of a full business plan, and basically use whatever we heard, we’ve learned in our coursework and apply it to the plan. So it was a teamwork. And Kim and I have been best friends, and he was my partner to go to. And this was actually, the business plan we did was not something that just came out of nowhere. This was a plan since before I came to America. So I’m an international student from Mauritius. And my plan all along was to become an audiologist and go back home to my country, after like four or five years of experience in America. The reason for sure is this May I graduated as an audiologist and I am the first doctor of audiology for my country. And this business plan that we had was a real plan. And yeah, we just use that plan and just made it better. And the judges were very, very positive with their feedback. And this is what we really wanted out of the competition, feedback, how we can get better. So this plan is ready for something concrete that we could present to the bank of Mauritius and the Government of Mauritius structurally authorize it.

Andy Bellavia 3:50
Okay, I guess in part, I’m not surprised that you won the competition, then because you’ve been thinking about this long and hard. You’re familiar with the terrain in which the business plan, you know, is intended to attack? So no, I’m impressed by that. And now, I saw that the the requirement for the business plan competition was rationale for practice startup, and the unique value proposition of your practice, and the problem or the problem that the establishment that your practice will solve. So give me a little bit more detail about the state of play in Mauritius and why why this plan came to fruition over many years. I gather part of it is the fact that you’re the very first audiologist from Mauritius. But how did you then how did you turn that into a plan by assessing the need what’s the problem to solve?

Pooja 4:40
So the thing is, like, when I was an undergrad, I had the opportunity to every time I was home for the summer holidays, to be doing an internship in the the hospitals in Mauritius, and not only in the government hospitals, but also in private hospitals. A School of the Deaf that we do have on the island and internationally meaning in Africa, in Ghana and in Central America. And why did I do this? It’s just joy to be in a place where I will kind of have to transform and this is what I knew I would be doing in Mauritius. So in Mauritius, we do have speech pathologist, we have currently 11 speech pathologists and back home in Mauritius, you need a bachelor degree to be a speech pathologist or audiologist. There is somebody, both of them actually, you know, in America, we have those dual degree. And this is what they have, and how extensive is the coursework in audiology is pretty insignificant. And we do have some people who came from India, South Africa, England, and Australia to kind of help the nation where language is always a barrier. In Mauritius, the common language that everybody speaks is Mauritian Creole, English and French are the official languages, mostly English. And among the senior citizens, they speak Hindi Bhojpuri. Some do speak Urdu, Arabic, Mandarin, and Tamil and other languages. So on the island, everybody speaks on average four languages. So somebody who came to help the nation, yes, they are helping the nation, but to which extent they cannot relate because language has always been a barrier. Now health system is free in Mauritius doesn’t matter what you are, who you are, what you’re going to be status where you live, everybody has access to free health. Now, in the health sector Mauritius, the only thing you can really do is probably hearing screening. That’s it. You don’t have access to a treatment plan, meaning hearing aids, or any further Balance Testing or ABR like in the OR just a regular area. Yes, you can have it reliability and accuracy is barely there. Because we don’t have the proper machine or the equipment, or even the personal knowledge to that newborn hearing screening does not exist in Mauritius. So our plan was, the first thing you want to do is sensitize the country why you need a hearing test? What is hearing health? Why is it important? If you have a hearing loss- Why do you need to treat it? And what are the consequences if you’re not treating it? People who know about that, and who do have the finances, they go abroad mostly to Singapore, India and South Africa for hearing aids. And then they come back to the country after two weeks of their first follow up. And they just, they’re just there. And they try to go once a year or twice, every two years just to get an adjustment or anything because we don’t have that facility. We do have NGOs that have come to Mauritius, again from France. But the language has always been a problem. It has never been somebody who tried to partner with the government. And let’s try to sensitize the population about it. Let’s engage kids in our things. Let’s do newborn hearing screening. So our plan really focused on our multifaceted hearing plan for the country. How can we do newborn hearing screening on a national level. So if we start children $7, which in Mauritius $7, equates to like a meal at KFC, which is really just to charge for our time equipment, and puts us at a value as audiologist just to give that service to everybody. And then in the long term, kind of like go to the government be like, which I have to say the government is very less they they listen, and they do adapt, but the thing is like they can adapt, but if we don’t have the personal how would they do it? So kind of like in the future or not to fall? But like in the very near future? What about you saying to the government, what about you sponsor that make it a free service, we will do it we will train people to do it and just contract us like you give us some money. And we will do that. So that’s already if you can target babies when they’re kids and give them the best treatment possible, which is hearing aids, give them speech therapies and have everything they need. We are not looking at kids who have to go to school of death with a mild to moderate hearing loss where they are not in an hour to stream classroom, but like they could be getting the help they need. And what about old people with quality of life? We are all trying to be better every day and we don’t have quality of life. Hearing is a big part of quality of life. And this is where we kind of came to the idea that our plan was mostly how do we expand audiology? Mauritius are new island we just got our independence in 1968 which is not even 60 years. So how do we how do we help the people? We come and I we always were like strong proponents that anybody should have access to healing health or to is just having a free hearing test, know what your hearing status. And this is not something that’s available in Mauritius. Now forget Mauritius, in all of Africa. It’s really only South Africa and maybe one or two countries who do have hearing health accessible. Most of the countries when we were comparing Mauritius to, you don’t even have an audiologist on the country.

Andy Bellavia 10:19
So that’s that’s actually a point I’ve made many times too, especially in the context of the United States where there are people who insist on its best practices or nothing, not thinking that in many places of the world audiologists do not even exist. And therefore you have to think about other ways of reaching people with appropriate care and education and so on. So Camden I’m curious, it’s clear where pooja’s passion lies. How did how did you become ignited by this by this business plan? What did it how did it resonate with you that you became a team member to Pooja and putting this plan together?

Camden 11:02
Um, yeah, so right from the beginning of me and Pooja being in school together, we had a lot of common connections, I was always very interested in the culture of her home country and some of the things that she experienced there. As we got older, you know, talking about possible business propositions in the country to become more aware, become more relevant. One of the things that really drew my interest was Pooja was talking about purchasing property actually in Mauritius. I currently work in the real estate sector as well. And when I was looking at the prime real estate within the region, compared to the price, there was just vast opportunity there. And then when Pooja was able to tell me more about the business plan and how it would impact so many people within the country, I really can’t see a better way for us to expand our audiology degree. You know, a common saying of Pooja is as audiologists, we don’t save lives, but we change lives. And I can’t really think of a better way to change lives than to bring the field of audiology to a country for the first time. And a recent conversation that we had something that was interest in interesting was that in Nassau County, where both of us were previously operating during our residency, there’s approximately 1.41 – 1.5 million people within that area, there’s 40 to 50 audiologists serving the population. When you look at the country of Mauritius, there’s 1.3 million people and square footage wise, it’s it’s pretty comparable, and there’s no audiologist serving the population. So if you can have 40 to 50 private practices operating in a small area like that, not only is the opportunity vast, but I think that the need and demand is obviously there. So my interest was drawn not only to help people, but also in being a business partner for a potential very successful private practice venture.

Andy Bellavia 12:50
Okay, thanks, Ian. Let me ask you a little bit about the process. You created a business plan before the ADA contest. But what was actually the process that you had to go through and to get to the point where you became a finalist and invited to the conference itself?

Camden 13:09
Sure. So when we first started, we for our class, that’s really the starting point we had submitted, we had submit a 30 page business plan. And it was lacking a lot of analytics and a lot of you know, profit and loss sheets, projections, etc. It was very, very vague. But we immediately got a lot of positive feedback from our professors. So actually, unbeknownst to me, Pooja had submitted us to the ADA competition, this isn’t something I was even aware of. So we took on some more homework after graduating. So we submitted our initial plan we had moved on past the first round, I think we have made it to the semi finals at this point where we met face to face with the three judges, they had gave us some great feedback, at which point we actually expanded our business plan to about 70 pages with an extensive amount of data and analytics to support the business venture. And after moving past that stage, we were flown out to Dallas, Texas, where they you know, hosted a great event. It was nerve wracking, but it was definitely it was definitely well worth it not only from the competition aspect, but also the networking opportunities and information that we were able to leave there with.

Andy Bellavia 14:19
Okay, so it was actually interactive, even in the application process, you didn’t simply submit a plan and wait for things to happen, which is, which is terrific. Now, all right, so now you’re actually at the conference. And I’m sorry, I had to leave the conference on Saturday morning. So I actually didn’t see the presentations. But now you’re at the conference and presenting in a room full of people. What was that like? What was you know, how did it go? And did you have to answer questions, defend a plan, how did they actually go when you were presenting?

Pooja 14:51
So we started by just like we had our presentation, and we were given 10 minutes to present our whole plan, basically then explaining why our business plan matters and why it’s the best out of the four, or just not the best, but like, how are we really showing like, this is what we’re doing? How are we taking our field to another level? And just the more the motto of the conference was to look ahead of the curve- And how can we be ahead? How can we as professionals, I won’t say me scared, but like, kind of like, not take care of OTC and just look at what we do as professionals. So we were just like, okay, so we, we had only 10 minutes, we had to trim down our 20 minute speech to 10 minutes, that was the most difficult thing to do. Because one thing is nope, not everyone knows when we’re issues is not everybody knows how the government works or how any private medical facility will work. So we kind of had to explain that and explain why we’re doing things, as well as just explaining our idea, which was pretty tough, I have to say,

Camden 15:58
yeah, it was very stressful. When we, when we touched down in Dallas, our presentation was about 15 minutes. And we spent pretty much the entire trip practicing, we must have ran through our pitch, you know, 150 times. And then they allowed us to get up on stage just to get acclimated to the environment, prior to actually presenting. And still at that point a day before we were at about 11-12 minutes. So we were we were crunching there. So there was some stress involved. But once we got on stage, we were very confident that once we got through, you know, the first two or three slides and got that initial, you know, butterflies out we would be we would be good to go. And I think we had a lot of good information to present. So I feel it went very well,

Pooja 16:42
in question time, which was, I think the interesting part that kind of gave us the opportunity to add what we couldn’t say in our presentation, like a lot of people don’t know, but insurance, the way it works in Mauritius is insurance cover medical procedures and medical devices in full, depending on what your cover like what’s the full amount, if you’re covered for let’s say $10,000 for the year, doesn’t matter if it’s in medical procedures or medical devices, it’s paid in full $10,000. So we kind of had to explain that because here in America, you do have deductibles co pays. So this is not something that we could just say that oh, it’s covered in full, we had to back ourselves up. And this is what things that we were missing in our plan that the judge was kind of told us, it’s easy to come and say it. So where’s the like, provide those data that was missing? And that’s what we did. And the question times were really, I think, like question times were like five minute, but we took like probably five to 10 minutes. And it was me and Cam because we had discussed so much the day before. And our plan was always like how can we we really wanted feedback, how can we get the plan to the best care with the best feedback and take it to another level? And the question time was by the judges were really amazing and was not only on stage, the two days before the whole conference, we were presenting our poster during the little like little like meeting greet times. So the poster you have the judges coming up to you and asking questions of the audiologist. Is this asking you why you’re doing this? How do you see this as profitable? Why are we doing this? And why has it not done before? So those kind of gave us an idea. Okay, these are questions we probably will get. And let’s try to put that in our presentation to just clear that out of people’s minds. The doubts, and just like question time really helped us I would say.

Andy Bellavia 18:41
Okay, excellent. And then so what were actually went through your mind when it was announced that you had won the competition? What were you feeling at that point?

Pooja 18:48
To be honest, I just heard the first. The first word was like not even Mauritius. The judges has just heard Mo and I was in {inaudible}. I didn’t even get the whole thing. I don’t know what happened. I was just very happy.

Andy Bellavia 19:00
I saw the pictures. The pictures are posted online. And I recommend people go have a look. Because clearly, it was just a thrill. And I’m really happy for both of you. Do you actually think you will go to Mauritius and implement this plan? Is that your intention?

Pooja 19:16
We are already looking at prime office locations. This is where I want to open and right now my parents who are in the medical field to strongly believe that I need some more experience before coming back home because I just graduated in May. They want me to have at least four to five years of experience. So coming home with some experience under my belt. And actually if I’m going to do all these things, be able to know okay, you have your continuing education, you know what you’re doing you have the knowledge and experience now. Okay, so let’s help you get that done. Okay, I have to add what my sister is currently a speech pathologist graduate right now. So we plan both to go together. So we could be restful sources. to each other, and you know, just start, but to start we want to be, I want to experience because five years not experienced, but at least have that under my belt going home. Okay, started it.

Andy Bellavia 20:14
Okay, and Camden How about you? Is it your intention that you’ll consider becoming part of the plan and actually moving to Mauritius?

Camden 20:21
Yeah, I absolutely would like to be a partner. I also see this as a great investment vessel in the commercial real estate space. I would love to help Pooja fund the purchase of that commercial property and then maybe, you know, either act as a silent partner or go there quarterly in order to just help with any kind of business ventures or expansions. All of our business plan was essentially created around the idea of one audiologist providing the services. So all of this has kind of been accounted for. We’ve had discussions, we definitely want to make it work. I would love to be there as much as possible. With an 18 hour flight, it can be tough. But but at least once a quarter, maybe twice a quarter. Summers, we’ll figure it out. I definitely would love to be a part of this and plan today.

Andy Bellavia 21:07
Okay, excellent. Well, I’ll tell you, it’s 16 hours from Chicago to Hong Kong. And I would do that for six times a year before the pandemic, you get used to it real quick when you make an irregular run. But I do have to tell you, if you actually implement the plan, I want one of those cool coffee cups with the logo on it. We got that a lot of the conference. That I totally believe it what what I’d like to do is I’d like to close with the both of you sharing what you got out of the conference. You know, more broadly what what what were your key takeaways from the conference aside from the contest.

Pooja 21:41
My first key takeaway was like, the first thing is like business at the end of the day, yes, you do make money. But at the end of the day, what I learned from specially the guy Nicholas Webb that gave that was, you know, a keynote speaker the first day, it’s how you really treat people at the end of the day people will spend on you doesn’t matter. It’s not really about the price. It’s how you make them feel. And as a geologist, like Cameron, I will say, I will superpower is we change lives we make people have better every single day. And how can we do that by being actually part of them and being a part of their family, and just being better ourselves. So it’s not only about the business and numbers at the end of the day, it’s how how you touch their lives, how you impact their lives, and how many referrals you will be getting out of that.

Camden 22:31
Yeah, same for me. I mean, patient patient care was definitely a center point of the entire conference, obviously, there was a lot of discussion about how we were going to be able to compete with over the counter devices, etc. And at the end of the day, as audiologists we are expected to provide service and excellent service at that. So it definitely has changed my perspective coming home, you know, taking the time with each patient to understand their needs, and what exactly they expect to gain from hearing aids or audiological services in general. And as long as you can provide those services, the business aspect should follow.

Andy Bellavia 23:04
Well, that’s great. It sounds like you both had a really good experience with a conference overall

Pooja 23:09
we’ll definitely be back next year.

Andy Bellavia 23:12
So I want to thank you both for spending some time I think everybody’s really going to enjoy hearing your story. And I wish you all the best in your careers now and leading up to opening up the clinic and Mauritius.

Pooja 23:25
Thank you

Camden 23:26
Thank you so much

Andy Bellavia 23:29
You’re very welcome. Take care now. Bye bye

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Andrew Bellavia is the Founder of AuraFuturity. He has experience in international sales, marketing, product management, and general management. Audio has been both of abiding interest and a market he served professionally in these roles. Andrew has been deeply embedded in the hearables space since the beginning and is recognized as a thought leader in the convergence of hearables and hearing health. He has been a strong advocate for hearing care innovation and accessibility, work made more personal when he faced his own hearing loss and sought treatment All these skills and experiences are brought to bear at AuraFuturity, providing go-to-market, branding, and content services to the dynamic and growing hearables and hearing health spaces.


The Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA) is dedicated to the advancement of practitioner excellence, high ethical standards, professional autonomy and sound business practices in the provision of quality audiologic care. ADA was founded by nine practitioners in 1977, as the Academy of Dispensing Audiologists, to foster and support the professional dispensing of hearing aids by qualified audiologists in rehabilitative practices. Later, in 1988, ADA developed the concept of the Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) degree and provided much of the energy behind the movement for the transition of audiology to a doctoring healthcare profession. This goal, as well, has been largely met, as the Au.D. is now the minimum degree for audiology practice offered by educational institutions in the United States.

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