Giving Thanks to the AG Bell Community

 Speaking from the Volta Bureau Autumn banner

Emilio Alonso-Mendoza summerDear Alexander Graham Bell Community,

One of the things that is special about this time of year is that, as a people, we take time to reflect on all the wonders of our life for which we are thankful. I have much to be grateful for that I will share with my family around the dinner table this Thursday (the first one to include my 10-month-old grandson as well as my soon-to-be daughter-in-law). I'm also grateful for the many professional experiences that cause me to marvel at human generosity. I'd like to share just a few of them with you here on behalf of AG Bell.

Last year I thanked John Stanton, and I must thank him again. He continues to advocate tirelessly for access to captioning for people with hearing loss and always speaks out on behalf of AG Bell. John's current endeavor is leading the effort to ensure that song lyrics are captioned in movies so that people with hearing loss can fully enjoy the experience.

This year, I can also thank Robert Bush who has been an AG Bell supporter for many years and now is serving on our board of directors. Most recently, Robert has committed to chair our 2015 Annual Appeal and his entire family has joined in by sharing their story. I hope you will honor his leadership by participating in this fundraising effort that is very important in assuring our association can continue to support professionals and families affected by hearing loss. 

Robert Bush
Robert (Bob) Bush
And speaking of associations, I want to express my gratitude to the members of our Executive Committee: Meredith Sugar, Ted Meyer, Catharine McNally and Donald Goldberg. Their knowledge and enthusiasm empower me - and the staff - to advance the mission of AG Bell. Much the same could be said for all the members of our board who met earlier this month to review 2015 and plan for 2016 with enthusiasm, new ideas and great dedication. I am grateful for the many gifts they share with us. 

I'm also grateful for new avenues to advance listening and spoken language and our partnership with Hearing First. I encourage you to visit the website and see how Hearing First partners with AG Bell and the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management to achieve its mission for families and people with hearing loss. 

International Reception
Attendees of the International Forum at the 2015 AG Bell Symposium in Baltimore.
This has been a special year for our international expansion. Svante Borjesson of Spain, Percival Denham of Argentina, Hailee Morrison of Canada, Jin-Sook Kim of Korea, and Frances Clark and Anita Grover in the United Kingdom are outstanding colleagues who have shown their commitment to the profession by partnering with AG Bell and sharing knowledge and resources, building future collaborations that will accelerate the global advancement of listening and spoken language. 

I would be remiss not to give a special shout-out to our wonderful staff. Not only have they taken on new initiatives with energy and enthusiasm, but they have warmly welcomed back Gayla Guignard who, through her leadership of the 2016 AG Bell Convention, will help us expand our outreach in listening and spoken language and build stronger partnerships.

Finally, I want to thank everyone who reads and comments on this humble communique. Your suggestions and your encouragement make it a joy to write. Before the hustle and bustle of the holiday season begins in earnest, I hope you'll reflect on what makes you feel thankful and know that I am grateful for all you do to support the work of AG Bell.

With appreciation,


Emilio Alonso-Mendoza
[email protected]


As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.
- John F. Kennedy