Audigy Members’ Annual Owner Summit Highlights Newest Innovations

Reinforcing its mission to create better patient experiences, Audigy’s annual Owner Summit centered on a single, straightforward idea: creating impact.

180 Audigy members and staff converged at Amelia Island, Florida’s Ritz-Carlton to learn new skills, refine existing techniques, share successes and challenges, and work together as industry leaders to give shape to the future of independent hearing care. A common theme: creating stronger patient connections, inside and outside of the practice — including having the business resources that empower owners to have more time to do so.

Breakout Sessions: Streamlining practices to put patients first
Breakout sessions for the event included business maturity, succession planning, and new owner collaboration; digital marketing and third-party forecasting strategies; leadership modeling, team alignment, and operational efficiencies; and 18 unique practice-owner case studies designed for replicating successes across Audigy Member practices, including topics such as audiological rehabilitation, successful transition to a legacy provider, and new technology focus groups.

While the current industry climate is focused on direct-to-consumer and over-the-counter strategies, Audigy-affiliated practices are continuing their efforts in cultivating deeper patient-provider relationships — a key factor in technology acceptance and overall hearing success.

Cultivating those successes requires innovative approaches to normalizing hearing treatment through digital and social channels; developing stronger primary-care relationships in recognition of the connections between hearing loss and health concerns like diabetes, dementia, and smoking; identifying and nurturing emerging and existing top hearing provider talent; as well as exploring an emerging set of services like telemedicine and personalized concierge amenities. Audigy’s near 14 years as an organization has primed its membership to meet each of these challenges and embrace them as exciting new opportunities.

“Audigy members have access to an exciting suite of practice services and support, it’s true,” Audigy president Mason Walker was quoted as saying. “But we know that to be truly successful in this industry, we have to be committed to something beyond our industry.

“People have access to an unprecedented amount of information, so we’re arming our members with the best possible tools in the hearing care space, so they can deliver their patients the best possible experiences in their practices. We have the best data. We have the best platforms. But if we don’t follow through on making patients feel they’ve been given the best value, then we’ve potentially lost those relationships, and they’ve lost an opportunity to live their best hearing lives, so that’s where we’re focused.”

Keynote Speaker: Phil M. Jones
Reinforcing the idea of building relationships and creating great experiences over sales was keynote speaker and best-selling author of Exactly What to Say, Exactly How to Sell, and Exactly Where to Start Phil M. Jones, who since 2008 has been applying his learnings to help global brands, independent businesses, and practice owners discover and apply the appropriate techniques to connect with their respective end users.

“Phil Jones was an amazing motivational speaker!” said six-year Audigy member and practice owner Sheri Gostomelsky. “I can’t wait to review his session on CEO. Thank you to Audigy for discovering a gem!”

Audigy Corporate Updates: Program advancements and team promotions
Those in attendance were thrilled to learn that their practice needs were being further supported by improved billing, coding, and collections services; new third-party strategies; expanded talent acquisition support, including career counseling and coaching, employment resources, and exit strategies; an update of Audigy’s exclusive Communicate, Educate, Operate (CEO) learning and development forum; and, in addition to an all-new Facebook advertising program, the debut of the AGX® Hearing brand refresh, highlighting the brand’s new website and print and digital campaigns.

Included in these updates were several Audigy corporate employee promotion announcements.

• Paul Paradise, Sr. Director of Strategic Partnerships
• Kim Gilmore, Vice President of Audigy Group SBU
• Mark Drahn, Vice President of Audigy Venture Group
• Diane Noble, Sr. Manager of Strategic Sourcing
• Sam Haney, Director of Business Development

Inherent to Audigy’s long-term strategic growth plan is an investment in the depth of the leadership team’s talent. This not only elevates current leadership but in turn creates additional opportunities for the next wave of leaders within Audigy’s four walls.

“We’ve never been prouder of the individuals on our team and are honored to recognize the drive and positive mind-sets that set us apart from the rest of the industry,” said Walker. “By making investments like these in our teams, we’re forward investing in North America’s independent hearing care practices.

“We believe in investing in our teams. It’s what makes us unique. It’s what makes our culture special. Our teams and members are the source of our innovation. I’d encourage anyone in the hearing care space to learn why. I know they’ll feel it, too.”

Audigy Member and Team Awards
The event ended with Audigy’s annual award banquet, where Audigy members, their teams, and high-performing contributors were honored and celebrated for their efforts in elevating the standard of care for patients.

Nearly 200 awards were given to Audigy member practices for achieving membership-wide benchmarks in categories including Outstanding Practice Achievement, Practice Transformation, and Outstanding First Impressions.

Individual Audigy members were honored by the Audigy executive leadership team for exemplifying the traits of the authors and leaders for which the awards are named.

• Gary Rodriguez of Manatee Hearing & Speech Center, Audigy Partner award
• Kate Tuomala of Audiology of the Sandhills, Maxwell Leadership award
• Dr. Sue DeBruyne of Southside Hearing Center, Sewell Excellence in Service award
• Dr. Hillary Carter of Comprehensive Hearing Services, Salyers Remarkable award
• Dr. Bryce Cropper of Central Maine Audiology, Collins Operational Effectiveness award
• Kelly Churchill of Advanced Hearing Care, Gerber Process Development award
• Dr. Brad and Darla Baldwin of Carolina Hearing Group, Anthony Positive Thinking award

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