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American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Executive Director to Retire in 2003

Editors Note: A digital photo of Frederick T. Spahr is available upon request

(ROCKVILLE, MD-October 9, 2002)
Executive Director of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), Frederick T. Spahr, PhD, CCC-SLP, has announced his retirement effective December 31, 2003. Spahr will have served 24 years as executive director.

Before assuming his current role, Spahr served ASHA as its associate secretary for professional affairs, director of research and professional development, director of administration, and nine years as the deputy executive director.

"I am very proud of the Associations growth since 1980 and the part I played as Executive Director in bringing about that growth," says Spahr.

Under his tenure, ASHA has advanced significantly. For example, membership was under 35,000 in 1980 and today it is over 108,000, an increase of 211%; Spahr monitored the installment of ASHAs first in-house technology system that has grown to include the ASHA Web site; with Frank Kleffner, he initiated the revitalization of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation; and with Eugene Menke, he conceived of and established ASHAs Continuing Education registry program.

In addition, since 1980 ASHA staff has grown from 80 to 218. Spahr says that, in regard to the National Office, he is most proud of fostering the development of an Office of Multicultural Affairs and providing it with the opportunity to flourish. He is also very proud of increasing the diversity of office staff at all levels; and, most recently, for establishing policies and an office culture that allowed the National Office to be designated by Washingtonian magazine as one of the "50 Greatest Places to Work" in the Washington metropolitan area.

An ASHA Fellow, Spahr is an active member of the association community. He has served as chairman of the Board of Directors for the Greater Washington Society of Association Executives (GWSAE) as well as chair of numerous GWSAE committees and task forces. Spahr has also served on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and is a recipient of the ASAEs Key Award, the highest honor in the world of association management.

Before joining ASHA, Spahr was on the faculty of the Pennsylvania State University, and held clinical positions at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan, as well as at a preschool clinic in Los Angeles. He holds a bachelors degree from Indiana University, a masters from Boston University, and PhD from the University of Southern California.

Speaking for the ASHA Executive Board, ASHA President Nancy A. Creaghead says that "The Executive Board received the announcement of Freds retirement with sadness, but with the understanding that he deserves a long and happy retirement. Fred will leave the Association in an extremely strong position, having played a huge role in our success." She added that the Executive Board has already begun the process of planning a smooth transition to a new Executive Director over the next year.

ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 108,000 audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists identify, assess, and treat speech and language problems including swallowing disorders.

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