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Better Hearing Institute Appoints New Executive Director

 Alexandria, Va. (December 2003) -- The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) today announced the appointment of Sergei Kochkin, Ph.D., as BHIs new Executive Director. Dr. Kochkins service begins on January 1, 2004.

In making this announcement, BHI President Mikael Worning, President of Oticon Inc., noted, On behalf of the BHI Board, I want to underscore our delight that Dr. Kochkin will be BHIs new chief staff executive. He brings an extraordinary knowledge of the hearing aid industry and its end-users, and importantly, our prospective users, to his new responsibilities. I am confident that Sergeis experience, enthusiasm and industry reputation will enhance the full range of BHI programs for the future.

A 16-year veteran of the hearing aid industry as Director of Market Development and Market Research for Knowles Electronics, Inc., Sergei Kochkin has created an extensive body of hearing aid marketing and use data through the Knowles-funded MarkeTrak survey. This data has been used extensively in training, public information and government relation activities throughout the industry. The MarkeTrak survey will be continued within BHI for the future. In addition he has served for nine years on the BHI Board, edited the peer-reviewed journal High Performance Hearing Solutions, served as the Director of the HIAs market development Committee and worked with many other hearing health organizations worldwide.

Prior to joining Knowles in 1988, Dr. Kochkin worked for United Airlines as market research manager, industrial psychologist and marketing performance manager. His educational credentials include a Ph.D. in Industrial Psychology, an M.B.A. in Marketing, an M.S. in Guidance and Counseling, and a B.A. in Anthropology.

Commenting on his selection as BHIs Executive Director, Kochkin observed, I am excited about heading up the Better Hearing Institute. I have the same energy and passion for the hearing health industry that I had when I joined the industry sixteen years ago. After completing the quality of life research in 2000, the extensive MarkeTrak studies on 25,000 consumers of hearing aids, not to mention focus group and one-on-one interviews with people with hearing loss, I have come to the conclusion that the hearing health industry makes a significant and noble contribution to society, a contribution which is not yet fully recognized. My short-term goal is to rebuild the Better Hearing Institute into the premier hearing health educational organization in the United States. With modern technology and effective hearing health protocols we have learned that improved hearing is associated with enhanced performance in nearly every dimension of the human experience. I am looking forward to working with all stakeholders in the hearing health industry in bringing the gift of better hearing to all those who need it.

BHI is a 501(c)3, not-for-profit corporation that was created in 1973 to promote hearing healthcare across the United States. The manufacturers and suppliers who comprise the hearing industry in the U.S jointly fund the organization. Over the years, BHI has perhaps been best known as the producer of Public Service Announcements about hearing loss and the importance of appropriate treatment. More recently, BHI has focused on physician-directed information about hearing loss and hearing aids. The organization operates an information helpline and distributes consumer information.

BHI is headquartered in Alexandria, VA.

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