Meet Our Team

Our Staff

John A. Hinkle

Executive Director
HSF Director

John A. Hinkle, is retired from First Horizon Bank after 40 years of service. Prior to retiring he was Senior Vice President of First Horizon Bank’s Government Banking Department in Knoxville for 3 years. Prior to that he was Senior Vice President of the bank’s Regional Bank Operations Center located in Maryville which processed banking transactions for all of the middle and east Tennessee First Horizon locations.

John attended the University of Tennessee. He graduated from the American Bankers Association Business of Banking School and the Bank Administration Institute’s University of Wisconsin School of Banking.

Active in the community, Mr. Hinkle has served on numerous United Way committee’s over the past 15 years, as well as chairing the 2009 United Way Campaign and was Chairman of the Board of Directors in 2012. He is a graduate of Leadership Blount County’s class of 1999 and is a Leadership Blount County’s Past Chair of the Board of Directors. John was on The Hearing & Speech Foundation’s Board from 2008 – 2010 where he created the signature fundraising event, “The Away Game Tailgate Party”, he also served on the Hearing and Speech Advocacy Board in 2011 and 2012 and was the Foundation’s building project manager for the foundation offices. John is also on the board of James White’s Fort and serves as Secretary of the Board, the birthplace of Knoxville TN. He and his wife Vicki reside in Maryville and enjoy traveling.

Bernadette Kos

MA-CCC/A – Audiologist

Bernadette Kos, MA CCC-A, obtained her undergraduate degree from Minot State University, and her graduate degree in Audiology from Wichita State University.

Bernadette is originally from Canada, and relocated to Knoxville, TN with her husband and family in 2019 where she volunteered at the Hearing & Speech Foundation as a hearing advocate. Before taking time to raise a family, she worked at a private practice and an ENT clinic in Stow, Ohio.

Bernadette is passionate about hearing health! She wants to see that all community members live life to their fullest potential! The most beautiful outcome is the patient’s emotional response when professional services, and hearing technology take flight! She has a deep understanding of the social/emotional impact hearing loss has on a person and the family having grown up with a mother who suffered from hearing loss since childhood.

Bernadette Kos is certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), and currently lives in Knoxville with her husband and children. She enjoys the great outdoors, and a good old- fashioned homemade fruit pie!

Board of Directors

John Berry

HSF Co-founder
Former Owner – Blount Hearing and Speech Services

John Seymour Berry received a BA from Saint Edwards University in 1968. During his tenure at the University of St. Edwards, John worked as house parent and supervisor at the Texas School for the Deaf. Because of this experience, John began his Masters in Deaf Education at the University of Texas in 1968. He transferred to the University of Tennessee where he received his MS in Deaf Education in 1972.

After graduating, John worked at the University of Tennessee for 10 years and served as a teacher-clinician and coordinator of the Verbotonal Preschool Program. He was an instructor and supervisor of the Verbotonal Adult Aural Rehabilitation Program. John also studied in Zagreb, Croatia, at the Centre SUVAG to become a trainer in the Verbotonal Method and is a certified Verbotonal Aural Rehabilitation Therapist.

In 1975, John started Blount Hearing and Speech Services, which has served over 20,000 patients and has a staff of eight employees. In 1981, John and Tutt Bradford co-founded the Hearing and Speech Foundation (HSF), fulfilling John’s passion to provide quality services for the hearing needs of economically-disadvantaged hearing impaired individuals. John also focused his energies to launch the HSF Research and Development Program that houses an anechoic chamber used in studies on speech acoustics.

John’s career goals have included establishing both domestic and international hearing aid assistance programs; being involved in research to explore the field of auditory perception; and establishing a therapy and training centre to promote the principles and strategies of the Verbotonal System. In June 2012, the centre became a reality. The HSF is housed in a facility conducive to therapy, research and training; it joins a network of 22 countries that implement the Verbotonal techniques in helping individuals with hearing and other communication difficulties.

John was born December 25, 1943, in Blanco, Texas, and is the oldest of eleven children. He has two children and several grandchildren. John and his wife, Sara, live in Laurel Valley.

Noel H. Case

HSF Director
Retired Sun Trust Bank

Noel H. Case is retired from Sun Trust Bank. Noel began his banking career in 1975 with Citizens Bank of Blount County.

Noel attended Maryville High School and went on to The University of Tennessee’s School of Business/Transportation from 1973-1977. He attended many Banking schools; Tennessee School of Banking at Vanderbilt, General Banking School, Consumer Lending and Commercial Lending School. Noel also is a graduate of the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University.

Noel has been involved in many organization and served on many boards in Blount County. Blount County Chamber of Commerce, Maryville City Schools Foundation, Habitat for Humanity of Blount County – President, Boys and Girls Club, American Heart Association – Chair of founding board, Alcoa Rotary Club – President, United Way of Blount County – Division Chair, Leadership Blount and Dogwood Arts Festival Co-Chair.

Noel is married to Laura Case and has a daughter Jennifer Morgan (James Morgan) and two grandchildren, Riley and Sam.

Mandy Dockery

HSF Director
Teacher Blount County – Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Visually Impaired 

Mandy currently works for Blount County Schools as an Itinerant Teacher for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Visually Impaired. She also serves as an instructional coach and Child Find coordinator. She has been with Blount County Schools for six years. Before that, she served as Reading Interventionist for Anderson County Schools. Mandy graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education and a minor in Child and Family Studies. She then went on to earn a Masters degree in Education for Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Mandy’s second Masters degree is from Trevecca Nazarene University in Education for Visual Impairments.

At a very young age, Mandy was diagnosed with Bilateral Sensorineural Moderate-Severe Hearing loss and Aided. She attended an oral/aural program at University of Tennessee for 2 years before mainstreaming into a public school system. She was a recipient of The Hearing and Speech Foundation from diagnosis to early adulthood and through their support and resources has become successful in navigating a hearing world. For this reason, she decided to pursue a degree in education after exploring various career fields.

In addition to teaching, Mandy works as a developmental therapist with Little Tennessee Valley Educational Cooperative working with families and their children ages birth-3+ with hearing loss. This job allows her to pursue her passion to ensure that every student is offered equal access to his or her education and to offer her unique personal experience in navigating a world made for the hearing. Mandy is also a co-president for the local Knoxville Hearing Loss Association chapter, which is a support group for adults and families who are living with hearing loss. Mandy received the Southeast Regional Institute on Deafness outstanding teacher of the year award in 2022.

Jackie Eul

HSF Director
Office & Marketing Coordinator – Leadership Blount County, Inc.

Jackie Eul currently works at Leadership Blount as the Office and Marketing Coordinator. She also is the Program Director for Fit.Green.Happy., the nonprofit arm of Mountain Challenge.

Jackie grew up in the west suburbs of Chicago in DuPage County where she found her love for dance, adventure, and outdoor recreation. She then graduated from College of DuPage with an Associate’s Degree before transferring to Maryville College to further explore her love for Outdoor Education. In 2018, she graduated from Maryville College as the first recipient of the Outdoor Studies and Tourism Bachelor’s degree.

After college, she spent a few years serving as a CAC AmeriCorps member in Knoxville as the outdoor classroom coordinator for 3 South Knoxville Elementary Schools, all while continuing to grow her position at Mountain Challenge and return back to Maryville College.

Her service in AmeriCorps ignited a love for volunteering which she has done for multiple nonprofits in both Knox and Blount County. Currently she is serving on the Blount BEneFITs committee, is involved in AmeriCorps mentor programs, and serves on the Maryville College Wellness Council.

Laura Grayble

HSF Director
Realtor – DeLozier Realty & Auction

Laura is a Realtor® with DeLozier Realty & Auction. She became acquainted with the Hearing and Speech Foundation during her years of employment with Blount Hearing and Speech. It was during this time of employment that she began to understand the scope of the need the Foundation provided to the underserved/under-insured in East Tennessee. She is honored to be able to volunteer as a board member and to provide support to the efforts of the Hearing and Speech Foundation.

Laura was born and raised in Blount Co, TN where she still resides with her husband, Kevin and son, Logan, 2 dogs (Milo and Otis) and 3 chinchillas (Mocha, Frappe, and Java).

For stress relief, she and her husband take off in their Jeep and see where the roads lead.

John A. Hinkle

HSF Executive Director
Retired, Senior Vice President First Horizon Bank

John A. Hinkle, is retired from First Horizon Bank after 40 years of service. Prior to retiring he was Senior Vice President of First Horizon Bank’s Government Banking Department in Knoxville for 3 years. Prior to that he was Senior Vice President of the bank’s Regional Bank Operations Center located in Maryville which processed banking transactions for all of the middle and east Tennessee First Horizon locations.

Mr. Hinkle attended the University of Tennessee. He graduated from the American Bankers Association Business of Banking School and the Bank Administration Institute’s University of Wisconsin School of Banking.

Active in the community, Mr. Hinkle has served on numerous United Way committee’s over the past 20 years, as well as chairing the 2009 United Way Campaign and was Chairman of the Board of Directors in 2012, he is currently a member of the Community Impact Committee. He is a graduate of Leadership Blount County’s class of 1999 and was Leadership Blount County’s Chair of the Board of Directors in 2012. Mr. Hinkle was on The Hearing & Speech Foundation’s Board from 2008 – 2010 where he created the signature fundraising event, “The Away Game Tailgate Party”, he also served on the Hearing and Speech Advocacy Board in 2011 and 2012 and was the Foundation’s building project manager for the foundation offices. Mr. Hinkle is currently on the board of the Hearing & Speech Foundation and serves as the Executive Director, he is also on the board of James White Fort in Knoxville and serves as Secretary of the Board.

Melinda James

HSF Director
Retired, Registered Nurse

Melinda is a retired Registered Nurse after 25 years of practice at the University of Tennessee Medical Center. She began her career in nursing in the operating room at UT. After earning specialty certifications in the OR and Orthopedics, she worked with University Orthopedic Surgeons until her retirement. Currently Melinda volunteers in the community for several nonprofit organizations. She is on the board of James White’s Fort in Knoxville and is chair of the Fort’s Beautification Committee.

Tonia Latham

HSF Board Chair
Epic Nine Marketing Consultant & Social Media Expert

Tonia Latham creates change! She is the Marketing Consultant and Social Media Expert with Epic Nine Marketing in Maryville. Previously, she was the Director of Development with Family Promise of Blount County and the Director of Finance & Operations with the Tennessee Valley Coalition for the Homeless. With decades of communications and marketing experience in for-profit and non-profit organizations in East Tennessee, she understands what local businesses need to market successfully in a continually changing digital landscape.

Tonia is a graduate of Leadership Blount Class of 2019. She was the Blount County Chamber Ambassador of the Year in 2020, and chairs the 2021 Chamber Ambassadors. A member of the Morning Cup Toastmasters, Tonia is the 2021 Toastmasters District 63 reigning champion for Table Topics Impromptu Speech Contest and Evaluation Speech Contest. She is a member of the Board of Directors for The Hearing and Speech Foundation and is a member of the Chilhowee Club. Tonia also leads multiple marketing workshops throughout Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia, and Kentucky, has been a guest speaker at the UT Haslam College of Business, and has been a guest lecturer in non-profit studies & advocacy at Maryville College and Carson-Newman University. Additionally, Tonia leads Visioneering classes for individuals and businesses, helping people define and design their visions for the future.

Tonia’s passion is to help her friends and our community reach the top of their mountains!

Luis Ramos

HSF Director
 

Luis is a native of Veracruz, Mexico. He has lived in East Tennessee since 2000, and began working at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in 2012.  Among his duties at the church, Luis works with the various media and communication platforms of the parish as well as does the  parish event scheduling. In his role in Youth Ministry, he coordinates the High School Ministry Program & the Fellowship of Young Adults (FOYA) Program.

Luis completed the Diocese of Knoxville Catechetical Formation Program through Aquinas College to fulfill certification requirements as a Certified Catechist.

Luis additionally works as an interpreter with Blount Memorial Hospital. 

In his free time Luis enjoys learning, reading, spending time with his dog Toby, and art.

Leslee Rook

HSF Director
Retired Director of HSF Therapy & Training

Leslee is from Knoxville, Tennessee, and received her Bachelor of Science in Special Education from the University of Tennessee in 1972. Focusing on applying the Verbotonal Method with hearing impaired children, Leslee worked 11 years as a demonstration teacher and program supervisor in the Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. During this time she received Verbotonal training from Dr. Carl Asp, Professor of Audiology and Speech Pathology; Dr. Petar Guberina, the method’s originator; and two Croatian experts from SUVAG CENTRE in Croatia.

Leslee studied in Zagreb, Croatia, in 1974 and 1976, and received Trainer Certification from the Institute of Aural Rehabilitation in 1980 in the specialty areas of body movements, classroom and individual therapy techniques. While at the University, Leslee taught English as a second language to deaf Taiwanese children, and consulted with professionals throughout the United States to implement the Verbotonal Method in schools, clinics and schools for the deaf, including the Dade County School System (Miami, Fla.) and the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf.

In 1986, Leslee began a therapy program for an audiologist in a Knoxville-based ENT practice and used the Verbotonal strategies with more than 200 children and adults diagnosed with Auditory Processing Disorders. She continued her work with children as a Hearing Specialist with Knox County Schools in Knoxville from 1997 to 2011, as well as a consultant to the Dade County Public Schools Verbotonal Program.

Leslee developed a manual “Strategies for Developing Speech, Language and Auditory Perception: Body Movements” in 2010, the first of a series of training manuals and DVDs produced by The Hearing and Speech Foundation. She has served on the Advocacy Board of the Hearing and Speech Foundation since 2004 and has been involved in the Training Program since 2001.

Leslee joined the HSF staff in June 2011 as the Director of Therapy and Training Programs. She and her husband Paul, a retired audiologist reside in Farragut and enjoy boating, fishing, reading and traveling.

William R. Shepard (Rick)

HSF Secretary/Treasurer
Retired County President, United Community Bank

William R. Shepard (Rick), is the retired County President of United Community Bank in Blount County. Prior to his current position, Mr. Shepard retired from SunTrust Bank after 21 years, serving as Regional President, Commercial Lender and various positions during his career at SunTrust. Mr. Shepard is retired from the Tennessee Air National Guard after 21 years of service and a veteran of the Gulf War in 1991. Mr. Shepard is a graduate of East Tennessee State, Community College of the Air Force, Tennessee School of Banking and LSU Graduate School of Banking. Mr. Shepard is an Eagle Scout.

Mr. Shepard’s current and past community involvements include:

Member New Providence Presbyterian Church, Board member of Smoky Mountain Council Boy Scouts of America and District Chairman, United Way of Blount County Board Chairman in 2007 and Campaign Chairman in 2016, Board member of Secret Safe Place for Newborns, Alumni and Board Member and Board Chairman of Leadership Blount, Past Board Member and Board Chair of New Hope Children’s Advocacy Center, Board member and VIP Chair of Blount County Chamber of Commerce, Board Member and Treasurer of Blount County Education Foundation, Board member and President of East Tennessee American Cancer Society Leadership Council and Relay for Life Chairman. Other community initiatives and involvement include, Knox Area Rescue Ministries, Maryville College Community Campaign and Blount Memorial Hospital foundation.

My family is the fifth generation of Blount County natives who settled in Cades Cove in the 1800s and I was raised on a small family farm in Wildwood. For 38 years, I’ve been a banker in the Knox and Blount County area.

Jasmine Satterfield

HSF Director
Registered Nurse – Senior Care Partners of East Tennessee

Native Maryvillian and Cades Cove descendant, Jasmine Satterfield has made a career of helping the people of Blount County and East Tennessee. This wife and mother of three serves as a registered nurse at Senior Care Partners of East Tennessee with a focus on senior care services and caregiver support, as their Community Outreach Director. Jasmine was voted Best Nurse in Blount County in 2020. She and her husband, Greg, are also local business owners, and Jasmine is active in the community and in volunteer programs. Jasmine has a passion with a servant’s heart for helping others and serving her community.

Bethany Stokes

HSF Director
Licensed & Registered Occupational Therapist – Atlas Therapy

Bethany Stokes is a licensed and registered occupational therapist (OTR/L) with a heart to serve the pediatric population. She currently works at Atlas Therapy.  Her passion is to support children to engage in everyday life and achieve their biggest dreams, overcoming any obstacles in their way.  Additionally, Bethany is an adjunct professor for the health and human performance department at Tennessee Wesleyan University where she teaches pre-occupation therapy. She enjoys introducing students to the field of occupational therapy and providing support to further their education in occupational therapy.  

In 2019, Bethany graduated from Tennessee Wesleyan University with her BS in health and human performance. She then continued her education with TWU, earning her master of occupational therapy degree in 2021. It was then that Bethany first learned about The Hearing and Speech Foundation while completing a fieldwork rotation at Knox Area Rescue Ministries (KARM) where she assisted clients in life skills and resource attainment.  During this time, she was able to connect a KARM resident with the Hearing and Speech Foundation where he was successful in receiving hearing aids to improve his overall quality of life and ability to engage with those around him. 

Bethany lives in McMinn County with her husband, Hunter, and her daughter, Mackenzie. She attends Unity Baptist Church, teaching Sunday School and participating in youth events. 

Advocacy Board

The Hearing and Speech Foundation Advocacy Board is comprised of community volunteers who dedicate their time to coordinating and implementing all local grassroots events and activities that provide awareness and financial support for the Hearing and Speech Foundation.

Members of this group include the HSF staff and the following volunteers:

Sara Berry
Community Leader

Allyson Dowell
Hearing Specialist
Knox County Schools

 

 

Bernadette Kos
HSF Audiologist

Jane Ellen Rawdon
Community Leader

Jayne Perry
Community Leader

Melissa Smith
Alumni Events Coordinator
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Jeanie VanWinkle, Ph.D.
Retired Tenured Professor

Carole Cavendar-Witt, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
South College