My mother has significant hearing loss. Working around her broken ears was part of my daily routine growing up. Sometimes, I’ll admit, I wasn’t very patient. I was annoyed that I had to repeat myself constantly, or play hide-and-seek through the house to have a face-to-face conversation with her. I was embarrassed that I had to raise my voice in public for the whole world (except for my mom) to hear. The TV volume was a constant fight, and talking on the phone was nearly impossible. Occasionally, my frustrations boiled over into pointless arguments and hurt feelings.
No thanks to me, my mom hung in there as long as she could, but gradually she lost her spark. She developed anxiety over performing common tasks, like driving a car, buying groceries, and running errands. Processing speech was exhausting and she relied heavily on my dad to translate for her. Not wanting to be a burden, she engaged less with the family and stopped attending activities and events she loved.
I didn’t realize how difficult her hearing loss was for her until, one day while sitting at dinner, she burst into tears when I snapped at her for misunderstanding me. Suddenly, I was confronted with the reality of her situation, the devastating effects of her hearing loss on her life, and how my attitude and actions were contributing to the problem. I felt tremendous guilt for my lack of sensitivity and awareness and from that moment forward I determined that I would help my mom get her mojo back.
I became a Hearing Instrument Specialist in 2007. I spent thirteen years working in a busy private audiology practice in Montana where I fit thousands of hearing aids and developed a proprietary system for measuring and improving speech clarity in background noise while reducing the effects of tinnitus.
One of the biggest challenges hearing aid wearers have is hearing in public places. In 2015, I became a licensed Hearing Loop installer. With my company, Audeo Loop Technologies, I designed and installed assistive hearing systems in churches, government buildings, theaters, and other public venues in Montana so people with hearing loss could overcome background noise with a direct audio feed from PA systems into their hearing aids.
In 2020, I moved to Boulder, CO and started Hearing Aid 911, a mobile hearing clinic and curbside hearing aid repair lab that traveled all over Colorado helping hearing aid users during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sadly, in December 2021, Hearing Aid 911 was lost to the Marshall Fire, the most destructive wildfire in Colorado’s history.
I turned my sights to hearing conservation in early 2022. I teamed up with E.A.R. Customized Hearing in Boulder, CO to provide custom-fit hearing protection to workers at noisy job sites and to people engaged in loud recreational activities. As a current faculty member, I train safety officers, industrial hygienists, and private business owners on hearing conservation strategies while helping their companies start and streamline their own hearing conservation programs.
Conifer Hearing and Tinnitus brings me back to my passion, which is consultative one-on-one hearing help. What I’ve learned from working with so many patients over the years is that every person’s experience with hearing loss is unique and there are no shortcuts to hearing aid success. With a science-based, systematic approach to hearing testing and treatment, a little coaching, and an obsessively methodical plan for rehabilitation over time, hearing aids are the bridge connecting you to the best parts of your life.
As it is for my mom, who continues to be my favorite (but hardest) patient, so will it be for you. Hearing rehabilitation is a process and hearing aids aren’t perfect. You’ll have your ups and downs. You’ll struggle in the beginning and get better with practice. You’ll experience moments of elation and you’ll have occasional frustrations. Soon enough, you’ll notice how much better you hear in most situations and how little effort it takes. You’ll get brave and venture out more. You’ll pick up old hobbies and discover new ones. You’ll rekindle past relationships. You’ll meet new and fascinating people you look forward to spending time with. You’ll marvel at what a difference hearing aids make in your life and you’ll wonder why you waited so long to get your mojo back!
I began my professional pursuits at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, where I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Audiology and Speech Pathology. I subsequently earned my Doctorate in Audiology from Arizona State University in Tempe.
Since entering practice more than a decade ago, I have served in a variety of medical settings, including university clinics, a neurotology clinic, the VA Health Care System, and Banner Baywood Hospital. During the course of my career, I have also provided industrial consulting and served on the staff of several private practices.
I am a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology and the Academy of Doctors of Audiology. I also hold a certificate of clinical competence in audiology from the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association.
Here at Conifer Hearing and Tinnitus, we proudly offer cutting-edge hearing technology to our patients, including digital hearing aids, assistive listening technology, and tinnitus suppression technologies. I take the time to provide personalized treatment and counseling to help people with hypersensitivity to sounds and ringing in the ears.
When I’m not at the office, I enjoy spending time with my wife Aniela and our four children. I am active in my church and also enjoy playing tennis, traveling, and studying history.