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EHDI: Early Hearing Detection & Intervention

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How to Build and Sustain Your Team Webinar

Presented by: NCHAM, the EHDI NTRC | Tammy O’Hollearn

When: April 8, 2021 11:00 am - 12:00 pm MT


Leading others takes place in a variety of contexts…whether you are a Director leading staff or volunteers, a BOD Officer/Member leading on a nonprofit board, or you are leading or facilitating committees in the work you are doing. Motivating others by inspiring a shared organizational vision, enabling others to act, and encouraging the heart (passion for the work) will result in building a strong team. It is important as a Leader in the systems that support families with deaf or hard of hearing children to inspire others to recognize their own diverse perspective and challenge them to deepen their understanding of diverse parents and DHH perspectives they may not know as well.

Succession planning is the act of anticipating changes in leadership and the on-going assessment of current and potential leaders for future open positions, roles, or opportunities. It is vital to ensure that a diversity of staff or volunteers is continuously recruited, and key perspectives replaced to maintain diversity.

Motivating Others and Succession Planning are two components of leadership development that go hand in hand; cultivating relationships is the key to ensuring your team is poised to do the important work you are tasked with in supporting families raising children who are deaf or hard of hearing, and to continue the sustainability of productive, healthy growth through intentional planning.

Primary Audience:

Family leaders, family-based support organizations, Deaf-based organizations, EHDI program staff and EHDI systems stakeholders, and Pediatric Healthcare Professionals.


  • Participants will be able to incorporate ways to motivate their team that will lead to a thriving organizational culture.
  • Participants will understand a leader's role in investing time in building and enhancing relationships so that team members feel valued and contribute to organizational sustainability.
  • Participants will learn about the three types of succession planning and be able to determine the most achievable for the current capacity of their team.
  • Participants will understand the necessity and benefits of succession planning for continued sustainability of their organization.


Karen Hopkins M.Ed CAS

Karen Hopkins is the Executive Director at The Maine Educational Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing/Governor Baxter School for the Deaf. Karen oversees early intervention, the Bilingual Bimodal Preschool Program at MECDHH and school for the deaf site-based programming. She serves on the Percival Baxter Foundation, Hands & Voices HQ Board, the Maine Newborn Hearing Screening Advisory Board and Maine's Commission for Deaf /Hard of Hearing and Late Deafened. Karen has served on many committees and tasks forces throughout Maine and the US. Karen holds educational degrees and certifications in the following: Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Special Education, Director of Special Education, Building Administrator, and Superintendent. Karen has received degrees and certificates of advanced studies from Gallaudet University, University of Maine, and University of New England. Karen grew up in Northern Maine and is a Deaf adult who has three children one of whom is hard of hearing.

Michelle Thomas M.Ed

Michelle Thomas is the Michigan Hands & Voices president and a Guide by Your Side parent guide. She lives in Ann Arbor, MI with her husband, Greg and their four children: Madelyne (9), Miles (7), Vivian and Oliver (3). She has a BA in Elementary Education from Western Michigan University and a MA in Special Education from Madonna University. Michelle is in the 2021 Hands & Voices Leadership to Leadership Program cohort and enjoys doing community outreach for the Michigan Hands & Voices Chapter.