Cathy Henderson Jones has been impacting industry and serving persons with hearing impairment for over 30 years. She has leveraged her positions of influence to implement strategies and programs to help those in need, having the heart of a servant to the underprivileged. Her giving attitude has extended beyond the hearing impaired and reached programs that serve the hungry, homeless and less-resourced of the world.
Jones served as president /CEO of Phonak US until 2009. In 2009, she stepped aside from her position to pursue her passion for humanitarian outreachand joined Hear the World, the socially responsible arm of Sonova. While executive director of Hear the World US, Jones implemented the mission of the foundation to help improve the quality of life for people with hearing impairment.
One focus of her work with Hear the World has been the Red Bird Mission in Beverly, Kentucky, a region of Appalachia considered one of the poorest in the nation. She has spearheaded this program that provides hearing conservation, hearing testing, and amplification, along with ancillary and follow-up services to the residents of the community. This program has provided the gift of hearing, through hearing aids, to over 300 poverty stricken adults. In her efforts to not only give, but to also encourage others to give, this program has led more than 150 audiologists and doctoral students to volunteer at the Red Bird Mission. Through her leadership skills she has been able to establish a sustainable volunteer program. Her efforts were probably best summarized in Dr. Carrie Spanglers letter of support, where she stated, she teaches her volunteers through actions that we need to embrace a great cause and how amazing changes take place when no one is concerned about who gets credit.
Jones is also privileged to be involved with Healthy Athletes of Special Olympics. Her vision is to further engage more of her peers in the continual giving of their time and abilities to meet the hearing health needs of this population.
Jones was active in her support of needs in her local Illinois community as welltwo recipients were Hesed House, a shelter providing meals and care to the homeless, and Feed My Starving Children packing food with teams for around the globe. She has also focused on providing support to the people of Haiti through multiples projects as needed. Early on, Jones was involved with her local team on a project for an orphanage, church, and school that were demolished in the 2010 earthquake. Her most recent challenge is serving as an advisor, as well as on-site volunteer with the Cite Soleil Opportunity Council and Haiti Clinic for the implementation of programs designed to serve street orphans in the slums of Port Au Prince. Jones is further committed to investigating the challenge of ongoing humanitarian visits in to establish sustainable hearing health-care servicesan attempt to bring her hearing health-care skillset to Haiti where she loves to serve.
Cathy Henderson Jones has shown that the heart of a humanitarian is broad-reaching and engaged. Her passion for people has led her to commit the most recent years of her professional life to helping those in need, and providing an inspiration for many. We congratulate her on being selected as the Academys 2013 Humanitarian Award recipient.