MN Tech Mag | Fall/Winter 2022


S tarkey has a history of giving back. Well-known for philanthropic efforts, Starkey founders Bill and Tani Austin have traveled across the globe to help people in need. On a volunteer trip to Africa in March 2020, Bill and Tani received the news that COVID had shut down the world. This moment encouraged them to define what they care about most and include it as part of the corporate structure of Starkey. In May 2021, they officially announced the launch of Starkey Cares, their public commitment to corporate social responsibility designed to bring people together under the common bond of caring for one another. “At Starkey, we believe hearing connects us to our humanity,” said Tani Austin, Chief Philanthropy Officer. “We created Starkey Cares to show those who need access to hearing health that we will take care of them. We are so proud to make a difference in even more people’s lives around the world and provide the hearing health resources they need to connect to those who love and support them.” Starkey Cares has three primary pillars to further the mission of making a difference in the lives of people who need it most – serving the local community, committing to veterans and active-duty military, and giving back to the world.

The Common Bond of Caring

HELPING NEIGHBORS IN NEED The first pillar of Starkey Cares is helping the local

community. Neighbors in Need is a program that does just that by providing cutting-edge hearing aid technology at a dramatically reduced price to communities struggling to afford hearing aids. Launched in June 2022, Neighbors in Need has already served thousands of customers through a system that pairs hearing healthcare professionals who volunteer their time for follow up services with income qualified patients to provide Starkey hearing aids at a deep discount. “In the first three months since launching, we had nearly 2,000 locations across the country where an individual with hearing loss can go and apply for hearing aids through our Starkey Cares Neighbors in Need program,” describes Michael Scholl, Starkey’s Chief Compliance Officer and Executive Vice President of Corporate Relations. Jake Spano, Starkey’s Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, reveals his personal connection to the program. “I speak from experience, having worn a hearing aid for over a decade now, that it’s a really high-tech medical device. Getting access to that can be a challenge for some folks – this program helps them get the proper technology, fittings, and follow-up services they need,” he states.

From the local community to the world at large, Starkey Cares makes a commitment to impacting the lives of people who need it most.

Interview by: Natalie Sheffield

38 | Philanthropy Rules!

Philanthropy Rules! | 39

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