Melissa is an owner and director of the audiology program at Sound! She's our caring leader that is always available to share a good story or laugh with. Learn more from our favorite AUD-ball at Sound!
Describe your role at Sound
As Sound's audiologist, I assess and treat hearing loss and auditory processing deficits in patients of all ages. I work alongside patients in determining solutions for their communication needs and I work as an advocate on their behalf. However, my overall role at Sound may be equal parts clinical audiologist, editor, and mama bear.
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Reflective, Warmhearted, Silly.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
I love how I can literally walk a few steps to discuss specific cases with Jody or Nicole, our speech language pathologists, for a more holistic perspective on patient care. I also love witnessing our recent growth and a sense of greater community that has come with that growth. My newest favorite part of the job is seeing our new clinic coordinator, Margarita, get to know our longstanding patients and enthusiastically greet our newest ones.
What led you to starting Sound?
I never pictured myself in private practice. I imagined working as a traveling audiologist for the World Health Organization while juggling my contract gig as a photographer for National Geographic. :) While in graduate school, I had a summer internship at Evergreen Speech and Hearing Clinics in the Seattle area - and I witnessed a private practice with complete heart and dedication. I met Jody Vaynshtok (my now business partner) who at the time was marketing extraordinaire for the clinics. Fast forward 10 or so years, and Jody found herself in San Francisco with a new graduate degree in Speech Language Pathology. We met for dinner and the next thing we knew, we were developing Sound as the area's first private practice for comprehensive speech, language, and hearing services.
What’s something about you that not many people know?
I would very, very much like to write and create children's books.
What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
Watching Serena Williams play in a Grand Slam tournament.
Where are we most likely to find you when not at work?
You are most likely to find me walking around and exploring my neighborhood, the Central Richmond district of San Francisco. If I'm not inhaling pizza at Pizzetta 211 or the meze platter at Orson's Belly, I can be found taking in the sunset near the Presidio, Land's End, or Sutro Heights Park at Ocean Beach.
Before working at Sound what was the most unusual or crazy job you had?
During one summer in college I worked as a call intake specialist for the Disney catalog. I had a fake name and chatted all day long with people who wanted to spend hundreds/thousands on things like "The Little Mermaid" snow globes. Sadly, I do not remember my fake name.
Anything else fun to share?
When I was a teenager I used to sneak up to the roof of my house in Kansas at night for a star show. I dreamed of becoming an astronomer like the main character, Ellie, in Carl Sagan's "Contact." I took an astronomy course in college and it was the first time I got a "B" in a class. I was absolutely distraught. However, it did not keep me from saving up to buy a telescope and learning what I could from a field guide. Maybe I will write a children's book about it someday.