Board Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist
Jason Murphy is a second-generation Hearing Instrument Specialist. Jason was raised in Hazlehurst, Georgia. There, he learned beneficial life skills by working alongside his grandfathers in chicken laying houses and carpentry. Baseball interested Jason, so he began playing little league ball and continued through high school. After graduating from Jeff Davis High School in 1997, Jason attended South Georgia College in Douglas, Georgia, where he received an Associate of Science Degree. Then, transferred to the University of Georgia to earn his Bachelors in Communication Sciences and Disorders in 2001.
While growing up, Jason was exposed to the hearing aid profession. His parents have been in the hearing aid industry for as long as he can remember. However, it was not until his time at UGA that Jason truly discovered his calling to help people hear their best. While volunteering at the Speech and Hearing Clinic servicing children and young adults, Jason saw firsthand the absolute joy and beauty hearing brings to an individual’s life. Seeing a person’s face light up with utter happiness upon hearing for the first time is an amazing experience. Jason knew then “Hearing is his passion and helping people hear their best is his mission!”
After graduating from UGA, Jason started working at Starkey Laboratories Inc. located in Norcross, Georgia. He served as a customer service representative for the Audibel Division as well as a hearing instrument specialist overseeing The Center for Fitting Excellence for 5 years. While living in the Atlanta area, Jason met his future wife, Heather Vonier. In 2005, Jason married, moved to Valdosta, Georgia, and joined his parents’ hearing aid team. While learning the dispensing side of the hearing aid profession, Jason envisioned having his own hearing aid practice. In 2009, the Audibel manufacturer presented Jason with an opportunity to make his dream a reality. Later in June, Jason and his wife, Heather, opened American Hearing Aid Center in Thomasville, Georgia. With great products and incredible support, Jason has built a business impacting customers’ lives through better hearing. Jason values every customer relationship and sharing in their hearing success. Being on this journey is a continued blessing!
In his personal time, Jason loves spending time at home with Heather and their four-legged kid, Cotton. Most nights Cotton’s pals, Jax and Mav, visit for a play date in the backyard. Jason hangs out with the boys tossing the ball, rough-housing, and the much-anticipated cruising the neighborhood on walks. When not sleeping in, Jason enjoys his early morning workouts and weekend runs. Over the weekends, Jason appreciates a slightly competitive golf game with family or friends. He meticulously manicures his lawn, trees and shrubs, calling it lawn therapy. Jason is the grill master of the Murphy household helping with weekly meal prepping. Relaxing on the beach is his favorite vacation activity. However, when football season rolls around, Jason is Athens, Georgia bound to witness the “DAWGS meeting Between the Hedges. “
Hearing Instrument Specialist
Chris Youngblood is a seasoned Hearing Aid Specialist licensed in the state of Georgia, bringing over two decades of expertise to the field. After relocating from Louisville, Kentucky, Chris and her family made Valdosta their home in 1982. She is a proud alumna of Valdosta High School and Valdosta State College.
Her journey in the hearing industry began in 1999 when she assumed the role of office manager in an Audiology practice. Quickly realizing her passion for assisting the hearing impaired, Chris dedicated herself to extensive study and hands-on training, culminating in her licensure as a Hearing Aid Specialist in 2004. Since April 1, 2009, Chris has been an integral part of Audibel Hearing Aid Centers in Valdosta. She is thrilled to continue her role with American Hearing Aid Center in February 2024. The business name may have changed, but Chris’s personalized attention and high standards of care remain her top priority.
Chris finds immense fulfillment in building lasting relationships with her patients and their families. She truly enjoys being able to help all of them experience a better quality of life through better hearing. Striving for excellence, Chris focuses on delivering exceptional results each day, specializing in the fitting and programming of cutting-edge digital hearing aids. To stay at the forefront of her field, she engages in ongoing factory training and pursues continuing education courses, ensuring her knowledge aligns with the latest advancements in hearing aid technology.
Beyond her professional endeavors, Chris enjoys the outdoors, exploring new destinations through travel, and cherishing moments with family and friends. She married her husband, Robbie, in April of 1989, and have two amazing sons. Robbie serves as the Production Manager at ERCO Worldwide, Inc. in Valdosta. Their eldest son, Ryan, achieved a Mechanical Engineering degree from Georgia Tech and resides in Atlanta with his wife, Hannah, and their daughters, Lily and Moriah. Meanwhile, Zack, the youngest son, earned his Doctoral Degree in Dentistry from the University of Florida and currently practices dentistry in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Family is everything to Chris, and the service she provides her patients not only reflects professional expertise but also exudes a warm family feel. Chris is dedicated to creating an environment where her patients feel not just like patients but cherished members of an extended family.
Patient Care Coordinator
Kay Vonier is a Patient Care Coordinator. Kay grew up in the small South Georgia town of Barwick with five siblings. She attended Barwick Elementary School where she enjoyed playing basketball, swimming, and roller skating. After graduating from Brooks County High School, she married Edward, moved to Thomas County, and six years later their daughter, Heather, was born.
Kay’s work experience began as a youngster on the farm gathering crops. Her official career path started with a small loan and finance company. Later advancing to an accounting position at Colonial Warehouse until its relocation to Atlanta. Then, Kay began employment with Commercial Bank, known today as Synovus, in the bookkeeping department. As her skills developed, she was chosen to work in the call center, where she obtained sales training. In 2011, Kay retired with 24 years of service.
Kay’s retirement was short-lived. She immediately began exercising her knowledge in customer service, phone etiquette, and sales with American Hearing Aid Center as the Patient Care Coordinator. She enjoys welcoming patients and getting to know each of them and their families personally. For her, it is a rewarding experience helping facilitate the journey to better hearing and providing ongoing support.
In Kay’s personal time, she enjoys shopping, spending time outdoors, manicuring her flowers, cacti and ferns, and caring for her duck, Baby. Throughout the years, Kay has served on various committees within her church. She finds joy in serving as the Flower Coordinator and assisting with Vacation Bible School. Kay truly loves spending time with her family no matter the occasion.
Patient Care Coordinator
Lona Newbern is a Patient Care Coordinator. Lona is originally from Jesup, Georgia, and moved to Sparks, Georgia, in January 2010. Lona graduated from Wayne County High School in 1986. She worked in finance for 21 years before coming to work with Audibel Hearing Aid Centers in 2019. Lona’s passion to care for and help people drew her to the hearing industry. She is excited about her new chapter with American Hearing Aid Center beginning February 2024. While the business name may change, Lona’s dedication to providing exceptional customer service remains unwavering.
What Lona loves most about helping the hearing impaired is the ability to watch lives being changed daily. It still amazes her how the ability to hear things that have not been heard in a long time enriches a person’s life. Lona understands because she has a profound hearing loss in her left ear. Struggling to hear stopped and the sounds of life were renewed once she was fit with hearing devices. Lona knows the importance of staying connected with loved ones and the world around her. Her personal hearing experience motivates her to serve her customers with excellence. She wants them to feel like a valued member of the family.
Outside of helping the hearing impaired, Lona treasures spending time with her family. Lona and her husband, Alan, married in May 2010. Lona loves riding with her husband on their Harley Davidson Trike. They enjoy traveling to the mountains together. Lona has one son, Robbie, that resides in Jesup, Georgia. At home, Lona likes to bird watch, flower garden, and decorate extravagantly for Christmas. Her friends affectionally refer to her as “Pinky” and her husband lovingly calls her “His Pinkster” because Lona loves pink!
Edward Vonier is the bookkeeper for American Hearing Aid Center. Edward, one of five children, was raised on a farm located 4 miles west of Pavo, GA. His childhood chores included helping in the fields, tending to the animals and plowing the mule with his dad. After graduating from Central High School in 1969, Edward worked jobs ranging from manufacturing mobile home roofs to assisting a veterinarian. For fun, he loved drag racing the quarter mile in his Chevelle.
In April of 1971, Edward was drafted into The United States Army, where he trained as a Medic. While serving in the military, he spent 14 months in Korea during the Vietnam War. After returning home, Edward began working at Kinro Manufacturing in 1973 building windows. He furthered his education by attending night school for 2 years at The University of Georgia Extension Center. Through several promotions, he became the Plant Manager and maintained this position for 27 years until retirement in 2007.
In 2009, Edward assisted with opening American Hearing Aid Center and has been with the company as a sort of “Jack of all Trades” ever since. He recalls a memorable encounter at the office immediately after Jason delivered hearing aids to a lady. The lady went to her car, but in a minute, returned. She explained hearing an unusual buzzing noise coming from her car. Edward accompanied her to her car discovering she had never heard the buzzing when placing the key into the ignition switch. Those everyday sounds are taken for granted by many. Edward finds joy in seeing people experience those sounds again.
Edward is actively involved within his community. He served on the Thomas County Board of Education for 16 years and the Thomas County Elections & Registrations Board for 3 years. Currently, Edward volunteers as an Election Poll Worker for Thomas County. Over the years, Edward has served on various committees in his church with the Treasurer and Cemetery Committee being his predominant responsibilities.
In Edward’s leisure time, he loves spending time with his family. Edward and his wife, Kay, have been married since May 1974. They have a daughter, Heather, and a son-in law, Jason. Edward shows his playful side with his grand-dog, Cotton. Beyond quality time with the family, he enjoys working in the yard, helping neighbors with projects, and feeding his duck, Baby.
Heather Murphy is the Administrator for American Hearing Aid Center. Heather, an only child, grew up in Pavo, Georgia surrounded by a loving family and community. From a young age, she loved to swim, roller skate, and ride four-wheelers for fun. She learned rhythm and movement by taking gymnastics and dance classes, singing in the choir, and playing the saxophone. As her love of music and dance grew, Heather trained to perform with the Thomas County Band and Dazzlers, the Dance Academy, and Music and Drama Troupe in Thomasville, Georgia. During her Senior year, Heather participated in Thomas College Post-Secondary Options (PSO) program. Heather graduated from Thomas County Central High School in May 1999 as Valedictorian.
In fall of 1999, Heather enrolled in the two-year Pre-Pharmacy Program at Mercer University College of Liberal Arts in Macon, Georgia. Upon completion, she moved to Mercer’s Atlanta Campus to pursue her professional education in pharmacy. In 2005, Heather graduated Magna Cum Laude from Mercer University Southern School of Pharmacy with a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree. While in Atlanta studying, a classmate introduced Heather to a handsome fellow, Jason Murphy. In 2005, they married, moved to Valdosta, Georgia, and began their individual careers. For 13 years, Heather worked as a full-time retail pharmacist in Valdosta. She continues to utilize her knowledge as a PRN pharmacist for a locally owned pharmacy.
In 2009, Heather embraced Jason’s dream of owning a hearing aid business. With much guidance, they opened American Hearing Aid Center in Thomasville, Georgia. Heather ensures the office is equipped with the necessary tools for staff to provide the best hearing aid care. As a team, Heather oversees business operations and Jason delivers customized hearing aid care to every patient. Together, they strive to strengthen their business by going above and beyond customer expectations.
In her free time, Heather loves making memories with family, especially gathering for a home-cooked meal. Heather looks forward to daily walks and time spent with her husband, Jason, and their fur-baby, Cotton. Nights are full of entertainment with visits from Cotton’s Husky friends, Jax and Mav. Heather prefers a tidy house decorated seasonally especially for Christmas. She enthusiastically awaits family beach trips. Heather has grown to love Saturdays in Athens, Georgia. She anticipates the chilling Battle Hymn trumpet solo and Larry Munson’s narration “Glory, Glory to ole’ Georgia” as Bulldog Nation stands ready to yell two simple words… “Go Dawgs!”
Cotton Murphy is the Company Mascot for American Hearing Aid Center. Cotton, a Siberian Husky, was born in Hazlehurst, Georgia, with 6 littermates. After his adoption, Cotton’s home became Valdosta, Georgia, with his new pet parents, Jason and Heather. Cotton attended PetSmart Training Classes receiving multiple doggie achievement awards for good behavior and manners. His charming personality and handsome features landed him a position as the Mascot for American Hearing Aid Center.
Cotton loves to socialize and meet new friends helping reinforce the positive experience American Hearing Aid Center strives to provide. Cotton also enjoys practicing his howling skills, which can test your hearing. But for accurate results, he recommends a complete and thorough hearing evaluation with his dad, Jason, at American Hearing Aid Center.
At home, Cotton is affectionately referred to as “Rotten” Cotton. His days consist of morning walks, sniffing everything possible, licking peanut butter, belly rubs, long naps, and nightly play dates with his best buds, Jax and Mav. Cotton looks forward to visiting with his grandparents. His extra special activities include swimming at the beach and strolling through campus in Athens, Georgia. Cotton is an avid Georgia Bulldog fan like his family. So, if you see Cotton be sure to say Hello and Go Dawgs!