About Us

Mission Statement

Waiting to Hear exists for a single reason: To help deaf kids HEAR!  We accomplish this by providing programs that support a listening and spoken language outcome for children with hearing loss.  Our programs focus on timely access to hearing technology, support for newly diagnosed families, and building a support network to aid families throughout their child’s hearing journey.

Our Founders

Shannon & Sherry Ball

Shannon and Sherry Ball founded Waiting to Hear in 2014 after their daughter Sarah suddenly lost her hearing at age two.  At the time resources for deaf children in the Appalachian Highlands were practically non-existent.  Thankfully just a few days after Sarah was diagnosed, they met a family with a little girl who had recently received cochlear implants.  Over the next few months this family guided them through the process that would eventually lead Sarah back to a world of sound.  The Balls felt so blessed by this family’s help that they wanted to do the same for other newly diagnosed families.  Waiting to Hear was born. Both Shannon and Sherry remain very involved. Shannon currently serves as our Executive Director and Sherry as our Chief Operating Officer.

Our Board of Directors

Dr. Shannon Bramlette

Dr. Shannon Bramlette joined our Board of Directors in early 2016 and serves as our Clinical Director.   Dr. Bramlette was instrumental in developing our pediatric hearing aid program, and our mobile clinic.  Her education includes Au.D. 2008, Salus University (PCO) School of Audiology, Elkins Park, PA; M.A. 1997, University of Tennessee; and B.S. 1995, Longwood University, Farmville, VA

Caitlin Brewer

Caitlin Brewer has been involved with Waiting to Hear since 2013.  She is a mother of  3 children, one of whom has unilateral hearing loss and utilizes a cochlear implant. Caitlin’s background is in special education and sign language interpreting. In addition to being an advocate for those with hearing loss she homeschools all 3 children and is continually seeking new ways  to educate others on acceptance.

Alex Thompson

Alex joined the Waiting to Hear team as a teen volunter in 2015. He currently serves as our Development Director.  He is a professional EMT and volunteer firefighter. When not on an emergency vehicle or volunteering his time to help kids, Alex is the co-host of a podcast.

C.J. Ferguson

CJ Ferguson is an established actor, performer, and general personality with a passion for helping others. Working with his wife, Kati, they own and operate a successful event planning business, G2C Events, LLC. Together they founded the East Tennessee branch of Costumers with a Cause, a group of professional costumers who volunteer their time to support various nonprofits and charity organizations. In 2019 while volunteering with Costumers With a Cause at our annual Hear me Roar event CJ and Kati saw the impact Waiting to Hear was making in the lives of deaf children and immediately knew they wanted to become more involved. In addition to his Board duties CJ currently serves as project manager for Hear me Roar, Host of our charity auctions, and as our Director of Public Relations.

Kati Ferguson

Kati Ferguson began volunteering with Waiting To Hear at our Hear me Roar event in 2018. Kati has a true heart for service and is passionate about connecting with people and building community. When she is not busy advocating for kids with hearing loss, Kati along with her husband, CJ own and operate G2C Events - an event planning service that keeps them busy serving others. She is also an active artist/maker.

Larry Brewer

Larry Brewer Is a follower of Jesus, a husband, and father to three amazing kids. He has an unrivaled passion for helping kids with hearing loss. Larry began volunteering with Waiting to Hear in 2014, shortly after our inception. His daughter, Hanna is unilaterally deaf and uses a cochlear implant to hear. The struggles his family faced with gaining insurance approval for Hanna’s device led to Larry to becoming a staunch advocate for deaf children. Larry has a unique perspective on hearing loss as he recently began using hearing aids, himself. In addition to the Board of Directors, Larry also serves as our Director of Outreach Services. He is very active in our fundraisers, Screening Program, and Camp H.E.A.R.