Board of Directors


Hope Gillison

Dr. R. Hope Gillison has been employed by The Department of Veterans' Affairs at the Veteran's Healthcare System of the Ozarks (VHSO) since 2004. She is currently the Assistant Chief of Audiology and Speech Pathology. Dr. Gillison implemented the cochlear implant program and is currently working on a teleaudiology program for the facility.  

Dr. Gillison currently serves on the education committee for the Joint Defense Veterans Audiology Conference (JDVAC) as the Executive Chair. She is the Past President of AVAA and current Vice President of JDVAA.

She served as an adjunct professor and clinical supervisor for the University of Arkansas from 2007-2010. Prior to moving to Northwest Arkansas, Dr. Gillison worked for a neuro-otologist in Germantown, TN where she was primarily involved in cochlear implants and intraoperative monitoring.

Courtney Matyja
Connect Hearing

Past President

Zach Ward
Arkansas Otolaryngology Center

Dr. Zachary A. Ward is a clinical audiologist at the Arkansas Otolaryngology Clinic.

Dr. Ward is a native Arkansan, who grew up in North Little Rock. He graduated in 2010 with his Bachelor of Science in Biology from Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas. He then graduated from the UAMS Audiology program in May 2015 and took a position at Arkansas Otolaryngology Center in Little Rock. Dr. Ward's professional interests include medical audiology, noise-induced hearing loss and its prevention, research in ototoxicity and in retrocochlear lesions, and acoustics and psychoacoustics. When not at work, he can usually be found at his church, on his road bike, in a duck blind, or at the lake in front of his home with his wife, Jana, and their dogs, Molly and Milo.

Vice President for Education

Mark Fortenberry
AR Otolaryngology Center

Dr. Mark Fortenberry is the director of The Hearing and Balance Center at Arkansas Otolaryngology Center in Little Rock, AR. He has been on staff at AOC for nearly 10 years. Dr. Fortenberry’s primary interests are hearing aids, bone anchored instruments, cochlear implants and tinnitus management. He received his Master’s degree from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and his Doctoral degree from A.T. Still University. Dr. Fortenberry has served on the board of ArAA for the past 6 years and held the position of member-at-large, vice president of education, and secretary.

Vice President for Membership

Becky Del Rio
Pulaski County Special School District

Becky Del Rio has been employed by the Pulaski County Special School District for twenty-nine years as the District's Educational Audiologist.  

Tammy Dunn-Vanover
A Plus Hearing Service, Inc.

Steve Upson
Arkansas Children`s Hospital