Sam Thomasson Honored as Innovator of the Year at the ACE Awards

PHOENIX - September 29, 2014 - (BUSINESS WIRE) - Sam Thomasson, founder of Zounds Hearing Inc., was awarded the Innovator of the Year Award at the Arizona Corporate Excellence ceremony last Thursday evening. The Phoenix Business Journal honors the top 50 private businesses, as well as the top 25 fastest growing companies in the Valley every year. Zounds was also recognized in both of these categories, ranking at #14 on the list of fastest growing companies. Businesses from a variety of industries such as transportation and construction to technology and health care were represented.

"It is an honor to be recognized for our achievements in the hearing aid industry," said Thomasson. "This started out as a goal to help my own daughter. With that goal was achieved, my focus changed to helping as many people as possible." Thomasson established Zounds Hearing in 2005 with a handful of employees and has grown the Zounds Hearing organization to over 135 stores across the nation, most as franchise locations. His earlier career was spent developing groundbreaking technologies in the medical device and consumer electronics industries, where he created 57 patents that enable Zounds to dramatically improve the performance of hearing aids. His work in this area continues with the current Zounds Hearing team.

Because Thomasson has personal experience with the frustrations of using hearing aids that don't work properly, he knows the challenges facing those with hearing loss. "My daughter struggled to understand and vocalize speech," said Thomasson. "Hearing in noisy environments like a restaurant or car was especially difficult and her hearing aids would frequently squeal, causing her pain. As an electrical engineer, I knew that if she was to have the kind of life she deserved, I had to do something about it."

Much of Zounds' success has been attributed to its ability to eliminate up to 90% of background noise. "Being able to hear in social situations, such as a family gathering or dining out, has made such a difference in terms of quality of life for Kate and our many customers," said Thomasson. "We continually seek to push the technical boundaries, and as an engineer, that is exciting. At the end of the day, it comes down to an improved experience for our customers."

Zounds Hearing has received other awards this year, including the HeathCare Hero Award for Innovation, as well as being listed on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing privately held companies in the U.S.

About Zounds Hearing, Inc.

Zounds Hearing designs, manufactures and retails high-performance hearing aids for use with mild, moderate, severe and profound hearing impairments. Headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, the company's technology enables breakthroughs in product, performance, selection and value. Zounds utilizes internally developed research and 57 exclusive patents. For more information, please visit http://www.ZoundsHearing.com.

Contacts:

LaWana Thomasson
Zounds Hearing Inc.
Corporate Relations
Director of Marketing
480-813-8400
LaWana.Thomasson@zoundshearing.com

Nina Christensen
Zounds Hearing Inc.
Media Relations
480-813-8400
Marketing Manager
Nina.Christensen@zoundshearing.com

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