It is with great sorrow that the Sarasota/Manatee Chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) announces the passing of Ed Ogiba, one of its long time and influential members, in June of 2022.
Ed served on the HLAA Florida Advisory Board, the HLAA Sarasota/Manatee Board of Trustees, and was also an advisor to the following HLAA Tampa Bay affiliates: Sun City Center Chapter, Tampa Social Support Group, and the Gulf Coast Chapter. Former HLAA positions included Florida Statewide Chapter Coordinator, HLAA Sarasota/Manatee Chapter President, and HLAA National Director of Chapter Development.
Ed earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from New York University in 1967. He enlisted in the military and Sgt. Edward Ogiba served in the US Army in the Artillery. While in the Army, he earned his master’s in Business Administration from New York University in 1972. After leaving the Army, Ed served as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy. This is where he got his start in Public Relations.
Upon discharge from the military, Ed began his advertising agency career in 1969 as an Account Executive at Gray Advertising, a Madison Avenue firm in NYC. From there he moved up to Ogilvy & Mather, another Madison Avenue advertising agency. Legend has it that the fictional firm in the long-running television series Mad Men was based on Ogilvy & Mather. Ed had a long career in leading the development of new products and advertising. He worked his way from Account Executive to Managing Partner, Product Initiatives, at Ogilvy & Mather.
In 1988 Ed founded his own consulting firm, GroupEFO. The firm provided branding, integrated marketing, innovation, return-on-investment planning, strategic planning, and other consulting services to many businesses large and small across the nation, as well as non-profit organizations.
Ed moved to Sarasota sometime after the year 2000. He quickly immersed himself in Sarasota’s not-for-profit ecosystem.
Ed Ogiba lost his hearing primarily due to a combination of military service and Ménière’s disease. He wore both a hearing aid and cochlear implant. He attested, “HLAA saved me from a life of isolation by introducing me to listening and communication skills, as well as several assistive listening devices, all of which I desperately needed to return to a normal life and resume my career.”
Ed served as president of the HLAA Sarasota/Manatee chapter from 2009 – 2014, was the HLAA Florida State Chapter Coordinator, and was a board member of the HLAA Florida State Association from 2012 – 2014. Ed served as a board member of the Ear Research Foundation from 2009 – 2014. The HLAA Sarasota/Manatee chapter’s membership under Ed’s leadership grew significantly. Ed led the chapter to offer a wider range of new education and support services and a high-powered outreach program that had the chapter averaging some 6 to 8 meetings and events in the community each month. During the pandemic Ed helped the HLAA FL State Association to host over 100 virtual web-based meetings using the ZOOM platform.
Ed was a local advocate for hearing loops and has been instrumental in drawing in more than 100 local theaters, churches, and community venues in Southwest Florida to install hearing loops. The chapter was named Sarasota County’s “Best Cause” by SRQ Magazine in 2012, with Ed being pegged as the “Best Visionary.”
When HLAA appointed Ed as its new director of chapter development in 2014, it charged Ed with helping current chapters to grow and build new ones through strategic development, best practices, and leadership training. The post entailed providing HLAA’s state organizations and chapters around the country with the direction and support they needed to deliver the organization’s education, support, and advocacy services to those with hearing loss. Ed developed a series of Chapter Development Workshops and delivered them to chapters to help them do just that.
In announcing Ed’s appointment to the director of chapter development position HLAA’s then-Executive Director, Anna Gilmore Hall, said, “HLAA is pleased to bring this kind of experience and expertise to our efforts to build robust, vibrant HLAA Chapters across the country. Because Ed comes from a chapter background, we know he will hit the road running.”
Ed certainly hit the ground running in Florida and especially at the HLAA Sarasota/ Manatee Chapter. He left behind a legacy that will not be matched any time soon and he will be missed.
Rest in Peace, Ed, and thank you for your service. Thank you also for sharing with us your passion for improving the lives of those with hearing loss. May your memory be eternal.