NBC-HIS, A.C.A. Audioprosthologist, Owner
Wayne Murphy is a Nationally Board-Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist and an Audioprosthologist credentialed by the American Conference of Audioprosthology. Growing up in the 1950’s in his hometown, Hazlehurst, Georgia, Wayne learned the importance of working hard along with his two brothers, Edward and Ronnie. As a boy, Wayne worked mowing lawns and harvesting tobacco during the summer. Wayne graduated from Jeff Davis High School in 1971 and began employment at a local textile factory. In 1975, Wayne enlisted into the United States Air Force serving as an Ammunition Specialist Inspector for four years. During his service, Wayne was stationed in Bitburg, Germany, and Eglin Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. After honorable discharge in 1979, Wayne began a position painting and stenciling locomotives and box cars with CSX Railroad in Waycross, Georgia, until his introduction into the hearing industry.
While visiting his parents’ house in March 1983, a Hearing Aid dispenser came by to service his dad’s hearing aids creating Wayne’s curiosity about hearing. Wayne witnessed the positive impact hearing aids had on his dad and especially his mom’s quality of life. This experience led him to pursue a career in helping others receive the gift of better hearing, much like his parents received. Wayne’s humble beginning as a hearing instrument specialist knocking on doors has flourished into purchasing a hearing aid business along with his wife, Shelia, in June 1997.
In 1999, a group of 24 hearing aid dispensers gathered in Atlanta to discuss a partnership with an American Owned Manufacturer, Audibel. Wayne and Shelia decided to join along with 19 other dealers, becoming known as the Audibel Atlanta Club and founding members of Audibel. This unique opportunity has helped their practice grow larger over several years. Audibel Hearing Aid Centers now has offices located in Douglas, Tifton, Valdosta, and Waycross. In 2009, Wayne and Shelia were inducted into the Audibel Hall of Fame, an honor they cherish.
Wayne’s motivation is watching the reaction after someone receives hearing aids; the pleasant surprise and joy expressed in their eyes once they hear comfortably and understand conversation once again. He educates the hearing aid user and their family members on how hearing aids improve the brain’s ability to understand therefore helping them maintain better communication for years to come. Wayne continues to ensure his patients’ hearing aids are performing their best throughout the hearing journey.
Wayne loves his family. In 1977, he married his wife, Shelia, and they have a son, Jason. Jason resides in Valdosta with his wife, Heather, and their fur baby, Cotton. Wayne is happy Jason followed in his footsteps in the hearing aid profession. Along with his wife, Shelia, Wayne enjoys traveling to the mountains and Destin beach. When not spending time with family, Wayne enjoys restoring his 1972 Oldsmobile 442, riding motorcycles, tending his fruit trees, bowling, and improving his golf game.
Owner, Patient Care Coordinator
Shelia Murphy is an Owner of Audibel Hearing Aid Centers. Shelia was raised on a farm in Hazlehurst, Georgia, with her two sisters, Becky and Vernice. They spent many summers working in the tobacco fields with their daddy. Shelia graduated from Jeff Davis High School, Class of 1977. After graduation, Shelia married Wayne, while he was serving in the military. They moved to Fort Walton Beach, where their only son, Jason, was born. Shelia’s priorities were as a housewife and stay-at-home mom. Upon returning home to Hazlehurst, Shelia began learning how to upholstery furniture with her grandmother. After her grandmother’s retirement, Shelia started helping her father with his five chicken houses, gathering eggs twice a day. Surprisingly one day in 1983, Wayne’s excitement and curiosity surrounding the hearing aid industry drew Shelia’s interest in supporting her husband’s passion, soon to become her own.
In 1984, Shelia was hired as the Secretary in a Waycross hearing aid practice three days a week. After her son started school, she began working more frequently until purchasing their own hearing aid practice, which became a full-time job with administrative and financial responsibilities. In 2000, Wayne and Shelia decided to partner their company with Audibel. Over several years of hard work, Audibel Hearing Aid Centers has expanded to 4 locations in Douglas, Tifton, Valdosta, and Waycross. Shelia says the hearing aid industry is a fun, loving, and caring business that she is proud to be a part of. She enjoys seeing the difference hearing aids make in someone’s life. Mostly, Shelia loves interacting with patients and developing lasting friendships.
Outside of work, Shelia enjoys weekly lunches with her sisters reminiscing and catching up on local news. Shelia also looks forward to a manicure and pedicure at her favorite nail salon. She loves spending quality time with her family and friends. She thoroughly enjoys vacationing at the beach and mountains with her husband.
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 Bachelor 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’ team at Audibel Hearing Aid Centers. Currently, Jason manages business operations for all offices and meets with patients by appointment in the Tifton office on Mondays. His enthusiasm and charisma help build lasting relationships with patients through better hearing. Jason values every customer relationship and sharing in their hearing success.
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 of 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 Georgia Licensed Hearing Aid Specialist. Chris and her family relocated to Valdosta in 1982 from Louisville, Kentucky. Chris attended Valdosta High School and Valdosta State College. Chris began working in the hearing industry in 1999 as an office manager in an Audiology practice. Within a couple of years, she knew that helping the hearing impaired is her passion. She started studying and doing hands-on training to get licensed. In 2004, she became a licensed Hearing Aid Specialist. On April 1st of 2009, Chris started working with Audibel Hearing Aid Centers in Valdosta.
Chris loves the relationships she forms 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. Chris strives every day to be the best she can be for her patients delivering exceptional results. Chris specializes in the fitting and programming of the most advanced digital hearing aids on the market today. She receives ongoing factory training as well as continuing education courses which allows her to stay up-to-date with the latest hearing aid technology and give the best care possible to her patients.
Outside of her work, Chris enjoys working in the yard, traveling, and spending quality time with her family and friends. She married her husband, Robbie, in April of 1989 and they have two sons. Robbie works as the Production Manager at ERCO Worldwide, Inc. in Valdosta. Their oldest son, Ryan, graduated from Georgia Tech as a Mechanical Engineer. He currently lives and works in Atlanta with his wife, Hannah, and their daughter, Lily. Chris’s youngest son, Zack, graduated from the University of Florida with his Doctoral Degree in Dentistry and works as a Dentist in Austin, Texas.
Hearing Instrument Specialist
Jerry Carver is a licensed Hearing Instrument Specialist in the state of Georgia. Jerry grew up in the Douglas, Georgia, area enjoying fishing, hunting and camping with cousins. During childhood, Jerry helped his grandparents on their farm picking peas and watermelons. Jerry liked moving the cows between pastures. He always tried to call the cows like his Papa. As Jerry grew older, he spent time working in construction and carpentry. He learned work ethic and its ok to sweat for a living.
Jerry moved to Waycross, in 2011 to care for his grandparents. During this time, he helped his grandfather overcome many health obstacles, including hearing loss. Jerry learned the challenges his Papa faced with understanding at a doctor’s appointment one day, which Jerry found very alarming. They immediately scheduled an appointment for a hearing test with Audibel Hearing Aid Centers in Waycross and discovered his Papa had a significant hearing loss. They decided the best solution was to purchase a set of hearing aids for his Papa. With the hearing aids, Jerry realized his Papa was enjoying life again. His Papa always loved to talk, but the hearing loss hindered that ability. His Papa got all that enjoyment back with hearing aids. Wayne Murphy, the hearing instrument specialist helping Jerry’s Papa, noticed Jerry’s interest in hearing aids at the appointments and offered Jerry an opportunity to further his knowledge about hearing loss and its solutions. Jerry decided to pursue this path and began his career in the hearing aid industry by joining Audibel Hearing Aid Centers team in 2012. Through this experience, Jerry discovered his passion for helping individuals with hearing difficulties achieve better hearing.
Jerry loves helping people have a better quality of life with their families through better hearing. Jerry strives to understand each customer’s hearing loss and provide the best hearing aid solution. Jerry enjoys building relationships with patients that lead to excellent long-term care and service. Jerry is dedicated to helping his customers in their journey to better hearing.
Shortly after becoming involved in the hearing aid industry, Jerry met his wife, Sarah. They have 2 children, Alexis and Jeremiah. Jerry loves spending time with his family and friends, fishing, and playing golf.
Hearing Instrument Specialist
Ben Collins is a Georgia licensed Hearing Instrument Specialist. Ben is originally from Newnan, Georgia. While growing up, Ben moved multiple times, but finally, in 2012, he settled back in his home state in Douglas. Ben graduated from Independence High School in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1988. Ben credits his parents for his strong work ethic and desire to help people leading to his decision to join the US Army following graduation.
Ben began his law enforcement career as a Military Policeman. During his four years of service, he spent time stationed in Germany. In 1992, Ben briefly worked with Douglas County Georgia Sheriff’s Office until joining the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in 1993. He worked as a GBI Special Agent in both the Perry and Douglas Regional Offices for 25 years. During this time, Ben proudly served in the Georgia National Guard and did a combat tour in Iraq from 2005-2006 with the 48th Infantry Brigade. In addition, Ben eagerly served on the GBI Bomb Squad for eight years. In 2018, Ben transferred from the GBI to the Georgia Department of Corrections Southeast Region, where he worked as a Special Agent until retirement in June 2022. Ben always prided himself on being the voice for victims in violent crimes and being able to help people in their time of need.
Shortly after retirement, Ben crossed paths with Wayne Murphy at Audibel Hearing Aid Centers in Douglas, Georgia that prompted a job opportunity. Ben’s personal experience with hearing loss combined with his deep-rooted desire to continue helping people inspired Ben to join the Audibel team. As a hearing aid wearer himself, Ben knew he could make a difference in people’s lives with hearing loss. Ben loves when people realize there is help, and they can resume enjoying life with better hearing. Ben strives to educate people about hearing loss and improve their quality of life in his everyday work with patients.
Outside of saving hearing lives, Ben loves military history and enjoying time with his wife, Michelle, stepson, BJ Fussell, son, Beau, and daughter, Analeigh.
Patient Care Coordinator
Vicky Crumley is a Patient Care Coordinator. Vicky has always been an active member of the Tifton community working, attending church and along with her husband, Joe, raising their two children, Russ and Hannah. Vicky grew up in the Tifton area. She graduated from Tift County High School and attended Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. For 15 years, Vicky worked at Mildred’s Flower and Bridal Shop in Tifton, which was also her first full-time job. She has worked alongside her husband in pastoral ministry for many years. In 2012, Vicky joined Audibel Hearing Aid Centers in Tifton, beginning her career in the hearing aid industry.
Vicky takes pride in assisting individuals along their hearing journey. She focuses on scheduling appointments and communicating what to expect upon arrival at the office. Her friendly guidance encourages patients throughout the entire process. Vicky enjoys talking with patients and hearing entertaining stories about their families and interests. Ultimately, she loves seeing the results of how a patient’s life is more enjoyable through the avenue of better hearing.
In her leisure time, Vicky likes playing Phase 10 with friends, solving jigsaw puzzles, and watching old classic movies. Vicky enjoys visiting Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains with her husband, Joe. This location has been a favorite vacation destination for their family since their marriage in 1989. Vicky and her husband love spending time with family, especially their three grandchildren and niece. Vicky considers any time spent with family a special occasion making precious memories.
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 was drawn to the hearing industry because of her passion to care for and help people.
What Lona loves most about helping the hearing impaired is the ability to watch lives being changed. 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 this because she has a hearing disability herself. Lona strives to give the best customer service experience to everyone that comes into the office. She wants them to feel like family when they leave the office.
Outside of helping the hearing impaired, Lona loves to spend time with her family. Lona and her husband, Alan, have been married since May 2010. Lona has one son, Robbie, that resides in Jesup, Georgia. Lona loves riding with her husband on their Harley Davidson Trike. They enjoy traveling to the mountains together. Lona also loves bird watching and flower gardening.
Patient Care Coordinator
Carrie Heard is a Patient Care Coordinator. Carrie grew up in Wilcox County, GA. At the age of 14, Carrie started working at the local IGA, and continued working with IGA throughout her high school years. Carrie graduated from Wilcox County High School in 1995.
Carrie attended Ben-Hill Irwin Technology School, and received a diploma in Telecommunications in 1996. She worked in this field for about 4 years around the Warner Robins/Macon area before deciding to pursue a career with more people interaction.
Carrie sought employment with Dr. Lina Harper’s, M.D., office, which gave her a sense of fulfillment. The most important part about working with patients to her, is always making them feel like family and not a chart number. “Kindness, humility, and compassion go a long way, in this world, and it is completely free!!!” says Carrie.
After 5 ½ years, Carrie left Dr. Harper’s office to help care for her father in his last years. She feels blessed to have shared that time with him. Her father had many health issues including hearing loss. Some days writing on notebook paper was their only way of communication. Carrie understands not being able to hear well, or participate in conversation, may lead to depression, reclusion, and missing some of lives greatest moments.
In 2022, Carrie joined Audibel Hearing Aid Centers in Waycross, Georgia. Daily, Carrie enjoys working with customers utilizing her customer service experience. Carrie never meets a stranger. She believes hearing aids are an accessory like glasses and nothing to be ashamed of. Carrie states “Hearing at your best capacity is Thriving!”
Carrie is married with 3 beautiful girls. Being a mother has been Carrie’s most rewarding job. When not spending time with her girls, Carrie enjoys cooking, cleaning, and working outdoors with her flowers. Photography interests Carrie because she loves to capture life’s special moments and the good Lord’s beauties of nature.