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Gardner Staff

Dan Gardner

Dan Gardner M.S., Master Audiologist, CEO Gardner Audiology

I was raised in Florida with 4 brothers and one sister. I was introduced to Audiology while serving in the US Navy during the Vietnam conflict. After discharge from the Navy I returned to the University of South Florida where I earned my audiology masters degree in 1975. Since then I’ve served in a variety of environments including nonprofit clinics, manufacturing, hospitals, doctors’ offices and private practice. I returned to the Tampa Bay area in 1982 and started Gardner Audiology. My passion for audiology comes from the great pleasure I receive from helping people hear. Our employees and patients are my extended family. I also enjoy kayaking, airplanes, bicycling, photography, and exotic birds. My wife Jacki and I have one daughter and 3 grandchildren.

Joanne Conter

Joanne Conter Au.D., Doctor of Audiology

I am originally from the Cleveland area of Ohio, but I grew up in Clearwater, FL. I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Disorders from Western Carolina University, my Master of Science degree in Audiology from University of South Florida, and my Doctor of Audiology degree from A.T. Still University. I began working with Dan Gardner in 1985. I developed a passion for Audiology my junior year of college and has never wavered. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than helping people hear better! I am married (Dan) and have one daughter (Rachel), who is graduating from the Doctor of Audiology program at USF in 2017. I am an animal lover and have a dog, a cat, two parrots, and a horse. I enjoy cycling, hiking, fishing, and horseback riding. I also love to cook!

Angela Schenk

Bart (James) Baker Au.D., Doctor of Audiology

Dr. James (Bart) Baker is originally from Lexington, Missouri and has been a resident of St. Petersburg, Florida since age 3. He holds the Doctor of Audiology degree from the University of Florida. He previously earned his Master’s degree in Audiology from the University of South Florida. Following completion of his Master’s degree, he worked with Jay Farrior M.D. at the Farrior Ear Clinic in Tampa for 23 years until joining Gardner Audiology. He is a member of the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA), the American Academy of Audiology, and the Florida Academy of Audiology. He is Board Certified in Audiology with the American Board of Audiology. His hobbies include fishing and working in the yard. He is married and has one daughter.

Angela Schenk

Angela Schenk Au.D., Doctor of Audiology

I am originally from Greenwood, IN. After graduating from Purdue with a degree in Communication Disorders I started migrating south. I received my Masters degree from the University of Tennessee (Go VOLS) and then moved to Florida where I worked for seven years. During that time I completed my AuD degree from A.T. Still University. My husband and I then moved out west to Nevada for six years. We made our way back to Florida July of 2012. I have my Florida Audiology license, am a member of FLAA (Florida Academy of Audiology) and have maintained my membership with ASHA (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association). I have been married to my wonderful husband Steve for 11 years and we have two boys, Alex and Nick (all three whom are hearing impaired). In my spare time, I am a voracious reader, love spending time with family and friends and love to cook.

Rachel Conter

Rachel Conter Au.D., Doctor of Audiology

Dr. Rachel Conter was born in Brooksville, FL and is a graduate of University of South Florida. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences & Disorders and went on to complete her Doctor of Audiology, graduating in 2017. As part of her education, Dr. Conter completed her research project examining the relationship between hearing and cognition in older adults, an aspect of audiology she is very passionate about. Dr. Conter is a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and holds her Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC-A). Dr. Conter currently resides in Dunedin, FL with her husband and two dogs. When not at work, she enjoys boating and exploring Dunedin.

Lauren Benoit, B.A., Doctoral Extern

Hi! My name is Lauren Benoit and I am a fourth year audiology extern from the University of Connecticut. Born and raised in CT, I found my way to Florida where I earned my bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of South Florida. After heading back home for Graduate school, I have once again found myself in Florida where I am completing my final year here at Gardner Audiology. Through my various clinical rotations at UConn, I have gained diverse experiences with primary interests in hearing aids and balance testing. I am excited to be a part of the Gardner Audiology team this year where I have the opportunity to refine my skills while striving to improve quality of life through hearing health. In my spare time, I enjoy cuddling with my cat (who is Deaf), playing games, and lounging by the pool.

Valerie Schiavo, B.S., Doctoral Extern

My name is Valerie Schiavo and I am a fourth-year audiology extern from the University of South Florida (USF). I also received my Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences with a minor in Public Health from USF. I have always been interested in science and medicine and was introduced to audiology through my mother who is a Speech-Language Pathologist. Through the doctoral program at USF, I have had opportunities to work with a wide variety of patients in many different settings. I love being able to help people communicate and I am very grateful to be spending the year at Gardner Audiology where everyone is equally passionate about patient care. When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my two beautiful daughters, Anola and Aiva, and my wonderful fiancé Michael.

Jennifer McCreary

Jennifer McCreary, Chief Financial Officer

Hi, my name is Jennifer McCreary. I have been the Office Manager at Gardner Audiology since 2005. I also handle all of the insurance billing.The staff & the patients are all like family. We are always sharing smiles, laughs and hugs, while helping our patients hear better. I am married and have been blessed with 4 wonderful children, ranging from college to elementary age. As you can imagine, I stay very busy! They are all active in many sports. When I am not working or taking kids to practice or games, I enjoy travelling with my family. Whether it is to 1 of Florida’s many beautiful beaches or crystal clear cold springs or to the mountains in North Carolina, Virgina, Tennesee or Colorado. I also enjoy theme parks as I am a roller coast/thrill ride junkie!

Blair Driscoll

Blair Driscoll, Practice Administrator / Audiology Assistant

Hi! My name is Blair and I’m the Practice Administrator at Gardner Audiology. I was previously the Practice Administrator of Alvarez Audiology & Hearing. I’m also a licensed Audiology Assistant. I have a BS in Psychology but have worked in medical administration since 2005. I love working for a team who dedicates their time to helping others, and we all share a true passion for providing our patients the best possible care. I have seen better hearing improve someone’s quality of life, and I’m proud to be part of that! I am a born & raised Floridian; I grew up in Cape Coral. In my free time, my husband and I love trying new restaurants and exploring new places! We have Lightning season tickets and are huge hockey fans (Go Bolts!) I also maintain my own lifestyle & fashion blog.

Denise Irvine

Chrissy Bell, Administrative Supervisor

I’m a Floridian, born and raised in Tampa. I am a graduate of the University of South Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems. I work in the Tampa/Citrus Park office of Gardner Audiology. I have an amazing husband and 2 boys. The boys keep me busy with high school sports, karate and boy scouts. For fun, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, reading, watching movies, kayaking, any outdoor activity and running. I’ve run 8 incredible marathons including New York City and Chicago.

Diana DeSimone

Diana DeSimone, Director of Tele-Audiology / Audiology Assistant

Hi. I am Diana and I am an Audiologist Assistant and the Director of Tele-Audiology at Gardner Audiology. I have been here since 2006 and I love the friendships I have made. I enjoy working with our patients and helping them. I am married and have 2 awesome boys who keep me very busy with sports and other activities. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, going on our boat and my favorite thing to do is couponing.

Vanessa Verdo

Vanessa Verdo, Citrus County Administrative Manager / Audiology Assistant

Hi, my name is Vanessa Verdo. I am the Citrus County Admin Manager and Audiology Assistant here at Gardner Audiology. I am currently enrolled in classes directed towards healthcare to help me better understand the needs of our patients. I enjoy working directly with our audiologists and patients and truly appreciate the opportunity I have to be a part of enriching our patient’s life through improved hearing.  I am originally from California but have spent most of my life here in Florida. I am the proud mother of a beautiful boy who keeps me on my toes and wouldn’t have it any other way. I enjoy spending my free time with my family outdoors, especially in and near the water!

Denise Irvine

Denise Irvin, Audiology Assistant

I was born and raised in Tampa, FL. I have 3 grown children and 3 grandbabies, whom I love to spend as much time with as I can, in my spare time I like reading, watching movies, and gardening. I have been with Gardner Audiology since 2007.

Wendylynn Capote

Wendylynn Capote, Audiology Assistant

Hi, my name is Wendylynn Capote. I am an Audiology Assistant here at Gardner Audiology. I am originally from Miami, Florida; I moved to North Carolina to obtain my Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. I am currently working towards my goal to go back to school to become an Audiologist. After graduating from UNCG my boyfriend and I moved back to our home state Florida. On my free time I like to spend time with my family, my dogs Lou and Dozer and explore all the beautiful destinations Florida has to offer.

Leslie Howard

Leslie Howard, Patient Care Coordinator

Hi. My name is Leslie and I am the Patient Care Coordinator at Gardner Audiology. I am “the face” behind the voice you hear on your phone reminding you of your appointments and usually the first one you see when you come into our office. I have been here since 2011. Through these past years, I have learned many new things and met lots of incredible people!! I am the proud Mother of an amazing son and daughter, a dog and 2 fish. The thing that I love to do the most in my free time is cooking!! I love to bake different delicious creations to share with my friends, our patients, their families and anyone who comes in that wants to try a treat! I have worked in healthcare all of my life and am thankful for where I am today!!

Yesenia Garcia

Yesenia Garcia, Patient Care Coordinator

Hi, my name is Yesenia Garcia, I’m the Patient Care Coordinator for the Hillsborough & Pinellas locations! I am originally from Lawrence, Ma. My family and I moved down to Cape Coral, Florida in 2001. We’ve been loving the sunshine here ever since! In 2015 my fiancé and I decided to relocate to the Tampa Bay area, where we are raising our children Marisa, Jr., and Roman. In my spare time I enjoy reading books, doing arts and crafts with the kids, and going to the beach with the family.

Roberta Varney

Roberta Varney, Patient Care Coordinator

Hi! My name is Roberta and I am the Receptionist at the Zephyrhills office. I have always been a ‘people person’. So in addition to my other responsibilities, I truly enjoy greeting patients and answering the phone. I started to work with Team Gardner in March of 2017, and feel like my co-workers are my extended family. I am a transplant from the Gettysburg, PA area, married, and have two grown children. I spent most of my spare time sewing/embroidering, reading, and going on day trips to local places of interest.

Ashley Murray

Ashley Murray, Patient Care Coordinator

Hi, my name is Ashley Murray and I am the Patient Care Coordinator for the Crystal River office. I was born in Shelby, NC but grew up on Long Island, NY. My venture towards the South started when I obtained my Associate’s degree from Cleveland Community College in Shelby, NC. Through prerequisite courses in science, I became very interested in the Biological Sciences. I then decided to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from the University of South Carolina. I am currently working towards a career in the Surgical Field, which has been a life long dream of mine. In my free time, I enjoy volunteering in the community and spending time with my family.