My 60-year career in the hearing industry has taught me that no one achieves their dreams alone. If we come together with compassion, determination and a common goal for good, there is almost nothing we can’t accomplish.

February 10th marks two milestones in my life. 60 years ago on that day, I started working at my uncle’s hearing aid repair shop, embarking on a career path I could have never imagined. On that same day in 2021, I was humbly honored when the office of Minnesota Governor Tim Walz proclaimed it to be “William F. Austin and Starkey Day.” But this recognition was not mine alone.  This recognition was for the legacy our Starkey family has built together.

I couldn’t be prouder of the Starkey family. Without all of the hard work you do each day to accomplish our mission, there would be nothing to recognize. When I started down this career path with grand goals to make an impact on the world, I knew I could not do this alone. I am eternally grateful to those who have dedicated themselves to this industry and to Starkey’s purpose of helping the world hear. We built this together, as a team, and now, we celebrate it together as a team. This day was for all of us.

I have been overwhelmed by the messages of love and kindness you have sent me. My dear wife Tani and I read every single one together. They have had a greater impact on us than you know. To have a team of employees that love this company and this industry as much as I do is indescribable and something I will cherish. It’s incredible to witness the passion that exists within our global network. I trust with everything I have that our mission will continue for another 60 years, and beyond. Tani and I can’t begin to thank you for your words and for your continued support.

It took time, hard work, determination, failure, at times, and a deep-rooted passion for hearing health to become what we are today. To say we are just getting started on innovating for the future at Starkey would be an understatement. Alone we can’t do much. Together we can change the world.