I had the privilege of working with Terry Josie over the course of several months to help him find a great business fit. It turned out that this former V P of a prominent NASCAR racing venue found a business that he could build and use as a medium to help his clients in a very personal way. He has recently opened a Zounds Hearing Center, a business offering high-tech hearing aids at affordable prices. And he is off to a rousing start.
With 23 years in NASCAR racing behind him, Terry Josey was ready for a new career. After looking at many options, he recently opened Charlotte’s first Zounds Hearing Center, offering high-tech hearing aids that cost less than half of the industry standard.
“I was looking for an opportunity to actually help people, and this was a perfect fit for me,” Josey said. “I’m building a business that can make a fundamental improvement in people’s lives. Hearing loss leads to so many other problems, like withdrawal from social interactions and even dementia if not corrected over time. It’s a small way to change the world.”
Josey said that Zounds’ hearing aids are unique in two main ways:
“First, the technology is state of the art. It’s based on 57 patents, and is the only one with up to 90 percent noise cancellation. The hearing aids are rechargeable overnight, which saves the high cost of new batteries every few days. Second, the Zounds hearing aids cost about half of most others in the industry – Sam Thomasson, founder of the company, wants to make hearing aids affordable for the average person.”
Sam Thomasson invented these state of the art hearing aids originally for his daughter Kate, who is hearing impaired. Thomasson was founder and former CEO of Acoustic Technologies, developer of high-performance semiconductor chips and related software with low-power usage algorithms that dramatically improved voice and sound quality in cell phones, video phones, desktop phones, conference call phones and automotive communication systems. He launched Zounds in Phoenix.
When a customer enters the Zounds store in Charlotte, he or she is given both a standard hearing test with a series of words, and a computer-based test to measure which frequency ranges need to be enhanced. A technician then custom-programs a pair of hearing aids for the needed corrections, and within about two hours total, the customer leaves the store with their customized hearing aids.
Josey found Zounds through Mike Hall, a franchise consultant who works closely with out-placed executives to find new careers. “Mike introduced several options to me, but I felt from the beginning that Zounds was the way to go,” Josey recalled. “Mike helped provide a clear roadmap to business ownership. Going from corporate America to entrepreneurship was a huge culture shock, and he helped me through that transition. He has continued to provide support and advice as we’ve started up.”
Josey is a graduate of Frances Marion University in Florence, S.C., and earned an Executive MBA through many weekend trips to Columbia University in New York City.
In North Carolina Zounds also has locations in Wilmington, Raleigh and Asheville. Learn more about Josey’s business at www.zoundscharlotte.com.