Michelle Tjemeland Wins Insprirational Deaf Person of the Year
February 6, 2012 8:39 PM

Springfield Business Journal
Springfield, Illinois -- Mar 12, 2005 --

Michelle Tjelmeland Wins First Place for Inspirational Deaf Person of the Year.

Michelle Tjelmeland, owner of Springfield-based e-websmart.com, a Web- development and consulting firm, received first-place honors in the 2005 Oticon Focus on People Awards, held in San Diego in February.

The national awards competition, sponsored by Oticon, Inc., one of the world’s oldest and most respected hearing-aid manufacturers, chose Tjelmeland from more than 200 nominees who have proven that hearing loss does not limit a person’s ability to live a full, productive and even inspiring life. Tjelmeland was one of five award recipients.

Tjelmeland, who is profoundly deaf, was described as “an example of positive attitude and fortitude, displayed with a keen sense of humor,” by her friend Kristin Andress.

Refusing to let hearing impairment get in her way, Tjelmeland channeled her energy into raising her daughters, Ellie, age 6, who is also deaf, and Lucy, age 4, and creating e-websmart.com. She also donates her time and talents to help hearing-impaired children and their families throughout the world. Through her Web site, www.iloveellie.com, Tjelmeland shares her experiences about hearing loss as an individual and mother.

She has won numerous awards over the years, including Small Business Owner of the Year by the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, the Golden Web Award by the International Association of Web Masters & Designers and the 40 under 40 Award by the Springfield Business Journal.

Tjelmeland and her husband Joel received an all-expense-paid week vacation at Paradise Point in San Diego. Additionally, Tjelmeland received a $1000 cash prize and a $1000 check, which she will donate to Rochester Elementary, where her daughters attend school. The check will be used to purchase a traveling sign language cart available for use by all classrooms in the building.


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