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Paul Gilbert Meet Phonak Ambassador

 Welcome to Our World of Phonak Ambassadors

 Welcome to the world of Phonak's esteemed brand ambassadors – a diverse group embodying excellence, passion, and commitment. Paul Gilbert, Robin Gillon, Emma Meesseman, and Aaron Small represent the pinnacle of achievement in their respective fields, each bringing a unique perspective and invaluable expertise to our community. Whether it's Paul's virtuoso guitar mastery, Robin's passion for freeskiing, Emma's dominance on the basketball court, or Aaron's successes in Kayak competitions, these ambassadors exemplify the spirit of resilience and achievement. Click on each name to delve deeper into their inspiring stories and discover how they continue to inspire and empower others through their hearing journey with Phonak.

Paul Gilbert guitarist

Paul’s Story

Name: Paul Gilbert 

Profession:  Guitarist

Location: Portland, OR 

Instagram: @paulgilbert_official 

A prolific American heavy metal and hard rock guitarist, and highly regarded as one of the best musicians of all time, Paul Gilbert is widely known as the co-founder of Mr. Big with its chart-topping, worldwide No. 1 hit single, “To Be With You”, and as a member of Los Angeles-based band, Racer X.  A music career spanning four decades, Gilbert has been open about his hearing loss due to years of loud noise exposure from guitar amplifiers. In addition to spreading awareness of hearing loss, Gilbert hopes his role as Phonak’s Global Brand Ambassador will shine a light on the importance of wearing hearing devices and normalizing the use of hearing technology that helps better communication and understanding.

In summer 2023, Mr. Big kicked off their last worldwide tour, aptly titled "The BIG Finish". After 35 years, the band feels it's finally time to collectively hang up their top hats and shoes after coming together for one final, extended curtain call.  When he’s not touring, Paul resides in Portland with his wife and son.


Everyone with hearing loss has a unique story. I'm happy to share my story, including how Phonak hearing aids have helped me since I began wearing them over 10 years ago. Hearing aids are vital to staying connected in my family life. Also, since I perform and teach music, I can set my guitar amp at a lower volume, without having to crank up to hear every detail. I was inspired to try hearing aids from the passionate advice of a friend who also wear Phonak. He said it’ll change my life and he was right!

Paul Gilbert
Paul Gilbert
Robin “Bino” Gillon 
Robin Gillion Snowboarding

Robin’s Story 

Name: Robin “Bino” Gillon

Profession:  Professional Skier 

Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Hearing Devices:   Phonak Virto Black and Roger On 

Instagram: @robingillon 

Diagnosed with severe to profound hearing loss at four years old, Robin Gillon never let his hearing loss hold him back from pursuing his passion for skiing.  He has become one of the top five skiers in the European Cup and was ranked in the top 40 overall in the World Pro Tour (Association of Free Ski Professionals). Robin is also behind two short-film documentaries, the award-winning “Sound of Silence” and “What It’s Like.” Both films follow his hearing loss journey and how it has impacted his personal life, as well as his professional life as an elite athlete.  

Today, Robin continues to compete and perform in world-class ski competitions and exhibition shows. He is engaged and resides in Salt Lake City.  


“I want to bring awareness to the hard of hearing and deaf communities in a positive way and show people that, although we all have daily struggles, we can get through them.”

Robert Gillion
Robert Gillion
Emma Meesseman 

Emma’s Story

Name: Emma Meesseman

Profession:  Professional Basketball Player for the Belgian Cats and Two-Time Olympian 

Location: Belgium 

Hearing Devices:   Phonak Audéo 

Instagram: @emma_meesseman

Born with only 50 percent hearing, Emma has moderate hearing loss in both ears and has been wearing hearing aids since she was a child. Her parents realized she had hearing loss when they noticed that she didn’t speak like other children. Growing up in a small town outside Bruges, Belgium, near the North Sea, Emma’s motivation was not to prove she could overcome the stigma of hearing loss. Instead, it was the more common goal of living up to her mother’s reputation. She is the daughter of Sonja Tankrey, a center who was named the Belgian women’s player of the year in 1983. 

At 30 years old, Emma has championships both in the EuroLeague and the WNBA. She was named the Finals MVP in 2019 when she won a WNBA championship with the Washington Mystics. In 2020, she was elected Belgian sportswoman of the year and in 2022, Emma played for the WNBA Chicago Sky in the 2022 season. Regarded as one of the top-five players in the world, Emma won the EuroLeague MVP in 2024.  

Today, Emma is a six-time EuroLeague Champion and is headed back to the Olympics in Paris this summer as a two-time Olympian. 


Do what you love to do. You don't have to stop because of your hearing challenge. I always think it's a shame when people give up on their dream because it is perfectly possible to achieve things in your life as a person with hearing loss.

Emma Meesseman
Emma Meesseman
Aaron Small
Aaron Small

Aaron’s Story 

Name: Aaron Small

Profession:  Olympian, Sprint Kayaker 

Location: Seattle, WA

Hearing Devices:    Audéo Life and Roger On 

Instagram: @small.aaron 

Diagnosed with bilateral moderate-severe hearing loss at 4 years old, Aaron has been wearing hearings aids since kindergarten. Growing up, he endured the stigma of hearing loss and struggled in school socially. Aaron started kayaking at 11 years old and by the time he was 16, he was competing internationally.  At the 2022 World Cup, Aaron won the Bronze medal in the U23 Men's K2 500m.  Last year, he won Bronze at his first Pan American Games in Chile.  In 2023, Aaron was named as a hearing health advocate for Phonak and was fitted with Audéo Life.  For the first time in his athletic career, Aaron wears his waterproof hearing aids out on the water while training and competing.   

Today, Aaron is a member of the U.S. National Sprint Kayak Team and is headed to Paris this summer to compete in his first ever Olympics.  He’s also a full-time student at the University of Washington pursuing an undergraduate degree in Oceanography and a minor in American Sign Language. 


Thanks to my Phonak hearing aids, I have super hearing.

Aaron Small
Aaron Small