Ohio : The Comeback Kid
"How Our State Association Faced Adversity…
and Won "
In June of 1969, my hometown—Cleveland, Ohio—was the site of an event that signified a low point for the city. The Cuyahoga River caught fire. The cause was a buildup of pollution and oil discharge from local industry. The city used the tragic event to spark a change that resulted in the river's now being among the cleanest in the nation; what's more, the river front is now a vast social and entertainment center.

In 2017, the Opticians Association of Ohio experienced their own “burning river” moment when the Ohio Optical Dispensers Board (Ohio’s opticianry licensing board) was voted out of existence and replaced by the Ohio Vision Professionals Board. Now, instead of a board composed solely of opticians, we had a licensing board composed of four optometrists and just two opticians .

That same month, our executive director, Mark Glasper, who had fought tirelessly to save our board, accepted an offer with an association in another state. Within a month, we had no licensing board, no executive director—and no idea of what the future held.

READ MORE about this exciting story and the unlikely new opportunities afforded by perseverance in the face of impossible odds.

How Do You Get Your Continuing Education Credits?
Your State Association
Opticon at Vision Expo
Industry Partner Seminars
Does It Matter Where You Get Your Credits?
You just got notified that your certification expires in three months... Yikes! Where do you go for credits? And does it matter what you choose?

The simple answer is YES . Where and how you get your continuing education credits does matter.

There are organizations that provide continuing education credits that also reinvest in you, the optician.

  • Provide a high level of dynamic education
  • Protect your profession legislatively 
  • Seek to elevate your profession
  • Offer convenient education
  • Communicate industry news

When you choose to get your credits from a particular organization you support them. You support their program, their future education offerings and any of the many other projects they are involved in.

Be sure the organization you choose for your continuing education supports you , the American optician. 

"Fastest Two Years of My Life"

And at my age they all go by too quickly. As you read this, the process outlined in the bylaws moves forward to elect the future leaders of the Opticians Association of America. Rest assured that the new officers and directors will be up to the task.

As I leave office, I think back to the things that were accomplished by our committees. They had the passion and did all the work. OAA initiated the National Optician Certification Program . We were there for states that needed help legislatively. Our Branding and Marketing Committee worked tirelessly to show the public and opticians who we are and what we do. The Membership Committee worked hard to reconnect with our members on the state society and individual levels. We have :

  • updated our website
  • made our newsletter more accessible and relevant 
  • increased our social media presence

Thanks to our officers, directors, and committee members for all their hard work. And a special thanks to Executive Director, Chris Allen . You made me look presidential.

My time as President has allowed me to do a lot of fun and interesting things. I got to participate in podcasts and be interviewed by national publications in which I was able to tell our story. But my favorite part by far was travelling to state society meetings and connecting in person with as many of you as I could. Thanks to all of you for your hospitality.

I n closing, I would like to say that it has been an honor and a pleasure to serve you all as the President of the Opticians Association of America.
Fastest two years of my life.
Best two years of my life.

Bob Reynolds, President, OAA
2020 Opticians Association of America’s
Official Slate of Officers and Directors
as presented by the
OAA Nomination Committee 

OAA President : Dibby Bartlett
OAA 1st Vice President : Johnna Dukes
OAA 2nd Vice President: Ron Harbert
OAA Secretary/Treasurer: Russel Fritz Jr.
OAA Directors

OAA BOD Representing Firm Membership: Tom Barracato
OAA BOD Representing Firm Membership: George Bourque
OAA BOD Representing Individual Membership: Lanard Atkins
OAA BOD Representing Individual Membership : Donna Hatch
OAA BOD At-Large Seat: Doug Pelkey
OAA BOD At-Large Seat: David Couch

An OAA Board Member will be elected as Representative for State Associations and Societies on Saturday, February 15, 2020, during a General Assembly Session at the OAA State Leadership Conference.

This position will be voted upon by OAA Member States with each state receiving one vote. If you are interested in serving in this position, you must be present and nominated at the 2020 OAA State Leadership Conference.

OAA will also have four (4) people appointed to the 2020 OAA Nominations Committee during the OAA State Leadership Conference to represent the membership on this very important committee. If you are interested in serving on this committee, you must be present and nominated at the Conference.

Breakout Session Examples... How to Make Your Vision Happen - Impact of Branding - Social Media - State Service Projects - Five-Year Plan for State Association
courtesy of
March 26-29 Javits Center, New York, NY

THU. 13 — SAT. 15

Destin/Miramar Beach, FL

SAT. 22 — SUN. 23
Opticians Association of Ohio
SW Region Professional Development
(Receptions, Fairfield)
FRI. 28 — SUN. ( MAR 1)
Professional Opticians of Florida
Spring Spectacle 2020
(The Island, Fort Walton Beach)  INFO & REGISTRATION

SAT. 29 — SUN. ( MAR 1)
Opticians Association of Ohio
NW Region Professional Development
(Holiday Inn, Perrysburg)


SAT. 14
Opticians Association of Michigan
CE Workshop/Spring Educational
(Crowne Plaza, Lansing)

WED. 18
New Hampshire Society of Opticians
Quarterly Meeting
(Red Blazer on Manchester, Concord)
Registration @ 6PM / Event @ 7PM

THU. 26 — SUN. 29

The complete event for ophthalmic professionals, where eyecare meets eyewear and education, fashion and innovation mingle. Join over 15,000 eyecare professionals, buyers and influencers at the largest optical event in America.

Javits Center, New York, NY


SUN. 5
North Carolina Opticians Association
Raleigh Seminars
(Research Triangle Park - Sheraton Imperial Hotel)
Available CE Hours: 8

SUN. 19

New Hampshire Society of Opticians
Annual Educational Conference
(Graponne Conference Center, Concord)

SAT. 18 — SUN. 19

Opticians Association of Washington
Spring Convention (Olympia)

SAT. 18 — SUN. 19

Opticians Association of Ohio
Central Region Professional Development
(Renaissance Hotel, Westerville)

FRI. 24 — SAT. 25

Opticians Association of Oregon
(Chanook Winds Casino, Lincoln City)

FRI. 24 — SUN. 26

Mississippi Association of Dispensing Opticians
Educational Conference
(Golden Nugget Hotel, Biloxi,)

SUN. 26

North Carolina Opticians Association
Charlotte Seminars
(Charlotte Sheraton Airport Hotel)
Available CE Hours: 8

SUN. 26

Certified Opticians Association of Texas
ABO Prep Course ("No Pass...No Pay")
9 AM — 5PM

TUE. 28

Certified Opticians Association of Texas
Cherry Optical / Hands-on Workshop

WED. 29

C ertified Opticians Association of Texas
Cherry Optical / Hands-on Workshop

OptiCon @ Vision Expo brings the industry’s premier Optician and Contact Lens Technician education program to the complete event for ophthalmic professionals: where eyecare meets eyewear; and education, fashion and innovation mingle.

Opticians and Contact Lens Technicians will have access to a comprehensive $249 package  that includes:

  •  15 hours of ABO & NCLE approved continuing education, including an exclusive General Session
  •  Exhibit Hall access
  •  2 Lunch vouchers
  •  Tailored special events including a welcome party and peer networking
  •  Access to discounted rates at a dedicated OptiCon hotel

Friday, March 27, 2020 | 12:30 PM – 1:45 PM

Join your Optical colleagues in The Bridge for this exclusive event. Each pre-registered attendee of this session will receive a copy of Delilah’s latest book, One Heart at a Time .

This special appearance is sponsored by Essilor, Eyes of Faith Optical and the Essilor Vision Foundation. 

Holiday Inn New York City, Times Square, extends the opportunity to network with your peers and enjoy all the excitement that the Big Apple has to offer when staying at the Holiday Inn New York City. Nestled in the heart of the bustling Garment District, you’ll be steps away from The Javits Center as well as the city’s must-see attractions, including Hudson Yards, Madison Square Garden, Times Square, Bryant Park, Herald Square and much more!

Once you purchase the OptiCon package, you will receive details to book through this exclusive room block.