pride power progress
August 2019
Can a State Association Thrive in an Unlicensed State?

The Opticians Association of Iowa strives to help opticians be their best!

OAI is a truly special organization. Just a few short years ago, we had little money and very few members. Today the OAI is a strong and growing organization. We have an active board of five , with two potential additions forthcoming; 75+ members ; and 13 vendor partners . We also regained our nonprofit status in 2018.

What also makes OAI amazing is the group of people who gather year after year simply because they want to better their craft, not because they must.
Iowa is a state requiring no license or certification to call oneself an optician. So its remarkable that we have an organization that thrives.  

We offer fantastic education every year at our conference as well as an ABO/NCLE prep course. We have started an ABO study group, which we operate in conjunction with a local lab.

This organization is growing, and the board members are on fire! We love what we do and who we serve. We are looking forward to the future and what it entails. And we are excited to be part of a bigger vision as a member state with the OAA. 

~Nichole Montavon, ABOC FNAO, President OAI
The OAA would like to find out more about YOU, our members.

Please take our quick one-click survey.

Where Do YOU Work?
Choose ONE:
Independent Optical
Optical Chain
Medical Center
Optical Lab
Department Store
Who ARE All These Optical Organizations Anyway?
The Commission on Opticianry Accreditation (COA) is a not-for-profit organization that accredits two-year opticianry degree programs and one-year ophthalmic laboratory technology certificate programs in the United States and its territories. 

Since the mission of the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation is to foster excellence in opticianry education by setting standards, assessing educational effectiveness, and identifying those academic programs that meet the standards, these standards aid programs to produce competent graduates who will provide professional services to the public. These graduates not only ensure future employers that they are ready for the work environment, but are fully capable of assisting patients in their diverse optical needs.

The COA believes in the advancement of opticians in the United States. There simply are not enough opticianry programs in the United States, and the COA is continually working with the National Federation of Opticianry Schools (NFOS) to develop new programs. 

COA publishes a list of accredited programs that meet the accreditation standards. Any information on the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation can be found here on their website .

Formed in 1973, the COA is composed of 12 Commissioners appointed by the National Academy of Opticianry (NAO), Opticians Association of America (OAA), National Federation of Opticianry Schools (NFOS), and two public members.

Current Commissioners are: Janet Alspaugh, NAO; Lanard Atkins, OAA; Daniel Dull, Public Member; Tom Hicks, OAA; Kristina Green, OAA; Thomas Neff, NAO; Doug Nunes, Chair, OAA; Liliana Mejia Rodriguez, NFOS; Mary Seguiti, NFOS; Cathy Schwarz, NAO; and H. Russ Tolar, NAO.

For further information please contact Debra White , Director of the COA.  
We're Always Up To Something...

The OAA branding committee has been hard at work now for seven years! Here is a glimpse of just of few of the new projects currently in the works ...
  • Marketing Help Guide
  • Updated Membership Packet & Pamphlet
  • Branding Pamphlet
  • Increased Social Media Presence: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snaphat, LinkedIn
  • OAA & State Leadership Lapel Pins

Since its inception, Vision of Hope (VOH) has encouraged Opticians to join a mission, helping people with vision needs worldwide. That effort has not changed. We still have a grant program for opticians wishing to take part in international mission projects. There is an application form on the VOH website to request aid for your mission trip.

Vision of Hope has also developed the goal of encouraging state associations to host missions within their own states. There are so many people within our borders that are not able to afford glasses. Two years ago, OAA/VOH sponsored a mission in Charleston, SC concurrent with the Leadership Conference. It was a big success. We were able to assist approximately 50 people in need. Since then, missions have also been held in Michigan and Washington, with more in the planning.

The VOH mission committee currently has two major goals:

  • Spearhead a mission each year in whichever city hosts the OAA Leadership Conference

  • Aid and encourage state associations to put on a mission within their own states 

States can contact the VOH mission chair to request information on how to start an in-state mission. 

In 2020, our main mission will coincide with the OAA Leadership Conference in Destin, Florida (details and exact location TBA).

We encourage all opticians to reach out to your state associations to set up a mission within your state.

FRI. 9 — SUN. 11
Professional Opticians of Florida
2019 Summer Showcase (Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort)

SAT. 17 SUN.18
Opticians Association of Georgia
Continuing Education
University of Georgia
Athens Campus

WED. 18 — SAT. 21
OptiCon at Vision Expo West  (Las Vegas, NV) 

The complete event for ophthalmic professionals — where eyecare meets eyewear, and education, fashion and innovation mingle.

SUN. 22
New York State Society of Opticians (NYSSO)
Region 4 Symposium
(The Desmond Hotel, Albany)
8:30A - 3:00P

SUN. 22
New York State Society of Opticians (NYSSO)
Long Island Symposium
(Radisson Hotel, Hauppauge)
8:30A - 3:00P

SAT. 28 — SUN. 29
Opticians Association of Ohio
Central Region Annual Conference
(Bruce E. Seigel Center for Health & Education, Columbus)

SUN. 13
New York State Society of Opticians (NYSSO)
Region 1 Symposium
(Erie Community College, Williamsville)
8:30A - 3:00P

TUE. 15
Certified Opticians Association of Texas
Houston Area Meeting: Kering Eyewear

SUN. 20
New York State Society of Opticians (NYSSO)
Region 5/Metro Symposium
(Crowne Plaza JFK Airport Hotel, Jamaica)
8:30A - 3:00P

SUN. 27
New York State Society of Opticians (NYSSO)
Region 3/4 Lake Placid Symposium
(Golden Arrow Resort, Lake Placid)
8:30A - 3:00P

September 18-21, 2019
Are you looking to gain more new patients, increase traffic to your website, or improve your overall Return On Investment? 

Join iMatrix and Opticians Association of America on Wednesday, September 4th at 5pm PST, for an educational webinar—" The Importance of Video Marketing "—and learn how video can help! 

In this webinar, Ali Nikoopour, Senior Business Development Manager at iMatrix, will cover:

  • how video affects your optical practice's online presence
  • how it influences customer behavior 
  • and what you can do to get started with this strategy at your practice
Register for " The Importance of Video Marketing " webinar below.
About iMatrix :  iMatrix specializes in professional websites and digital marketing solutions made for opticians who want to grow their business and gain a larger market share. They have spent over 15 years perfecting user-friendly website designs and expert marketing services that meet the unique needs of your practice so that you can achieve your business goals. 
iMatrix - 5550 Morehouse Drive, San Diego, CA 92121 | 877.721.3349