AOA Close to Naming Director, Swears in Cockrell as President, Among Host of Optometry’s Meeting Activities

By

David Cockrell, OD.

PHILADELPHIA—At the conclusion of this year’s Optometry’s Meeting, during the last day of delegates meetings for the 117th Annual American Optometric Association Congress, outgoing president Mitchell T. Munson, OD, said that the organization would announce a new executive director “soon.”

The acting executive director, Jon Hymes, took over after Barry Barresi, OD, PhD, announced that he was resigning from the position at the end of 2013. The AOA’s new president, David Cockrell, OD, was also sworn in at the conclusion of the meeting. The AOA posted video highlights of the congress on YouTube.

In his outgoing speech to AOA delegates, Munson noted a number of accomplishments over the course of his presidency, among them the support of The Vision Council’s Think About Your Eyes (TAYE) initiative. The TAYE campaign will include the AOA logo in its advertising, and AOA members will receive special pricing if they choose to be listed on TAYE’s doctor locator.

Many other meetings, social events, receptions, presentations, and educational opportunities took place over the course of Optometry’s Meeting since VMail’s reporting of the opening of the event last week.

Southern California College of Optometry won first place in the 23rd annual Varilux Optometry Student Bowl, taking home $1,000 in prize money and the crystal trophy. Second and third place winners, Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris University and Indiana University, received $750 and $500, respectively. All optometry schools vigorously cheered on the students representing their schools in the Jeopardy-style competition out of camaraderie and also in attempt to win the Spirit Award, the winner of which gets the make the rules video for the following year.

The winner of the $5,000 2014 Hoya Vision Care Scholarship was announced at the Hoya Vision Care Awards Luncheon on June 28, 2014. Susannah Lee from the University of California Berkeley School of Optometry won the scholarship.

Members of the AOA's Board of Trustees held the first-ever "Colleague to Colleague" forum, in which trustees fielded questions on advocacy, legislation, optometry's shifting demographics and other topics. Several trustees advocated a strengthening of state grassroots advocacy, citing the success of bills such as the recent expansion of the scope of optometric practice in Louisiana

The AOA also announced the results of the National Eye Care Workforce Study it conducted in collaboration with the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry to evaluate the current climate of the eyecare market in the U.S. and predict the upcoming changes in supply and demand of ophthalmic care.

Top performers in the 5K Run/Walk sponsored by The Vision Council in support of Optometry Cares—The AOA Foundation were George Veliky, OD, Larry Kocian and Farouk Bruce for the men, and Kimberly Powell, Paige Mullins and Vanessa Fimreite for the women.

Optometry’s Meeting concluded with the Hoya-sponsored Celebration of Optometry event in the Grand Ballroom of the Pennsylvania Convention Center, featuring famed comedian Martin Short.

Next year’s Optometry’s Meeting, which will again be sponsored by both the AOA as well as the American Optometric Students Association, will be held in Seattle, June 24-28, 2015, and a request for submissions of optometric, optometric staff and future optometrist education courses has already been issued.

See the award winners, industry executives and other dignitaries who attended the annual event in the Optometry’s Meeting slideshow.