Karen Jackowski - PRESIDENT
Karen Jackowski served as Vice President, Convention Chair and Student Mentor before becoming president. She had a previous career as a legal assistant. She became interested in the optical industry while working part-time at a Wal-Mart pharmacy department. Her boss sensed something was wrong and suggested an eye exam. The rest is history. Karen attended Baker College graduating with an Associate's Degree in Applied Science. She was top in her class and in the country, being identified as Vision Monday's 2013 Best in Class; placed 3rd in the National Opticianry College Jeopardy Bowl. Karen is both ABO and NCLE Certified, licensed in Ohio with optical experience in retail, private practice and major medical as a dispensing optician and optical technician. She taught optical dispensing and contact lens classes at Baker College. Karen was recognized as a national leader in the Optician Association of America publication of “The American Optician.” In June 2017, she received her bachelor degree in Business Administration.
Sue Shire - VICE PRESIDENT
Sue has worked in the optical industry since 1977. Her first 21 years she worked in Illinois and moved to Michigan in 1998. Since moving to Michigan, Sue has worked for a private practice in Dowagiac. She joined the board of the Opticians Association of Michigan in 2006, served as President for 3 years, is currently serving as Vice President and Convention Chair. In 2012, as Honored Fellow she served on the board of directors for the Opticians Association of America for 4 years. Presently she serves on 3 committees: Branding, Collaboration and the American Optician publican. In 2017, Sue was awarded the State Leader of the Year by the Opticians Association of America.
Gary Broyles - TREASURER
Gary started in the optical business in 1969 and became an OAM member in 1972. He has been a certified optician since 1974 and has served on the the OAM board in many capacities over the years including President (3 yrs), Vice President (2 yrs), and has served for the last 8 years as Treasurer. He has overseen the planning of the OAM Spring Convention for the last 43 years. He and his wife, Sandy, have 3 sons, Shane, Jason, and Matthew.
Dick Gross - Secretary
Dick started in the optical industry in 1973 by earning a degree in Optical Technology from Anoka Technical Institute in Anoka, Minnesota. He was hired by Twin City Optical (TCO) in July of 1974. In late 1974, he was promoted to the Plastic Division as Manager. In 1979, Dick participated in a Lab Manager training program and in December of 1979, Dick opened TCO's first branch office in Storm Lake, Iowa. Dick served as General Manager until January of 1992. He started the branch with just one employee. Over time, the branch was producing 150 jobs per day and 9 employees were added. Dick went to Traverse City, Michigan in January of 1992 to offer his expertise. Traverse City has since grown from 150 jobs per day to 600 jobs per day. Dick also served as a member of TCO's Steering Committee.
Another passion of Dick's is being a member of VOSH (Voluntary Optometric Service to Humanity), a nationwide group which helps collect used glasses and distribute them to the underprivileged. His first trip was in 1985 to Mexico. He has since made many trips to Honduras, Peru and for the last three years been going to Beaver Island with a retired optometrist, volunteering used glasses and time to the needy.
Amy Beyer - DIRECTOR
Amy started her optical career in 1992 as an invoice clerk and worked her way into being a dispensing optician within 6 months. She became ABO certified in May 2000. She was a General Store Manager for a large optical chain for 13 years. After leaving retail optical, she became an optician at a large Ophthalmology group in Saginaw, where she worked for 7 years. Amy is now working as a territory sales representative for an eyeglass frame company. She was one of the first opticians in Michigan to receive the MBCO certification in 2010. She was elected to the Board of Directors for the OAM in March 2011, became Vice President in 2013 and then President in 2015. In 2017, she was elected to the nominating committee for the Opticians Association of America.
Ron Witt - DIRECTOR
Ron has an associate degree in Ophthalmic Dispensing and a BA in Business both from Ferris State. He has been a certified optician for 29 years. He has worked in chain optical, private practice, optical laboratory, and has owned a practice for eleven years. Ron loves what he does and has brought his passion for Opticianry to the OAM in hopes he can help others who love the profession too.
Tracy Dard - DIRECTOR
Tracy Dard is the Ophthalmic Lab Manager for the University Eye Center in the Michigan College of Optometry (MCO), Ferris State University. In 1998 she earned her A.A.S. in Opticianry at Ferris State University as well as her ABOC and NCLEC. She is proficient in all aspects of opticianry from dispensing spectacles and contact lenses to surfacing ophthalmic lenses. She worked in private practice prior to joining the staff at MCO in 2004. Tracy consults with the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO), Salus University in the Doctor of Optometry Scholars program on opticianry related topics along with the advanced studies course in Optical Principles and Ophthalmic Applications for PCO. In addition, she lectures regionally to opticians who aspire to become ABO certified.
Matt Gasser - DIRECTOR
Matthew J Gasser is an account representative with Maui Jim Inc. / Zeal Optics covering Southern Michigan. Employed with his company since 1999, he has received numerous “jimmy” awards and Kahuna Club Recognition for his sales accomplishments. Matt has served the sunglass/optical industry since 1989 working with Lantis Eyewear, Bausch & Lomb, Ray Ban, Donna Karen, Tommy Hilfiger and Modern Optical to name a few. Alumni of Ferris State University and Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. Matt is an avid Golfer and Skier who also enjoys traveling. He is married with three children (all In College) and his dog Cody. He resides in Clarkston Mi.
Doug Kollar - DIRECTOR
Bio Coming Soon.
Jamie Brady - EDUCATION LIAISON
James (Jamie) Brady, ABOC, M.Ed., is a graduate of Ferris State University. Jamie holds an AAS in Opticianry, a BS in Business Management and a M.Ed. in Career and Technical Education. Jamie has worked in the optical industry since 1981 and currently teaches ophthalmic optics to the optometry students at the Michigan College of Optometry at FSU. Jamie has recently completed research on the topic of quantifying the effects of aniseikonia and stereoacuity. Currently Jamie is researching surface reproducibility on digital progressive addition lenses.