David Ellis – PRESIDENT
David Ellis is a newcomer to the world of optics, beginning his career by enrolling in Baker College’s Opticianry program in the fall of 2015. David began working with Henry Ford OptimEyes in April of 2016. At OptimEyes, David has worked as an Optical Dispenser, an Optician, an Administrative Assistant, and a Patient Advocate. David’s love for the field of optics led to his pursuing a seat on the Optician Association of Michigan’s Board. He previously served as the Board’s student member and now has joined on as a Director.
Kristina Luka – VICE PRESIDENT
Kristina Luka began her journey with the optical industry in November of 2015 at Lesnick Optical in Southgate, MI. She started the Opticianry Program in January of 2016 and graduated with honors the summer of 2017. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Healthcare Administration and is ABO, NCLE, and MBCO certified. She was elected to sit on the Opticians Association of Michigan board and has served as a board member since April of 2018. She was also elected for a seat on the Vision of Hope board and has served since February 2019. She worked her way up to Secretary and then is now serving as the Vice President as of September 2021.
Kandy Garrett – SECRETARY
Kandy started as an optician in 2004. Becoming certified with on-the-job training in 2009. She attended her first OAM Convention in the spring of 2017 and saw a bigger opportunity to meet fellow Opticians. She saw how much the opticianry industry is capable of helping the community, and our state as a whole. Kandy is working toward obtaining the MBCO at the Spring 2020 Convention and gain better understanding the education for low vision and vision therapy. Kandy has been married to Robb for 13 years and have three kids; Austin, Amelia, and Ansen and live on a small private lake near Battle Creek.
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 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. Currently retired.
Sue Shire – IMMEDIATE PAST 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 and is now retired from private practice. She joined the board of the Opticians Association of Michigan in 2006, serving as President for 2 terms and is currently serving as Immediate Past President. In 2017, Sue was awarded the State Leader of the Year by the Opticians Association of America (OAA). Sue serves on the board of directors for the Opticians Association of America and is also Vice Chair of the Vision of hope Foundation, the Charity branch of the OAA.
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.
Tracy Waldo – DIRECTOR
Tracy Waldo 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. In addition, she lectures regionally to opticians who aspire to become ABO certified.
Doug Kollar- DIRECTOR
Doug graduated from Ferris in 1982 and has been working as an optician since. He started in Fenton, currently retired but helping out at Diamond Optical in Lapeer and Flint Optical in Flint. He was extremely active and busy with OAM from 1983 through 2004. Doug took a break from the OAM to start a family and take care of personal business. He is extremely involved in the community of Lapeer. Doug enjoys sailing, golf and watching his daughter grow up. When he’s not busy, you can find him on Beaver Island, where he plans to retire full time. He believes the optician is the most important person in the practice. You could be the best OD in the state and if you have a bad optician you will go hungry. It’s education, trust, and knowledge that will make your practice grow.
Will Taylor – DIRECTOR
Studied Arabic and laser technology at Schoolcraft college 2008, ABOC, NCLEC, & MBOC certified. Currently holding an Optician position at Henry Ford Optimeyes, & owns/operates Eye 2 Eye Contact in Detroit, Mich (mobile unit optical dispensary). Married and his hobbies include Egyptian history, kite flying. Resides in Northville.
Mindy Clipfell – DIRECTOR
Mindy started her Optical career with RxOptical in 1996. This allowed her to become ABO Certified in 1997. In 2009 Mindy transferred with RxOptical to the Metro Detroit area. After moving to the Metro Detroit area she joined a private practice in 2014, Marston Optometry. Mindy has over 20 years of experience both in laboratory work and in frame selection and working with frame manufacturers. She enjoys picking out the current styles and sharing them with her patients. She is married to Kevin and they both enjoy biking, finding different micro breweries and traveling. They reside in Royal Oak.
Jennifer Block – DIRECTOR
Jennifer Block was born and raised in Michigan. She began her optical career in Memphis, TN in 1993 and became a Licensed Optician in the year 2000. She managed several TN private practices. Her focus then turned to intensifying her knowledge of each optical industry role to become a strong leader. She supports her local optical community by facilitating A.B.O. study sessions enabling others to become certified. Jennifer returned to Michigan in 2009 and joined Henry Ford OptimEyes in 2010 as a manager. After three years, Jennifer was promoted to Training Supervisor for this organization and has developed programs for Onboarding, Customer Service, Leadership Development, and specialized departmental positions, which include product and software training. These “hands on” programs develop skills through a Learning Management System and individual schedules specialized to address each optical role. Jennifer’s focus and passion in her 28 years in optics has always been to be an inspiration to others. She accomplishes this by providing personalized coaching, optical education, and methods on how to improve business growth within the industry as a whole – one person at a time.
Sue Smith – DIRECTOR
Sue is a 1983 graduate from the Ophthalmic Dispensing program at Ferris State which she earned her A.A.S and B.S.B.M degrees and is also ABO certified. She has been working as an optician both in Optometric and Ophthalmology private practices for 39 years. For the last 15 years she has been working at Grand Traverse Ophthalmology Clinic in beautiful Traverse City and currently is serving as the optical coordinator managing two locations for the last five. Sue has three children and five grand boys. In her spare time she likes to boat, golf, walk and shop! She has a passion for this field and enjoys teaching and training new opticians to love the world of opticianry and strive to be the best at it!
To enhance the professional advancement of opticians for the benefit of the patients we serve.
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Spring Convention 2022