students and apprentices welcomed

This year at the Opticians Association of America Leadership Conference in Orlando, Florida, there are new faces!  Sixteen students and apprentices have joined the ranks of leaders of opticianry, vice presidents, presidents and executive directors of state associations.  Every year these leaders come together to learn leadership skills to bring home and share with their state associations.  The three day conference attracts state leaders from all over the United States.  

This year, due to a grant from the OAA, 12 students and apprentices have joined 4 Hoya Vision Contest winners at the OAA Leadership Conference.  They attended specific course selections designed for students and apprentices, teaching them basics of leadership and honing their leadership skills.  One of the goals of the program is to enhance leadership succession at the state association level.  Each of the students would potentially become a working member of their state association.  

In November 2012, in recognition that these young leaders are our future, the OAA Board of Directors granted $7,500 to bring these deserving students and apprentices from all over the country to participate in the renowned educational conference. Due to the tremendous response, in early January 2013, the board voted to continue this program next year with a grant of $20,000, hoping to double the number of students and apprentices next year.  

Any state association, school or individual seeking information on this program should contact Dibby Bartlett at, an OAA board member overseeing this project.