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President's Letter

August, 2017

I hope that everyone had a great time at our Spring Convention. I want to thank Milton Corley for his hard work putting on this Spring Convention. He has served as our vice president and convention chair for the past three years. He has given many years of service to our association and to the state board. He has decided to take some time off from these responsibilities as he begins his semi-retirement. He still has to answer many calls and questions though. Our Friday night Meet and Greet began with good food and fellowship. It later moved next door where the party continued until the resort staff said it was time to clean up. I believe Dr. McDonald called his preacher during the night to bless our weekend events.

On Saturday morning, Dr. Warren McDonald taught four hours of spectacle education with great information while trying to engage the crowd. B. W. Phillips taught the contact lens education hour. Both are very informed speakers. Keith Hayes taught our apprentices once again and Grant Brown taught the lensometery workshop. Keith and Grant do a great job of teaching the basic tools needed to begin your career in opticianry. There have been many positive comments. We were fortunate to have had Jim Morris representing ABO and Bob Reynolds representing OAA present. Both men spoke briefly about what is happening with their organizations. I’d like to extend a special thanks to Bill Russell (AKA work horse) our sergeant at arms, for moving the crowds between hours and generally controlling the masses. David Gosnell and Jennifer Lentz did a great job of registering people and taking their money at a very fast pace. There are many others that work behind the scenes to allow our event to be successful and their work and dedication is also greatly appreciated.

Thanks to all of our vendors for their donations and hard work. They are important to our convention and meeting, so it is important that we support them and let them know how important they are to us. Our contributors included Alan Dobbs and Mike Del Vecchio from Essilor, who hosted our Friday Night Meet and Greet. Our vendors were available between classes to exhibit and discuss their products. The vendors who participated were; Clear Vision - Doug, Europa - Lisa, Headstrong - Troy, Imagewear - Liz, Kenmark - Julie, Modern - Wendy, New York Eyewear – Rodney and Kevin, Eastern States – Lauren, and Nouveau – Michelle.

The annual business meeting was held Sunday morning. We voted on an amendment to have an annual election for our area representatives. This was put into place so that more people are able to be involved in our association. The elections were held and the association board member results are as follows:Past-President -- Amy Stutsman, President – Ron Harbert, Vice President – Doug Clarkson, Secretary – David Gosnell, Treasurer – Dan Gosnell. The association’s area representatives after the elections are as follows: Charleston – Vicki Chamberlain, Columbia – Cheryl Burgess, Florence – Wayne Ham, Greenville – Wayne Minton, and Myrtle Beach – Bud Laws.

If you are working in our profession, I would encourage you to become more involved because your profession needs all interested members to participate at whatever level you feel comfortable. The association is for all members and every member is as important as the next.

It has been an honor and a pleasure to have been able to serve the association and I ask all to see what you are interested in within our association. I have been able to meet many great people both at the state level and at the national level. They are what I can call friends not just acquaintances.

We have a strong association, so let’s keep moving forward as a whole so please get involved. You can call me at any time. (843) 795-7917.


Ron Harbert
South Carolina Association of Opticians

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