President’s letter, July 2023
I hope this letter finds everyone well, and that you all have a safe and enjoyable Independence Day holiday weekend. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for allowing me the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the great leaders who have come before me, and I ask that you have grace and patience with any mistakes I may make while trying to fill some enormous shoes.
I’d like to give a warm welcome to the newly elected members of our board, Jayne Sommers, Columbia Area Rep, and Joseph Venzie, Charleston Area Rep. I’m expecting to see fresh ideas and new perspectives from our new Board members.
Re-elected to their positions are Dan Gosnell, Treasurer, David Gosnell, Secretary, Dawn Arnold, Myrtle Beach Area Rep, James Rhodes, Florence Area Rep, and Maryellen Holliday, Greenville Area Rep. These folks have long been the boots on the ground making this Association one of the strongest in the country, and they deserve our thanks for their efforts to protect and maintain our profession and Association.
The Rock Hill Area Rep position is currently vacant. Please contact me if you’re interested in serving your fellow opticians in this role.
Bill Russell and Grant Brown will continue on in their roles as Sergeant-at-Arms and Newsletter Editor, respectively. While these are not elected positions, they are instrumental in managing our meetings and communicating with our membership, and both of these men work hard for the association to help make us successful.
Elected to new positions are myself as President, and Jodi McGinnis as Vice President. Jodi has worked diligently as our Legislative Committee Chair, which she will retain, and I’m expecting her to continue accomplishing great things for this Association in her new role as VP.
I’d like to personally thank our outgoing Columbia Area Rep, Rhody Spooner, for his years of service to our association, and his wise advice and counsel over the last couple years.
Regarding our immediate Past President, Ron Harbert, words can’t do justice to the long hours, hard work, and dedication he’s put in over nine long years of service to his fellow SC opticians. He’ll probably never tell you this himself, so I will: at the OAA Leadership meeting in February, he was recognized as the OAA State Leader of the Year; a well deserved and long-coming acknowledgement of his diligent service to not only SC opticianry, but to opticianry across the nation. I’m forever grateful that he took me under his wing and mentored me, and I feel privileged to call him a friend.
As I mentioned before, we have one of the strongest Associations in the country, and this is because the leaders before me did things the right way. My goals for this term in office are continuing the path laid out by my predecessors, working to modernize our website, some of our processes, and growing the next generation of SCAO’s leadership.
Again, thank you for this opportunity.
Wesley S. Scott