President's Letter

May 2018

I hope that everyone had a great time at our Spring Fling 2018.  Ocean Creek Resort does a good job in trying to make our convention a big success.  They worked hard painting and getting our meeting rooms ready.  The A/C definitely wasn’t a problem this year; as a matter of fact, the biggest complaint was that the room this year was too cold.  We need to make sure that when reservations are made, that we use the name “S.C. Association of Opticians”, even if you have to book your room after the rate deadline.  This makes sure that we get credit for each room in our room count and that you are receiving our best contracted room rate.

We encourage all to come to our meet and greet on Friday night and then to come to our party afterwards.  The meet and greet lasts from 6:30 to 8:30 with the party next door starting afterwards going until midnight.  There is always plenty of food, beverages, and friendship.  Thanks to the Essilor reps and their donation for the Friday night events.

Randall Smith taught our Saturday education hours.  He is the Director of Examinations for the ABO.  We have been told by many opticians in the crowd that they felt that he did a good and thorough job.  Keith Hayes once again taught our apprentice class.  Grant Brown finished the day teaching a two hour lensometery class. Thanks to all who help out with our education.

Please get involved with your local area meetings and your state level meetings because the association is for all members whether licensed, apprentice or associate members.  We need all to be involved to allow our association to keep growing and to move forward in advancing opticianry. 

This meetings vendors were: Avalon – David Spencer, Dolabany – Greg Byerley, Imagewear – Liz Ashworth, Marchon – Leslie Davis, Modern Optical – Wendy Wilson, Morrell/Mad Vision – Steven Strumpf, New York Eyewear – Rodney Humphries, Nouveau – Michelle Whittaker, Optical and Eyecare Solutions - Mary Johnson, and Zylowear – Jury Nicholson. When possible, try to support our vendors who support our association.   Thanks to all of our vendors because with their support, our association can use their donation to make one of the best deals in the nation for education and for what you get for your dues.  Remember, not only do you get education, but you are also a member of the Opticians Association of America as part of your dues.

I know I sound like a broken record but I would like to thank all those who serve on our boards.  Amy Stutsman (Past President), Doug Clarkson (Vice President), David Gosnell (Secretary) Danny Gosnell (Treasurer) who make up our executive board and our area representatives; Cheryl Burgess, Vicki Chamberlain, Wayne Ham, Wayne Minton, Bud Laws, Kenneth Davenport as web master, and my main work horse Bill Russell (Sergeant of Arms).  I want to also thank Melanie Crews and Jennifer Lentz for her work helping to keep up with calls and issues that come up with the association’s daily works.  Thank you for allowing me to serve as your president of the association.


Ronnie Harbert


South Carolina Association of Opticians

February 2018

Our winter education was one of our most attended meetings to date.  The speakers did a great job.  Dr. Roy Ferguson, who has always supported our state whether at the association or the state level, did three hours of continuing education.  Dr. Bob Russo supplied the last spectacle hour and our contact lens hour.  He came at the contact lens hour with as different subject, talking about solutions and their effects.  He also has a different approach anyway, because he might be a little north of the Mason-Dixon Line.  Keith Hayes once again had a full room of apprentices and as usual, gave them an introduction into the formulas and prisms. 

Our vendors once again came through and supported our meeting by securing a table, showing their product, and giving their time and monies. Please, if possible, support them so that we can hope for their support in the future. By purchasing two frames, you also have a chance to win a $50 drawing at each of the vendor’s tables.

In February, our state association hosted the OAA leadership conference in Charleston.  Vision of Hope along with our state association kicked off the first Vision of Hope campaign to serve the less fortunate members of our community by suppling the frames and lenses for their eyewear needs along with visual exams donated by Dr. William Lee.  We saw 54 patients and provided 50 pairs of glasses.  If anyone is interested in becoming involved in the future, contact your association.  We wanted and did challenge other states to become involved with Vision of Hope so that this can become a national movement on a bigger scale.

Thank you for being a member of our state association.  Please support your local meetings.  It is at these meetings that industry discussions are held and key information and important ideas about our industry are shared.  Please also support our winter and spring meetings, where continuing education hours are offered at no cost to association members. The association is for all of us so let’s work together to improve opticianry.  The following list is the vendors who participated and supported our industry at the winter 2017 meeting.


Imagewear                           Liz Ashworth

Avalon                                   David Spencer

Europa                                  Lisa Henry

Headstrong                          Troy Waites

Marchon                               Paul Kieffer and Leslie Davies

Morrell and Mad Vision    Steve Strumpf

Thank you for allowing me to serve as your association’s president.


Ron Harbert


South Carolina Association of Opticians

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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