Are You a Joiner?
Organizations, groups and pages ... why membership has its privileges.
Imagine that the optical industry is like high school.
Remember the kids who joined everything because it “looked good” on college applications? They ended up graduating from places like Yale, Stanford and Princeton and spent semesters abroad.
Now remember the kids that kept to themselves, head in a book at a table in the corner of the cafeteria? What happened to them? They probably lead perfectly lovely lives, but when you reconnect with high school friends are they who you gossip about? Probably not.
If the optical industry is like high school, don’t you want to be the business going to Paris and being talked about?
When you’re running a small business, you want people talking, you want strong networks and you want the power of your relationships to strengthen your business. You also want to be sure you have a source of fresh ideas and a sounding board when you get stuck. Or maybe you’d just like to socialize with like-minded people. Whatever it is ... there’s a group for that.
So, let me ask again ... Are you a joiner?
These ECPs are and they will tell you why membership has its privileges ...
Optical Alternatives, Milford, CT
I’ve joined a lot. I am in Opticians on Facebook multiple times a day. Luxury Eyewear Forum and Office Managers and Supervisors on Facebook, at least once a day. I like Opticians on Facebook because it has members from every stage of opticianry, from newbies to 40-year veterans. It makes me think. I have been doing this so long, I don’t remember the why. It’s nice to see people ask about the why and to have to think about it again.
Rita Ellent, OD
The Gardens Eye Care, Forest Hills, NY
I am active with the American Academy of Optometry, American Optometric Association and volunteer for the board of our local society, The Optometric Society of the City of New York. Staying connected is important in sharing new information of our day-to-day practice.
Zachary Dirks, OeD
St. Peter and Belle Plaine Eyecare Centers, Saint Peter, MN
ODs on Facebook. It is nice to hear that the problems you face are not abnormal.
Fox Valley Family Eyecare, Little Chute, WI
Opticians on Facebook. Love the stories, pictures and being able to help those who have questions.
Shelly Williams, OD
Shelley Williams, OD, Columbia, MO
AOA, MOA, CMOS. The main benefit is keeping up with political issues and government requirements.
Selina McGee, OD
Precision Vision, Edmond, OK
I don’t want to re-invent the wheel. Most times someone else has already done it and done it better. My peers are my greatest resource. I like following the Daily Optician, lots of out-of-the-box thinking there.
Eyeguys Optical, Spokane, WA
Daily Optician is such a great forum. I love to read about other opticians’ struggles and accomplishments and learn from everyone.
Latham Family Vision, Latham, NY
Opticians on Facebook has been a fantastic resource, as well as a great source of entertainment!
Eye to Eye Optometry, Mexico, MO
ODs on Facebook, The Eyewear Forum, Luxury Eyewear Forum, Opticians on Facebook. I learn a lot from colleagues.
Road Runner Eyecare, Albuquerque, NM
OptiBoard, but that’s less and less all the time. Facebook groups are huge!! Ask The Lab Guy, The Optical Bar, Opticians on Facebook (occasionally).
Eyecandy and Eye Candy Kids, Delafield, WI
Luxury Eyewear Forum on Facebook. It’s been a tremendous way to meet like-minded, high-end opticians, reps and owners. It’s been a priceless source of advice and perspective on luxury eyewear.
Nytarsha Thomas, OD
Visionelle Eyecare, Zionsville, IN
I am a member of AOA and the Illinois Optometric Association. You are in a group of like-minded people with similar goals and you can bounce ideas and questions off them. They even answer questions you didn’t even know you had.
DePoe Eye Center, McDonough, GA
I recently joined OptiBoard to follow what other optical professionals question or have doubts about. It is refreshing to follow a novice up to a seasoned professional discuss a multitude of topics.
Kate McElvaine, OD
Springfield Family Vision, Springfield, MO
I was on the Missouri Optometric Association’s board for three years out of school. I learned so much legislatively and met amazing doctors around the state. Also the best education is from COVD in refractive care and vision therapy!
Eyepower Kids Wear, Banks, OR
The OWA. Very helpful.
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention another important group to join ... INVISION’s Brain Squad. It only takes a few minutes each month and members get a ton of benefits. Once you answer your first survey, we’ll send you a free “Eye Geek” t-shirt. You can sign up here... invmag.us/brainsquad. Did we mention the really cool t-shirt?
If you’re looking for more reasons to become a joiner and are attending Vision Expo East, join me, and friends, colleagues, and INVISION regulars Colleen Galanti (founder of Opticians on Facebook) and Sherry Berry, both of Pascarella Eye Care & Contact Lenses in Newton PA, for our Pop-Up Talk, Defining the Relationship and Why it’s Important, on Friday, March 31 at 4pm in the Galleria Lounge. During the informal discussion, we’ll discuss the importance of relationship building, forming strong industry networks, and how it benefits the connections ECPs form with their customers. Visit visionexpoeast.com for more information.
This article originally appeared in the March 2017 edition of INVISION.
What's the Brain Squad?
If you're the owner or top manager of a U.S. eyecare business serving the public, you're invited to join the INVISION Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting eyecare professionals. Good deal, right? Sign up here.