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60% Of You Have Been Blessed to Have a Mentor in Your Career

Here’s how their relationships work.

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60% Of You Have Been Blessed to Have a Mentor in Your Career

Yes: 60%

  • Mr. Greg Rodriguez has been a positive influence with his history and knowledge of the eye care field. He has an open communication, and still serves as a mentor to any “new” hire. — James Masser, Rocky Mountain Eye Center, Pueblo, CO
  • My mentor was years ago. She taught me a lot when I first went into optics. Nothing formal, just always explained the why and how whenever she assisted me. — Cassandra Brackmann, Danville Family Eye Care, Danville, IN
  • Someone there to look over your shoulder, guide you, advice when necessary, but allows you to make your own choices and decisions. — Susie Phillips, Dr. Brendon Johnson, O.D., Pekin, IL
  • He passed away in 2001, but he was an OD I met in Missouri. Always there to encourage me, in optics as well as life in general. Miss you Doc! — Gail Bailey, Eye Care Clinic, Grand Rapids, MN
  • I worked for him for 20 years. he taught me everything I know and then I bought him out. — Chani Miller, OD, Park Eye Center, Highland Park, NJ
  • She’s actually my grandmother, so she’s pretty much always available for any questions I may have. — Travis LeFevre, Krystal Vision, Logan, UT
  • When I had one our relationship was just as teacher/student with give and take. — Jessica Brundidge, Clarity Vision, Clayton, NC
  • Carefull listening, asking the right questions, being respectful in debatable situations. — Steven Gouveia, Target Optical, Seekkonk, MA
  • I’ve never really had a one-on-one mentor. It’s mostly finding someone that I admire or respect and research about their lives and read their material, books, etc. to see how I can apply their teachings/ideas into my life/work. — Josh Bladh, Dr Bladh OD, Diamond Bar, CA
  • Worked for him 20+ years ago. He recently retired. — Kevin Count, Prentice Lab, Glenview, IL
  • I would not necessarily call any individual a mentor. However, I am inspired by others, who have excelled in Customer Service. — Pam Housley, Texas State Optical of Nederland, Port Arthur, TX
  • When I started, I had no optical experience. She trained me and has taught me everything I know over the last four years. — Andrea Schall, Armstrong Eye Care, Kittanning, PA
  • I worked better when we were in the same state so we don’t see each other as much but anytime I needed guidance, she was always then to lend an ear. — Nytarsha Thomas, OD, Visionelle Eyecare, Zionsville, IN
  • Touch base on issues and concerns. — Paula Hornbeck, Eye Candy & Eye Candy Kids, Delafield, WI
  • He was a natural teacher and recognized the spirit of entrepreneurship in me. He shared those tips and tricks that you only learn from experience. He’s retired now but will always be there if I pick up the phone just to talk it out. He was adamant that you NEVER stop learning and now I know why. — Nikki Griffin, EyeStyles Optical and Boutique, Oakdale, MN
  • My mentor has been an amazing asset throughout my career: sounding board, job finder, drinking buddy and giver of advice! — Stacey Nutting, The Eye Doctors at CNY Eye Care, East Syracuse, NY
  • If I ever have a question all I have to do is call/text and he’s right there available whenever I need him. — Frances Ann Layton, Eye Associates of South GA, Valdosta, GA
  • Dan is my SCORE mentor he helps me look at the business aspect. — Ron Catterson, Clear View Optix, The Villages, FL
  • I try to take something from everyone I’ve worked with even if they have been doing this less time than me. I really like to learn one new thing a day. I have many many mentors over the years in business and in Life. — Caitlin Wicka, San Juan Eye Center, Montrose, CO
  • Mutual admiration and respect with a healthy dose of realism and coaching. True Talk, no lip service in this relationship. — Selina McGee, OD, Precision Vision, Edmond, OK
  • I got into this business by helping the overwhelmed optician in the optical owned by the doctors I worked with. She taught the basics and things I did not learn when I finally enrolled in the Ophthalmic Design and Dispensing program. — Dorothy Reynolds, Optical Alternatives, Milford, CT
  • I have always chosen to be sponge around people more seasoned than myself. I have made sure that those people knew of my admiration for them. — Vlad Cordero, Focus Eye Care PC, Hackensack, NJ
  • It was 38 years ago, but it worked great because most of what I know and can do now is because of him. — Judith Whitelaw, Dr. Gregory Char,OD, Orange, OR
  • My mentor is retired but she was a wonderful teacher as well as a friend. — Jeff Grosekemper, Casa De Oro Eyecare, Spring Valley, CA
  • It worked well he was my older brother. He was an Ophthalmologist and he brought me into the business and we became partners. He taught me that you never really win an argument with a customer/patient. A lot of what I learned from him was what not to do. He was a great guy and the world’s worst negotiator. So, I learned how not to negotiate from him and many other things. — Bob, McBeath, Edina Eye, Edina, MN
  • My mentor was always there to listen and give advice. — Doreen Erbe, Snyder Eye Group, Ship Bottom, NJ
  • I have several mentors that I call my gurus. I have attended lectures and gone to meetings with them. There is after hours conversations and email exchanges whenever a question arises. — Pauline Buck, OD, Behavioral and Developmental Optometrists, Miami, FL
  • Yes, we support each other. — Jill Sweig, OD, Oyster Bay Optics, Oyster Bay, NY
  • I would have to say that would be my sponsors that I had when I did my apprenticeship. Everything that I was taught in their business I brought to my own business. I basically feel that they were my what I call optical parents and I run my business the way they ran their business to this day in my shop is actually I feel an offspring of their store similar decor I even use the same receipts we used when I work there over 25 years ago. — Julie Uram, Optical Oasis, Jupiter, FL
  • He is an OD that is ten years my senior and has been hugely successful in Optometry. I have always asked him about various business decisions over the last 50 years. — Texas L. Smith, OD, Dr. Texas L. Smith & Associates, Citrus Heights, CA
  • I’m our practice the LDO’s seem to mentor each other. We have all grown strong in different areas of our craft and help enhances each other’s weaknesses. — William Chancellor, Eye Can See Eyewear, McDonough, GA
  • I have been blessed to have an OUTSTANDING mentor in my career, who is a Master in Ophthalmic Optics and also a former Optical Dispensary owner. He has given me a lot of insights into my profession and also a solid friendship with someone who understands what my concerns are and cheers me on as I try to make myself useful. — Pablo E Mercado, LensCrafters, Alpharetta, GA
  • I had some early advice from my father although I likely didn’t follow most of it & Andy Gurwood was a big help instilling confidence & skills to practice optometry while I was a student. — Marc Ullman, OD, Academy Vision, Pine Beach, NJ
  • Great to use for bouncing things off, ideas, troubleshooting etc. — Scott Felten, Fox Valley Family Eye Care, Little Chute, WI
  • I’m a member of my local Rotary Club and there are many business people who have become good friends and business mentors. Priceless relationships. I ask advice and they lift me up! — Jennifer Leuzzi, Mill Creek Optical, Dansville, NY
  • He gives me advice and answers the many questions I have. — Amy Pelak, Proview Eyecare Optometry, Corona, CA
  • When I first started out in this industry, as a young 17-year-old, the manager of the location I worked at took me under his wing and taught me everything he knew. We became very good friends, even outside of work, and he taught me not just about the optical world but many life lessons as well. While our paths have since taken us in different directions, I still think of him fondly when I do daily tasks like a re-string or remember some of the fun we had like attending Cher’s farewell tour! — Christine Howard, Attleboro Vision Care, Attleboro, MA
  • It was many moons ago but I still do things, based off his influence and teachings, to this day. — Rick Rickgauer, Vision Associates, Girard, PA
  • My boss. He’s been an optician for 30+ years and know so much! He has taught me everything I know. — Vicki Thompson, Grandville Optical, Grandville, MI
  • I had a mentor for over twenty years! I initially started teching at his office as a teenager. He guided me throughout college and OD school. Now, I’m the 20-year veteran. — Amina Ebrahim, OD, D Vision Eyecare, Allen, TX
  • I could call and ask him business related questions because he had practiced for years and he would ask me clinical questions on new techniques and tests. — Kimberly Riggs, OD, Ligonier, PA
  • Well when your mentor is your mother, the mentoring truly never stops. We’ve worked together for 30 years although she’s only been paying me for the last 5 (since I joined the practice) and while our learning and teaching styles differ drastically, we make our way to answers sooner rather than later. — Harris Decker, Eye Designs of Westchester, Scarsdale, NY
  • Help with Business decisions. — Jeffrey Safarik, OD, Newport Mesa Optometry, Costa Mesa, CA
  • No longer living. — David Saxton, Kern Optical, Gulfport, MS
  • It is the good folks on Optcom list, ODWire and ODs on Facebook. It works by exchange of ideas and experiences. As a solo practitioner, it is good to learn from them. — Michael Davis, OD, Opti-Care, Eldersburg, MD
  • Just someone I worked with over 20 years ago, but I consider him a mentor. — Bethany Cassar, Complete Eye Health, Holland, MI
  • Family. — Dave Goodrich, Goodrich Optical, Lansing, MI
  • When I first started, under an old-school optician, I learned a lot of tricks and techniques. She is long gone but I think she would be proud of me. — Annette Prevaux, The Visionary, Allen Park, MI

No: 40%

  • It was I who was expected to mentor and oversee the associates. — John LaShorne, Brown County Eye Care, Nashville, IN
  • Never needed. — Greg Kyser, Gallery of Eyewear, Marysville, WA
  • Didn’t have the opportunity. — Mark Perry, OD, Vision Health Institute, Orlando, FL
  • Haven’t found someone that is very helpful. — Katie Rutledge, Arnold Family Eyecare, Imperial, MO

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.

Since launching in 2014, INVISION has won 23 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INVISION's editors at [email protected].

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