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Call for Award Nominations for SECO 2024

Recognizing outstanding individuals for their contributions and dedication to Optometry.

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(PRESS RELEASE) Each year SECO encourages the optometric profession to identify and recognize outstanding individuals for their contributions and dedication to Optometry.  We especially appreciate the participation of our member states!

As you may know, SECO is excited to invite you back to Atlanta in 2024. At the Southern Council of Optometrists (SoCO) House of Delegates on Saturday, March 2nd SECO’s prestigious awards outlined below will be presented.  Your nominations are truly appreciated.

The deadline for submitting award nominations is November 30, 2023.

The following are the award categories, including two NEW awards:  The Optician Award and the Executive Director Award.

Optometrist of the South – This award may be presented annually to an optometrist who has demonstrated a significant contribution to the optometric profession.  The recipient must be a member of the Southern Council of Optometrists in the year in which the award is presented.  The President and President Elect of SECO International are not eligible to receive this award during their term of office.  Past recipients of this award are not eligible to be nominated.

Please note:  If you would like to enter your AOA “OD of the Year” nominee, please forward a copy of your nominee’s paperwork as submitted to the AOA.

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Paraoptometric of the South – This award may be presented annually to a non-optometrist who has demonstrated a significant contribution to the optometric profession.  Traditionally, this award has been presented to individuals who reside in one of the 13 states that comprise the Southern Council of Optometrists.  No employee of the President or President Elect of SECO International, LLC, is eligible to receive this award while the said President or President Elect is in office.  Past recipients of this award are not eligible to be nominated.

Please note:  If you would like to enter your AOA “Paraoptometric of the Year” nominee, please forward a copy of your nominee’s paperwork as submitted to the AOA. If your new award winner will not be selected prior to the deadline, please feel free to submit the winner from the previous year.

Young Optometrist of the South – This award may be presented to an Optometrist who 1) has demonstrated significant contributions to the optometric profession; and 2) has graduated from an accredited school or college of Optometry within ten years of the date when the request for nominations was made. For purposes of this award, a year will be defined as a calendar year beginning January 1 and ending on December 31.  The recipient must be a member of the Southern Council of Optometrists in the year in which the award is presented.

NEW!  Optician of the South Award – The Optician of the South Award is a prestigious accolade presented to outstanding individuals located within a SoCO member state within the field of optometry and eyecare who have demonstrated exceptional commitment, expertise, and dedication in providing vision care services.

Criteria:

  1. Opticianry Proficiency: Nominees should exhibit a high level of opticianry expertise, consistently delivering accurate prescriptions, precise fittings, and other eye care services.
  2. Innovation and Technology: The recipient of this award should demonstrate a commitment to staying current with the latest advancements in technology and eyecare practices.
  3. Continuous Education: Nominees should exhibit a dedication to lifelong learning by participating in continuing education programs, certifications, and professional development opportunities to remain at the forefront of their field.
  4. Professional Ethics: Ethical conduct and integrity are crucial for the Optician Award. Nominees should adhere to the highest standards of professional ethics, respecting patient confidentiality and ensuring fair and transparent business practices.
  5. Leadership and Mentorship: Exceptional opticians should serve as role models and mentors to others in the field. They should inspire and guide emerging professionals, contributing to the growth and development of the eye care community.

NEW!  Executive Director Award – The Executive Director Award is a prestigious recognition bestowed upon an outstanding individual serving as the Executive Director of a non-profit optometric association within a SoCO member state. This award celebrates the Executive Director’s exceptional leadership, vision, and commitment to advancing the mission and objectives of the association, contributing significantly to the success and growth of the organization and the greater optometric community.

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No currently serving Executive Director may nominate themselves for the award.  An Executive Director from any SoCO state may nominate another state’s Executive Director based on the criteria set forth below:

Criteria:

  1. Leadership and Vision: The recipient of the Executive Director Excellence Award must exhibit exemplary leadership qualities, inspiring and guiding the association’s board, staff, and members.
  2. Strategic Planning: The nominee should be recognized for their ability to develop and execute effective strategic plans that align with the association’s mission. Their strategic insights should have contributed to the association’s growth, sustainability, and impact within the optometric community.
  3. Advocacy and Outreach: The nominee should have a demonstrated track record of successful advocacy efforts on behalf of the association and the optometric profession. Their work should have positively impacted legislation, policies, and regulations relevant to optometry and eye health.
  4. Membership Engagement: The award recipient should have implemented strategies that enhance member engagement, satisfaction, and retention. They should have fostered a sense of community and unity among association members.
  5. Financial Stewardship: Nominees should have demonstrated effective financial management skills, ensuring the association’s fiscal responsibility and sustainability. They should have secured funding, managed budgets efficiently, and diversified revenue sources.
  6. Innovation and Adaptability: The nominee should have encouraged innovation within the association, leveraging technology and best practices to enhance member services, communication, and overall effectiveness. They should have demonstrated adaptability in response to changing industry dynamics.
  7. Collaboration and Partnerships: The recipient should be commended for their ability to foster collaborations and partnerships with other organizations, institutions, and stakeholders that benefit the optometric profession and the association’s goals.
  8. Education and Professional Development: The nominee should have supported the development of educational programs, resources, and opportunities that advance the knowledge and skills of association members, contributing to their professional growth.

To submit nominations please provide the following:

  • A letter which includes:
    • The nominee’s name
    • Award for which the individual is nominated
    • City and State of practice
    • The reasons why the nominee should receive the award
  • A copy of the nominee’s biography or curriculum vitae (CV).

Please note that incomplete nominations cannot be processed by the committee.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the SECO office.  Submit SECO 2024 award nominations to:

Awards Committee

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SECO International

4661 N. Shallowford Road

Atlanta, GA  30338

OR

Email:  bfripp@secostaff.com

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