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Brain Squad

Home for (More Than) the Holidays? What Would You Say to Those You Left Behind?

Brain Squad members share in one sentence what they’d impart to their employees and co-workers.




This year’s holiday season seems almost … normal.

Exhibit A: Covid stubbornly remains a thing, but your local mall probably hasn’t been this busy since 2019.

Exhibit B: Inflation remains stubbornly high, but shoppers are out spending money.

Our collective return to normalcy (or whatever passes for normal these days) signals a return of the classical notion of a holiday vacation. You know, that sometimes questionable decision we make to spend time at home with our families because we – gasp – want to rather than because we have to due to a pandemic-induced lockdown.

If you are lucky enjoy get some time away, will your thoughts ever stray to what is going on in office? Can you make a clean break for a few days? What if you were away for weeks or even months? How long could you go before you had to check in?

It got us thinking. And just like The Fixx crooned about lo these many years ago, one thing led to another…


So, we posed this question to our Brain Squad members: If you had to take leave of your store/practice for a year and the only communication you could have with employees was a single sentence, what would you write?

Enjoy their responses, maybe with a bowl of Chex Mix and a glass of eggnog nearby during your holiday vacay. portable homes

Words of Advice

  • “Be Good!” – Mickey Bradley, Patrick Optical, Fort Worth, TX
  • “I trust you and don’t forget to GET THE MAIL.” – Cynthia Sayers, OD, EyeShop Optical Center, Lewis Center, OH
  • “You have the skills and tools, so remember: Profit First, trust your gut ,and make the most of every day.” – Nikki Griffin, EyeStyles Optical and Boutique, Oakdale, MN

“There are hidden cameras constantly watching you.”

Richard Frankel, OD, Atlantic Cape Eyecare, Wildwood, NJ

  • “Stay out of trouble.” – BJ Chambers, Carrera Optical, McQueeney, TX
  • “Smile and make people happy.” – Robert Lootens, Physicians Optical Service, Jefferson City, MO
  • “Take care of the patients and each other.” – Ann Gallagher, Professional Vision, Ellicott, MD
  • “Be understanding.” — Ken Weiner, OD, Optometric Physician, Livingston, NJ
  • “Make sure our patients, and more importantly all of you, remain happy while I’m away!” – Justin Tenczar, Berkshire Eye Center, Pittsfield MA
  • “Always make decisions with our vision in mind.” – Lisa Smith, Precision Eye Care, Vancouver, WA
  • “Always be excited about our always new collections and take good care of the customers.” – Robert Hillman, Fabulous Fanny’s, New York, NY

Good Luck with That

  • “Now you are in my shoes!” – Barbara Solomon, Solomon Optical Company, Minneapolis, MN
  • “Can’t talk now but I’ll be “Out of the country” for a while or at least until the parole board gets back to me.” – Kevin Count, Corner Optical, Glenview, IL
  • “Don’t despair.” – Heather Aites, Family Vision Center, Westminster, CO

“Please don’t miss me. (Missing people is the hardest.)”

Aaron Baker, McKinney Eyeworks, McKinney, TX

  • “Now is the time to realize that you are able to figure things out on your own and that you do not have to rely on me for always having an answer.” – Emily Choate, F.Y. Eye Care Associates,  Charlotte, NC
  • “I trust you to take care of this business!” – Jenna Gilbertson, McCulley Optix Gallery, Fargo, ND


  • “I’m sorry.” – Tory Moore, OD, Dumas Vision Source, Dumas, TX
  • “Wish you were here.” – Rick Rickgauer, Vision Associates, Girard, PA
  • “I would send the image of the “Hang in There” cat meme.” – William Chancellor, DO, Eye Can See Eyewear, Forsyth, GA
  • “Having a wonderful time … wish you were, too.” – Chris Clark, DO, Advanced Eye Care Optical Shoppe, Panama City, FL

Pete and Re-Pete

  • “I’ll be back!” – Rita Ellent, OD, The Gardens Eye Care, Forest Hills, NY
  • “I’LL BE BACK!” – Lindsey Pulford, Insights Eyecare, Manhattan KS
  • “Have fun.” – Chris Gregg, Inver Grove Heights Family Eye Clinic, Inver Grove Heights, MN
  • “Have fun!!!” – Jen Heller, Pend Oreille Vision Care, Sandpoint, ID
  • “Make me proud.” – Sarah Bureau, sbspecs, St. Catharines, ON
  • “Make me proud.” – Robert Easton Jr., OD, Easton Eyecare, Oakland Park, FL

Makes Perfect Sense

  • “Keanu Reeves called.” – Angel Miller, Cynthiana Vision Center, Cynthiana, KY
  • “The McRib is never coming back. (Inside joke at our office.)” – Sophia Pray, Huntley Eye Care, Huntley, IL

“Don’t sweat the petty stuff and don’t pet the sweaty stuff!!!!???”

Melissa Taylor, Table Rock Family Vision Care, Branson West, MO

  • “Welp, Taco Bell got me bad this time guys.” – David Greening, Astorino Eye Center, Newport Beach, CA
  • “Dear all: I finally hit the lotto numbers and will be back in a year or when I run out of money, whichever happens first.” – Pablo Mercado, Highland Eye Boutique, Atlanta GA
  • “Peaches.” – Jennifer Yerden, Sights and Shades, Canandaigua, NY

An Encouraging Word

  • “Don’t give up!” – William Chancellor, LDO, Best Chance Optical, Forsyth, GA
  • “Give it your best, but remember it is only glasses.” – Amie Robinson, Spring Hill Eyecare, Spring Hill, TN
  • “Demand your value and worth.” – Paul Wilford, Tallahassee Eye Center, Tallahassee, FL
  • “Keep up the good work!” – Emily Kincaid-Smith, Sports Optical, Denver, CO

Tennis, Anyone?

  • “Serve others as you would like to be served.” – Zachary Dirks, OD, St. Peter and Belle Plaine Eyecare Centers, Saint Peter, MN
  • “Serve the patient, Serve the practice.” – Mark Clement, OD, Gateway Eye Associates, Pittsburgh, PA

Nothing but Love

  • “Thank you for all you do.” – Colleen Galanti, Pascarella Eye Care & Contact Lenses, Newtown, PA
  • “Thanks for continuing to grow the business & be back as soon as possible or Sayonara!” – Marc Ullman, OD, Academy Vision, Pine Beach, NJ

“I will miss you all very much, but I have no doubt that everything will be okay.”

Sonja Franklin, OD, Modern Eyes, Austin, TX

  • “Love you guys, reach out to me if you need anything and I’ll see you soon!” – Scott Mann, OD, INVISION, Christiansburg VA
  • “Thank you for taking care of the business.” – Douglas Holle, OD, Sunset Eye Care, San Angelo, TX
  • “Thank you for all of your hard work over the past year, covering and helping each other!” – Pam Peters, Midwest Eye, Downers Grove, IL

Words of Wisdom

  • “Take care of the people – our customers and each other.” – Cindy Henderson, Eyear Optical, Chattanooga, TN
  • “Make good choices.” – Kristina Jordan, OD, The Eye Site, Mishawaka, IN
  • “Do or do not, there is no try.” – Harris Decker, Eye Designs of Westchester, Scarsdale, NY
  • “Stay the course.” – Jordan Flitter, Paris West Optical, Baltimore MD
  • “When in Belize, be sure to put on sun lotion.” – Texas L. Smith, OD, Dr. Texas L. Smith & Assoc., Citrus Heights, CA

You Got This!

  • “You are doing an amazing job I just know it! (I took off recently for maternity leave and the place was a well-oiled machine. I have the best staff!)” – Nytarsha Thomas, OD, Visionelle Eyecare, Zionsville, IN

“Please keep trying, caring, and going above and beyond for our patients.”

Morgan DiMaggio, Taylor Eye Care, Carmi, IL

  • “You got this!” – Caitlin Neal, San Juan Eye Center, Montrose, CO
  • “Keep doing what you’re doing!” – Maggie Campbell, Eyes on Trade, Winston Salem, NC

Follow the Money

  • “Treat my money like your money and I’ll treat your money like my money.” – Adam Ramsey, OD, Socialite Vision, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
  • “Send money to this address.” – Scott Keating, DO, Vision Trends by Dr. Scott Keating, Dover, OH
  • “Send my checks to:” – Dave Goodrich, Goodrich Optical, Lansing, MI

Remember This One Thing

  • “Do right by the patient.” – Rob Goedken, Fuerste Optical, Dubuque, IA
  • “Keep doing what doc would do.” – Kathryn Collins, Kissel Eye Care, Lititz, PA

“Make sure there’s beer in the refrigerator when I return!”

Dave Schultz, OD, Urban Optics, San Luis Obispo, CA

    • “What is good for the patient is good for the practice.” – Melanie Jenkins, Spring Hill Eyecare, Spring Hill, TN
    • “Don’t burn the place down!!” – Mark Perry, OD, Vision Health Institute, Orlando, FL
    • “Double check everything!” – Ann-Marie Weaver, Optimal Eye Care, Lewis Center, OH

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 our magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting eyecare professionals. Good deal, right? Sign up here.



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