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PECAA Annual Meeting Celebrated Vibrant Community Of Independent Eye Care Professionals

PECAA welcomed close to 800 members, strategic vendor partners and industry leaders.

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PECAA’s Jonathan Worrall (l) Jamie Hughes (c) and Justin Manning (r) welcomed members.
PECAA’s Jonathan Worrall (l) Jamie Hughes (c) and Justin Manning (r) welcomed members.

(PRESS RELEASE) BOCA RATON, FL — Professional Eye Care Associates of America (PECAA) welcomed close to 800 members, strategic vendor partners and industry leaders for three days of connection, education and idea exchange during its Annual Meeting on April 20 – 22, 2023, in Nashville, Tennessee.

The PECAA Community’s signature event delivered numerous opportunities for PECAA members and their staff to come together as a community of independents to support one another, build expertise through industry-leading business education offerings, and learn about exclusive vendor partner savings and private label products available only to PECAA members.

The tone for an incredible meeting experience was set with a ‘Party on the Pool Deck’ welcome celebration Thursday evening where members eagerly reconnected with one another while enjoying local music, ‘Taste of the South’ hors d’oeuvres and Nashville views. There were many first-time attendees this year, and to commemorate the occasion, PECAA welcomed them with a special champagne toast.

Kicking off Friday’s wide-ranging agenda, Jonathan Worrall, PECAA president; Jamie Hughes, PECAA chief operating officer, and Justin Manning, OD, MPH, FAAO, PECAA chief member experience officer, addressed a full house of Independent Eye Care Professionals (IECPs) and their staff. “In my first few months at PECAA, I’ve spent time traveling across the U.S. getting to know many of you, discussing your individual challenges and opportunities, while also witnessing the unique peer and PECAA team support on full display.” Worrall said. “The deep and vibrant level of community was immediately apparent and inspiring. I encourage you to connect with other members to share your stories and learn from one another. Together, we will continue to have an extraordinary impact on our shared future and grow this remarkable partnership.”

Bestselling author and renowned speaker Chris Tuff delivered the opening keynote address. He focused on the impact of authentic connection in a multigenerational workforce, including the importance of transparency, purpose and passion and work/life integration to develop and sustain a thriving company culture. “Chris Tuff’s Keynote made me so happy,” said Dr. Patricia Poma, owner of Birmingham Vision Care in Bloomfield Township, Michigan. “He reaffirmed that, as a practice owner, I am making the best decisions on behalf of my team to ensure our practice culture continues to grow and thrive.”

The Second Annual Member Choice Awards — a unique and creative spin on premier vendor presentations — was a crowd favorite. CooperVision, Hoya, Johnson & Johnson Vision, Luxottica, Safilo, VSP Vision and Zeiss engaged the audience with Nashville-inspired skits, videos and more.

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Attendees had a broad variety of choices to get the most out of their education experience, including enhanced education tracks, round-robin sessions taught by subject matter experts designed to strengthen a team’s expertise and develop individual skill sets, dinners aimed at discovering new industry trends, and breakout sessions covering a wide range of topics from the patient experience to private label products, targeted digital marketing and more.

“We’re committed to providing the absolute best in education for our members,” said Dr. Manning. “That includes sharing best practices when implementing the newest services that PECAA has to offer, like our growing private label brands — InD Eyewear frame collections, PECAA K-DISK dehydrated amniotic membrane and PECAA Ads — that have proven to be successful in increasing a practice’s net profits, even during challenging economic times.”

Following a full day of speakers and education on Friday, attendees were invited to a member and vendor partner appreciation event at the legendary concert venue, Brooklyn Bowl. The stage was the focus, as critically acclaimed house band Sixwire with special guests Steve Augeri, former lead singer of Journey, Al Paris formerly of Kool & The Gang, and Kevin Griffin of Better Than Ezra played fan favorites that had everyone out of their seats and on the dance floor.

“We couldn’t be more grateful for our members and vendor partners,” said Lance Anderson, PECAA chief strategy officer. “This event was just a small token of our appreciation for their continued support and loyalty.”

The meeting closed with football Hall of Famer, bestselling author, and respected entrepreneur Emmitt Smith. He shared his incredible journey that included achieving goals he set as a child, iterating that change, while inevitable, can be the driving force to reach your dreams. He also noted that becoming a champion is a team effort, which resonated with PECAA practice owners and staff.

PECAA members and vendor partners joined together, once again, to create positive change in the cities that welcome the PECAA Annual Meeting each year. PECAA Gives selected My Bag, My Story, a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the lives of children in the Tennessee foster care system, as this year’s beneficiary.

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Through the overwhelming support of attendees and vendor partners, a record amount of more than $35,000 was raised prior to and during the event, with donations being accepted through the end of April.

PECAA Members left the event on a high and eager to reconnect next year in Las Vegas, Nevada at the 2024 PECAA Annual Meeting. “The success of our annual meeting, including exceeding our PECAA Gives goal, is thanks to our members and vendor partners,” Hughes said. “Together, we are able to create a one-of-a-kind experience helping members to Connect, Build and Prosper.”

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