Results 1 to 24 of 24

Thread: State society membership

  1. #1
    OptiBoard Professional Excel-Lentes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Hartford, CT
    Occupation
    Dispensing Optician
    Posts
    235

    Confused State society membership

    I am wondering how many of you are involved in your local opticianry organization. Does anyone have any numbers in regards to membership dues vs. licensed opticians for any given state?

    What kind of activities or promotions have worked well for increasing membership> education days, fundraisers etc....?

    Please give some feedback.

    Thank you!

    PS: if you are not involved in your state society, what prevents you from doing so? ex. Cost, time, etc......

  2. #2
    Master OptiBoarder Joann Raytar's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    USA
    Occupation
    Dispensing Optician
    Posts
    4,948
    if you are not involved in your state society, what prevents you from doing so?
    Mostly, I am currently just an idiot. I have the application but every time I intend to send it in something else in life turns up and eats the money set aside. (Translated, I just had to buy a new car and take the old one out and shoot it.)

    I think that should be my New Year's resolution, to join the Connecticut Opticians Association. They are really turning things around and working to benefit all state opticians. Actually, Skip Rivard's ideas would benefit Opticians in all states. I know that the state societies need more support and involvement from their optical communities.

  3. #3
    OptiBoard Professional Excel-Lentes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Hartford, CT
    Occupation
    Dispensing Optician
    Posts
    235
    Jo,

    I am on the Board of Directors and believe me, I know it isn't easy to spend the money to join the COA but it is very important. We need every licensed optician to join. After all, your job depends on it. Most employers would rather hire cheaper labor and train them to be opticians.

    Skip, being the executive director, has done a really great job organizing us. It is an exciting time for the COA because we are really strong right now. We are focusing on a lot of positive things so you should jump on board and support your profession.

    It is an admirable New Year's resolution!
    :cheers:

    PS I traded my car in for a bicycle.

  4. #4
    OptiBoard Professional Don Lee's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Occupation
    Dispensing Optician
    Posts
    133

    State Organizations

    I was active in ours until lack of interest caused it ot fold. I was President of a regional organization, SWODA, until the lack of interest led to ending it's 25+ year service.

    I don't know what is is in Oklahoma but there is so little local interest that it looks like there won't be one for a long time.

    Don

  5. #5
    Master OptiBoarder Joann Raytar's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    USA
    Occupation
    Dispensing Optician
    Posts
    4,948
    Don Lee,

    If you read my above post, "Mostly, I am currently just an idiot," I am probably the last person who should be commenting on this one but ...

    I have one problem with the direction CT may be headed in. There have been a couple of smaller organizations popping up and one of them has apparently criticized the Connecticut Opticians Association openly. I don't see this as a good trend. Take a look at my case. I didn't join the state's biggest organization yet, it is unlikely that I will join two or three of them right now. Since not everyone is independently wealthy, this creates a problem; folks have to choose who they want to belong to. Membership gets divided among a couple of groups and instead of there being one strong association you end up with a few weeker ones. This limits what the organization do and in the end members give up on it.

    Excel-Lentes, somehow, the COA needs to get the word out about what its purpose is to more people. The new Connecticut Opticians Association website is an excellent start but what else can be done to encourage new membership?

  6. #6
    OptiBoard Professional Excel-Lentes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Hartford, CT
    Occupation
    Dispensing Optician
    Posts
    235
    Jo,


    Right now we have a record membership but it still could get bigger. It seems that most people join to get the CE credits which is a pretty sad reason. The COA does a whole lot more than put on CE events. It protects the interest of all opticians and also protects the interest of consumers.

    The COA is the ONLY organization that represents ALL CT opticians. If this other "organization" splinters opticianry in CT there won't be two weaker groups, there will be no group. If the COA ever ceased to exist it would be a matter of time before licensing of opticians in CT ceases to exist.

    Joining your state optician organization should be something that every optician should budget for. If you don't support it, it can't support you.

    Happy Holidays to all.

  7. #7
    OptiBoard Professional Don Lee's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Occupation
    Dispensing Optician
    Posts
    133
    Originally posted by Excel-Lentes


    Joining your state optician organization should be something that every optician should budget for. If you don't support it, it can't support you.
    And it really bothers me that opticians don't care about joining their state org. and for some of the most ridiculous reasons. One optician actually said she didn't want everybody learning how she did business and copy it. Good Grief! It's a fact that what works for one doesn't work for another but we ALL use the basic skills of opticianry.

    Some say that Tulsa isn't a part of Oklahoma and the way they participate, even if the meeting was in Tulsa, it must be so. ;)

    Don

  8. #8
    Master OptiBoarder Joann Raytar's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    USA
    Occupation
    Dispensing Optician
    Posts
    4,948
    The COA is the ONLY organization that represents ALL CT opticians.
    Yes, I have to admit. After learning who many of the members are, the COA is a very diverse group. It appears to be the only state organization representing lab opticians, chain and independent opticians, not just firm members.
    It seems that most people join to get the CE credits which is a pretty sad reason.
    One optician actually said she didn't want everybody learning how she did business and copy it.
    CE credits are a great benefit of most state organizations but it is not the best reason to join. A person cannot complain about pay scales and legislation when they are skirting the organizations that will keep them informed about what is going on and that will only be able to fully represent them if those associations can get their membership numbers up. If a state has 700 Opticians, all 700 of them carry a much louder voice than only 200 of them.

    On the count of the gal who didn't want to leak business secrets. Sure, what a great way to further your profession. Don't share or teach anything valuable to other Opticians that way the work force can become unskilled and licensing unecessary. Once that happens she can complain about not being paid enough. More education and experienc = higher pay.

  9. #9
    OptiBoard Novice
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Occupation
    Dispensing Optician
    Posts
    5
    I'm a long time member of 'The Society of Dispensing Opticians of Kentucky" (whew, long name, but that's what they came up with all most 50 years ago)

    We've had a very active membership over the years. Some years better, some less. What's increased interest recently you ask... we passed requirements for continuing education thru our state legislature in the mid 90's. It wasn't easy, but our leadership with a motivated membership did the job.

    Check out the SDOK at www.gosdok.com.

    Mark M. Babcock
    Louisville, KY.

  10. #10
    Master OptiBoarder MVEYES's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Mt. Vernon Ohio
    Occupation
    Dispensing Optician
    Posts
    873

    Thumbs up

    I have been a trustee of our state society since 1994 and education chairman for the last three years. We have about 800 members out of 3000 licenses in the State of Ohio. We have concentrated on continuing education as our major means of support. I would certainly like to find some other methods of funding our projects. Our dues are a small portion of our budget at $75/year. Any ideas for funding?

  11. #11
    Master OptiBoarder OptiBoard Gold Supporter Judy Canty's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Occupation
    Dispensing Optician
    Posts
    7,430
    I am the Immediate Past President of our state association and have spent years touting the necessity of such organizations at the state and national level.
    The network that I have become a part of has provided me with expert assistance when necessary and more than a few referrals to and from other members, so active membership has both professional and business benefits.

    BTW, it was nice to see some OAA members profiled and quoted in the current issue of "Lenses & Technology" magazine.

  12. #12
    OptiBoard Professional Don Lee's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Occupation
    Dispensing Optician
    Posts
    133
    Originally posted by MVEYES
    ...We have concentrated on continuing education as our major means of support...
    The last organization I belonged to was totally education centered. That may have been the down fall of the org. We would love to have opticians licensed in Oklahoma but, as I've said in past posts, the optoms have fought us for 40 years. The only reason is that they don't want think opticians can be a credible group because we don't have a college degree.

    BUNK!

    Don

  13. #13
    OptiBoard Professional Excel-Lentes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Hartford, CT
    Occupation
    Dispensing Optician
    Posts
    235
    In CT our licence requires 7 hours of CE per year. Our membership to the state association includes 7 CE's per year therefore a large portion of our membership is due to the mandatory CE's. I question if there was no CE required would our membership be so large?


    I feel that in order to be recognized as licensed professionals college education should be mandatory. I am not saying that we can't learn on the job through good leadership and self discipline, but a standardized curriculum delivered at the community college level will be the only way we will have a solid description of what an optician is. This is what licensing boards look for. Personally, I feel that college should be coupled with some apprenticeship in order to take a state licensing exam.

    Apprenticeship today rarely works well due to the demands of many dispensing situations. For example, imagine one licensed optician teaching 6 apprentice opticians. It just is'nt going to happen. There needs to be more structure with quality instructors. Good opticians aren't necessarily good teachers.



  14. #14
    OptiBoard Apprentice
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    16

    college rducationA

    A college dedgree would be great for opticians to sit for their license, but what must be done first.
    Get all states licensed? have the optical owners agree that it is okay for their personal who are licensed to have a college degree
    and pay them their rightful salery but let the O.D.'s and M.D.'s that despense employ high school only educated employees and claim that they are working under the doctor's license.
    I do not think so.
    How do we fix that.
    1. we work together as a group of states to get all states licensed, one at a time but we work together. this may require opticians to all join their state societies and check some ego's at the door.
    2. we then require all specticle or contact fitters to be licensed no matter whom their employer is.
    3. we then go after associate degrees to sit for your license.
    number 2 could be worked on in licensed states while we work on getting other states licensed.
    We must have a plan and stick to it, this me me me just is not working. we must work together a choose leaders wisely,
    you can not jump from ther ground to the roof you must climb the ladder step by step but that ladder must be built before you can climb it.
    lay out a plan and then exictue it.

  15. #15
    Optical Educator
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Tampa, Florida
    Occupation
    Dispensing Optician
    Posts
    1,044

    AS degree in Opticianry could be the norm.

    HI ts,

    We have the steps in place to make an AS degree in opticianry the new norm.

    People interested in opticianry can work in the field while taking their optical classes via Internet. People already in the field would be grandfathered in for their license w/0 the AS degree.

    I teach opticianry full time, and have seen enrollment take a nose dive all around the country. A couple of years ago, I was calling friends in large lens companies incase I needed a new job!

    Now, with the available technology, we can provide quality opticianry education via Internet. Today, our enrollment is triple what it was a few years ago. Our first round of Internet students just took the ABO and scored in the mid-high 90's. I expect all of them to do well on the Florida state boards next fall.

    We now have complete access to opticianry education all over the country. Now we need to convert the opticians already in the field to this concept and it is slowly starting to happen.

    Who will be attending the leadership meeting in Georgia next month? Alot of this stuff can be hashed out there, and more people are needed to get involved with this undertaking.

    Laurie

  16. #16
    OptiBoard Apprentice
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    16
    my understanding is leadership conference is in S.C.
    requireing education to sit for your license is political, education has been in place for 50 years. internet for 5 years.
    maybe do what accountents did with CPA. pr the hell out of advanced certifation and make that the standard. that is probable the only way you will get a college education as a requiement before you get all 50 states licensed.

  17. #17
    Optical Educator
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Tampa, Florida
    Occupation
    Dispensing Optician
    Posts
    1,044
    Hi ts,

    Thanks for the correction...it is not Georgia, it is SC.


    I have heard from many state society leaders that the "chains" or "docs" will kill any attempt of mandatory AS degrees. Although traditional opticianry ed has been around for 50 years, the argument of access was hard to beat. Internet answers the access argument. I am still a strong believer in traditional, face to face teaching, but can see where Internet learning can fill a void.

    I think we could win, but I can't fight this one alone. I have positive expectations that the leadership meeting will help us get toward that goal. I've mentioned this here before, but states already licensed that name the ABO exam as a prerequisite could make the change w/o legislation. If ABO required an AS in opticianry before allowing one to sit for the exam, it would become the rule in each state....

    Laurie

  18. #18
    OptiBoard Apprentice
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    16
    do you think ABO or NCLE would require a AS degree before one could sit for the exam. $$$$$$$ lost if they did that.

  19. #19
    Master OptiBoarder MVEYES's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Mt. Vernon Ohio
    Occupation
    Dispensing Optician
    Posts
    873

    Question Tom

    If we don't unite on the education front the bus is going to leave. The people at ABO/NCLE better be looking at the establishment of higher education in their credentialing process or they might end up as dinosaurs in the next 10 years. As time goes on and education becomes more prolific on the internet our profession had better move in that direction.


    Jerry

  20. #20
    OptiBoard Apprentice
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    16
    then you need to get educators back involved in abo/ncle, remember who controls this group, if i am not mistaken educators were once on the board and have been since removed.
    education does not come from 4 people on a hill saying yes we want it , education comes from grass roots.
    state licensure does not come from 4 people sitting on a hill licensure comes from the grass root opticians saying i want it and i will work for it.

  21. #21
    Optical Educator
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Tampa, Florida
    Occupation
    Dispensing Optician
    Posts
    1,044

    ts...you are right about our lost vote...

    Hi ts and Jerry,

    You are right about the board removing the educators...

    A few years back the ABO/NCLE removed the voting rights of

    1. Educators (NFOS)
    2. State Licensing Boards (I forget the initials of that group)
    3. The public consumer member

    They said that they removed our vote because we (NFOS) were not part of the "founding group" which was ABO, NCLE. CLSA, and NAO (I believe).
    However, long standing members of the NFOS say that were involved in those early start up days.

    Rumor had it that as the majority members (OAA/NAO) battled over stuff, the "little guys" (NFOS) had the swing vote.

    So, we remain active through committe work, but have still not gotten our vote back.

    Our representative for years, Sharon Brievogal from NY has done a fantastic job bringing the NFOS back up to status in those organizations.


    I am sure that access to opticianry education due to technologies available for distance learning is going to save us.

    For the last 5 years, our enrollment had been falling drastically.

    Presently, because of distance learning, we have 33 second year students, and 25 first year students. We just accepted 20 more students this January (17 full time, 3 part time) now that Florida allows apprenticeship credits hours for college courses in opticianry. These students will "catch up" over the summer, and join the first year students next year, bringing us up to approx. 40 second year students!

    If we could some how get the grass roots effort going to get ABO/NCLE to require an AS degree, then we would not have to make a legislative effort. If we try to go the legislative route, we will face large opponents with lots of money.

    If the ABO/NCLE require the AS degree to sit for their board, maybe they could make up for lost profits by:

    1. increasing the price of the exam
    2. selling educaitonal materials (we generate a bunch of course packs, videtapes, and now CD ROMS! Also, we require at least a dozen books throughout the two years, and there is profit in that stuff as well.

    Any close connections to these organizations out there?

    I'm hoping that they can look beyond $$ to see that it is the right thing to do for our profession.

    Laurie : )

  22. #22
    Master OptiBoarder MVEYES's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Mt. Vernon Ohio
    Occupation
    Dispensing Optician
    Posts
    873

    Thumbs up Tom and Laurie

    You are both absolutely correct!!! We need a plan to take to the directors of ABO/NCLE and those organizations who fuel their ideas. With the blueprint in hand and a grassroots effort we should acheive our goals.

    Jerry

  23. #23
    OptiBoard Apprentice
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    16
    you are both right buat a plan is not all you need, like any good company in the real world in order to change dsirection you need a change of personal at the top that is willing to listen to the grass roots at the bottom. In order for that to happen you need all involved from ind. to state societies, it is hard to do when the big state societies who have the most to gain feel it unimportant to belong to their national org..

  24. #24
    Master OptiBoarder MVEYES's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Mt. Vernon Ohio
    Occupation
    Dispensing Optician
    Posts
    873

    Lightbulb Tom

    That's where we begin but we do need a plan and part of the plan is approaching each state organizations leadership and convicing them of the need and the good for all opticians as well as the public. Great run on sentence huh



    Jerry

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. What I Learned at Leadership...
    By Judy Canty in forum Professional and Educational Organizations Discussion Forum
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-09-2004, 09:50 AM
  2. only OAA and/or state optician society officers should reply to this
    By mjh in forum General Optics and Eyecare Discussion Forum
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 05-15-2003, 09:21 PM
  3. State Societies-How do YOU increase membership?
    By Cindy Hamlin in forum Professional and Educational Organizations Discussion Forum
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 08-07-2002, 08:07 AM
  4. State Practical Exam
    By Jon Bright in forum Professional and Educational Organizations Discussion Forum
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-28-2002, 01:24 AM
  5. State Leadership meeting announcement
    By eddege in forum Professional and Educational Organizations Discussion Forum
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 08-31-2001, 09:36 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
OptiBoard is proudly sponsored by:
Younger Optics and Vision Equipment