AOA President Ronald L. Benner, O.D., Inducted at Optometry’s Meeting

June 26, 2023

Washington, D.C. – June 26, 2023 – Ronald L. Benner, O.D., was officially recognized as the president of the American Optometric Association (AOA) on June 24 at Optometry’s Meeting®, the profession’s premier annual event that took place in Washington, D.C.

Prior to serving as president, Dr. Benner was elected to the AOA Board of Trustees at the 118th Annual AOA Congress & 45th Annual AOSA Conference: Optometry's Meeting® in June 2015.

“As president, I will continue AOA’s mission as the only voice for the entire profession,” Dr. Benner says. “The AOA will remain the leading and uniting force for advancement and protection of the profession. Devaluation of our care by vision plan practices, disrespect of our doctor recognition by medicine and needless mandates by overreaching government agencies will meet AOA head on this next year. We will not back down, concede or pause our advancement and expanded care for the public at the state or federal levels. Opportunities will be found to benefit all modalities of optometric practice as we continue to support our doctors nationwide.”

A past president of the Montana Optometric Association (MOA), Dr. Benner has held numerous roles within the MOA and AOA, as well as within the Great Western Council of Optometry, serving as chair of the board of directors. Dr. Benner has been honored with the MOA Young Optometrist of the Year Award, MOA Distinguished Service Award and, twice, MOA Optometrist of the Year Award.

A graduate of Pacific University College of Optometry, Dr. Benner has been active in his community, serving in numerous civic and faith-based organizations. He owns and operates a private practice clinic in Laurel, Montana.

Board of Trustees

During the final House of Delegates session, the AOA officers, trustees and volunteers were recognized for their commitment to the profession and their dedication to the AOA’s mission. All members are invited to attend each House of Delegates session, including the election and installation of the AOA Board of Trustees. Delegates from across the country inducted a new board, including:

  • Steven T. Reed, O.D., (Mississippi) as president-elect;
  • Jacquie M. Bowen, O.D., (Colorado) as vice president;
  • Teri K. Geist, O.D., (Nebraska) as secretary-treasurer;
  • Robert C. Layman, O.D., (Ohio), immediate past president;
  • Terri A. Gossard, O.D., M.S., (Ohio), reelected trustee;
  • Curtis A. Ono, O.D., (Washington) reelected trustee; and
  • Tad R. Kosanovich, O.D., (Florida) newly elected.

Continuing their terms are Belinda R. Starkey, O.D., (Arkansas), Paul M. Barney, O.D., (Alaska), and Marrie S. Read, O.D., MBA, (Armed Forces and Federal Optometric Services).

For more information on the event’s news and updates, visit the Optometry’s Meeting news page. Optometry’s Meeting took place June 21-24 in downtown Washington, D.C., at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. For images from the event, follow along on Facebook and Twitter


About Optometry’s Meeting®

Optometry’s Meeting, the annual meeting of both the AOA and AOSA, aligns optometric and industry professionals for a four-day experience to advance optometry and engage the association’s official business. The Optometry’s Meeting renowned educational program supports every member of the care team with progressive continuing education and professional development opportunities. Simultaneously delivering an impactful conference experience, Optometry’s Meeting promotes networking and connection through the expansive exhibit hall, as well as a dynamic program of special events.

About the American Optometric Association

The American Optometric Association (AOA) is the leading authority on and advocate for quality eye health care, representing more than 49,000 doctors of optometry, optometry students and optometric professionals. As the sole primary eye care provider in many communities across America, doctors of optometry are often a patient's first entry point into the health care system and have extensive, ongoing training to examine, diagnose, treat and manage disorders, diseases and injuries that affect the eye and visual system. Through a nationwide public health initiative, the AOA's Eye Deserve More campaign is fostering awareness of the importance of eye health and vision care and the overall health benefits of in-person, comprehensive eye examinations with AOA doctors of optometry for all Americans.