Samuel D. Pierce, O.D., named AOAExcel® board chair

November 4, 2021
Dr. Pierce replaces founding chair and fellow AOA Past President Joe Ellis, O.D.

St. Louis, MO—November 4, 2021—The AOAExcel® Board of Directors has unanimously elected Samuel D. Pierce, O.D., to chair of the board for AOAExcel. This move is effective immediately as Dr. Pierce leads AOAExcel, a company owned by the American Optometric Association (AOA) which specializes in providing benefits to AOA members in their professional and personal lives. Dr. Pierce replaces Joe Ellis, O.D., who was the founding chair of the Board for AOAExcel dating back to 2012.

Dr. Pierce served as the 97th president of the AOA from 2018-2019 where he created the AOA’s Future Practice Initiative, which has already led to scope expansion in several states. Dr. Pierce served on the AOA’s Board of Trustees from 2009–2020 and previously served on the AOAExcel Board of Directors from 2014–2017. He also is past president of the Alabama Optometric Association and served as a member of the Southeastern Congress of Optometry Board of Trustees. Dr. Pierce is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry and in 2012 he received the Alabama Optometric Association’s Optometrist of the Year award. Dr. Pierce currently practices for MyEyeDr. in Trussville, Alabama.

“I’m incredibly honored and humbled to be named the next chair of the board for AOAExcel,” said Dr. Pierce. “While Dr. Ellis left huge shoes to fill, I’m dedicated to bringing even more value to AOA membership through AOAExcel that helps ODs enhance their lives.”

“Dr. Pierce has the insight and vision to drive growth and innovation in AOAExcel, building on the strong foundation Dr. Ellis has created over the course of his almost 10 years as chair. Because of his commitment and the strength of the organization, AOAExcel is a sought-after member benefit that supports member doctors across the country. We look forward to its next evolution under Dr. Pierce’s leadership,” said AOA President Robert C. Layman, O.D.

“While it’s my time to step down and let others lead AOAExcel into new heights, I’m certainly proud of everything AOAExcel has accomplished,” said Dr. Joe Ellis. “AOAExcel has continued to add member benefits over the last few years, and I’ve been especially proud of how they have financially supported the AOA.”

Dr. Ellis was appointed by the AOA Board of Trustees in January 2012 as the first AOAExcel chair of the board. Dr. Ellis had previously served as AOA president from 2010-2011 and will remain active with the AOA by continuing to serve as chair for the AOA’s Political Action Committee.

AOAExcel ( is a member benefit of the American Optometric Association that helps doctors of optometry practice smarter and more efficiently in both their personal and professional lives with AOAExcel’s proven tools of success. AOAExcel offers a myriad of products and services through their endorsed business partners, which includes a career center job board exclusively for optometrists, malpractice and other business insurance, vendor discounts, retirement planning, life/disability insurance, student loan refinancing, merchant processing, and HIPAA compliance among others.

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