Renee Brauns

Renee BraunsRenee Brauns, an experienced association executive, was appointed associate executive director of the 36,000-member American Optometric Association (AOA) as of July 29, 2014. 

Over the course of a 20-year career in St. Louis, Brauns has held multiple business management roles in the corporate sector and as a nonprofit executive with the AOA. 

Her AOA career began in 1999, when, while with a national computer company, she was recruited by a former AOA executive. She began with a dual role, managing relationships for the association's Industry Relations Center, leading a period of steady growth, and in the formation of what is now the AOA's Foundation, Optometry Cares®

She continued to advance in leadership roles and was promoted to the newly created executive position of chief operating officer in 2010, with authority over seven groups and centers. In this role she successfully led organization-wide initiatives to expand membership, transform strategic communications programs and improve support services for state associations. She also led the AOA team's collaboration strategy with the profession-boosting Think About Your Eyes public advertising campaign, managed by The Vision Council.  

In 2013, she was honored as one of Vision Monday's Most Influential Women in the Executive Suite for guiding the AOA forward, offering inspired leadership, and achieving the highest levels of performance. She acknowledged her inspiration comes from the steadfast passion of the AOA Board, volunteers, staff and other association/affiliate executives.  

A native of Illinois, she holds a degree in business management from Greenville College and is known for her dedication to AOA's mission of enhancing and advancing the profession of optometry to better meet the eye care needs of the public.  

She is a long-term member of the American Society of Association Executives and the International Association of Optometric Executives. She is a resident of St. Louis, Missouri, and an avid Harley-Davidson® motorcycle rider in her spare time.