Congratulations to the AOA’s 2023 award winners

March 15, 2023
The winners will be honored at a ceremony during the 2023 Optometry’s Meeting®.
2023 American Optometric Association Awards

The AOA is proud to honor several members and one national organization with its prestigious awards and thanks its longstanding Visionary Supporter Johnson & Johnson Vision for their recognition of these exemplary individuals. The generous support of the AOA's industry partners makes it possible to honor its outstanding members.

The Distinguished Service Award recognizes Glen Steele, O.D., for his unusually significant contributions to the profession of optometry.

The Optometrist of the Year Award recognizes Jon Pederson, O.D., for his outstanding service on behalf of the profession and the visual welfare of the public.

The Young Optometrist of the Year Award recognizes Amy Puerto, O.D., who has been in practice less than 10 years and demonstrates remarkable leadership when serving the profession, patients and her community.

The Optometric Educator of the Year Award recognizes George Veliky, O.D., for outstanding service on behalf of the profession, optometric education and the visual welfare of the public.

The Student of the Year Award recognizes Caitlin Parks for her leadership skills in serving the profession, patients and her community.

The Paraoptometric of the Year Award recognizes Brandy Yeack, CPOA, for her significant contributions to the profession of paraoptometry.

The Paraoptometric Community Service Award recognizes Brianne Speaks, CPOA, for generously donating her time and talents to the profession of optometry, patients and the public.

The AOA is pleased to honor three winners of the Paraoptometric Lifetime Achievement AwardThis award recognizes Roberta Beers, CPOT; Beverly Roberts, CPOT; and Erlinda Rodriguez, CPO, for serving the profession of optometry by continually giving in the areas of patient eye care, office management, mentoring colleagues and in service to the paraoptometric profession.

The Apollo Award recognizes the Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety. The highest award presented to the general public by the AOA, the Apollo Award honors persons or organizations for distinguished service to the visual welfare of the public.

The National Optometry Hall of Fame recognizes and honors optometrists who are luminaries of the professions—those who have made significant and long-lasting contributions to the optometric profession. The award is administered through Optometry Cares®—The AOA Foundation. This year’s winners include:

  • Joseph Shovlin, O.D.
  • Siu Wong, O.D., MPH
  • Mitchell Scheiman, O.D., Ph.D.

Optometry Cares also awards the Dr. W. David Sullins, Jr., InfantSEE Award, recognizing an individual doctor of optometry who has made significant contributions to optometry or the community for outstanding public service involving the InfantSEE program. This year’s winner is Andrea Thau, O.D.

The AOA congratulates all 2023 award nominees.

The Optometrist of the Year and Young Optometrist of the Year were selected from a robust field of nominees from state associations and the Armed Forces Optometric Society. Each of these AOA-member doctors of optometry and paraoptometric professionals have distinguished themselves, and the profession, and are deserving of recognition and appreciation.

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