OAO has Cleared a Major Hurdle
The Opticians Association of Ohio (OAO) is pleased to announce that through the efforts of many people and organizations, we have cleared a major hurdle on our way to retaining licensure for opticians in Ohio. It still has a few more steps to go and be signed by the governor, but I am comfortable that Ohio has dodged elimination of our license.
As president of the OAO, I would like to thank the following people and organizations who contributed in many ways to secure our position as a licensed profession:
- Lisa Rankin, Lobbyist for OAO. Without her, we would not have been able to get this effort off the ground. Lisa arranged and attended meetings with legislators, guided us through the maze of hearings, and kept us focused on our goal of license retention.
- Shirley Earley, Executive Director of the OAO. Shirley’s ongoing efforts in this battle and those before it are the reason we even had a license to fight for. There is no award great enough that can be given to her.
- Adela Lopez-Wellman, Executive Director, Ohio Vision Professionals Board. Adela was extremely instrumental in keeping in contact with legislators and government agencies to help get HB 509 passed with needed amendments attached.
- Ohio Senator Jerry Cirino, Vice Chair
- Ohio Senator Terry Johnson, Chair
- Senator Dale Martin, Ranking Member
- Ohio Senator Reineke
- Ohio Senator Rulli
- Ohio Senator Antonio
- Ohio Senator McColley
- Ohio Senator Sandra Obrien
- James (Jim) Morris, Executive Director of the American Board of Opticianry (ABO). Jim dropped everything, with a few day's notice to fly to Ohio to testify on behalf of opticianry .
- Dr. Arlan Aceton, President National Federation of Optical Schools (NFOS) Aarlan also dropped everything, changed his class schedule, and flew in to help us. Both he and Jim Morris gave riveting testimony that helped to make the difference.
- Keith Kerns, Executive Director of the Ohio Optometric Association (OOA). Keith and the OOA used more than half their testimony time allowance to support Ohio opticians. Ohio opticians have a great ally in the OOA, and we are grateful for their support.
- Curt Duff and the entire Board of Directors of the ABO for financing travel expenses for Dr. Aceto.
- Thomas Barracoto, President of the Ohio Vision Professionals Board.
- Johnna Dukes, President of the Opticians Association of America. Johnna OAA was in daily contact, offering help.
- Chris Allen, Executive Director of the OAA
- The Legislative Committee of the OAA
- State Associations across the country, especially GA, FL, NY, TN, SC, NC, KY, MI, IA, and many other states and state associations that supported Ohio with calls, emails, and letters. The legislators mentioned our national support more than once in meetings.
- The Ohio Eye Coalition
- Prevent Blindness Ohio
- Ohio Medicaid
- Ohio Department on Aging
- Morgan Hartzell, Classis Optcial
- Colleen Galanti, Opticians on Facebook (OOF)
- Optician Owners on Facebook
- Carrie Wilson, ABOM
- Opticians across the country who supported Ohio with calls, letters, and emails.
This is only a partial list of the many people and organizations which helped to secure the future of otpicianry in Ohio and across the country. This was only one of many battles opticianry has faced and there will be many more in the future. Thank you for all of your support, and know that Ohio will be there to help you when the time comes.