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2024 Event - Southwest Professional Development

The 2024 Southwest Professional Development Education Event registration closes on February 23, 2024!

March 2-3, 2024
Marriott Cincinnati North
6189 Mulhauser Rd
West Chester, Ohio 45069

(513) 874-7335

Rooms are available at a reduced rate of $119.00 Plus tax.

Reserve your room before February 23, 2024!
Book your group rate for Opticians Association of Ohio

Click here to register online

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Meet The National Speakers

Michael S. Gzik, ABOCE - NCLEM


Michael Gzik is a New York State licensed optician/contact lens practitioner. He is a Fellow of the Contact Lens Society of America, ABO/NCLE certified, and a Certified Ophthalmic Technician (COT). Mr. Gzik works in a private optometrist's office in Syracuse, NY, “New York Optometric,” and at the Syracuse VA Hospital as an optician and contact lens practitioner. He is an adjunct and Clinical instructor for contact lens technology at SUNY Health Science Center Syracuse, NY, Department of Ophthalmology resident program (35+ years). He is currently on the SUNY Department of Ophthalmology staff as a contact lens fitter and optician at the pediatric clinic.

He was presented with the NYSSO Best of Professions Award Contact Lens Technology 2020. He received the president’s award from the Opticians Association of Ohio in 2021.

John Zimmerman


John Zimmerman - A veteran for over 40 years in the Optical Industry, he started in Louisville, Kentucky as an apprentice Optician, becoming licensed in 1978. He moved to Texas to continue his dispensing career, where he was also on the board of the Opticians Association for the Southwest U.S. In 1998, he moved to Florida for the opportunity to represent a local optical laboratory.

JOHN’S passion for speaking & training came to fruition with the Transition and Essilor lenses association. He continues his passion today with Carl Zeiss Vision. Recently, John was the Senior Retail Business Development Representative for Carl Zeiss Vision for South Florida & Puerto Rico. JOHN previously sat on the Professional Opticians of Florida Tampa Bay Chapter board. He received the Professional Opticians of Florida Vendor of the Year award for 2009, 2011 & 2015. In 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2017, he received the Presidents Challenge award from Carl Zeiss Vision for exceeding sales targets.

As an ABO-certified speaker, he continues to provide Continuing Education Hours for opticians whenever possible. In October 2020, he was promoted to Technical Sales & Training Specialist with Carl Zeiss. Currently traveling the easter half of the U.S. teaching and training.

Sponsored by Carl Zeiss

Bob Russo

Bob Russo

Bob Russo - Professor Russo, a professor emeritus, is the past chairperson of Vision Care Technology at City Tech, Brooklyn, NY. He was the coordinator of anatomy and physiology, contact lens, and ophthalmic business practices. He is certified by the American Board of Opticianry, the National Contact Lens Examiners, and the Opticians Association of America in Refractometry and is licensed in New York and New Jersey. Professor Russo is the past President of NFOS (National Federa@on of Opticianry Schools). He is a past Commissioner for the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation, a past member of the board of directors of the Contact Lens Society of New York State, and a past chapter president of the New York State Society of Op@cians. Professor Russo is an adjunct at Middlesex Community College, Middletown, Connecticut.

In addition, Professor Russo is an independent contact lens fitter and owns his private practice, specializing in keratoconus, pediatric filing, prosthetic lenses, and rigid gas permeable lenses.

Professor Russo has served on the faculty for the Opticians Association of America, Vision Expo East and West, EyeQuest, and the ABO/NCLE Education Conference. He has published several articles on contact lenses and speaks frequently at the national and state level.

Professor Russo received an Associate Degree in Ophthalmic Dispensing from New York City Community College, a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from The City University of New York, and a Master of Arts degree in Education from New York University. Professor Russo was named “National Federation of Opticianry Schools “Educator of the Year” in 2009, “Optician of the Year” by the New York State Society of Opticians in 2012, and received the National Academy of Opticianry’s “Joseph Bruneni Memorial Education Achievement Award in 2015.

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