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OWA Talks Podcast — 2024


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January 2024 — Dr. Lorie Lippiatt
New Year, New President: Ring in 2024

Photo of Lorie Lippiatt

It's a new year and OWA Talks is kicking 2024 off with a bang by featuring a very special guest, newly inducted OWA President Dr. Lorie Lippiatt! In this episode, Dr. Lippiatt shares her unique journey within the OWA, her inspiring vision for the OWA's future during her term as President, and her thoughtful musings on different career "stages."

Lorie Lippiatt OD is a 1988 graduate of The Ohio State University, College of Optometry. She founded The Salem Eyecare Center, Inc. in 1989, and remained owner and President for 33 years before partnering with MyEyeDr. in 2021. Dr. Lippiatt was instrumental in the development of electronic medical records for optometrists and technology integration, lecturing nationally on these topics while consulting for numerous companies in the industry. Dr. Lippiatt joined the Optical Women's Association in 2004, and has been a board member since 2013, prior to her presidency in 2023. Dr. Lippiatt currently resides in Ohio and Florida, and enjoys optometry, greenhouse gardening, pickleball, and spending time with her dog, Betty Boop.

January 2024 — Dr. Sarvitree (Sally) Sukaromya
Patient Care: Giving Back as an Optometrist

Photo of Sally Sukaromya

With a mother who worked as a nurse, Dr. Sukaromya knew from a young age she wanted to help people. In this episode of OWA Talks, she talks about her incredible passion to help people, patients, and the industry at large. She also shares her insights on owning her own practice, staffing shortages, navigating times of change, and participating in optometric missions to Granada, El Salvador, and Mexico.

Dr. Sarvitree Sukaromya has been practicing optometry in Kansas City, MO since 2006. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Rockhurst University, she completed her Doctorate of Optometry degree from the University of Missouri St. Louis College of Optometry. She has experience in owning her own practice and has participated in optometric missions to Granada, El Salvador, and Mexico. For the past 14 years, she has been an Associate Optometrist for America's Best Contacts & Eyeglasses in Lee's Summit, Missouri. Three of those years she was an Area Doctor of the Kansas City Market with assigned Doctors to her. During that time, she maintained clinical care standards, provided supplemental training support when new equipment and electronic health records were implemented, and fostered effective communication amongst the Doctors and the staff for efficiency. Her areas of interest are primary eye care and contact lenses.

When not seeing patients, Dr. Sukaromya serves as the Communications Coordinator on the Missouri Optometric Association staff in Jefferson City, Missouri. She has been in this role since August 2023 encouraging Doctors of Optometry in private and corporate practice to advocate for the profession. She keeps association member Doctors informed of the latest on scope of practice discussions, upcoming continuing education events and highlighting member Doctors in their practices.

She was a recent graduate of the American Optometric Association Leadership Institute 2.0, November 2023. She was also a Featured Leader in Women of Optometry in an article Moving the Profession Forward, November 2023.

Dr. Sukaromya and her husband, Clifton, have two sons, Julian and Braxton, and the loving memory of their daughter, Olive. In her spare time, she likes getting her hands dirty in the garden and corralling her growing number of pets.

She is a member of the Optometric Society of Greater Kansas City, Missouri Optometric Association, American Optometric Association and as of this year 2024, the Optical Women's Association!

February 2024 — Mimi, Liz, and David Friedfeld
Celebrating 75 Years of ClearVision Optical

Photo of Mimi, Liz, and David Friedfeld

ClearVision Optical is a second-generation family-owned independent leader in the eyewear industry. Join us in this episode where we chat with not one, but three members of the Clear Vision family, and discuss the values that have allowed the company to endure for 75 years.

ClearVision Optical has been named one of the Best Companies to Work for in New York State for eight years, most recently in 2023. ClearVision was recognized by The Long Island Herald with a Family Business award in 2022, Long Island Business News as Corporate Citizen of the Year in 2019, and New York SmartCEO as a 2016 Family Business Awards honoree. ClearVision was also recognized at the 2016 Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer Service, where the company received two gold and two silver awards.  Based in Hauppauge, New York, ClearVision designs and distributes eyewear and sunwear for 12 distinctive designer brands.

David Friedfeld is President of ClearVision Optical, one of the largest family-owned eyewear distributors in North America. David provides vision and leadership to all areas within the ClearVision organization. Under his guidance, ClearVision has received countless honors and accolades from both the eyewear industry and the business community. David has appeared on several internet radio shows including The Growth Strategist, The CEO Show, and Power Hour and is a featured speaker at many industry-related events and functions. David has been a tremendous advocate for the implementation of 3D printing into the product development cycle at ClearVision. An avid new media follower, David strongly embraces new and innovative technology while remaining committed to meeting the needs of customers in today's ever-changing technological landscape. David loves reading and running and spending time with his wife Vicki and children Luke, Faith, Jake and Sam.

Mimi Friedfeld began her career with ClearVision Optical in 1968. Over the years, she managed the accounting and personnel departments and contributed to design of the company's fashionable eyewear products. She helped her beloved husband Fred Friedfeld, the company founder, grow the family-run business from a small regional wholesaler to one of today's most respected leading optical distribution companies. She is an icon in the industry and recognized for her leadership and mentorship with the OWA Pleiades Award in 2005. She's been an active member of the OWA since its inception. Mimi loves reading, art, theater, and spending time with all her children and grandchildren.

Liz Friedfeld leads ClearVision's business development department and responsible for growing strategic partnerships and optimizing lead generation. As a subject matter expert and CVO ambassador, Liz travels as a speaker on market trends, customer service excellence, and building a winning culture. Liz sits on the Board of the Optical Women Association co-chairing the Membership Committee. Under her stewardship, the OWA has seen a surge in membership with a record-breaking year in '23. Liz was recognized as One of the Most Influential Women in Optical and awarded an OWA Leadership Scholarship Award. Liz recently completed her 200-hour Yoga Teacher training certification in January 2024 and loves traveling with her husband Eric and children Sophie, Daniel and Izzy.

March 2024 — Dr. Brianna Rhue
Stop Giving Away Your Power and Understand Your Value!

Photo of Brianna Rhue Dr. Brianna Rhue, co-founder and CEO of Dr. Contact Lens, talks with our co-hosts about the journey from being an optometrist / owner to also becoming a woman in tech. She describes the hurdles involved in purchasing a practice and then building a company that was ranked #41 on the Inc 5000 list of fastest growing companies in the country.

She'll explain why the patient / doctor relationship is so important in healthcare and why, when you don't also understand the business side of things, you could end up giving away your leverage. Understanding delegation and knowing what your team wants and is looking for in a leader are all part of a balancing act for this wife, mom, business owner, and entrepreneur. You'll walk away with tips on how to get the most out of exhibit halls and a better understanding of the value beyond CE lectures.

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