Starting her career in eye care in 2008 at the front desk, Carissa ultimately earned her certification from the American Board of Opticianry. She was elected to the board of directors of the local Chamber of Commerce, where she interacted with a diverse group of business owners and learned the unique requirements independent eye care practices need to thrive. This passion led her to her current role, Marketing Specialist at Professional Eye Care Associates of America (PECAA), where she loves working with a large variety of industry vendors and member ECPs.
In 2018, Carissa founded Optician Now, which provides educational resources and optical expertise; she has grown her social media presence to over 18k followers. Carissa is an expert contributor for INVISION Magazine, writes for many industry publications and websites, and has authored several continuing education courses.
Carissa is the Vice-Chair of the OWA's Communications & Website Committee and a member of both their Digital Marketing and Connections & Enrichment Committees. In 2022, Carissa was named an "Innovator" in the Most Influential Women in Optical by Vision Monday Magazine and was awarded the Leadership Scholarship Award from the Optical Women's Association.
Tatiana Stewart is the Public Relations Supervisor at VSP Vision, where she leads the organization's Public Relations Team and sets media strategies that will enhance VSP Vision's brand presence and strengthen its position as a national leader in health-focused eye care.
With 15 years' experience coaching and training executives and C-suite leaders on how to work with and communicate with the press corps, Tatiana makes a great addition to the OWA Talks Podcast. She has a passion for storytelling and a reporter's curiosity. As co-host, she looks forward to asking the right questions to learn the things OWA members want to know from some of the optical industry's top minds. Tatiana is known for her strong work ethic, positive attitude, and enthusiasm for tackling any challenge - big or small.
Tatiana earned her bachelor's degree from the University of California Davis and spent a summer semester at the University of Geneva in Switzerland. She remains dedicated to learning and staying ahead of industry trends by continuously expanding her knowledge, growing her network, and refining her skills. She is currently taking a leadership course from the Yale School of Management and is a member of the Public Relations Society of America. She is an active member of the Optical Women's Association and serves on the Connection & Enrichment Committee.
Beyond her professional accomplishments, Tatiana enjoys giving back to her local community and is a proud volunteer at the Pet Network Human Society in Incline Village, NV. She hopes to soon adopt a sibling for her Golden Retriever fur baby, Luke. When she isn't working or volunteering, Tatiana loves to explore and adventure around her new home in the Lake Tahoe basin with husband Ian.
Click here to learn more about our hosts — Carissa Dunphy and Tatiana Stewart.
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In 2020 we created the OWA Talks Podcast to be a modern version of the past Tuesday Talks program. You can always view an archive of our Tuesday Talks presentations here.