Meet the Staff

Use the Where to Turn Guide to find the Academy contact that can best answer your questions.

For contact information for the Board of Directors, volunteers, and staff, please visit those respective pages.

Lois Schoenbrun

Lois Schoenbrun, CAE, FAAO
Executive Director

Lois is Executive Director of the Academy and the American Academy of Optometry Foundation, with responsibility for leading staff in carrying out the policies set by the governing bodies of each. Lois also works closely with the volunteer leadership in planning for the future of the organizations.
 
Lois has been with the Academy and AAOF since June of 1996. She has more than thirty years of experience in executive leadership of medical and health-related associations, and earned the Certified Association Executive designation in 1995. She earned her Academy Fellowship in 2000.
 
In her spare time, Lois is a 5th degree black belt and International Referee in the Korean martial art of Taekwondo. She has a son, 26.

Darryl Beatty
Manager, Corporate Relations

Darryl has been with the Academy for four years working in Operations Support.  He holds Bachelor Degrees in Political Science from Saint Louis University and International Studies from the University of North Texas.  Darryl and his wife, Mary Ellen, moved with the Academy from Maryland to Orlando, and are enjoying the new found sunshine and southern pace. Darryl has a love for college basketball (Saint Louis and Marquette), Cubs baseball, and cars.

Jenny Brown, MBA
Director, Membership & Communications

Jenny has over ten years of nonprofit program and marketing experience gained from her work at the Rollins College Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership Center and the Boise State University Center for School Improvement & Policy Studies. She received a BBA in Marketing from Boise State University and an MBA with an emphasis in Marketing from the Rollins College Crummer Graduate School of Business. In her spare time, Jenny enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.

Dana Edwards, MLIS
Database Administrator

Dana joined the Academy with over 10 years of data management experience. She graduated from Florida State University with a BS in Information Studies and a MLIS in Information Studies with a concentration in Data Management. In her spare time, Dana enjoys spending time with family and friends.

Richard Jones, CPA
Senior Director, Finance and Administration

Rich brings nearly 20 years of nonprofit financial experience to the organization. Prior to joining the Academy, Rich served as Chief Financial Officer for the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. He also has five years of public accounting experience. Rich received his Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the University of Maryland and his CPA certification in 1989. In his spare time, Rich is a movie buff and enjoys reading and exercising.

Sarah Kidd
Executive Assistant
 

Sarah provides administrative support to the Academy’s Executive Director and acts as administrative liaison to the Board of Directors, Nominating Committee and Ethics Committee.  In addition, Sarah works with the Senior Director of Finance and Administration to fill staffing needs and complete insurance renewals. Sarah also monitors and maintains our building and coordinates necessary repairs. She is working toward her Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources, and has earned certification as an HR Specialist, as well as in Business Management and Operations.

 

Sarah is the proud mother of a very active daughter. In their spare time, they enjoy volleyball, volunteering, and traveling.

 

 

Bonnie Rizzo
Governance Coordinator
 

Bonnie Rizzo has been active in the field of office and governance administration for 25 years. Her work experience spans government, private and non-profit sectors. She has assisted multiple non-profit boards in leading their organizations in thoughtful, intentional ways. Bonnie is passionate about the governance process, including building strategic partnerships, fostering transparency, increasing funding and recruiting and retaining the industry’s best leaders.

 

Zaide Laboy
Receptionist
 

Zaide was born and raised in a small town in Puerto Rico called Lajas. She received her BA in Arts and Marketing from the Inter American University of Puerto Rico in 2012 before moving to Orlando, FL in pursuit of better opportunities and professional growth. In March 2017, Zaide joined the Academy and has provided much support with her education and administration experience. She has instructed children ages 7-18 through non-profit organizations, and provided workshops at summer camps for children ages 7-14 with special needs. In her free time, Zaide enjoys visiting museums, attending concerts and exploring new places with her husband, as well as spending time with her cat and her pug.

Christina Velasquez
Data Specialist
 

With 3 years of data entry experience, Christina came over to the Academy in pursuit of furthering her experience in the field, as well as growth. As a Legal Studies major at UCF, and a mother to a toddler, her hobbies include a mixture of exams and potty training. She has gained a new liking for maintaining health and fitness, so she sneaks away to the gym when she can for some "me" time. 

 

Ian Mitchell
Accounting Clerk


Ian joined the Academy in the Summer of 2015. Two months later, he received a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting from the University of Central Florida. He is working towards a CPA as well as an MBA from DeVry University. His passions include traveling, playing sports, exercising and New York Mets baseball. 

 

Betty Rodriguez, MS
Program Manager, Education

Betty possesses a unique combination of 18 years of hands-on non-profit experience and a thorough understanding of office management. Betty has a passion for helping others and provides volunteer support for local communities. Betty is an honorary member of the National Society of Leadership and Success. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Thomas Edison State College and an MS in Education with a specialization in Management and Administration of Educational Programs from Nova Southeastern University.

Kayla Ritten, MBA
Administrative Assistant, Programs

Kayla joined the Academy in 2016 with a background in Administration and Marketing. She received an MBA with a concentration in Marketing from Rollins College Crummer Graduate School of Business. Outside of work, Kayla enjoys reading, cooking, and spending time with her husband, William, and their 1 year old daughter, Charlotte.

 

Sherry Sreekrisenjee
Staff Accountant

Betty Taylor, CEM
Director, Meetings & Exhibits
Betty is responsible for the overall strategic planning of the Academy exhibits and corporate support programs.  With creative oversight, she manages all aspects of exhibit sales and logistics.  Directing the team providing corporate support, which includes sponsorship planning, promotion, execution of benefits and fulfilment, she ensures that the sponsorship support is recognized and acknowledged. Betty has been in the tradeshow meetings industry for 22 years, including a long tenure with a general services contractor serving in several different capacities.

Helen Viksnins, MEd, FAAO, CAE
Senior Director, Programs

Helen is in charge of Education, Membership and Communications programs. She has been with the Academy since 1999 in a variety of capacities. Helen's educational background includes a BSFS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, an MEd from George Washington University in Human Resource Development, and a Certificate in Critical Languages from Western Michigan University in the Latvian language. She previously worked for the Peace Corps as the Country Desk Officer for North and Central Europe. In her personal time, Helen sings as a part of a Latvian folk ensemble, Sudrabavots, enjoys gardening and playing with her nephews.

Maureen Dimont
Director, Development

Maureen is Development Director of the American Academy of Optometry Foundation, with the responsibility for educating corporate partners and colleagues on the Foundation's achievements and the critical role it plays in the optometric profession. She has over 25 years of fundraising experience including annual giving, major gifts, corporate and foundation grant and proposal writing, planned giving and special events.  

Maureen most recently served as Director of Development for the ARVO Foundation for Eye Research, where she had been since 2008. She served in similar senior capacities for the Washington Home and Hospice, in Washington, DC, and Montgomery Hospice Foundation in Montgomery County, Maryland. In her spare time, Maureen and her husband, Rick, enjoy traveling.

Jennifer Rubin
Foundation Program Manager

Jennifer is the Coordinator of the American Academy of Optometry Foundation. Her role is to administer implementation of the AAOF programs and provide administrative support to the Development Director. Although the majority of her fifteen years of exceptional executive administrative experience was in the accounting industry, she brings a work ethic and drive that will be an asset to the foundation.  She is married and has a 15 year old daughter who keeps her quite busy with soccer and various youth group activities. In her spare time she enjoys cooking and swimming.

Kurt Zadnik
Managing Editor, Optometry and Vision Science

Kurt A. Zadnik has been the Managing Editor of Optometry and Vision Science since 1996. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois with a degree in horticulture and has extensive experience in the areas of California native plants and cacti and succulents. His is an avid hobbyist with expertise in gardening and woodworking. He lives in Columbus, Ohio with his wife, 2011-12 Academy President, Karla Zadnik. They have two daughters, Andra and Nina Marie.