North Carolina Chapter of the American Academy of Optometry

Chapter History

The North Carolina Chapter of the American Academy of Optometry (NC-AAO) was founded in 2004 by Dr. Roger Cummings and aided by Dr. Robert Morris both associated with the W.G. “Bill” Hefner VAMC.  The mission of the chapter is to provide high quality CE at the state level, to promote life-long learning to North Carolina OD’s, as well as, to encourage young optometrists to pursue membership into the American Academy of Optometry at the national level.

NCAAO Past Officers:

2004-2006:  Roger Cummings OD, FAAO
2006-2008:  Robert Morris OD, FAAO
2008-2010:  Diana Mah, OD, FAAO
2010-2012:  Phillip Roels, OD, FAAO
2013-2014:  Edward Chu, OD, FAAO
2014-2015: Jarett Mazzarella OD, FAAO
2016-Present: Elizabeth Cody OD, FAAO

Vice President:
2016-Present:  Aaron Tarbett, OD, FAAO

2008-2011: Kate Lanier
2012-2015: Elizabeth Cody OD, FAAO
2016-Present: Laurie Hoffman, OD, FAAO

2008-2010: Arun Subramanian OD, FAAO
2011-2012: Beth Cody OD, FAAO
2013-2015: Dustin Reece OD, FAAO
2016-Present: Kristine Loo, OD, FAAO

Board Member:

2008-2010: Roger Cummings OD, FAAO
2011-2012: Bruce Baldwin OD, FAAO
2013-2015: Diana Mah OD, FAAO
2016-Present: Justin Cole, OD, FAAO

Current Officers:
President: Elizabeth Cody, OD, FAAO
Vice President: Aaron Tarbett, OD, FAAO
Treasurer: Kristine Loo, OD, FAAO
Secretary: Laurie Hoffman, OD, FAAO
Board Member: Justin Cole, OD, FAAO



NCAAO Winter CE Symposium

Durham, NC 27707

December 5, 2015
Check in/breakfast 8:00am to 8:30am
Lectures: 8:30am to 12:30pm

4 hours of CE:
4 hours of certified CE credit through NC (pending)

Dr. Mike Peters - Concussions/Sports Injury
Dr. Aaron Tarbett- TBI/PTSD
Dr. Jeffrey Walline - Myopic Control

Dr. Aaron Tarbett (left) and Dr. Jeffrey Walline (right) at the Winter CE Symposium in Durham, NC on Dec. 5th.

2015 Summer CE Symposium


National Board of Examiners in Optometry, Charlotte, NC

Saturday September 12th, 2015

3 hours of CE:
3 hours of certified CE credit through NC (pending)

Dr. Clarke Newman OD, FAAO, Dipl.
Topic: Amniotic Membranes and Autologous Serum
Dr. Kristine Loo OD
Dr. Ryan Corte OD

Dr. Kristine Loo and Dr. Ryan Corte presenting grand round cases. Dr. Jarett Mazzarella, President of the NC-AAO introduces Dr. Clarke Newman, Keynote Speaker


2014 Winter CE Symposium

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

Hawthorne Inn and Conference Center
420 High Street
Winston Salem, NC 27101

 Jason Sander MD
Retinal Specialist: Piedmont Retinal Specialists, P.A.
Topic: A Video Review of modern Vitrectomy Techniques
Charles Richards MD
Retinal Specialist: Piedmont Retinal Specialists, P.A.
Topic: The Peripheral Retina: What is that over there?

Kevin Mercado OD, FAAO
Optometrist: W.G. “Bill” Hefner VAMC; Hickory CBOC
Topic: Fundus Autofluorescence

NCAAO Founders
From Left: Dr. Roger Cummings, Dr. Rob Morris

2014 Winter CE Symposium
From left: BJ Graham: Photographer Piedmont Retinal Specialists
Dr. Jason Sanders, Dr. Charles Richards: Retinal Specialists, Piedmont Retinal Specialists
Dr. Kevin Mercado: Optometrist Hickory CBOC

Dr. Charles Richards


Dr. Kevin Mercado

Event Participants


2014 Summer CE Symposium

Current Trends in Medical Management

Dr. Ron Melton OD, FAAO and Dr. Randall Thomas OD, FAAO

August 28, 2014

National Board of Examiners in Optometry, Charlotte, NC

Jack Terry, PhD, OD, FAAO
Executive Director of the NBEO

Welcomes guests to the National Center of Clinical Testing in Optometry and briefs the audience on the latest news at the NBEO.

Jarett Mazzarella, OD, FAAO

President of the North Carolina Chapter of the American Academy of Optometry


Ron Melton, OD, FAAO (on left)
Randall Thomas, OD, FAAO (on right)

Key note Speakers Dr. Ron Melton and Dr. Randall Thomas speak to the audience on the topic of “Current Trends in Medical Management.”



2nd Annual Roger Cummings Resident Symposium

This yearly lecture series was held on May 1st, 2014 at the W.G. “Bill” Hefner VAMC in Salisbury, NC.  The event highlighted 8 Optometry Residents from 3 area institutions: The Hefner VAMC, Fort Bragg, and the Columbia VAMC.  Each resident presented a case study to approximately 40 attendees. The goal of the event is to showcase our young, talented Optometrists and provide them valuable feedback on their lectures while providing high quality Certified Continuing Education (CE) to area OD’s.  


From left to right:

Dr. Benjamin Thayil, Dr. Kristine Loo, Dr. Charlotte Ablott, Dr. Zophia Rendon, Dr. Roger Cummings (Founder of the NC-AAO), Dr. Laura Buchanan, Dr. Emily Lubbers, Dr. Matthew Stolz, Major Grace Dumayas.








3rd Annual Roger Cummings Residents Symposium

W.G. “Bill” Hefner VAMC
Salisbury, NC  28144
Building 6, First Floor, Social Room/Auditorium

Saturday May 2nd, 2015
7:30 am to 1:00 pm

5 hours of CE:
5 hours of certified CE credit through NC (pending)

(8) Residents: from the Salisbury, NC VAMC, Womack Hospital, and Greeneville, SC, VAMC
    Talk: Grand Round Cases
Key Note Speaker: Dr. Joseph Shovlin OD, FAAO
    Talk: “Corneal Infections from A-Z”

View Invitation (PDF)
View Agenda (PDF)

Residents and Resident Directors from the Salisbury, NC VAMC, Greeneville, SC VAMC and Womack Hospital attended the event. Dr. Meghann Hamidiani of the Salisbury VAMC was issued the first annual “Red Eye” Award at the Symposium for best Resident Lecture chosen by the audience at the event. Dr. Joseph Shovlin, President-Elect of the American Academy of Optometry, gives a “Keynote” speech to the audience at the Roger Cummings Resident Symposium.
Resident presentations.


2014-2015 North Carolina Chapter Poster for the American Academy of Optometry

Courtesy of Dr. Phillip Roels OD, FAAO