Change & Growth: Home Office Renovations and Website Design Upgrades
In this President’s Calling I’d like to highlight several improvements and operational upgrades recently made to our home office. These investments allow us to work more efficiently and to better serve our members. In April of 2012, the Academy office relocated from the Washington, DC area to Orlando, Florida. I can remember a discussion among the Board during a site visit when selecting a building in Orlando. We wondered, “Will we ‘fill’ this building someday, or is it too big for us?” Well, today, the answer to that question is clear. After five years in our Orlando location, an increase in Academy staff required an expansion of personal office space.
I’m happy to report the recent renovations to make room for more offices went smoothly. Here is a list of recent upgrades: the conversion of storage space to new offices, installation of a sorely needed security system around the exterior of the building (cameras, a new front door locking mechanism, a back gate opening mechanism and call box for the front of the building). Additionally, the exterior of the building was painted (to match the Academy colors, but long overdue) as well as some of the interior. Exterior and additional parking lot lighting was installed to improve safety.
Our digital home will soon be getting some upgrades, too. In late 2017 our website will take on a completely new look with improved function. Thank you to Jenny Brown, director of membership and communications, and Pete Kollbaum, board member, for their tireless efforts on this project. The new website will be compatible with mobile devices and it will also be more user-friendly, allowing easy access information about our organization, our Foundation, upcoming events, breaking news and to search for colleagues. The new site is being built on an adaptable platform that will allow us to easily change content and features in the future. We have also recently replaced our server to handle the magnitude of data required for the staff to work more efficiently.
Please know the Board, our executive director, and staff continue striving to make our organization stronger and more accessible. Our growth in the number of new members, and especially the exponential growth in annual meeting attendance, has been phenomenal. Thank you for your loyalty to the Academy! The next time you're in the Orlando area, stop by to visit the Academy office.
On an unrelated note, we wish the World Council of Optometry (WCO) much success with their 2nd World Congress to be held next month in Hyderabad, India. Accessible, quality vision and eye health is this meeting’s theme and fits nicely into the overarching mission of the World Health Organization’s, Universal Eye Health: A global action plan 2014 – 2019. The Congress will be co-sponsored by the Asia Pacific Council of Optometry and the India Vision Institute, and features a global faculty. WCO’s 1st World Congress was held two years ago in Medellin, Columbia. AAO Board Secretary/Treasurer and WCO liaison, Tim McMahon, will represent the Academy at the Congress. Tim has also served in a leadership role for the WCO.
The WCO is now located in St. Louis at the headquarters of the American Optometric Association. It was originally founded in 1927 as the International Optometric and Optical league (IOOL) and changed its name to WCO in 1996.
In addition, our Academy has recently submitted a proposal to co-host the 3rd World Congress in conjunction with our Annual Academy Meeting in Orlando, Florida in October 2019. We will keep you posted!
Joseph P. Shovlin, OD, FAAO
President, American Academy of Optometry