Contact 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.

Peter_Scott

Peter Scott, CAE, APR, MBA
Executive Director

Peter Scott is a proven leader with over 20 years’ experience of growing associations and teams with a specialization in product development, digital transformation, public relations, experiential design, and organizational strategy/innovation. His ability to merge creative strategy, business acumen, and governance has earned him the ear of those at some of the world’s largest organizations including Microsoft, Wyndham, Mars, Kraft, the Federal Reserve Bank, Procter & Gamble, Target, PWC, Deloitte, Nielsen, The Canadian House of Commons, and Saudi Arabian Capital Markets Authority. Peter gained recognition for his efforts by receiving the Brand Hall Excellence in eLearning Award, multiple Forbes Best of Web, Webby Awards, as well as the Technology and Learning Magazine's Award of Excellence.

Peter earned his BBA in finance and economics from Stetson University and an MBA from Nova Southeastern. He is a Certified Association Executive and Accredited in Public Relations. In his spare time, he and his wife enjoy golf, cooking and spending time with their two dogs.

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Dana Edwards, MLIS
Manager, Information Technology

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.

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Bob Gray, MS
Director, Development

Bob brings a vast amount of nonprofit experience to the Academy. He spent 18 years as CEO for The Foundation Fighting Blindness, an organization dedicated to funding research projects on retinal degenerative diseases. He spent 14 years with the National Easter Seals Society fundraising on the local, state, and national levels. Over the past decade he has consulted for numerous nonprofits in the healthcare and environmental sectors. After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Education, Bob went on to earn a Master of Science degree in Community Health Education from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. In his spare time, Bob is an avid golfer and fan of football and basketball. He shares these interests with his wife and adult children. 



Richard_Jones

Richard Jones, CPA
Deputy Executive 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 & Administrative Manager

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.

Ewa

Ewa Koguciuk
Administrative Assistant, Programs

Ewa was born and raised in Poland. She graduated from SUNY Old Westbury College located on Long Island, NY with Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She joined the Academy in May 2018 and brings over 15 years of nonprofit administrative support experience. In her spare time, Ewa enjoys hiking, traveling, attending spin classes at a local gym and vegetarian cuisine.

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.

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Ian Mitchell 
Staff Accountant

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.

Kayla Ritten, MBA
Program Manager, Membership & Communications

Kayla joined the Academy in 2016 with a background in 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 children, Charlotte and Lucas.

Jen Rubin

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.

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Joseph Sotomayor
Data Specialist

Joseph is the Data Specialist and joined the Academy in January of 2018. He works closely with the Manager of Information Technology to assist with Data Management, Candidate, and student needs. He has past experience with IT solutions and data integration. He has certifications in Web Development and Database Administration with plans to earn more certifications in the IT field. In 2009 Joseph received recognition from the Orlando Sentinel, and was selected to the “All County Football Selection” for his athletic achievements. In his spare time he enjoys playing sports, graphic design, and spending time with family.

 

Sherry

Sherry Sreekrisenjee
Senior Staff Accountant

Sherry has joined the Finance team with over 10 years of experience which she gained from working at various industries in NYC and the UK. She received her Bachelors of Arts in Accounting in 2005 from Queens College in New York. Sherry enjoys reading, watching TV and spending time with her husband and her daughter, Stella.

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.

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Christina Velasquez
Program Manager, Education

Christina joined the Academy in March of 2017. While working side by side with several of the Academy’s committee members, Christina provides the first line of customer service to members, students, and prospective members, regarding the Academy’s Education Programs. She is currently enrolled at the University of Central Florida, working towards her Bachelor’s Degree in Legal Studies. Besides working a full-time job and juggling school, Christina is also a mother to a toddler named Cayson. Any time away from work and books is dedicated to her son, where they both enjoy watching movies and reading books, baking cakes, outdoor activities, and anything trucks! Christina brings a drive and passion for growth that will be an asset to the Academy. 

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.

Adrienne_Wilhoite

Adrienne Wilhoite
Meeting & Exhibits Coordinator

With over seven years of experience in highly detailed customer service positions, Adrienne joined the Academy’s team in August 2017, bringing with her a passion for ensuring her customers’ needs are met to the fullest extent. As a full time student pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Behavior at Rollins College, Adrienne is dedicated to learning and applying what works best within an organization and uses this insight when determining the best ways to communicate effectively with the Academy’s sponsors and exhibitors. In her spare time Adrienne enjoys volunteering with children and animals, practicing Vinyasa Yoga and spending as much time as she can with her family, friends and puppy.