A Florida native, Karen grew up in Ocala and began her optical career in 1980 as a technician in a surfacing lab, where she eventually became a lab supervisor. While enrolled in the opticianry apprenticeship program, Karen attended the College of Central Florida, majoring in business and marketing. She earned her opticianry license in 1990, and moved to Tampa to start a family and a new chapter in her optical career. Karen’s passion is helping people see better and improve their lives through good vision and improved personal appearance. In 1998, she moved into outside frame sales and had the privilege of meeting and learning from many talented opticians. In 2011, she landed her dream job with VSPOne Optical Technology Centers and was awarded Account Executive of the Year in 2012. Optical Seminars is lucky that Karen is sharing what she has learned over the past 30+ years with our attendees.
With more than 40 years in the optical field, Mike Arnold's diversity of experience brings a valuable perspective to Optical Seminars, especially in the field of contact lenses. Mike started as an optical lab technician, and then worked as a licensed, dispensing optician for twenty years. Although now semi-retired, Mike currently works as a Certified Ophthalmic Assistant. He received his Associate of Science degree in Optical Dispensing Technology from Hillsborough Community College, and was educated in contact lenses at St. Petersburg Junior College. In addition to his education and experience as a licensed optician and ophthalmic assistant, he has taken courses including Refractive Essentials for the Ophthalmic Nurse and Technician, as well as The Ophthalmic Biometrist. Formerly a Virginia-licensed optician, Mike currently holds three active licenses: Florida Licensed Optician, Certified Ophthalmic Assistant, and a fellow of the American Board of Opticians.
Optical Seminars would like to thank the following Eye Care Professionals who are giving their time and talent by presenting classes, and/or offering their advice, guidance, and support.
Sadly, Rick passed away in 2017. Rick represented a third generation of optical professionals! Rick’s grandfather was a frame designer for Artcraft, and his father was an optometrist in New York. Rick brought a wealth of knowledge and depth of experience to Optical Seminars. Before acquiring his opticianry license, he managed optical labs. Eventually gaining positions as a district and regional manager for a major optical corporation, Rick was also a Certified Ophthalmic Medical Assistant, and owned a wholesale frame and sunglass distributing business. Rick never got a chance to present classes for Optical Seminars, but his vast knowledge and experience was greatly appreciated.
Before receiving her A.A. degree in opticianry from Hillsborough Community College, Andrea Record began her optical career working in a wholesale lab in New England. After graduating from HCC, she began a career in retail opticianry with J.C. Penney Optical and For Eyes Optical. She also briefly managed a Sears Optical. While raising three children she worked part-time in all facets of the optical field. She has worked at the Wal-Mart Vision Center in New Port Richey, Florida for the past 15 years, where she has received numerous awards for outstanding sales and customer service. With more than 30 years’ experience in the profession, Andrea brings a unique perspective to Optical Seminars' Advisory Board. Andrea is also a fellow of the National Academy of Opticianry.
Dr. Linda Paey earned her undergraduate degree from Rutgers College/Rutgers University and graduated from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (now part of Salas University) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1984.
Her extensive career began in the United States Army, at Fort Dix, New Jersey, where she practiced from 1984-1991. She then practiced a few years in corporate and private optometry, eventually practicing for more than 10 years with the ophthalmology group at the Pasco Eye Institute from 1996-2007.
Since then, Dr. Paey has practiced as an Independent Doctor of Optometry affiliated with Sam's Club and Wal-Mart Vision Centers throughout Tampa Bay. Her loyal patients in Hernando county are grateful for dedication and expertise where she currently practices inside the Wal-Mart Vision Center on Cortez Boulevard in Brooksville.
Optical Seminars is honored to have her experience and guidance as part of our Advisory Board, and as a lecturer and seminar leader.
Anthony Record is the founder of Optical Seminars and opticalseminars.com. He is ABO certified, a fellow of the National Academy of Opticianry, the Ocular Nutrition Society, and a member of the Opticians Association of America. First licensed in 1983, he began his career with For Eyes Optical, eventually opening and managing their 80th location in Clearwater, Florida. He managed a Sears Optical, and worked as Dr. Mark Mathews' practice manager in Pasco County. In the late 1980s he formed a partnership with Dr. Brian Weber, purchasing Spring Hill Optical in Hernando County. The company grew to 12 locations throughout the Tampa Bay area.
Professor Danielle Polite is a twenty-year veteran of the optical profession. She has worked in corporate, big box, and private practices. Her experiences include running a second lane for her doctor to provide redo eyeglass examinations and contact lens evaluations. She has worked as a specialty contact lens account manager where she consulted with MD’ and ODs on scleral lens fittings and how to incorporate specialty lenses into their practices.
She is currently using her skills as a senior account manager for ABB Optical Group to support practices through her business acumen and experience as a Board-Certified Licensed Dispensing Optician. She teaches at Daytona State College for their opticianry program. Danielle has a B.A. from The University of Maryland, Baltimore County in Psychology and a minor in Biological Sciences. Danielle is looking forward to completing her Masters degree in Biotechnology with a focus in Individual Genomics and Medicine from Johns Hopkins University.
Danielle shares her life with her two children, her dog, Riley and her cat, Spitfire.
Hari passed peacefully away on November 16, 2018. He was a passionate advocate for hands-on adjustments, and was a true friend to me , Optical Seminars, and the entire optical community.
Mr. Bird's career as an optician began following active duty with the U.S. Marine Corps and his subsequent employment with an American Optical Company Branch Laboratory in 1958. He spent more than two years in all phases of lab operations as a lab technician, which included hand surfacing, power generation, hand stone and automatic edging, bench work, finishing, final inspection and hands-on-the-patient, handcrafted, custom fitting of eyewear. Mr. Bird then became the manager of an AO Branch Laboratory, and later a sales rep. for American Optical lenses, frames, and ophthalmic instruments. He subsequently returned to ophthalmic dispensing with a joint ophthalmology/optometric practice. He held active dispensing optician licenses in Florida and Arizona. He was also ABO-NCLE certified. He was a member of POF (Professional Opticians of Florida), and had several years’ experience as the owner of an independent, privately operated ophthalmic dispensary, and as a dispensing optician for a retail optical chain.
Anthony has presented continuing education classes for opticians, optometrists, ophthalmic technicians, and ophthalmologists throughout the country for more than 15 years. Although his focus has been Florida, he has been a featured speaker at Vision Expo East in New York, and Vision Expo West in Las Vegas since 2009. He also owns Max Optics in Port Richey, and has written hundreds of columns, articles, and continuing-education modules for leading industry publications. As an adjunct instructor for Graceland University in Iowa, he also presented @ 100 seminar days per year on topics ranging from effective communication, business writing, strategic thinking skills, public speaking, management and leadership between 2001-2018. Since "retiring" from the national speaking circuit, Anthony currently also practices two days a week at the Wal-Mart Vision Center in Brooksville, Florida.
Anthony is committed to making Optical Seminars Florida's go-to resource for every optician's continuing education requirements.
John is a 35-year veteran who began his optical career as an apprentice in Louisville, Kentucky. He continued his dispensing career in Texas, where he also served on the Board of the Opticians Association for the Southwest. In 1998, John accepted a position as a lab representative in Florida. John's passion for training and speaking came to fruition with his association with Transitions and Essilor. Currently John is the Senior Retail Business Development representative for Florida and Puerto Rico at Carl Zeiss Vision. John is on the board for POF (Professional Opticians of Florida), where he earned the Vendor-of-the-Year award in 2012. In 2013, 2014, and 2015 John received the President's Challenge Award from Carl Zeiss Vision for exceeding sales goals. We are happy to learn from John's experience and expertise. His perspective is invaluable to our attendees.
Dr. Kayani is an American Board-Certified ophthalmologist and a fellow of the American and Canadian College of Surgeons, who has practiced ophthalmology for over 25 years. While his expertise are comprehensive, his main interests are macular management, anterior segment, glaucoma, and medical retina problems. Dr. Kayani once served as the Chief of Ophthalmology at Good Samaritan Hospital in Watertown, NY; taught medical students at SUNY’s Upstate Medical University’s Department of Ophthalmology. He practiced ophthalmology at St. Luke’s Cataract and Laser Institute for many years. He now runs three clinics in Pakistan, giving his time to medical mission work there, in the United States and around the world. Access to his comprehensive knowledge and experience is a tremendous asset for Optical Seminars’ Advisory Board.
David is a graduate of the University of South Florida (1981) and the University of Florida College of Law (1984). He has been a licensed lawyer since 1985, served in the Air Force and Air Force Reserve (retired Lt Col, USAFR) and has taught law courses at several universities over the years. Mr. Cory’s association with Optical Seminars is an invaluable resource for which we are grateful.