A Letter from the Executive Director
Consider for a moment what it means to you and your business to be an optical “professional”. It means that you care about maintaining a high level of quality in your skills and that you pay attention to advances in your industry.
These are also the reasons to become a member of the Opticians Association of Washington. Being “involved” is not complicated, but it does demonstrate your interest in being the best.
New members are welcome at any time. If you have been a member in the past, now is the perfect time to re-join. If you are a member we would like to say thank you for your loyalty.
The mission of the Opticians Association of Washington is to promote the professional stature of Opticians through educational opportunities, legislative activity, state and national communication.
We believe that professional growth and educational opportunities are also important to you, and we urge you to become a part of the only industry association in this state, by joining the Opticians Association of Washington.
Donna Hatch, LDO
Opticians Association of Washington
David Reed LDO
I started working at Valley Vision Clinic in 1999 in the accounting department. In 2004 I earned my degree in Business at Walla Walla University. I also worked for First Insight, training on their MaximEyes Electronic Health Records Computer program. In 2011, I went to Sacramento, California to go to school to study to be an Optician. I returned back to Valley Vision Clinic and received my ABOC in May of 2011 and my NCLEC in November 2011. I received my LDO in April of 2016. I enjoy mission trips where I lead a team that has gone as far south as Bolivia, Baha California, Nicaragua, and Guatemala and west to the Philippines where I met my wife. Over the past 6 years, our mission group has distributed close to 10,000 pairs of glasses. I am currently at Valley Vision Clinic working on my ABO-AC.
As the new OAW president, it is my privilege to serve this organization. I am focused on increasing our membership to include as many opticians as possible in the state of Washington. I also would like to strive for higher education that would be accessible to all opticians.
This will be a challenging year and we have a lot of work to do. I hope when this year is finished we can all be proud members of the Opticians Association of Washington.
Stacey Gabrio LDO, NCLE, ABO
Optician of the Year
I started as an apprentice in 2011 @ Northwest Optical in Tacoma Wa. During my apprenticeship, I attended the Highline College dispensing Optician program where I gained the knowledge needed to accompany my hands-on training to become a licensed dispensing Optician. This will be my 5th year serving in the OAW board. I’ve served on multiple committees from fundraising to education. I’ve spent time volunteering with other opticians at Seattle king county clinic helping others with the gift of sight and I must say it’s been a very rewarding experience. I love being an Optician and I love helping the world to see. I currently serve as the Tacoma chapter leader and look forward to regrouping and providing more meetings throughout the coming year. I hold my ABO and NCLE National certifications and have had the pleasure of attending multiple national leadership conferences with the OAA. This year I will be serving as your Vice President and am looking forward to every minute of it. We have an amazing group this year serving this association with tons of knowledge, ideas, and passion. I hope to help grow the organization as a whole and become stronger than ever.
Jeffery Zeitler LDO
2nd Vice President
After being laid off in the logistics industry in 2009, I was convinced by my wife to consider training to be a Licensed Dispensing Optician. In a leap of faith, I enrolled in the Optician program at Seattle Central Community College. During my time there I served as a Student Representative on the OAW Board and was active in our club to help students raise funds to attend the OAW conventions. I graduated from the SCCC Optician program with honors in2012.
I am honored to serve as 2nd Vice President to our wonderful organization. This is my second term on the board. I love volunteering and helping any way I can for this organization. My focus will be working with the OAW Legislative Committee which is here to help protect our dispensing optician licensure in Washington State.
Gina Demmerly LDO
As your current President, I take great pride in educating and encouraging
opticians from all walks of life at any stage of their career. I am eager
and happy to support Apprentice and Student Opticians, Licensed Dispensing
Opticians, Vendor partners and those working in the field or even just
considering a new career. I hope to bring more Opticians into the OAW
family to not only increase Optician awareness in Washington, but to ensure
our licensure stays intact and protected.
The OAW also allows my creative juices to flow freely as their Convention
Committee chairperson as well. I love coming up with ideas for convention
and Education Days that allow my peers to learn in a fun environment. I
hope to see all of you at one of our gatherings soon! So please, come say
hi, ask questions, give feedback and help your Opticians Association of
Washington grow and thrive.
Having graduated from Seattle Central College School of Opticianry, I am
currently a Licensed Dispensing Optician practicing in an independent OD
and Optical. I enjoy providing personalized eye care from start to finish.
Whether I am pre-testing, giving a contact lens training, or finding the
perfect frame, I have found my passion in patient care. Nearly every day I
have the opportunity to learn something new in an industry that is
constantly growing and changing.
I love what I do and I do what I love.
Kelly Shaw LDO
I started my optical career in 2003 at Seattle CentralSchool of Opticianry and passed my ABO and NCLE exams in 2004. I have been an LDO since 2005 and OAW Secretary since2006. I enjoy the energy and the shared enthusiasm for our industry that is on display during our two semi-annual conventions. Being on the OAW board allows me to stay on top of what is happening legislatively and in our industry as a whole. Meeting and connecting the outstanding members of our optical community keeps me inspired to continue to grow my skills and our organization.
Kendall Hatley, LDO, ABOC, NCLEC, FNAO
Treasurer and Parliamentarian
Kendall is currently the optical manager for Valley Vision Clinic, a five-physician optometric group practice located in Walla Walla, WA. His optical experience started in La Grande, OR, working with an ophthalmologist for four years before moving to Salem and opening a store for Binyon Optical. He has been with Valley Vision Clinic since 1979 working in various capacities.
Kendall became actively involved with the OAW as treasurer in 2005, a position he still holds. He has also been a board member and past president. Kendall is also a certified ABO speaker interested in sharing the power of properly used tools in the hands of skilled opticians to create miracles for our patients.
Hobbies include photography, woodworking, boating, camping, and reading.
Donna Hatch LDO, HFOAA
I started my exciting career in the Eye glass’s industry in 1985 at Award Optical later transferring to sister company Vision Craft INC wholesale optical lens Manufacturer for five years. Went to work for the Optical Shoppe, I have been fortunate to work many facets of the industry. I did my apprenticeship for Opticianry under Dale St Clair LDO while at The Optical Shoppe where I earned my degree as a Licensed Dispensing Optician with American Academy of Opticianry. I was privileged to earn the OAW Lloyd Sass Memorial Award for Outstanding Optician of the Year 2010. Worked for Dr. Bryan for 18 years and 14 Years for Abel Li when he took over the practice, currently Office Manager and LDO for Central Washington Eye Clinic and Optical. Executive Director of the Opticians Association of Washington making a difference for future opticians, sitting on the Board of Directors for the Optician Association of America and Vision of Hope. My goal is to Help America See one pair of eyeglass at a time. I have a deep passionate love for the optical industry and want to make a difference for the future.
Licensed since 1984. On the OAW board of directors since 1985, President 3 times, legislative director since 1988. Worked in a laboratory for 8 years, have owned my own business for 18 years, worked for MDs, currently manage a dispensary for a group of ODs. Do the scheduling for the Millionaire Club vision clinic in downtown Seattle.
Nicole Askarian LDO
Nicole has been a member of the OAW since 2014. She graduated from Seattle Central School of Opticianry in 2016. She is passionate at giving back to the community and is the executive vision director for the Seattle King County Clinic. She enjoys learning languages and trying new food.
Heidi Adams LDO
I have been a member of the OAW since 2010 and have been working in the industry as an optician for nearly 15 years! I love everything about being an optician, especially the wonderful opticianry community that I am lucky enough to call family. I enjoy seeing you all at each OAW convention and throughout the year at other education events, and am looking forward to the time we see each other again.
Jose Guadarrama LDO
This is my first year being on the board and I am very excited to be more involved in our optical community. I began working in eye care in 2011 and haven’t looked back since. I am now a LDO, but also have my ABO and CPO certifications. As everyone else, I look forward to seeing you all at future events. During my free time I enjoy reading, being with family, and spending time with my pets.
Lori has been an Opticians Association of Washington member since 2010. After graduating from Seattle Central College with an Associates of Applied Science in Opticianry in 2011, and shortly after receiving her dispensing optician license, Lori quickly entered the work force. She is currently the lead Optician and office manager of an independent optometry office in Seattle. She lives with her husband Dail, her two cats Cartman and Butters, and tarantula Adelita. Lori’s wide range of experiences with design, management, fundraising, and education will hopefully bring new life and attention to the Opticians Association of Washington to help the association grow and prosper.
Rebecca Swislow LDO
This is my first year on the OAW board and I am so excited to be here! On the Board, I am serving as both the Education Chair and the Chapter Chair. I also recently started the North Snohomish County OAW chapter. I joined the Optical world in 2000. I was thrilled to have found a career and a future that truly excited me! Over the years, I have received my ABO and NCLE Certifications and my Dispensing Opticians License. I have worked in both retail and private practice. Most recently I started my own Optical Business! I also spend as much time as I can volunteering as an Optician. The main way I do this is by traveling to nursing homes, assisted living facilities, etc to help with cleaning, adjusting, and performing minor repairs on the residents’ eyewear. I love that I have experienced a lot of areas and styles of Opticianry and I look forward to sharing with and learning from all of you!
Alisha Pronzato LDO
Washington state resident since 1995 and married for 26 years. I began my optical career with my current employer, National Vision Inc., in 2001. I am ABO, NCLE certified and a Licensed Dispensing Optician. I am a Highline alum of the Apprentice Optician’s Course.
My current position is District Manager which I have been doing for the last 14 years. I oversee 16 Vista Optical locations inside Fred Meyer all in the state of Washington. I am responsible for achieving results, OD partnerships, Personnel Development, ensuring compliance in all Human Resource and company policies, and recruiting all staff including: Licensed Dispensing Opticians, Store Managers, and Optometrists
I have had multiple Districts as District Manager including 5 years over our Military brand where I went to multiple states. I have provided leadership and recruited teams in multiple licensed states and non-license states. The states I have overseen are: Arizona, California, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, Missouri, Utah, and of course Washington.
Before becoming a Licensed Dispensing Optician, I was in retail sales and management where I first got my passion for recruiting. I was running a high-volume retail store and was given the opportunity to be a market recruiter for the greater Seattle area. I visited and recruited from other businesses, facilitated full days of interviews, and attended several large job fairs.
I am so proud to be a Licensed Dispensing Optician and a part of the OAW. We get to belong to a community of professionals that every day makes lives better through sight. I hope that as part of the board and Membership Chair I can aide in the increase of OAW membership through recruiting current LDO’s that are not members and creating awareness and opportunities to those that have not yet considered a career as a Licensed Dispensing Optician or being a part of the OAW.