Spring 2016
Spring 2016

Class Notes Spring 2016


Sol Heiman, CCO, wrote a book about his 6 years in the Air Force: 1951-1957. In 1959 he, along with six other optometrists, formed the New Orleans Contact Lens Society. The society had 166 members at this year’s annual conference.


Robert Vander Meer retired after 61 years in practice. He served in the military as part of a medical team working with chimpanzees, including HAM, the first chimp in space, and with Colonel John P. Stapp. He retired from the military as a major in 1964. vThroughout his years of optometric service, he established and maintained successful private practices in Las Vegas, Nev., Clayton, N.M., and Boise City, Okla.


Robert P. Rutstein, professor emeritus at the UAB School of Optometry, presented the poster “Atypical Presentation of Acute Acquired Comitant Esotropia” at the 2015 AAO annual meeting.


Tom Griffith received a Lifetime Service President’s Award during SECO 2016.


Steve Devick’s company, King-Devick Test, Inc., announced 12 NHL teams have begun using the King-Devick Test as part of an effort to enhance the league’s concussion assessment process.

Ronald R. Foreman received the Frank A. Broome, Sr., O.D., Lifetime Achievement Award during the 2015 Florida Optometric Association Annual Convention.


Barry Cook, of Price, Utah, has retired after 38 years in practice. He plans to serve those with eye care needs by continuing to travel to third world countries on mission trips.

Dennis Harkins, optometrist at Davis Duehr Dean in Portage, Wis., was recently named recipient of the Sisters of St. Mary’s Patients’ Choice Award, recognizing caregivers who achieve the highest results in patient satisfaction. He received the award at the 2015 SSM Health Leadership Conference. In 2014, he was in the top 1% nationally for overall patient satisfaction.

Donald Mazzulla retired after 37 years of practice and teaching. He spent 20 years in Chicago and the last 17 years in Las Vegas. He says, “It’s all green felt from here on.”


James Hutchins and the staff of Lifetime Eyecare Center received the 2015 Manufacturing and Technology Award from the Sleepy Eye, Minn. Chamber of Commerce. His practice was praised as one of the top 1% in the state in terms of having all the latest technology available for treating patients.


Sandra Block was appointed chair of the Public Health Committee for the World Council of Optometry. She also moderated a Vision 2020 USA Congressional Briefing for World Sight Day 2015 on uncorrected refractive error.


Eric Paulsen was featured and quoted in the Oct. ’15 issue of AOA Focus magazine for his knowledge and advocacy of optical coherence tomography.


Peter Ryan joined Valley Eyecare Center in the Phoenix area.


Knial “Nile” Piper became owner of Vision Xpress in West Plains, Mo.

Rebecca Ryan joined Bard Optical in Springfield, Ill.


Sandra Bury and Tracy Matchinski traveled to Santo Domingo and Quito, Ecuador in partnership with VOSH Illinois and Rotary Clubs in Santa Domingo and Quito. Along with three other ODs, 19 ICO students, 13 optometry students from Metropolitan University in Quito, two nurses, and 29 volunteers, they provided services to 2,382 patients.


Jeffrey D. Johnson was elected to ICO’s Board of Trustees during its February meeting.

Patricia Winters was inducted into the National Association of Professional Women’s VIP Woman of the Year Circle, honoring her as an inspiration and leader in healthcare.


Dan Everts and his practice Advanced Family Eye Care in Waupaca, Wis., received recognition as Best Optical Center for this year’s Best of Waupaca. He bought the practice from his father-in-law, Jack Brueckner, OD ’65, in 1999.


Alan “Joey” Patterson became owner, president, and CEO of DMV Corporation, a company that produces contact lens removers and distributes them worldwide. He will continue to see patients in his two private practices in Zanesville and Coshocton, Ohio.


Brian Brightman was named Nebraska Optometric Association’s Keyperson of the Year at the 2015 NOA annual convention last fall. He is the CEO of Eyecare Specialties in Lincoln, the largest independent optometry practice in Nebraska.

Todd Swanson became owner of Meng’s Eye Care in Rice Lake, Wis.


Robert Steinmetz was elected to ICO’s Board of Trustees during its February meeting.


Beverly Lezondra-Wheatley and her husband welcomed their first child, Isabelle Victoria, on February 22, 2015.

Tessa Sokol was featured in the Oct. ’15 issue of the AOA’s Eyes on the Future publication. The article commends Dr. Sokol’s commitment and active involvement in the profession of optometry and praises her leadership as an example for all young ODs to follow.

Jessica T. Tran married Tony Cicio in November 2015. She practices in Manhattan and Queens, N.Y.


Susan Safratowich joined Lifetime Vision in Grand Forks, N.D.


Joanna Slusky, owner of Halsted Eye Boutique in Chicago, was inducted into the National Association of Professional Women’s VIP Professional Woman of the Year Circle for her leadership in healthcare.


Naghmeh Thompson and her husband welcomed their first child, daughter Chelsea, on October 23, 2015.


Michael Servi joined the medical team at Tower Clock Eye Center in Green Bay, Wis.


Christopher Winter was listed in the last issue as a 1996 graduate. He is a 1979 graduate.

Got alumni news? Please share.

Connie M. Scavuzzo, MA
Senior Director of Alumni Development

To submit your news and announcements for Class Notes or In Memoriam, click here.

The following abbreviations denote predecessor names of the Illinois College of Optometry.
NICO: Northern Illinois College of Optometry
CCO: Chicago College of Optometry
MCO: Monroe College of Optometry
Northern Illinois College of Optometry Chicago College of Optometry Monroe College of Optometry

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