Summer 2016
Summer 2016

Class Notes Summer 2016


Jim Tumblin (NICO), a Fountain City, Tenn. historian, has written a new book titled, “Fountain City: People Who Made a Difference.” Fountain City is a neighborhood in northern Knoxville that was the largest unincorporated community in the U.S. prior to 1962, after which the town became annexed with Knoxville.


Ellis Miles retired after 60 years in practice. He served the Los Angeles County Optometric Society as Treasurer for 18 years, Secretary for 5 years, and President for 2 years. He was also politically active in the California Optometric Association.


Myrel A. Neumann, owner of Midwest Vision Centers, Inc., opened his 20th retail optical location in Detroit Lakes, Minn. He opened his first location 50 years ago this year.


Derrald Taylor has been recognized for providing 40 years of service to low-vision children studying at the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired. Though semi-retired, he plans to continue serving in the ISVI clinics for as long as he is able.


Larry Swanger received the 2016 Citizen of the Year award from the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce. He owns and practices full-time at Valley Eye Clinic Vision Source in West Des Moines, Iowa.


Mark Ritzinger of River Falls, Wisc., has retired after 40 years in practice. Retirement plans include exploring the great outdoors and mentoring young entrepreneurs.


Mark Henry, owner of Primary Vision Care, Inc., in Newark, Ohio, was honored by Cleinman Performance Network for his commitment to professional development.


Liz Erley, owner of Wink Optical in Boulder, Colo., was one of twelve Boulder businesswomen recognized for outstanding entrepreneurship.


Wendy Stone has been named ICO’s Assistant Dean for Didactic Education. Her new position begins July 1, 2016.


Pavan Avinashi was named 2016 Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the West Vancouver, British Columbia Chamber of Commerce.

Jill Hart was named 2016 Optometrist of the Year by the South Dakota Optometric Society. She has served in several positions within the SDOS, including chair of the legislative committee, PAC chairman, and vice president. Dr. Hart also serves as the vice president of the SD Board of Examiners of Optometry.


Ryan Haiar was recently elected president of the South Dakota Optometric Society (SDOS). He is a partner at EyeSite in Sioux Falls and has a special interest in ocular disease management, specialty contact lenses, and surgical co-management.

Amy Lagina and her husband welcomed their first child, daughter Evelyn Ava, on February 22, 2016.


Deana LaBrosse, following many years of providing mobile eye care services, has put down roots and opened Evanston Eye Wellness in Evanston, Ill., last March.


Theodore and Carrie Sees, owners of Rockford Family Eyecare in Rockford, Mich., were featured in the April issue of INVISION. The article offers a peek into how the couple, who have two small children, balances work and family.


Ashley Crabtree was named 2016 Young Optometrist of the Year by the South Dakota Optometric Society. She is the owner of Madison Vision Clinic, a private practice in Madison, SD.

Friends and Faculty

Elyse Chaglasian has been named ICO’s Assistant Dean for Community Based Education and International Programs. Her new position begins July 1, 2016.

Andria Pihos has been named ICO’s Assistant Dean for IEI Patient Care Education. Her new position begins July 1, 2016.

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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