American Academy of Optometry Announces Executive Director’s Departure


Lois Schoenbrun, CAE, FAAO.

ORLANDO—The American Academy of Optometry, a professional association for optometrists, vision scientists and optometry students, has announced that its long-serving executive director, Lois Schoenbrun, CAE, FAAO, will step down from her position in April of 2019. Schoenbrun has been executive director of the American Academy of Optometry and the American Academy of Optometry Foundation since 1996. The organization is initiating a search to identify a new leader, the announcement said. “It has been my honor and privilege to serve this organization through nearly 23 years of growth and evolution,” said Schoenbrun.

“During that period, we’ve been able to grow from a staff of five to a staff of 18, move our headquarters from Rockville, Maryland to Orlando, Florida, grow membership from 4,979 in 1996 to more than 11,000 today, increase assets from $1.1 million to more than $19.3 million, and expand our annual meeting from 4,089 attendees to an anticipated 8,000+ in 2018. I am very grateful to have had the pleasure of working with so many talented and dedicated members and staff during my tenure.”

“Lois has been an incredible leader as our executive director and will leave the Academy in excellent shape, with sound financial reserves, growing membership and annual meeting attendance, and programs and policies that serve the membership and the profession well,” said Joseph Shovlin, OD, FAAO, American Academy of Optometry president. “I truly appreciate all that she has contributed in her 22+ years with our Academy family.”

The American Academy of Optometry is drawing on the steps in its succession plan to guide the process of selecting a new executive director. It has formed a search committee to oversee the process and has retained executive search firm Vetted Solutions to coordinate the search. The search will commence immediately, and the organization’s goal is to have a new executive director identified by Feb. 1, 2019.