Opticians Association of America Announces 2013 Conference, Student/Apprenticeship Program and Seeks 2013 State Leader Nominees

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ORLANDO, Fla.—The Opticians Association of America (OAA) 2013 Leadership Conference will take place here, Jan. 17-19, 2013, at the Buena Vista Palace Walt Disney World Resort. An educational and networking opportunity, the conference will feature seminars, topic-specific breakout sessions, social events and product exhibits. International Vision Expo East and West will sponsor an Evening at Epcot concluding with the Illuminations: Reflections of Earth fireworks display accompanied by a dessert buffet.

In addition, OAA is launching a new Student/Apprenticeship Program to encourage state associations to invest in the future leaders of the opticianry profession. “OAA would like to have every state association bring a student/apprentice to the 2013 OAA State Leadership Conference in January,” according to the organization. “Also, OAA realizes that every state does not have an association, so OAA is also encouraging any student/apprentice who is interested in becoming an industry leader to apply for a travel grant.”

To encourage attendance by students and apprentices, the OAA has waived the conference registration fee for this group. For those state associations and student/apprentices requiring additional financial assistance, the OAA is offering a grant of up to $580 per student/apprentice to cover hotel cost, $200 toward travel and $100 for other expenses. Each grant application recommending a student/apprentice must be completed by a state association and submitted by Dec. 12, 2012. Students/apprentices not associated with their state association can submit a travel grant application by Dec. 12, 2012. Applicants will be notified by Dec. 20, 2012.

The OAA is also seeking nominees for the 2013 State Leader of the Year Award to be presented at the Leadership Conference. Nominees must meet all of the following criteria—be involved in state leadership, past or present; have attended at least two OAA State Leadership Conferences; have promoted the advancement of opticianry in his or her own state or other state(s); be ABO, NCLE certified or state licensed; be a member of a state association for a minimum of five consecutive years. Nominees are not required to be from your state, and you may nominate no more than two candidates. Send a brief synopsis of why this candidate should be named State Leader of the Year for 2013 by the deadline of Dec. 7, 2012, to Opticians Association of America, 4064 East Fir Hill Drive, Lakeland, Tenn. 38002, or by fax: 901-388-2348, or email: chris_allen14@att.net.