SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.—PECAA, a nationwide alliance for independent optometrists, hosted a record number of attendees at its annual meeting here from May 14 to 17, 2015, at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch. The highest attended national member meeting to date, the three-day, family-friendly event was attended by 180 PECAA member doctors and 130 staff members from throughout the U.S.

Centered around the group’s mission to promote and protect independent eyecare, the annual meeting featured COPE-approved courses presented by leading optometric educators, including two two-hour CE courses on the first day—“Ride The Waves of Technological Innovations in Eyecare” presented by the group’s clinical director, Paul Karpecki, OD, FAAO, and “Enhancing Profitability in Your Dispensary,” presented by Michael Della Pesca of Quantum Optical and sponsored by Luxottica.

The general session continued Friday morning with “Adventures in Darkness” by Tom Sullivan, sponsored by Hoya Vision Care. Additional business education topics included “Behavioral Communications Training” by Colleen Jones, CPBA, sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Vision Care; “Friending, Sexting, Twitterpation and YouTubery: How Employers Can Prevent Trouble in the Age of Social Media” by attorney Josh Sears, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Vision; and “Guiding Your Practice Into the Future” by Sharon Jutila, sponsored by VSP.

Coinciding with the general session, the three-day Optical Merchandising Workshop taught over 80 doctors and optical staff members the importance of branding and how to effectively merchandise products and the practice.

During Saturday’s session, attendees were divided into small peer-to-peer breakout groups to facilitate in-depth conversation and idea exchange on the topics presented during the meeting. The event also included an exhibit hall and two new workshops, one on billing and coding using ICD-10, and a one-day frame workshop.

This fall, PECAA will be hosting two business symposiums for the first time, one on the West Coast (Oct. 16 to 17, 2015 in San Diego) and one on the East Coast (Nov. 6 to 7, 2015 in Charlotte, N.C.). The 2016 Annual Meeting will be held May 19 to 21, 2016, in New Orleans.

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PECAA’s clinical director, Paul Karpecki, OD, FAAO, presented a COPE CE course on technological innovations in eyecare.

A packed audience of PECAA members attended the general session.

Bill Gerber from OMG! Optical Marketing Group led the Optical Merchandising Workshop.

Over 80 doctors and optical staff members participated in the three-day Optical Merchandising Workshop.

PECAA’s director of member services, Doug Martin, also led the Optical Merchandising Workshop.

Optical Merchandising Workshop attendees also participated in a “before and after” Visual Display Contest.

A session on ICD-10 was presented by PECAA billing & coding manager, Teri Thurston.

Deliah Rouse and Craig Rouse, OD, participated in the Peer-to-Peer session.

The Pinnacle Program, a one-day frame workshop, was presented by Michael Della Pesca of Quantum Optical.

Attendees were treated to an Italian-themed member appreciation dinner.

Native American hoop dancers entertained attendees at the welcome reception.

The event included an exhibit hall, open on Friday and Saturday, where attendees were able to meet one-on-one with vendors.

Modern Optical’s Larry Lagioia showed frames to a PECAA member in the exhibit hall.

RevolutionEHR was among the exhibitors at PECAA’s annual meeting.

Carl Zeiss Vision sponsored a PECAA golf tournament at the Gainey Ranch Golf Club.

PECAA will host two business symposiums this fall, and its annual meeting will be in New Orleans next year.