Meet United Opticians Association President Ronnie Harbert

You are now President of both OAA and UOA. That is a unique opportunity. What are three goals you have for this opportunity?

I really want to see our organization united, once we have that I truly hope we can do the following:

  • Strive to require licensure in all states.
  • More educational opportunities through formal eduction (more opticianry schools in more states) and a more structured apprenticeship program.
  • Establish and maintain a united membership of opticians and contact lens professionals through representation, governmental relations and education.

What experiences in the past have you had that have prepared you for this role?

I have been in the optical field for 47 years and served locally and on a state level with the South Carolina Association of Opticians and nationally with the Opticians Association of America and I have learned from many great leaders in our profession and I will continue to lean on them.

As President during this important and exciting time of merging organizations, what would you like people to know about this merger?

The UOA was created to better our profession by merging organizations instead of duplicating efforts and expenses for the same goals and ideas. The merging organizations have equal representation on the advisory board protecting their strengths and ideas. We are stronger together!

What are you most excited about for the future of the profession of opticianry? What are you most concerned about?

The merging of the organizations creating the UOA will give our profession a boost, both financially and with forward thinking leadership. There are many challenges we will be facing both now and in the future. This merger will allow us to be proactive instead of reactive when facing these issues.

What would you like people to know about you?

I am passionate about this profession. I believe in state societies, membership and education. I will fight for the profession of opticianry, along with our great board of dedicated professionals.

Thank you for allowing me to serve and be part of our great optical family.

Please get involved, join your state association and you will be as fortunate as I am to meet so many great leaders and friends.
Remember, we are STRONGER TOGETHER!