BOARD OF DIRECTORS
As someone who focuses on helping others in all her endeavours, joining the Eye Recommend Board further propelled Dr. Trisha Beal’s passion for independent optometry. She has a keen interest in providing comprehensive eye care for patients with special needs and for promoting early detection and treatment of sight-threatening eye conditions in children before they can interfere with healthy development.
She continues to focus on increasing membership engagement, creating a culture of proactive rather than reactive management and assisting members to work smarter, not harder. Her personal why is aligned with the company’s mission as she believes patients should receive personal and sincere care. She encourages her colleagues and patients to pursue what they love, to take the time to care about the little details and not to allow situational obstacles to get in their way.
In addition to treating patients at her two Ontario clinics, Brant Family Eye Care and Paris Family Eye Care, Dr. Beal serves as a preceptor for fourth-year optometry externs from Illinois College of Optometry and her alma mater the University of Waterloo, where she earned her Honours Bachelor of Science degree as well as her Doctorate of Optometry.
Dr. Beal has been recognized for her efforts in actively promoting eye health within her practice and local community. She was named Eye Care Professional of the Year for Canada in 2012 and was honoured to have the Prime Minister of Canada personally present to her a Canada Citizenship Award for community service and leadership.
Her community involvement includes working as a clinical director for the Special Olympics’ Healthy Athletes’ Program. She enjoys mentoring and coaching and plans to continue to foster a positive and inclusive work environment within all her professional roles. She brings seemingly endless energy and enthusiasm to every aspect of her life and career.
Dr. Kyla Hunter was drawn to join the Eye Recommend Board of Directors out of a love for her profession and desire to support independent optometrists in Canada.
She graduated from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, followed by a degree in Optometry from Pacific University College in 2010. Just three years later, she and two other associates opened a clinic called Aurora Eye Care, which they have grown to include six doctors and many support staff. With a special interest in vision therapy, Dr. Hunter has taken the Optometric Extension Program (OEP) courses, and also completed a number of Masters of Education reading courses during optometry school to better understand the reading process and the role vision plays in reading and learning.
Extensive volunteerism has often taken her overseas, most recently to a school in the Himalayan foothills in Nepal. Dr. Hunter also works with Welcome to Kindergarten nights on behalf of the Eye See Eye Learn program, which encourages children to have an eye exam before starting kindergarten, and attends multiple fundraisers in her community each year.
Dr. Gerry Day emphasizes training and communication as a practitioner, business owner and member of the Eye Recommend Board of Directors. He owns three clinical practices along with two other associates, collectively known as In Focus Eyecare. Dr. Day also owns the Grand Bend office building, which just happens to be a 100-year old train station.
After graduating with two degrees from the University of Waterloo, first in Chemical Engineering (with a minor in Management Sciences) and then Optometry, Dr. Day began his career in optometry as an associate in 1996 and bought his first practice in 2000.
Previously, Dr. Day has worked as a Chemical Engineer for Suncor in a number of roles including Refinery Operations Engineer, Manager of Company Operations and as a Business Analyst. This experience working within corporate management, marketing and finance provided him with a solid understanding of business strategic analysis and operations management. He spent 10-years on the Board of Directors of Huron House Boys Home and continues to bring his strategic and analytic expertise forward.
Dr. Day has worked hard to build self-sustaining practices that provide top level eye care through a highly trained and motivated team of optometrists, opticians and optometric assistants. He admires people who do what they do because they love their profession and believes leaders should celebrate their successes through the achievements of those they coach and train.
Dr. Howard Dolman is committed to making Eye Recommend the go-to choice for independent optometry clinics through his role on the Eye Recommend Board of Directors. He has always been focused on creating a collaborative environment within his own practice and has brought that dedication to Eye Recommend since he became a member in 2008.
Howard completed an Honours Bachelor of Science in Physiology and Human Biology from the University of Toronto in 1986 before graduating from the University of Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science in 1990 as a Doctor of Optometry. Together with his wife, Dr. Kim Dolman, they purchased a clinic in New Hamburg, Ontario (1994) where they currently work with five associates and 15 staff members. In 2019, they opened a dedicated NeuroVision Assessment and Vision Therapy practice in Kitchener, Ontario.
Dr. Dolman teaches the Practice Management Course at the University of Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science and for the International Optometric Bridging Program and continues to offer his expertise to Eye Recommend members to help them build their business skills and grow their clinics.
In 2016, Dr. Dolman and his wife were bestowed with the Public Education Award of Merit from the Ontario Association of Optometrists, which is presented to practitioners who have gone above and beyond in their efforts to educate the public and other stakeholder groups about the profession of optometry. They are both heavily involved in their community and give back through several initiatives, including Optometry Giving Sight World Sight Day Challenge and the I Care and Share program.
Dr. George Day is committed to fostering the spirit and camaraderie between like-minded doctors that sets the Eye Recommend community apart. He knows Eye Recommend members expect more than just group discounts and training. His desire to give back to his profession is what motivated him to join the Eye Recommend Board of Directors, which he sees as an opportunity to take part in shaping the future of Canadian optometry and grow as an optometrist, business owner, and individual.
After graduating as a Doctor of Optometry from the University of Waterloo, Dr. Day became the first associate at Optical Studio in Lethbridge, Alberta, where he had previously completed a degree in Biochemistry from the University of Lethbridge. Two years into his role, he became partner and has since helped drive the practice growth adding two more associates and are looking at expanding further. Dr. Day and his business partner have opened a second cold start clinic under the Optical Studio name in Fort Macleod, Alberta and have plans to open a dedicated dry eye clinic and specialty contact lens clinic in the near future.
Dr. Day genuinely cares about the people he impacts. He previously served on the Alberta College of Optometrists Practice Review Committee and was the first Optometrist to be involved with the Travelling Low Vision Clinic, a project though Alberta Education, to identify low vision kids in schools who face barriers to accessing care and services. He is personable, approachable, and truly listens to what people have to say, which makes him someone that patients and members feel comfortable talking to.
Dr. Anita Voisin loves to set goals and see them accomplished. With this spirit and as a member on the Eye Recommend Board, she strives to continue cultivating Eye Recommend as the premier independent optometry group in Canada. Wanting to make a lasting impact in the field of optometry, Dr. Voisin is excited to share her passion and knowledge towards the growth of the Cooperative.
Dr. Voisin attended the University of Waterloo and graduated from the School of Optometry in 1997. She worked in Ontario for two years at the Oshawa Clinic, and in 2000 she made the move out West to Vancouver Island. She joined forces with Dr. Trevor Miranda at his practice in Mill Bay and was the lead in their first satellite clinic in Chemainus. She helped transition the expansion of the Mill Bay location to Cobble Hill in 2005, followed by the opening of two more clinics, one in Lake Cowichan in 2011 and another in Duncan in 2015. Her commitment to eye health has continued to evolve and grow over the years. She has developed a special interest in both dry eye disease and myopia management, and she is driven to continue delivering patient excellence through comprehensive patient care.
As an active community member, Dr. Voisin genuinely cares about the people she impacts. She is a longstanding Rotary Club of Chemainus member and served as a board member with the Chemainus Chamber of Commerce for eight years. She loves giving back to the community through education and regularly participates in community health programs such as Healthy Beginnings. In addition, Dr. Voisin has delivered presentations on eye health to local high school students and senior centres.
Proud to be serving patients from southwest Saskatchewan for 44 years, Dr. Barry Thienes is committed to the practice of optometry and quality eyecare. Full of energy, he genuinely cares about his patients and the impact he has on their eye health. As a member of the Eye Recommend Board of Directors, he’ll will continue his active contribution towards the profession.
After graduating from the University of Waterloo in 1975, Dr. Thienes became a solo practitioner in Shaunavon and Maple Creek Saskatchewan. He served 14 years on the Saskatchewan Association of Optometrists (SAO) council, occupying all chairs including 5 years as registrar and 2 years as President. More recently, he spent 12 years with the Canadian Association of Optometry (CAO) council and now serves as the Past President. One of his missions is to make sure that the Board fulfills its fiduciary responsibilities to the members they serve.
With a background in psychology and strong communication skills, Dr. Lisa Scharf has a keen interest in improving the way that people work together. Dr. Scharf is proud to be on the Eye Recommend Board of Directors and is dedicated to fostering a healthy team culture for the members.
Dr. Scharf graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She later followed her passion for optometry at the University of Waterloo. In 2006 she graduated as a Doctor of Optometry, making the Dean’s List. This achievement is a testament to her dedication and strength, as she was also battling cancer in the final year of her studies.
Dr. Scharf`s love for the outdoors and an active lifestyle brought her back to her roots in British Columbia, where she worked as an associate at Armstrong Optometry. She purchased the practice in 2014 and has been enjoying the challenges and growth that business management brings. She values connection to her community and has also volunteered abroad on two third-world eye care missions, one in Myanmar and the other in the Philippines.
Dr. Damon Umscheid has a diversified background combining both his passions of optometry and business, allowing him to view challenges as opportunities and bring innovative ideas and strong leadership skills to the table.
Practicing in High River and Okotoks, Alberta since graduating from Pacific University’s College of Optometry in 2010, Dr. Umscheid has found a true passion for business and has been heavily involved in acquiring and growing multiple clinics. In 2018, he co-founded a company in the technology and energy sector that is now one of the fastest growing companies in Alberta.
Dr. Umscheid’s experience from negotiations and financing to marketing and Board Governance, coupled with his optometric background, gives him a diversified edge and strategic foundation to help build and support independent optometry across Canada.
The combination of being involved in the medical field, the ability to own a business and the opportunity to have a sports vision focus is what enticed Dr. Umscheid into the optometry profession.
Dr. Michael Nelson is actively committed to the profession of optometry and believes in giving back and contributing where possible to create a stronger global independent optometry community.
After studying undergraduate science at the University of Alberta, Dr. Nelson went on to receive his Optometry degree from the University of Waterloo in 1994. Following, he completed a Family Practice & Low Vision Residency at the University of Alabama at the Birmingham School of Optometry.
Dr. Nelson has successfully practiced optometry alongside his wife, Dr. Selena Friesen, for the past 25 years in Winnipeg and they are proud owners of two clinics built from the ground up. He has served as the Continuing Education Chair and President for the Manitoba Association of Optometrists (MAO) and is currently the President of the Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO), until July 2021. His past board experience has provided Dr. Nelson with a strong background in finance, governance, team building and the ability to promote the optometry industry, all of which he is excited to bring forward as a part of the Eye Recommend Board.
SENIOR EXECUTIVE TEAM
With a career spanning financial research, accounting, corporate finance and investments, and most recently, as CFO of RJames Management Group Alberta Ltd, Lee brings a wealth of knowledge and experience forward to Eye Recommend.
An integral part of the team, Lee provides strategic advice and implements business operational changes to support the future direction of the organization. Working closely with the Eye Recommend Board of Directors Lee develops the policies and procedures to increase the success of all members, and oversees the internal operations of the cooperative.
Lee’s extensive education background includes a Bachelor of Kinesiology in Sports Administration from the University of Regina and a Masters of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Calgary, Haskayne School of Business. He has obtained his CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst), CPA (Chartered Professional Accountant-CMA) designations and is also a licensed realtor.
Recognized as ‘One of the Most Influential Women in Optical’ within the Mentors Category by Vision Monday magazine, Nancy continues leading within the industry through her passion of creating a culture of learning.
Nancy started her career in fashion retail management before being recruited by Luxottica Retail where she brought her retail experience forward immersing it into the optical business. She remained with Luxottica for 16 years with various roles including Lenscrafters General Manager, Regional Trainer, Training Special Projects, Director of Eyecare and Regional Director.
Throughout her extensive background, Nancy has been recognized and awarded for her continuous dedication and leadership including Field Performance Consultant of the Year with Luxottica North America in 2007 and Eyecare Director of the Year in 2008 for with Pearle Vision North America.
Nancy joined Eye Recommend in 2013, as a Performance Development Consultant, now known as a Business Coach, bringing the skills and knowledge acquired over the years in the optical industry. After four years of working closely with members on the business side of their practice, she now leads the training and events department that provides professional development, further education and skill enhancements for practices. Working closely with a talented team, Nancy provides mentorship to continue delivering and enhancing the Eye Recommend community.
As a dedicated and valued member of the team, Shenif works collaboratively with valued partners to find win-win-win solutions that benefit vendors, members, and the team at Eye Recommend. His greatest reward comes from seeing the direct impact that the organization has on its members.
Shenif brings over 16 years of experience in various leadership positions with some of Canada’s most successful consumer-packaged goods companies including Keurig, PepsiCo and Unilever and Canada’s largest retailers including Costco, Loblaws, Sobeys and Walmart. Building on his experience in various leadership positions, Shenif joined the Eye Recommend team in 2017, bringing a wealth of skills and business management strategies to his current role to drive the organization and co-operative forward.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Economics from Simon Fraser University and plans to continue helping others achieve their career aspirations as he moves forward with his own.