Dr. Joseph Thallemer, Mayor of Warsaw, Indiana, was honored as the 2019 Optometrist of the Year. Dr. Kyle King, Evansville, is the 2019 Young Optometrist of the Year. The awards are bestowed on members of the Indiana Optometric Association (IOA) who demonstrate not only contributions to the profession, but also service on behalf of the visual welfare of the public and service to the community at large.
Additional awards presented at the IOA Awards Banquet include the Optometric Educator of the Year Award to Dr. Neil Pence, Bloomington, and the Outstanding Service in the Public Interest Award to entertainer and motivational speaker Tom Sullivan, who is blind and has inspired many with his personal story of perseverance, strength and hope.
The IOA also presented the Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously to Dr. Carl Golightly. This award is presented to an Indiana optometrist to recognize significant and long lasting contributions to the profession of optometry. Dr. Golightly was a strong advocate for the profession throughout his life and was instrumental in gaining Medicare coverage for optometrists. He practiced in LaPorte, Chesterton and Michigan City, and served on the Indiana Optometry Board from 2005-2017. He died on February 1, 2019.
Newly inducted Indiana Optometry board officers include: Dr. Gregory Norman of Delphi – President; Dr. Damon Dierker of Indianapolis – President-Elect; Dr. Jeffrey Kirchner, West Lafayette – Treasurer; Dr. Piper Groppel, Indianapolis – Secretary; and Dr. Christopher Browning of Greenwood – Immediate Past President.
The awards ceremony and election took place during Indiana Optometry’s Meeting, the 122nd Annual Convention of the Indiana Optometric Association, on April 12-14, 2019, at the French Lick Springs Hotel in French Lick, Indiana.