INVISION Podcast with Dee Carroll (Episode 13): Dibby Bartlett of the Optician’s Association of America
In this episode, Dee speaks with the president of the Optician’s Association of America, Dibby Bartlett. Dibby is a 40-year veteran of the optical industry having held various positions from optician to optical manager to marketing manager. She is currently Chief Operating Officer of Todd Rogers Eyewear and a director in the Opticians Association of Massachusetts, as well as president of the OAA.
Around 8:10, Diddy outlines all the things the OAA does for American opticians, whether they are members of the organization or not. It is an extensive list, including a tool chest of branding “goodies” to help opticians teach people about what it is they do and the invaluable services they provide to combat opticianry’s “serious PR problem.”At 11:30, she discusses all the various ways they work with other industry organizations to help support the message of the importance of quality eyecare. “Right now, the number one goal of the OAA is to help the consumer understand what we do,” she shares. “When the consumer understands what an optician is, and does, as well as they do a pharmacist, it will solve an awful lot of ills for our profession.” (14:15) She goes on to discuss the importance of state associations, ways the OAA supports them, and how the OAA is working on easing mobility from state to state for opticians. At 22:45, Diddy share the OAA’s stance on state licensure … and yes, you need to tune in to hear it and their reasons why.Then we get into the hot topic of pay, and what opticians should be making (26:00), before discussing any requirements to join the OAA. Short story: there are none. “We welcome any and all opticians to be a member of our organization,” confirms Diddy.We briefly discuss the challenges facing opticians during the COVID-19 crisis and how Dibby sees opticianry bouncing back, “Opticians are necessary and an important part of the medical community.” (31:00) And the OAA is offering resources for opticians seeking information to help navigate the ongoing coronavirus crisis; Dibby outlines the extensive list available. (34:00)To learn more about the OAA, sign up for their newsletter, or get more involved in the organization, visit oaa.org.