President's Column

Springtime Fun

by Dr. Mehrdad E. Saadat

Using 2020 Hindsight To Shape Our Future

The year 2020 has a special significance for those of us working in optometry. A clear 20/20 vision is something we hope to provide to our patients. Likewise, a clear 20/20 vision is something we hope to provide for our association. When we review our association’s history and the challenges our profession has faced it enables us to chart a clear and direct path for the future. As you no doubt know, this is an exciting time for optometry. We have new technologies, new methods of communication and an expanding scope.As president, I commit that our board will do everything we can to not only educate you, but to encourage and lead you to be the best that you can be as an optometrist. We can all help make this possible by realizing the power of our association.


A professional association is a group of individuals that shares the same common objectives, whether it be academically, athletically, financially or geographically. Why do people come together when they are in a competition? It’s because by joining forces we all make the group stronger.During the next few years we may encounter competing interests from other groups. But, when we all work together against other groups…like the ones that to suppress optometry…we can grow. We, as members of the GOA, need to foster and support this growth by being united and working towards a common goal.


As I begin my term I want to thank some special colleagues. Dr. Chris Hobson was the president of the GOA during my senior year when I attended the GOA 100th anniversary event in Savanah. He and Georgianne Bearden, the GOA’s former executive director, made me feel so welcome that it motivated me to attend more meetings. In addition, I would like to thank Drs. Zadeh, McElroy, Deal, Whitlow, Brandenburg, who have always been there to lend an ear and give guidance when needed. And, most importantly, I want to thank my family. My mother and father raised me to be strong enough to stand on my own two feet and possess the values that I can be proud of. My wife, who is a caring mother of our wonderful and amazing son, has been a wonderful support. Last, but not least, I thank my son. He is my best friend and little buddy who each day gives me the strength to create a future that will be good for him and to be a father of whom he will be proud.


At summer conference I shared many quotes. An important one was, “Passion is having something you are trying to accomplish.” I'm passionate about using our past in hindsight to shape our future of one, unified, optometry with a clear vision for 2020 and beyond. If you are interested in helping to shape our profession and moving it forward by getting involved, please let me know. I look forward to hearing from you.