The annual meeting of the Missouri Optometric Association (MOA), held October 11 – 14 in Branson, was quite successful, in no small part a result of College of Optometry alumni. The theme of the meeting was “Turn the Beat Around,” and the successful outcome of the meeting was in part due to the efforts of convention co-chair, Dr. Alan Wegener (’12). MOA President Dr. Tom Cullinane (‘96) presided over the entire four-day meeting, and his leadership was very evident and greatly appreciated. Many compliments from current and former MOA leaders were appropriately directed toward MOA Executive Director, Dr. LeeAnn Barrett (’85), for her dedication and advocacy efforts. The continuing education, under the direction of UMSL Associate Clinical Professor Dr. Mary Beth Rhomberg (‘97), was excellent this year and included Drs. Jeff Walline, Chris Wolfe, Spencer Johnson, Ryan Parker, and Judie Miles (‘93). The current MOA leadership includes President, Dr. Mindy Blackford, Dr. Tom Cullinane (Immediate Past President), Dr. Alan Wegener (Treasurer), and Drs. Jeremy Fast (’04), Jenna Osseck (’15), and Jason Riley (‘07) as Trustees. The entertainment included Kevin Brost, the son of current Missouri State Board of Optometry President Dr. Kyle Brost (’87), who is a talented singer-guitarist as well as a popular Branson comedy-percussion act “Buckets N Boards.” In the latter act, the sons of both Dr. Jeremy Fast and Dr. Ben Secoy (‘00) exhibited their talents during the program. Finally, two UMSL students were honored during the awards luncheon. Krystal Matson (’20) was given a $4,000 scholarship provided by the Missouri Optometric Association Auxiliary. Justin Kendall (’20) was honored with Missouri Optometric Foundation Leadership Award.
As always, the annual UMSL Reception was quite popular and attended by many alumni and students as well as featured speaker Dr. Jeff Walline. Organized by Student Support Specialist Linda Stein and Director of Student Services Nick Palisch, it was a perfect end to an enjoyable and successful convention.