NOA Awards

Each year the Nebraska Optometric Association recognizes individual members who go above and beyond for their patients, community, and the optometric profession. Now is the time to nominate a colleague who has done just that! NOA is requesting nominations for the 2017 NOA Annual Awards. Below is the list of Awards to be presented during the NOA Annual Fall Convention, September 22-24th in Kearney at the Younes Conference Center.  

The deadline to nominate someone is August 1st, 2017. Each award name is linked to its corresponding nomination form.

Each year the Nebraska Optometric Association recognizes individual members who go above and beyond for their patients, community, and the optometric profession. Now is the time to nominate a colleague who has done just that! NOA is requesting nominations for the 2017 NOA Annual Awards. Below is the list of Awards to be presented during the NOA Annual Fall Convention. The deadline to nominate someone is August 1st, 2017. Each award name is linked to its corresponding nomination form.

Optometrist of the Year
Persons nominated for this award shall be optometrists, members of the Nebraska Optometric Association, who have contributed their time and talent in the most outstanding manner for the betterment of the visual health and welfare of the public and to the profession of optometry during the past year.


Young Optometrist of the Year
Persons nominated for this award shall be members of the Nebraska Optometric Association who have been licensed optometrists for 10 years or less, and who have contributed their time and talent to the optometric profession and who have shown remarkable leadership skills when serving their profession, their patients and their community.


Distinguished Service Award
Persons nominated for this award shall be optometrists, members of the Nebraska Optometric Association, who, over a span of years, have rendered outstanding and exemplary service to their community and profession, and who have distinguished themselves as exemplary citizens and optometrists of the state of Nebraska.


Keyperson of the Year
Persons nominated for this award shall be optometrists, members of the Nebraska Optometric Association, who, during the past year; have helped advance the Association's advocacy efforts through effective involvement in political or regulatory affairs on behalf of optometry.


Para of the Year
Persons nominated for this award shall be a paraoptometric who has made outstanding contributions to the fields of paraoptometry and optometry, been an asset to their doctor(s), advanced themselves with continuing education and a commitment to the profession with a number of years in the field. Self-discipline and professional conduct are also criteria for which the award is judged, along with the paraoptometric's accomplishments in the profession.

Please let NOA know if you have any questions: noa@assocoffice.net

2016 NOA Annual Award Winners

Optometrist of the Year | Young Optometrist of the Year

Keyperson of the Year | Para of the Year


2016 Optometrist of the Year: Christopher S. Wolfe, OD

C.Wolfe, OD - 2015 OD of the Year

Each year the NOA presents an Optometrist of the Year Award to a member who has contributed his or her time and talent in the most outstanding manner for the betterment of the visual health and welfare of the public and to the profession of optometry during the past year.

As the association's 2016 Optometrist of the Year, Dr. Chris Wolfe has continued to have prominent roles this year in NOA advocacy, professional development, and governance activities.

In advocacy roles, Dr. Wolfe has chaired the NOA Legislative Committee, leading the successful efforts to pass legislation to protect consumers from kiosks and other online technologies which culminated in the passage of LB 235. Along with the association's lobbying team, he has been directly involved in development of the association's legislative strategies for the upcoming Unicameral session. He serves on the AOA State Government Relations Committee, monitoring and advising states all across the country on legislative issues and strategies. He is actively involved in the NOA statewide grassroots political network and serves as the association's key contact for two state senators. He has been actively involved in developing and presenting testimony at legislative hearings and in interviewing candidates on behalf of the association. He is a top level contributor to the NOA Political Action Committee and helped raise money for several political candidates.

After heading the association's feasibility study for development of an Independent Physician Association for Nebraska optometry last year, he helped launch EyeAssure, LLC in 2016 and serves as its Chairman of the Board. He has played a key role in development of policies, strategies, and marketing direction for EyeAssure, leading to a highly successful launch of the project and an exciting opportunity for optometric advocacy to third party payers.
As an optometric educator, Dr. Wolfe has worked with KMK Education Services to develop and present education on a broad range of topics across the country and he is a highly regarded lecturer and presenter. He was one of the lecturers at NOA's successful Summer Conference in June.

He is also a leader in association governance, serving the past two years on the NOA Board of Directors. A second-generation optometrist, Dr. Wolfe is a 2003 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Omaha and 2008 graduate of Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry in Tahlequah, OK.

Click here for a list of previous NOA Optometrist of the Year recipients.

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2016 Young Optometrist of the Year: Heidi J. Lichtenberg, OD

The Young Optometrist of the Year Award is presented annually to a member of the NOA who has been licensed for 10 years or less, who has contributed his or her time and talent to the optometric profession, and who has shown remarkable leadership skills when serving their profession, their patients and their community.

Dr. Lichtenberg grew up in Norfolk, Nebraska. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, graduating Summa Cum Laude with a degree in biology. While she was at UNO, she also worked at Eye Care West as an optical manager. She went on to earn her doctorate from the Indiana University School of Optometry, graduating with Highest Honors, and returned to practice at Eye Care West. Dr. Lichtenberg enjoys treating patients of all ages and believes in educating her patients so they are more knowledgeable about the things they can do now to help prevent various eye diseases/conditions.

Dr. Heidi Lichtenberg has been a dedicated resource to NOA with her participation on the NOA Board of Directors and more specifically with her legislative involvement. She is a graduate of the NOA Leadership Program, and is currently serving on the NOA Board of Directors. She is also a member of the NOA
Legislative committee, and has testified for NOA regarding important issues facing the profession, primarily expanding scope of practice. Her leadership, motivation, and organization have helped NOA's legislative efforts in building relationships with key contacts. She has been and will continue to be a great resource for NOA.

Dr. Lichtenberg is currently on the Creighton Medical Staff for Creighton Bluejay Athletics and The College World Series. Dr. Lichtenberg is also a Clinical Instructor at the Creighton University School of Medicine. Most of all, Dr. Lichtenberg enjoys spending time with her husband and sons, Hudson & Maddox; whether it be traveling, spending time outdoors, or going to a Nebraska football game, Creighton athletic event, or KC Royals baseball game.

Click here for a list of previous NOA Young Optometrist of the Year recipients.

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2016 Keyperson of the Year: Darren Wright, OD

The NOA Keyperson of the Year Award recognizes an NOA member who has helped advance the Association's advocacy efforts through effective involvement in political  or regulatory affairs on behalf of optometry, with special emphasis on building and maintaining effective relationships with state or federal legislators or regulators.

Dr. Darren Wright has been an active advocate for optometry throughout his years in the profession. He is a top-level contributor to the association's Political Action Committee, a regular attendee at the annual NOA Legislative Conference, and serves on the NOA Legislative Committee where he has played in important role in developing strategy and crafting legislative bills on behalf of the profession. He has served as keycontact for his state senator and has travelled to Lincoln on multiple occasions to personally support fund raising events for his senator in addition to supporting fundraising and campaign events in his district.

Dr. Wright has been an effective lobbyist for the association at the state level, including testifying at
legislative hearings on behalf of NOA, and at the federal level, where he has travelled to Washington D.C.
several times, including this spring, to attend the AOA Congressional Conference and lobby on Capitol Hill.

Dr. Wright is a 1995 graduate of Illinois College of Optometry.

Click here for a list of previous NOA Keyperson of the Year recipients.

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2016 Paraoptometric of the Year: Brandy Saltzman, CPOA

The NOA Paraoptometric of the Year Award is presented to a paraoptometric who has made outstanding contributions to the fields of paraoptometry and optometry, been an asset to their doctor(s), advanced themselves with continuing education and a commitment to the profession with a number of years in the field. Self-discipline and professional conduct are also criteria for which the award is judged, along with the paraoptometric's accomplishments in the profession.

Brandy Saltzman has been with Magnuson Hopkins Eyecare for a little more than 10 years. She applied in the office as an early 20-year-old who always worked multiple jobs. After a decade of her working in our practice, she will take any task head
on and see it to completion. She is in charge of insurance and billing and somehow makes HIPPAA seem less scary. She recently decided to take a jump from the office Vision Source Representative to being the facilitator for Northeast Nebraska and beyond. She also does pretty much anything that the doctors don't want to do or have time to work on. It has not been proven that she is a robot, but the office could be falling down around her and she would continue doing her job in an incredible way.

Not only does Brandy do a wide spectrum of jobs at the office, she also has lots to do outside of work. She does a lot for Girl Scouts including being the person that you see when the whole troop needs cookies. She enjoys teaching classes for kids at her church and spends time helping in the nursery. Not to mention she has three kids starting in 2nd grade with Joselyn and going backwards to pre-school for Sutton and the newest edition from almost a year ago with Weston. Along with her husband Matt, there is plenty to keep her busy just at home.

The thing that impresses us the most about Brandy is her ability to think of other people's needs. She spent 4 years as the Treasurer of the NOA Para Board and followed that with becoming President. This year she was
informed the President to follow her had left the field and vacated the position. She stepped up for another year just because that would be easier for everyone else. That in itself describes her dedication to this profession and also her ability to put others needs ahead of her own. Brandy Saltzman is a very devoted person to the team of Magnuson Hopkins Eyecare, her family, and to the Optometric profession in the state of Nebraska.

Click here for a list of previous NOA Paraoptometric of the Year recipients.

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