NOA Awards

Each year the Nebraska Optometric Association recognizes individual members who go above and beyond for their patients, community, and the optometry profession. Now is the time to nominate a colleague, who has done just that! NOA is requesting nominations for the 2018 NOA Annual Awards. Below is the list of Awards to be presented during the NOA Annual Fall Convention.

Please let NOA know if you have any questions:

2018 Nebraska Optometric Association's Award Receipients:

Distinguished Service Award: Ed Schneider, OD, Lincoln

Dr. Ed Schneider The Distinguished Service Award is presented to a NOA member 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.

Ed Schneider, OD, of Lincoln, was named the recipient of the Nebraska Optometric Association's Distinguished Service Award at the annual convention in Kearney on Friday, October 5. This prestigious honor is given to an NOA member who, during the past year, has contributed time and talent in the most outstanding manner for the betterment of the visual health and welfare of the public, and to the profession.

Click here for a list of previous NOA Distinguished Service Award recipients.


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2018 Optometrist of the Year: Corey Langford, OD, Omaha

Dr. Corey Langford

Dr. Corey Langford has been an NOA member for over 20 years and has been and continues to be significantly involved. He served on multiple association committees including the NOA and NFCV Board of Directors. He was the NOA President in 2012. His current involvement includes serving as Keycontact for his State Senator and as a coordinator for the NOA Keycontact Network. Dr. Langford is also a Director for EyeAssure.

Dr. Langford received the Young OD of the Year award in 2009 and in 2013 the NOA Keyperson of the Year Award. Dr. Langford was influential in the Building Healthy Futures Child Vision Collaborative in Omaha.

Dr. Langford graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry in Philadelphia. After graduation, Dr. Langford completed an optional year of training with ophthalmologic specialists in Philadelphia. He spends most of his free-time with his wife and 4 children. He coaches youth baseball, is a cubscout leader, and is also a member of the leadership team of Band of Brothers, a men's ministry founded at King of King's Lutheran Church. His hobbies include hiking fourteen thousand-foot mountains and cheering on his beloved Chicago Cubs.

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

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2018 Young Optometrist of the Year: Amy DeVries, OD, Fremont

Dr. Amy DeVriesDr. Amy DeVries graduated from Texas Tech University in 2003, cum laude in honors studies with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and received her Doctor of Optometry degree from the Southern California College of Optometry in 2008.  She earned Fellowship in the American Academy of Optometry in 2016.

Dr. DeVries currently serves on the Board of Directors for both NOA and the Nebraska Foundation for Children's Vision. She is the keycontact for her state senator and contributes to the NOA Political Action Committee. She is a graduate of the Leadership Institute and has been instrumental in the AOA Membership Growth Campaign which is tailored towards emerging OD members and developing the Nebraska Young OD Network for the NOA. 

Dr. DeVries is a member of the Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce, serves on the Board of Directors for Care Corps Family Services, and serves as a discussion group leader for Mothers of Preschoolers. Dr. DeVries enjoys spending time with her husband, Nathan, and her family and friends.  She also enjoys cooking, traveling, and most of all being a mother to her children, Nyle and Ashlyn.

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

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2018 Keyperson of the Year: Lynda Conner, OD, Grand Island

Dr. Lynda ConnerThe 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. Lynda Conner grew up in South Bend, Indiana. She graduated from Purdue University with honors in 2003 with her Bachelor of Science in Biology. In 2007 she graduated from Indiana University School of Optometry, after completing ocular disease externships at the Fort Wayne Veterans Hospital and Bennett and Bloom Eye Centers in Louisville, Kentucky. During her time at Indiana University she met her husband, Josh, who is a native to Grand Island. They married in 2007 and moved to Grand Island in 2014. She currently practices at Family Eye Care.

Dr. Conner is a member of the NOA Political Action Committee, is actively involved as a Keycontact for District 35, and helped spearhead NOA involvement in a local political fundraising event this fall. A consistent attendee at the NOA Legislative Conference, Dr. Conner is continually advocating for the profession to protect, maintain, and grow the current standard of practice.

Dr. Conner and Josh have two children, Kennedy and Jackson. She and Josh attend Third City Christian Church and are involved with the local Grand Island Lions Club. 

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

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2018 Paraoptometric of the Year: Rochelle Thomas, CPO

Rochelle ThomasThe 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.

Rochelle Thomas has been in the optometric community for over 34 for years. Before coming to Nebraska in 2001 she was licensed in Washington state and California. The knowledge she obtained from these two states has carried over to her ability to excel and shine in the state of Nebraska. She became involved at the board level where she served as President for more than one term for the Nebraska Society of Dispensing Opticians (NSDO). She was integral in bringing national speakers to the members of the NSDO for the many years that the NSDO was operational. While serving as member of the NSDO she was awarded the Optician of the year in 2012.

Rochelle's passion and concern for patients inspired her to initiate programs that offered no cost eye exams and free glasses to persons in financial strife. She coordinated efforts with the community to host a day-long event known as operation eye glass. She advocated to labs and other vendors to donate optical supply needs, recruited optometrists, technicians, and opticians to provide top-notch free eye care and eyewear to hundreds of people in need. She also created a program at Advanced Family Eye Care where she hires interns and has high school students who may be interested in working in the optical community shadow her and others in various types of day to day tasks to get an understanding of what really occurs to complete the full process of a patients adventure in obtaining their glasses/contacts.

Rochelle's move to Dr. Toelle's private practice allowed her to grow even more in the optical community, she became very reliable as a contact lens technician. She doesn't just fit people for the everyday lens, she sought how to flt persons that were in need of specialty lenses as well. She educated herself and took several classes which led to Rochelle being one of the state's most proficient specialty contact lens technician/fitter.

Rochelle's devotion to helping those in need propelled her to becoming the Advanced Family Eye Care manager. She manages all day to day operations, personnel scheduling, budgeting, payroll, coordinates the business down time functions, and annual events such as the Elkhorn Days and Bennington Days parades, while still continuing her unprecedented service for specialty contact lens fittings.

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

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