The American Academy of Optometry (the Academy) is an association of optometric and other vision science-related professionals who strive to stay at the top of their field and are committed to promoting the art and science of vision care through lifelong learning. With 97% retention rate of the over 11,500 members, consisting of 6,000 Fellows, candidates, and students, the Academy is a thriving professional association whose membership has nearly doubled in the last ten years.
The Academy has a budget of over $6.5 million and reserves of about $7.5 million. The Academy’s annual meeting is the largest in optometry and provides nearly 300 hours of innovative continuing education lectures, clinical workshops, symposia, and scientific presentations.
The American Academy of Optometry Foundation (the Foundation) is the philanthropic arm of the American Academy of Optometry. The Foundation develops and provides financial support for optometric research and education to ultimately improve patient care. Each year, the Foundation provides over $600,000 in fellowships, scholarships, grants, residency awards, and student travel fellowships.
The Board is looking for their new CEO to build upon a strong reputational foundation and grow the organization. That desired growth will result from expanded membership outreach and recruitment, revenue diversification, and educational opportunities, as well as programmatic offerings that promote long-term member value. The Board is excited to partner with their new CEO to build upon its recent strategic plan and to identify and implement strategic initiatives.
The Academy has been well known and respected over the years for its expertise and contributions to education and research, and for the special camaraderie among its members. The organization has emerged from the pandemic in a strong posture. The next leader will have the opportunity to seek key partnerships and alliances to further the mission of the Academy in the optometric and overall healthcare spaces.
The next CEO will build upon past successes, maintaining the loyal membership base, while strategically achieving desired member growth. A strong, forward-thinking focus on business/revenue development is key to the future success of the organization. Working directly with the Board of Directors, the CEO will be responsible for enhancing the Academy’s role and profile and in delivering top-tier member value, while positioning the Academy as the premier leader in optometry in the years ahead.
The Academy is governed by an 8-member Board of Directors and the Foundation has a 15-member Board of Directors. Both boards are comprised of highly dedicated volunteers.
We seek a proven executive-level leader whose career in a similar-size or larger member-based organization has demonstrated an ability to chart a path forward, who has exceptional communication skills (written and oral), and who has a servant leadership style. This person must exhibit success in collaborating with and convening diverse stakeholders sharing common interests and values, so that the aspirations and goals of the organization are pursued in a collegial, transparent, and highly participatory manner. Direct experience in the optometry space is not required, although general knowledge of optometry or healthcare would be highly advantageous. A demonstrated passion for the mission of the Academy is a must.
A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in a related field relevant to nonprofit, association management, or business is required. A Master’s degree is preferred. Demonstration of continuing professional education, accreditation in a professional field, and board leadership in a state or national nonprofit, professional, or trade association is highly valued. A CAE designation is highly desirable.
Compensation and Benefits
The salary range for this position is between $240,000 – 260,000 and will be commensurate with experience. The Academy offers a comprehensive benefits package including, but not limited to, paid holidays (inclusive of the office being closed between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays), vacation, medical, vision and dental insurance, as well as a retirement plan with a generous employer contribution.
To apply, please submit a current resume and letter of introduction to Kittleman & Associates, LLC at https://bit.ly/3qTuExP (click on the Apply button at the bottom of the page).
The American Academy of Optometry is committed to the principles of equal employment. It intends to maintain a work environment that is free of harassment or discrimination because of sex, race, religion, color, national origin, physical or mental disability, genetic information, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, military service, veteran status, pregnancy, or any other status protected by federal, state, or local laws. Equal employment opportunity applies to all terms and conditions of employment including hiring, placement, transfer, training, promotion, rates of pay, and other compensation, termination, and all other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.