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Join NYSSO on Sunday, 7/12/20, Mid-Hudson Symposium at the Coppola's la Fantasia Ristorante, in Highland, NY!

 Export to Your Calendar 7/12/2020
When: 07/12/20
8:15 am
Where: Coppola's la Fantasia Ristorante
3581 US Highway 9W Highland
Highland, New York  12528
United States
Contact: Mary Rogan

Online registration is available until: 7/9/2020
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* Please Note the New Location*

Coppola's la Fantasia Ristorante

3581 US Highway 9W
Highland NY 12528





8:30 am                 Doors Open for Registration


9:00 -   9:30 am     Highlight on New Fronts and Benefits


9:30 - 10:30 am     Building Mental Resilience in the Post-Pandemic Era


1 Hour - Dual         Dr. Marissa Ferrazzo-Weller


Moving back into our lives after sheltering for three months goes beyond stepping out and back. This segment will address the very personal work we all have ahead of us to prepare emotionally and physically to the tasks of confronting these challenges and maintaining our positions as professionals and leaders by example. COVID-19 has permanently changed business models and personal interaction. How do we mentally prepare ourselves to be resilient in the face of those who are grieving, shut-in and lonely?  How do we sustain, on a daily basis, the patience to be allied health professionals? And most importantly, how do we deal with our own uncertainty and health risks?


Please join us to listen to what Dr. Ferrazzo, an internist, and other physicians are advising about maintaining our own space to help each other, whether as patients, co-workers, family or friends. Physical distancing carries an emotional impact. 


10:30 - 11:30 am    What is Essential to Remain Essential?

1 Hour- Dual



Questions Will Include:

What will the changes caused by COVID-19 mean for our profession?

What are the nuts and bolts of adapting?

Will we still need opticians and brick and mortar stores?

Do designer brands carry the same appeal?

Where does this leave apprentices or those who are new to the field?

What about a recurrence; can we actually plan for it?

Will all exams be done online?


All these points and more will be addressed by a panel of our peers, successful optician owners who bring their talents and successes to this forum with the hard facts and suggestions for us to take back to our own workplace.  Regardless of what position you currently are in, there will be information relevant to us all.


Panelists to include: 

John Bonizio -- Metro Optics, Multiple Locations

Dr. Ferrazzo-Weller -- Internist - Summit Medical Group

Michael Frayler -- Austin Ryan Optika,  Multiple locations                                  

Jim Muniz - Dir. Training & Development- Digital Optometrics

Prof. Joseph Sollecito -- Entrepreneur and Educator



11:30 am - 12:30 pm   Understanding Ocular Telehealth

1 Hour - Dual                An Opticians Perspective - Jim Muniz


The evolution of technologies in eyecare may be inevitable; however, it can also be an exciting time for opticians. Without accurate information and knowledge of the various models in the Ocular Telehealth space, it is common to push back against untraditional concepts, and opticianry is no exception.

Our session will provide key insights for opticians and ECA’s to understand the various Ocular Telehealth platforms that exist in the eye care marketplace as well as the current and future opportunities this exciting and evolving technology is creating for opticians.

Although we don’t yet know the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we do know this: life and business have both changed overnight and things will continue to change drastically. The capabilities delivered by Ocular Telehealth will be more necessary than ever as the world emerges from the health and economic challenges we currently face. They’ll go from being tools that offer a competitive advantage to essentials for ongoing business survival.

Not only can opticians understand and adapt to this space now, we can also create a foundation for future innovation and adaptation.  



12:45 - 1:45 pm          Unlocking Social Media - Moses Nawlo

1 Hour - Dual


Opticianry is not just selling a pair of glasses, it is selling knowledge, experience, skill, and making a connection. As the field of opticianry evolves from physical to digital, the optician must evolve in order to adapt. One of the biggest competitors is online businesses; however, social media is the best tool for the optician to succeed where online stores cannot. The optician has flexibility and creativity to reach patients while building a brand. Social Media is innovative and has many platforms that can be utilized with the correct knowledge. Using social media requires an optician to understand the goal, audiences and different platforms. In addition, there must be a focus on schedule, content, and branding. Strategies will focus on defining short- and long-term goals while sending a message to the correct audience.  Scheduling will be deciding what and when to post, this includes content such as videos or images. Brand recognition makes the optician memorable and identifiable. By knowing how to utilize these skills an optician can compete and go beyond what an online business offers.




About the Panelists


John Bonizio

COO of Metro Optics Eyewear, a retail optometry practice with 5 locations in the Bronx
and Westchester County. John has served on the Bronx Advisory Board for VISIONS Services for the Blind, and as Business Development Chair at the Bronx Chamber of Commerce. In 2015 Metro Optics was named one of the top 50 small businesses in New York City by 1010 WINS radio, and in 2016 they were honored with the NYC Age Smart Employer Award by Columbia University. In 2018 they were honored as one of the top ten Finest Optical Retailers in the U.S. by Invision Magazine. In 2019, Metro
Optics placed number 46 across the country in Jobson’s Top 50 U.S. Optical Retailers.
In 2020, they placed one point higher at number 45 on the list.


Marissa Ferrazzo-Weller, D.O. FACOI

Dr. Ferrazzo-Weller is a board-certified internal medicine physician and practices at the Summit Medical Group in New Jersey. She believes an important part of proper primary care is patient and community education. She believes an educated patient is an important component of the medical team. Dr. Ferrazzo-Weller also focuses her practice on preventative medicine and pro-active wellness and also lectures on complications of drug and alcohol abuse, STD's and social pressure.


Michael Frayler, CEO Austin Ryan Optika

Two Locations in the Hudson Valley area for 18 years. Member of The Optical Retail Group -- Optical leadership group with 24 companies that collectively earns over 150 million dollars annually. Guest speaker on behalf of the industry for companies such as PPG Industries (Trivex) and Eyenavision. Michael is a member of the Opticians Association of Canada (OAC) and has been instrumental in promoting a collaboration between NYSSO and their Provincial Education Program Coordinator, a very important resource for knowledge and fraternity. He is also a member of the International Opticians Association, an association dedicated to the enhancement and development of the optical profession around the world. Through Michael’s vast exposure, internationally and in New York as former NYSSO Treasurer, Regional Director, and successful business owner, we can learn from his experience on to how to navigate new fronts and timely changes.


Moses Nawlo
Moses Nawlo is a dual licensed New York State optician, holds a Masters in Healthcare Administration and a Bachelors in Biochemistry.  He served as the Student and Apprentice Representative on the Opticians Association of America (OAA) Board of Directors and now holds the position of OAA Social Media and Marketing Specialist. Moses lectures at national conferences and is involved in various OAA committees. Some of his optical related accomplishments include, being awarded the OAA Future Leader Award and NYSSO’s the Future of Opticianry award. Moses is a managing optician at an independent optical in Brooklyn, NY.


Joseph B. Sollecito

Professor Sollecito is a faculty member and Principles of Optics coordinator of the Vision Care Technology program at New York City College of Technology. He is certified by the American Board of Opticianry and Opticians Association of America in Refractometry, and is licensed in the state of New York. He is currently a Board member of the New York State Society of Opticians, and Regional Director for distribution of New York State Licensing credits. In addition, Professor Sollecito has served on the Board of Directors for the Opticians Association of America, and the American Board of Optician panel, for writing of the Masters examination. He was the Chairman of the education Committee for the Southeastern Opticians Convention 1997 and 1998. Professor Sollecito wrote and was the instructor for the Opticians Association of America Refraction course 1991 through 2000.




* Since social distancing and safety of our members will prevail, there will be an occupancy limit according to the rules on the date of the event, first to register, first to be admitted.  Masks for in-person Meetings are required. 

* Attendance for current NYSSO Members is complimentary.  For Non-Nysso Members the fee is $30.00 Per Credit.

* This Event will be taped to be made available virtually for our NYSSO Members at a future date. 

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Contact NYSSO


Phone: 518-694-4581

Fax: 518-432-1712



136 Everett Road

Albany, NY 12205 

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