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Our membership is as diverse as the state we live in.  Each member has a special story to tell about their involvement in NYSSO. We would love to hear yours!  Fill out our questionnaire and you could see yourself featured on the NYSSO website and social media channels.Tell your own story by using the hashtag #IAMNYSSO. 


Harvey Molina

Meet Featured NYSSO Optician Harvey Molina!


Mr. Molina is a Retail Ophthalmic Dispenser from New York, NY. He has been a licensed Optician for five years and loves educating and serving his patients. Mr. Molina joined NYSSO and continues to be a member for both the support and education. His favorite courses offered by NYSSO are business courses. When asked about the future of Opticianry, he believes it will follow a medical model.

Thank you, Harvey Molina, for taking the time to explain why You Belong. Here.


If you would like to be our next featured #IAMNYSSO Optician, complete our questionnaire!











Meet Featured Optician Jennifer Leuzzi!


Ms. Leuzzi is a licensed Optician in Dansville, NY. She recently took the time to share her thoughts on Ophthalmic Dispensing in New York. 


Jennifer LeuzziWhy do you love being an Optician?
I love my shop, my town, and my patients. My shop because it's so fun to come to work each day. My town, because it promotes and supports my business. And my patients because they appreciate that I help them look and see their best. 

Tell us more about yourself.
I'm married with 4 kids ages 30, 27, 23, and 16. Two dogs, two cats, 3 goats. I love to be outside and travel to see the beautiful places in NY and the country. I love history, Perry's ice cream, and true crime books (guilty pleasure). I love hiking Stony Brook State Park early in the morning and the seasonal views at Letchworth State Park. 

Why did you join NYSSO? Why do you renew?
To support keeping Ophthalmic Dispensing as professional as possible. Dignity and skills keep us respected. Keep learning and keep being nice! 

What do you hope to see from NYSSO in the future?
Keep our profession licensed and keep us informed of how we can help keep Opticians professional. 

What do you see for the future of Opticianry?
I’m not sure. I think in New York we are keeping our standards high. But with the amount of young people heading south as they enter adulthood, we're going to become fossils. I operate without a Doctor, but that's rare and becoming more and more difficult. I hope someone will keep my business running long after I retire, but the outlook is bleak. 

Thank you, Jennifer Leuzzi for sharing why You Belong. Here.


If you would like to be our next featured #IAMNYSSO Optician,complete our questionnaire!



Meet Featured Optician Debbie Maffei!


Debbie Maffei

Ms. Maffei is a licensed Optician in Syracuse, NY. See her thoughts about the past, present and future of opticianry!


Why you love being an Optician?

"Eyewear" is a passion of mine. It is rewarding to see the pleased look on a customer's face when showing frames, completing an adjustment or repair, when dispensing new eyewear; maximizing their vision.


What was it like to be an Optician when you first started?

My first optical employer had eight full-time opticians, working 5 1/2 days per week! I was the first female optician; and we used alcohol lamps to heat frames.


Why did you join NYSSO? Why do you renew?

I joined NYSSO for the professional camaraderie and networking opportunity, as well as, to obtain continuing education credits more affordably. Renewing supports the director, the officers, and the organization that supports opticians.


What do you hope to see from NYSSO in the future?

Continue pressing for legislative change to preserve licensed opticians' means to make a living.


What do you see for the future of Opticianry?

Unfortunately, it appears that opticianry will become virtual.


Thank you, Debbie Maffei for sharing why You Belong. Here.



Meet Featured Optician Mark Simko! 


Mark SimkoMr. Simko is a New York State Licensed Optician/Owner in Franklin Square, NY. Learn more about him below! 

Why do you love being an Optician? 

 I enjoy the challenge of getting the right glasses for the patient’s current need and explaining the choices they have, making them understand, and seeing them be satisfied their needs are met. 

Tell us about your career. 

 I've had a few career changes. An opportunity to re-enter this field came along, and I'm glad. I forget how much I enjoyed it. I've run quality assurance for laser cartridge printer company. Computer network administration. Built websites. Done SEO & Photography. There's always a new challenge just around the corner, so I never sit still.

Why did you join NYSSO? What makes you come back each year?
Needed to get CE accredited to renew my license. NYSSO made that easier with meetings and symposiums. I really enjoy meeting other opticians at these functions and discussing the challenges we face. 

What do you hope to see from NYSSO in the future? 

 Defend state licensure. Topics other than vendor products for CE. NYSSO has been very good with these things so far. 


What do you see for the future of Opticianry? 

 Big players will complete and consolidate and eventually fall out. The indies with unique products will find a niche between the corporate chains, big box stores, and online guys.

Thank you, Mark Simko for sharing why You Belong. Here.


Vision in Schools 2018 


In October 2018, licensed Opticians from NYSSO partnered with the New York State Education Department, New York State Optometric Association (NYSOA), and VSP Vision Care Eyes of Hope® to provide high-quality eye care and prescription glasses at no cost for students in need in multiple New York communities. One group of NYSSO volunteers donated time during the vision clinics to assist students in the fitting and measurement of their prescription glasses. A second group followed up at each of the schools in early November to adjust and dispense the finished pair.





more Calendar

NYSSO Downstate Conference

5/4/2019 » 5/5/2019
NYSSO Annual Convention

Contact NYSSO


Phone: 518-694-4581

Fax: 518-432-1712



136 Everett Road

Albany, NY 12205 

An Open Letter to Opticians


NYSSO writes to all Opticians in New York State to help our fight against unlicensed Opticians.
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