A Wonderful COVD Meeting in Toronto

Kudos to Katie Kirschner and her staff, Governing Board President Jennifer Dattolo, IECB Chair Ilana Gelfond, CE Chair Paul Freeman, and the volunteer structure of COVD for a wonderful annual meeting which just concluded in Toronto this year. There were 784 registrants, 22% of whom were from Canada.

COVD 2023

I had the pleasure of organizing a Festschrift in honor of Dr. Jack Richman to open the meeting on Wednesday evening. It went even better than I imagined it would, and attendees were awed by the arc and scope of Dr. Richman’s career and influence.

At the State of the Organization meeting it was announced that COVD will be changing its name to the Optometric Vision Development and Rehabilitation Association. More information on that will be forthcoming.

Aside from the superb continuing education, there are always pleasant surprises at the meeting. For me, one of them was seeing the life-size cutouts of Bob Sanet and I next to the Emergent booth in the Exhibit Hall that everyone seemed to get a kick out of!

Bob and I were blown away by the job that Ben Winters and his team at Emergent did in converting the Sanet Seminar Series with my accompanying commentary that is now compatible with any device and available for unlimited usage. This was detailed at their Exhibitor Breakfast Meeting on Friday morning.

The Banquet on Friday evening, masterfully emceed by Lynn Hellerstein, presented some special treats. One of them was the Bagpipers who lent a unique air to the proceedings.

This complemented the special look sported by Patrick Quaid, as the slate of officers for the coming year took their place in front of the dais followed by an inspiring address from President Marie Bodack.

During the Awards Luncheon which wrapped up the meeting, it was my honor to present Drs. Barry Tannen, Noah Tannen, Jacob Brown, and Ken Ciuffreda (in absentia) with the VDR Article of the Year Award, and a privilege and personal pride to see Dr. Daniel Press receive the President’s Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to COVD.

Congratulations to all of the Award Recipients, including Stefanie Ohrns (COVT of the Year), Ron Bateman (Distinguished Service), JD Tassinari (A.M. Skeffington Award), and Brenda Montecalvo (G.N. Getman Award). The icing on the cake was the performance of an original composition, “Optometric Paradise”, by the incomparable Robin Price.

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