A Word from Our Chair

February 8, 2019

On behalf of the Board of Directors, it is with great enthusiasm that I announce the appointment of April Wilhelm as the new Executive Director of the American Board of Optometry.

April first joined the ABO in 2014 as operations director and has quickly become an indispensable part of our organization.  In addition to running all aspects of day-to-day business operations, many of you know April through her roles in assisting Candidates through the application process and helping Diplomates stay on track with their certification.  We are thrilled to have April as our new Executive Director and are confident she will help guide and grow ABO Board Certification into the future.

I would also like to thank our outgoing interim Executive Director Dr. James Vaught for his years of commitment and service to the American Board of Optometry.  Although we have been blessed to have many dedicated board members and staff, his seven years of steadfast leadership and accomplishments serve as an inspiration to us all.

Dr. Vaught was first appointed to the Board of Directors of 2012.  He later served as chairman before agreeing to take on the role as interim executive director. During his tenure, he played an instrumental role in making ABO Board Certification the most respected and credible postgraduate certification in optometry and helped put our organization on a solid path for future success. Although we are sad to see James step down, we wish him well in his future career endeavors and know that he will remain a trusted advisor and close friend.

We look forward to recognizing and honoring Dr. Vaught during this year’s Optometry’s Meeting in Saint Louis, Missouri.   Please be on the lookout for additional details in the months to come.

Erich A. Hinel, OD, MS
Chair, American Board of Optometry



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