Linda Conlin is a licensed optician employed as a field support manager for OptiCare Eye Health and Vision Centers. Linda earned her B.S. degree from Fairfield University, Fairfield, Connecticut. She is a member of the Connecticut Board of Examiners for Opticians, an editor for the optical news blog, Optical News from Optical CEUs, and an independent provider of continuing education for opticians. Linda joined the OPS Advisory Committee to promote education and opportunities for those who want to serve the vision care needs of their communities. In her free time, she enjoys reading, home canning, and visiting and researching lighthouses.
Maria D'Amore is a licensed optician at Visionary Eye Care in Wallingford, Connecticut. She graduated from Middlesex Community College with a degree in Ophthalmic Design and Dispensing. Maria joined the Committee to help with the education of our future licensed opticians of Connecticut. During her free time, she loves being with her family, reading, cooking, gardening, going to the beach, and participating in the Relay for Life.
Steve Davis is a first-year Ophthalmic Science student and holds a full-time job as an apprentice optician at BJ’s Optical. Steve joined the advisory committee to expand his role in the optical community and to be directly involved with the continued success of the Ophthalmic Science program at Goodwin. In addition to his academic studies and career, Steve is an intense fan of the NFL and NBA and enjoys his wife and three children.
Paula Dowd is the Department Chair for Health & Natural Science at Goodwin College and serves as an ex-officio member of Goodwin’s Ophthalmic Science Program.
Russell Fritz has been a Connecticut licensed optician for many years and is the owner of the Fritz & Hawley Vision Center. Russ has been very involved with optical organizations on the state and national levels, and works to advance the profession of opticianry.
John Ingriselli is a senior sales representative for Coburn Technologies. John has been with Coburn for 25 years, spending more than 22 years in service (tech support, field support, management). He knows every aspect of ophthalmic processing (surfacing, coating, AR, finishing) and interacts well with his 3,500 customers. Customers are always first and John continues to do his own installation, training, and service. John joined the Advisory Committee to help develop a program where students will get the tools they need to succeed in the ophthalmic industry.
Brandi Kay is a licensed optician and the director of stores at Harvey & Lewis Opticians in Glastonbury, Connecticut. She is excited to be a part of the Advisory Committee and hopes to help students understand the full experience of being an optician, beginning with the technical aspect and focusing on customer service. Brandi is involved with her children’s school, holding office in the PTO, and is an active member in her community. Brandi enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, hiking, snowboarding, mini golf, and maybe, just maybe, some relaxing with a movie. Brandi is also an avid reader; her favorite quote is "Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t." — Bill Nye.
Deborah Kotob has earned her ABOM and is NCLE certified. Deborah has over six years of experience in research, writing, editing, and presenting ABO and JCAHPO seminars on various topics related to optics, corrective lenses, eye health, light and glare, lights effect on vision, the visual cycle, anatomy of the eye, and the relationship between solar radiation and ocular damage. Deborah has developed a prevention model and protocols for eye care practices, which are intended to aid the practice of disseminating information to patients on the danger that sun exposure poses to the eye. She is an ABO approved speaker (Advanced, Technical Level I and II) for Vision Ease Lens CE courses, and is a licensed dispensing optician in Massachusetts.
Diane Mintich is a licensed optician, employed as a manager at the Walmart Vision Center. She graduated with associate degrees in General Studies from Tunxis Community College in 1995 and Ophthalmic Design and Dispensing from Middlesex Community College in 1998.
Diane started her career in a high volume one-hour lab at LensCrafters in 1994 and became a licensed optician in 1998. Her research paper on Keratoconus earned her the Beverly Myers Student Research Scholarship, considered the highest national honor for optical students.
Diane has worked in a surfacing/finishing laboratory, as contact lens fitter, and as a department head. She has taught license-prep courses for her company colleagues, managed her brother's independent optical boutique, and sold, dispensed and repaired eyewear. She appreciates how her work affects people’s health and wellness and still enjoys the "Wow" response from clients trying on glasses for the first time.
Diane has enjoyed playing local sports, softball, volleyball, bowling, and most recently bocce. She enjoys playing setback, traveling, and hiking. Diane is the proud mom of two fabulous young men, Joseph and Brian, and is overjoyed with her grandson, Jason. Diane has been ABO and NCLE certified and has maintained her affiliations as COA fellow and NAO member.
Carmen Once is a first-year Ophthalmic Science student at Goodwin College. She is employed in the optical field as a lab floater at OptiCare Eye Health Center in Connecticut. Carmen volunteered to serve as a student representative on the Advisory Board for the Goodwin College Ophthalmic Science program to enhance her knowledge and inspire others. Her personal interest is to become a licensed optician. In her free time, Carmen likes to read, shop, swim, cook, and play with her kids.
Susan Piscatelli is a licensed optician at Shoreline Eye Associates in Guilford, Connecticut. Susan was trained through the optician apprentice program and has maintained her license and education through many years of optical continuing education courses. When Susan was asked to volunteer for the OPS Advisory Committee, she felt her years of experience may be helpful to others pursuing the career she is so passionate about. Susan is involved in the Chamber of Commerce and volunteers for the Special Olympics. In her spare time Susan enjoys reading, hiking, theatre, and dancing.
Maryann Santos is a licensed optician in Connecticut and program director of the Ophthalmic Science Program at Goodwin College in East Hartford. Maryann serves as an ex-officio member of the Ophthalmic Science Program Advisory Committee. She holds an associate degree in Ophthalmic Design and Dispensing and Business Administration, a bachelor’s degree in Business Management, and is pursuing a master’s degree in Education concentrating on curriculum and instruction at the University of St. Joseph in West Hartford. Maryann has worked in the optical industry for close to three decades in the lab, dispensary, and fitting contact lenses. In her spare time, Maryann enjoys walking, playing tennis, her viola, and spending fun times with her husband, son, and daughter.