Carol Marx, LDO, FLCSA

Carol MarxCarol Marx, LDO, FLCSA was previously the Optical Manager of The Eye Care Center, located in Canandaigua, Geneva and Newark, NY. In that position, she managed the staffers who serve patients and the ophthalmic technician who manages many of the optical orders. Her goal was to keep updating lenses to make sure individuals have excellent choices when shopping for eyewear.

Carol began her career in the Buffalo area in 1972 after earning her degree in Ophthalmic Dispensing and joined The Eye Care Center in 1999. She is a former chair of the New York State Education Department's Ophthalmic Dispensing Board, a member and Fellow of the Contact Lens Society of America, and a longtime member of NYSSO.

In 1990, she was named Member of the Year by NYSSO's Rochester chapter, and in 2019 she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from NYSSO for her 47 years of contributions to the advancement of eye care and her ongoing development of the state’s opticians.

She is now semiretired but continues three days per week at TECC working with their corneal specialist, continuing to mentor the newest manager of the team and serving as the Senior Contact Lens Technician.


Ryan Parker, OD

Dr. Ryan ParkerRyan Parker, OD is currently the Director of Professional Development for Essilor, where he has been employed for almost 10 years.

Dr. Parker thrives in front of people advancing the mission of Essilor. He ran his own private practice for 12 years and has transferred that experience to his present role within the industry.

His passion is educating other eye care professionals to help grow the optical field with his presentations on a variety of topics. He manages a fantastic team and controls a budget of more than $1 million. He also builds relationships with optometric associations, academic institutions and key opinion leaders.


Bob Russo

Bob RussoBob Russo, a professor emeritus, is the past chairperson of Vision Care Technology. He was the anatomy and physiology, contact lens and business coordinator. He is certified by the American Board of Opticianry, the National Contact Lens Examiners and the Opticians Association of America in Refractometry and is licensed in the states of New York and New Jersey.

He is a past commissioner for the Commission on Opticianry Accreditation, a past member of the board of directors of the Contact Lens Society of New York State, a past chapter president of NYSSO and past president of the National Federation of Opticianry Schools.

Professor Russo has served on the faculty for the Opticians Association of America, EyeQuest, ABO/NCLE Education Conference and OptiCon National Conference. Professor Russo is currently on the faculty for Vision Expo East and West. He has published several articles on contact lenses and speaks frequently at the national and state level.

Professor Russo received an associate’s degree in Ophthalmic Dispensing from New York City Community College, a bachelor of science degree in business management from the City University of New York and a master of arts degree in education from New York University. Professor Russo was named the National Federation of Opticianry Schools’ Educator of the Year in 2009 and NYSSO’s Optician of the Year in 2012 and received the National Academy of Opticianry’s Joseph Bruneni Memorial Education Achievement Award” in 2015.

Professor Russo continues to work in his private contact practice fitting all types of contact lenses including keratoconus, gas permeable lenses, pediatric and prosthetic contact lenses.


Joel Wolf

Joel WolfJoel Wolf has been a Licensed Optician since 1987. Joel has owned and operated his own office, Village Optical in Whiting, NJ, since 1991.

Over the years Joel has taken a bigger role with Optikam as a consultant. He strongly believes in the product and thinks every office that sells glasses should have this software to increase business, reduce fitting errors and improve customers' perception of a practice, something essential in today’s competitive market.

The lenses we sell today and the tools we use must go hand in hand, otherwise there is a disconnect with the customer and the products that are being sold. Joel believes that personalized and digital lenses cannot be seen as commodities and should not be measured with a 99-cent Sharpie and a pupilometer.




Linda Conlin

Linda Conlin, ABOC, NCLEC is the Managing Editor for 2020 Magazine Pro to Pro.

With more than 40 years’ experience in the optical industry, she has held various positions as an optician and in management, is a past Chair of the Connecticut Board of Examiners for Opticians, taught opticians at the college level, and created a program for continuing education for opticians.

 For more than 20 years, she has authored ABO/NCLE accredited courses and lectured at national and state venues


Deborah Kotob, ABOMdeb kotob transparent

Deborah Kotob is the Director of Education and Training for Jobson Medical Information and of 2020 Magazine Pro to Pro.

Her experience spans more than twenty-five years in the optical industry. During this time, her roles encompassed optical boutiques owner, optician, optical frame sales, and over ten years in lens manufacturing as a Lens Consultant, Trainer, and LMS Administrator and content developer.

 She lectures, trains, conducts webinars on a variety of optical and practice development topics. In the year 2020, Vision Monday Magazine voted her one of the optical industries Most Influential Women (MIW) in the Mentor category. 


Barb Malobabich

Barb MalobabichBarb Malobabich is Regional Manager, Northeast at IOT America, providing independent optical labs with the tools to stay independent.

Barb is an accomplished marketing/sales/training consultant with more than 20 years in the optical/medical device industry. She is a high-performing senior sales/marketing professional with a successful track record of developing individualized marketing programs and social media campaigns that encourage account loyalty and promote brand awareness/messaging.

Barb's areas of expertise include brand management, product training and development, work force training, social media training, social media campaign development and management, marketing planning, market trend analysis, product launch implementation, business development, key account development and management, sales strategy, strategic planning, process improvement, and customer needs analysis.


Robert J. Wallner

Robert WallnerRobert J. Wallner is one of a small number of highly skilled opticians whom luxury frame manufacturers and high end optical retailers trust to fabricate eyeglasses for their discerning customers. With his expert eye and a practiced hand, Wallner takes an artisan’s approach to crafting eyewear that is as beautiful as it is functional.

Wallner started his career by apprenticing with his uncle, Matty Lerchl, the proprietor of Walter Nuebert Opticians in West New York, N.J. Following his uncle’s advice, Wallner enrolled in New York City Technical College, graduating with a degree in ophthalmic dispensing.

Wallner, who is ABO and NCLE certified, then practiced opticianry in many high-end retail optical shops before starting a specialty niche lab, The Cutting Edge Optical Specialties. He closed the lab in 2006 and for the next five years sold edging equipment. Having gained a better understanding of the retail side of the optical industry, Wallner returned to the lab business in 2011 and opened OptikWallner in Wallkill, N.Y., which focused exclusively on high-end specialty products.

More recently, he has served as an ophthalmic technology consultant and a senior clinical applications specialist with Visionix division Luneau Technology and a clinical application specialist with Reichert, Inc. Since 2018 he has been a licensed optician with 20/20 Insight Services, LLC, in Wallkill.