Awards Nomination Form

Virginia Optometrist of the Year

Represents the highest honor which may be bestowed upon any active VOA member, recognizing the recipient as truly the most outstanding Virginia optometrist for the past twelve months.  The award honors the totality of the recipient’s past & present, unique & broad contribution to optometric and public service on all levels of local, state and nation.  Selection is based on special contributions to the visual welfare of Virginians either over a lifetime of professional practice, or due to special leadership in a particular area of VOA concern.  Emphasis of service areas in the past 12 months shall be considered most.  Additionally, the award recognizes additional services and involvement in the broader, non-optometric community context; including leadership and participation in the broadest total spectrum of political, fraternal, religious, civic, charitable, military, health and educational activities.  Recipient is automatically nominated by the VOA for the Southern Optometrist of the Year and the AOA National Optometrist of the Year.

Distinguished Achievement

Presented to the VOA Active member who has made distinct, unique, personal contributions to the profession and the activities of optometry’s local, state or national organizations.  By their actions, the recipient has brought distinguished credit to him or her self and in turn to the VOA.  Award may be presented to an individual once and recognizes lifetime and/or current accomplishments in any of the following:  lecturing or teaching, writing, research or scholarship, development of devices, inventions, instrumentation, innovations and improvements of methods for use in professional practice, public life, and charitable deeds.

Society Project of the Year

Recognizes outstanding, unique, innovative, new or on-going (but not previously recognized) projects conceived and executed by a VOA affiliated local optometry society.  Award focuses positive attention and recognition on exemplary society projects and thus encourages all societies to promote year round outstanding programming to benefit the non-optometric community as well as VOA members.  Nominations shall include project descriptions, discussion as to the benefits of this project to society and/or community (media exposure, individual OD publicity, etc.)  Nominations must be presented in such a fashion so that the description may be distributed to other local optometric societies for their use and implementation.  More than one project per society may be submitted.  Each nomination must be signed by the President AND Secretary of the respective society.  Separate awards may be available for societies with over 50 active VOA members and those with 50 or less active members.

Vanguard of the Year

Recognizes the best and most outstanding “relatively new” VOA active member.  Recipient is selected for their special leadership, innovative thinking, executive and organizational skills, offering of new ideas, substantive contributions, and effort to the practice as well as the VOA and community and civic or other activities.  Recipient is recognized as a potential VOA future leader.  Nominees must be active VOA member in good standing and have practiced more than one year but not more than ten years.

Meritorious Service Award

Recognizes organizations or persons other than optometrists or optometric organizations who have made a particular and significant contribution to optometry and the visual care and welfare of Virginia’s citizens.  Categories may include communication and media, educational institutions and organizations, research and/or developmental achievements, civic, community wide or private enterprises, services or programs, government (public officials) and political services or programs, consumer protection, public information and other organizations, and special individuals.  Recipient may be awarded honor once and only once.  Special emphasis will be considered on activities of the past 12 months, preceding lifetime of merit and contributions to improve optometry of the visual care of Virginians.

Keyperson of the Year

Presented to the VOA active member who has demonstrated his or her commitment to helping optometry reach its legislative goals in the U.S. Congress or the Virginia legislature through the Keyperson Program over the last twelve months.  Recipients are VOA volunteers who have an existing relationship with a legislator or are willing to forge a new relationship. These relationships come in many forms such as patient, neighborhood, school, church, professional, civic, or political.  The VOA recognizes that forging such relationships takes time, commitment, and money. The VOA thanks ALL Keypersons with this award to one.  The recipient may receive this award more than once.