Congratulations to Our 2021 Award Winners

Celebrating industry professionals. Take a moment to check out our recent award winners and get a glimpse of past awardees.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Thomas W. Theune, OD
Colorado Springs, CO

When Thomas W. Theune graduated from the Indiana University School of Optometry in 1985, he was looking forward to a career serving patients in Colorado Springs. What he didn’t know at that time, was that his career in optometry would be quite different. After seven years of practicing primary care optometry his own vision began to diminish and he was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa. This diagnosis changed his perception of vision care and created a passion to provide quality care for others dealing with permanent vision loss. That passion wasn’t just about caring for patients, but also to assist other eye care professionals to better understand vision loss and how to move people forward in their lives despite their visual challenges. The Colorado Board of Optometry allowed him to maintain his license with the understanding that he would provide referral based low vision care and no longer provide primary eye care. He created Low Vision Services of Southern Colorado in 1994 to provide care for patients of all ages dealing with permanent vision loss. Before receiving low vision care, all patients needed to be receiving on-going eye health and refractive care from their optometrist or ophthalmologist. He is very grateful to the Board of Optometry for understanding his passion and trusting him to provide a high level of care to an underserved population. He says, “the Board changed the course of my professional and personal life for the better.”


OD of the Year Award

Dr. David McBride, OD
Portland, Or

Whether sitting behind his desk in a tiny, crowded office or trying to enjoy a bite of lunch while “Zooming” from his kitchen, Dr. David McBride dedicated a huge share of his “off-hours” during the past year establishing, then managing a keyperson network to advocate for expanded scope of practice legislation. For the last 3 years, Dr. McBride participated on the Legislative committee developing the keyperson network. Oregon’s keyperson database currently hosts more than 400 contacts. In addition to overseeing those herculean tasks, he also oversaw solicitation development and management of Oregon Optometric Public Affairs (OOPAC) activities. Contributions to OOPAC are made to legislative campaigns and candidates that support optometry and its role as primary eye-care providers. An AOA/OOPA member since 1981, he serves as OOPAC and OOPA Keyperson Chair. Dr. McBride not only donates his time and expertise, but he also gives personally. He is a Legacy member of OOPA and a Presidential donor for AOA PAC. He is also a regular supporter and donor to the Oregon Lions Foundation, Optometry Giving Sight, and Vison Source Foundation.

In the last year, Dr. McBride participated in a wide range of meetings with the American Optometric Association (AOA) - State Government Relations Committee, Advocacy Executive Committee, and all Advocacy Committee meetings. His leadership is even more notable when considering the wave of challenges that he and his staff faced through the pandemic. A 20-year member of Vision Source, he now serves as co-administrator for Oregon. Dr. McBride is a regular contributor to national advocacy efforts and has participated in countless “AOA on Capitol Hill” events – both virtually an in-person. He directly connects with elected officials and staff on community, state, and national levels.

Past Recipients - Lifetime Achievement Award:

  • 2020 - Sue E. Lowe, OD
  • 2019 - John Rush, OD
  • 2018 - Kenneth White, OD
  • 2017 - Harue Masden, OD
  • 2016 - Don Jarnagin, OD
  • 2015 - Kenji Hamada, OD

Past Recipients - OD of the Year Award:

  • 2020 - Sean Claflin, OD
  • 2019 - Mamie Chan, OD
  • 2018 - Mark Lee, OD
  • 2017 - Robert Theaker, OD
  • 2016 - Dawn Miller, OD
  • 2015 - Deanna Alexander, OD
  • 2014 - Coby Ramsey, OD
  • 2013 - David Wolf, OD
  • 2012 - Douglas K. Devries, OD
  • 2011 - Lori Z. Youngman, OD
  • 2010 - Dr. Joesph Mallenger
  • 2009 - Dr. Stacey Meier
  • 2008 - Dr. Garard "Jerry" Gustafson
  • 2007 - Allen Hudson, OD
  • 2006 - Stephen Cohen, OD
  • 2005 - James Grimes, OD
  • 2004 - James F. Holder, OD, FAAO
  • 2003 - Richard Hopping, OD
  • 2002 - Dennis Kuwabara, OD
  • 2001 - Art Kobayashi, OD
  • 2000 - Pat Cummings, OD
  • 1999 - Carol Marusich, OD
  • 1998 - Cynthia Murrill, OD
  • 1997 - Kenji Hamada, OD
  • 1996 - Ken Johnson, OD
  • 1995 - Robin Comeron, OD
  • 1994 - Libbi Ann Tracy, OD
  • 1993 - John Rush, OD
  • 1993- Don Jarnagin, OD 

Past Recipients - Leadership Awards:

  • Curtis Ono, OD with the 2017 President Award
  • Rand Siekert, OD, with the 2016 Past President Award

GWCO Past Presidents:

  • 2020-2021 Dr. Hilary Hawthorne, CA
  • 2019-2020 Dr. Michael Judkins, UT
  • 2018-2019 Dr. Douglas Melzer
  • 2017-2018 Dr. Curtis Ono, WA
  • 2016-2017 Dr. Rand Siekert, AZ
  • 2015-2016 Dr. Mark Lee, NV
  • 2014-2015 Dr. Paul Barney, AK
  • 2013-2014 Dr. Sue Lowe, WY
  • 2012-2013 Dr. Doug Safley, MT
  • 2011-2012 Dr. Scott Nehring, OR
  • 2010-2011 Dr. David Masihdas, UT
  • 2009-2010 Dr. Eugene Young, HI
  • 2008-2009 Dr. Ron Benner, MT
  • 2007-2008 Dr. Doug Devries, NV
  • 2006-2007 Dr. Stacey Meier, AZ
  • 2005-2006 Dr. Carol Marusich, OR
  • 2004-2005 Dr. Dawn Miller, CA
  • 2003-2004 Dr. Jerry Gustafson, WA
  • 2002-2003 Dr. Terry Brenner, UT
  • 2001-2002 Dr. Aaron Mancuso
  • 2000-2001 Dr. Brian Mach, AZ
  • 1999-2000 Dr. Everett King, WY
  • 1998-1999 Dr. James Grimes
  • 1997-1998 Dr. Ray Mans, OR
  • 1996-1997 Dr. Ken King, ID
  • 1995-1996 Dr. Art Kobayashi, HI
  • 1994-1995 Dr. Dave Hubbard, NV
  • 1993-1994 Dr. William Simons, MT
  • 1992-1993 Dr. Robin Kelly-Cameron, WA
  • 1991-1992 Dr. Kenji Hamada, OR
See Board of Directors