Thank You, Our Friend

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smythe-picNext summer ASCO will celebrate its 75th anniversary as an organization. Throughout the remarkable growth in our membership, alongside the vast changes in the profession, we have been masterfully led by our Executive Director Marty Wall, behind the scenes for the past 25 of those years. This July, Marty will be retiring after a notable career in optometric education, and we will be celebrating his contributions in Seattle on June 24 at a reception in his honor.

Please help me thank Marty for supporting our students, our faculty and the 21 ASCO presidents and deans he has worked alongside. Let’s thank him for the implementation of multiple strategic plans that brought us the Summer Institute for Faculty Development, initiatives in diversity and interprofessional education, communication strategies, two updated logos, a contemporary and engaging website and ORMatch. Let’s make sure he knows how much we appreciate the cultural competency workshops, the executive leadership development, the Future Faculty Program and the extensive ASCO/AOA Joint Project Team on “Further Developing a Robust, Diverse and Highly Qualified Applicant Pool.” He has helped us to navigate and communicate data from multiple workforce studies, while continuously promoting advocacy in our profession through intra-organizational communication, networking with FASHP colleagues and drafting well-researched and thought-out responses whenever the call-to-action arises. Join me in thanking him for being so welcoming to new members of ASCO, mentoring new faculty and administrators when they join committees or SIGS. We are a stronger organization because of Marty’s leadership, his commitment, and his ability to keep our policies relevant and the charge of our mission, goals and objectives front and center. His organizational memory and wise perspectives will be greatly missed.

Finally, I would like to personally thank Marty for all of his advice, his friendship and his role in making optometric education a strong and rewarding career path. Good luck, our friend, on your next adventure in life and may the Washington Nationals win the World Series with you cheering them on from the stands!

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Jenny Coyle