Leading Independent Optometry Across Canada
Board of Directors
The Eye Recommend Board of Directors plays an important role in shaping the future of the cooperative by supporting the growth of Canada’s independent optometrists in the eye care industry. Committed to building a strong road map to help Eye Recommend continue to thrive and grow, the Board overseas the implementation of the vision and brings their passion for independent optometry to the forefront.
Proud to be serving patients from southwest Saskatchewan for 44 years, Dr. Barry Thienes is committed to the practice of optometry and quality eyecare. Full of energy, he genuinely cares about his patients and the impact he has on their eye health. As a member of the Eye Recommend Board of Directors, he’ll emphasize learning new developments in the field and continue his active contribution towards the profession.
After graduating from the University of Waterloo, Dr. Thienes became a solo practitioner in Shaunavon and Maple Creek, Saskatchewan. He served 14 years on the Saskatchewan Association of Optometrists (SAO) council, occupying all chairs, including five years as registrar and two years as president. More recently, he spent 14 years with the Canadian Association of Optometry (CAO) board and served as president from 2015-2017. One of his missions is to make sure that the Eye Recommend board fulfills its fiduciary responsibilities to the members they serve.
With a vast range of both optometric and business experience, Dr. Colin Hobson is passionate and committed to the independent optometric landscape and making a positive impact on the eye health of his patients. Colin Hobson was born, raised, and currently resides in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. Since 2012, Colin has worked in both corporate optometry and independent optometry settings and now owns two independent optometry clinics in rural Alberta.
Colin has had the opportunity to be part of the Alberta Association of Optometrists Council Member, Alberta Association Government Relations Committee, the Alberta College of Optometry’s Competency Committee, Board of Directors for the Fort Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce, and Fort Saskatchewan Rotary Club. These experiences have given Colin a solid foundation and background to assist in better serving the Eye Recommend membership.
Dr. Damon Umscheid has a diverse background combining his passions for optometry and business, allowing him to view challenges as opportunities and bring innovative ideas and strong leadership skills to the table.
Practicing in High River and Okotoks, Alberta since graduating from Pacific University’s College of Optometry, Dr. Umscheid has a true passion for business and has been heavily involved in acquiring and growing multiple clinics. He co-founded a company in the technology and energy sector that is now one of the fastest-growing companies in Alberta.
Dr. Umscheid’s experience from negotiations and financing to marketing and board governance, coupled with his optometric background, gives him a diversified edge and strategic foundation to build and support independent optometry across Canada.
Dr. Trisha Beal focuses on helping others in all her endeavours. Joining the Eye Recommend Board of Directors further propelled her passion for independent optometry. She has a keen interest in providing comprehensive eye care for patients with special needs and promoting early detection and treatment of sight-threatening eye conditions in children before they can interfere with healthy development.
She continues to focus on increasing membership engagement, creating a culture of proactive rather than reactive management and assisting members to work smarter, not harder. Her personal why is aligned with the company’s mission as she believes patients should receive personal and sincere care. She encourages her colleagues and patients to pursue what they love, to take the time to care about the little details, and not to allow situational obstacles to get in their way.
Dr. Howard Dolman is committed to making Eye Recommend the go-to choice for independent optometry clinics through his role on the Eye Recommend Board of Directors. He is always focused on creating a collaborative environment within his own practice and has brought that dedication to Eye Recommend since he became a member in 2008.
Dr. Dolman teaches the Practice Management Course at the University of Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science and for the International Optometric Bridging Program. In addition, he has presented the Eye Recommend OD Business Course (Finance and Marketing sections) and is happy to offer his expertise to members to help them build their business skills and grow their clinics.
In 2016, Dr. Dolman and his wife were bestowed with the Public Education Award of Merit from the Ontario Association of Optometrists, which is presented to practitioners who have gone above and beyond in their efforts to educate the public and other stakeholder groups about the profession of optometry. They are both heavily involved in their community and give back through several initiatives, including the Optometry Giving Sight World Sight Day Challenge and the I Care and Share program.
As a high achiever, Dr. Anita Voisin loves to set goals and see them accomplished. With this spirit and as a board member, she strives to continue cultivating Eye Recommend as the premier independent optometry group in Canada. Wanting to make a lasting impact in the field of optometry, Dr. Voisin is excited to share her passion and knowledge towards the growth of the Cooperative.
Dr. Voisin attended the University of Waterloo and graduated from the School of Optometry. She worked in Ontario for two years at the Oshawa Clinic, then made the move out West to Vancouver Island. She joined forces with Dr. Trevor Miranda at his practice in Mill Bay and was the lead in their first satellite clinic in Chemainus. She helped transition the expansion of the Mill Bay location to Cobble Hill, followed by the opening of three more clinics, one in Lake Cowichan, another in Duncan, followed by Langford. Her commitment to eye health has continued to evolve and grow over the years. She has developed a special interest in both dry eye disease and myopia management, and she is driven to continue delivering patient excellence through comprehensive patient care.
As an active community member, Dr. Voisin genuinely cares about the people she impacts. She is a longstanding Rotary Club of Chemainus member and served as a board member with the Chemainus Chamber of Commerce for eight years. She loves giving back to the community through education and regularly participates in community health programs such as Healthy Beginnings. In addition, Dr. Voisin has delivered presentations on eye health to local high school students and senior centres.
With a background in psychology and strong communication skills, Dr. Lisa Scharf has a keen interest in improving the way that people work together. Dr. Scharf is proud to be on the Eye Recommend Board of Directors and is dedicated to fostering a healthy team culture for the members.
Dr. Scharf`s love for the outdoors and an active lifestyle brought her back to her roots in British Columbia, where she worked as an associate at Armstrong Optometry. She purchased the practice in 2014 and has been enjoying the challenges and growth that business management brings. She values connection to her community and has also volunteered abroad on two third-world eye care missions, one in Myanmar and the other in the Philippines.
Dr. Michael Nelson is actively committed to the profession of optometry and believes in giving back and contributing where possible to create a stronger global independent optometry community.
After studying undergraduate science at the University of Alberta, Dr. Nelson went on to receive his Optometry degree from the University of Waterloo. Following, he completed a Family Practice & Low Vision Residency at the University of Alabama at the Birmingham School of Optometry.
Dr. Nelson has successfully practiced optometry alongside his wife, Dr. Selena Friesen, for the past 25 years in Winnipeg and they are proud owners of two clinics built from the ground up. He has served as the Continuing Education Chair and President for the Manitoba Association of Optometrists (MAO) and was the President of the Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO). His past board experience has provided Dr. Nelson with a strong background in finance, governance, team building and the ability to promote the optometry industry, all of which he is excited to bring forward as a part of the Eye Recommend Board.
Dr. Wes McCann has a diverse background in optometry, practice management, and education. He is passionate about providing exceptional eye care, creating a unique patient journey, and small business practice management. As a strong member of the independent optometry community, he believes in the shared vision of optometry for today and tomorrow.
By combining his two passions, business success and optometry, Dr. McCann has become an accomplished optometrist owning and operating eight practices in the London, Ontario area. He is in-tune with the local community and strives to deliver the best eye care solutions to meet their vision needs. To him, independent optometry is free from corporate influence with the owner able to independently make decisions that are best for patients, staff, and the clinic as a whole.
Dr. McCann earned his two Bachelor of Science degrees, with honours, at Western University in London, Ontario, before going on to earn his Bachelor of Vision Science, accelerated MBA, and Doctor of Optometry degrees at the Nova Southeastern University (NSU) of Optometry in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He has served as an elected member of the Board of Directors for the Ontario Association of Optometrists and is a professional consultant for many optical organizations in the industry.
He is deeply passionate about the future of independent optometry. Dr. McCannlectures and mentors at the University of Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science, where he engages with the next generation of optometrists. With this vast experience under his belt, Dr. Wes McCann brings a unique perspective to the Board of Directors.
As an active Eye Recommend member, Dr. Tanya Jones-Greenwood is passionate about serving local communities and protecting independent optometry. As a rural optometrist, she understands the importance of providing comprehensive eye care to patients while striving to make a lasting impact. Her passion has led her to support the membership as part of the Board of Directors, bringing her skills and expertise to the table, with the goal of strengthening member relationships. She is excited to bring forth innovative ideas as an opportunity for learning and growth.
She received her Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Alberta and her Optometry Doctorate from Indiana University, both of which allowed her to excel and provide outstanding care. She then took ownership of the practice she grew up going to and used her experience to create a tightknit community in her town of Wainwright.
Dr. Jones-Greenwood specializes in working with children in the area of Vision Therapy. Her dedication to patients, specialty service offerings and willingness to learn has allowed her to be part of making a positive impact on children’s education, self-worth, and confidence over the last 10 years.
With a career spanning financial research, accounting, corporate finance and investments, and most recently, as CFO of RJames Management Group Alberta Ltd, Lee brings a wealth of knowledge and experience forward to Eye Recommend.
An integral part of the team, Lee provides strategic advice and implements business operational changes to support the future direction of the organization. Working closely with the Eye Recommend Board of Directors Lee develops the policies and procedures to increase the success of all members, and oversees the internal operations of the cooperative.
Lee’s extensive education background includes a Bachelor of Kinesiology in Sports Administration from the University of Regina and a Masters of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Calgary, Haskayne School of Business. He has obtained his CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst), CPA (Chartered Professional Accountant-CMA) designations and is also a licensed realtor.
Teresa is a highly skilled and dedicated business leader with more than 10 years of experience in sales and operations management, strategic leadership, and business architecture. Throughout the years, she has gained a verifiable track record in enhancing business performance, operational efficiency, lean modeling, sales growth, and enhanced corporate branding while helping businesses and people achieve their goals personally and professionally.
With many accomplishments and a robust ability to lead, Teresa enjoys the challenges of everyday business, enhancing operational efficiency, while establishing standardized processes that improve productivity and deliver bottom-line results.
Teresa holds a Master’s of Business Administration acquired from the Australian Institute of Business, a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Regina, a Certificate in General Management & Economics, and extensive training in the areas of transformational coaching, strategic & conceptual sales, and project management. Teresa is also a certified Transformational Change Coach Facilitator.
Mariko began her career in advertising, supporting a variety of clients to grow their brand, increase sales and drive engagement. As the Director of Marketing, Communications and Events, she energizes the Eye Recommend team to brings new ideas forward and realize their full potential.
Mariko continually seeks to gain deeper insight into the optical industry and bring her marketing background forward to grow and elevate the Eye Recommend community. Her biggest strengths are her creativity, drive and leadership. She has a passion for building a strong community around her and taking part in experiences that foster continued learning and growth.