Name: Mary Ann Hargrove, M.S.,ABOM, NCLE, CLSA
Position at the IOA: Member of the Board
Other Positions held: Owner/operator of Empire Optical retail laboratory in Tulsa, Oklahoma from 1978- 2014. I am still active as a working optician but the business is now owned by my son, Christian and his wife, Brooke.
How did you get into optics?
My husband, Charles and I apprenticed to Empire Optical, whose originators were my parents, Gus and Naomi Caldwell. Charles was originally university professor of Economics. My Masters Degree was in Physiology, which I subsequently taught.
How has your career progressed?
Running a retail laboratory and raising two sons took a good deal of my time, but Charles and I have been fortunate to have been actively involved in the International Opticians Association for more than 25 years.
What do you bring to the IOA?
I was the first female optician on the Vision Council of America’s Better Vision Institute Advisory Council, (consisting of two opticians, two optometrists and two ophthalmologists) where we filtered all national publications for professional accuracy as well as developed training materials for the industry. I helped to co-author the Envision Yourself training materials and spent several years as a VICA-sponsored lecturer. I served for a period of 9 years on the BVI / VICA Board. I have served as a frame design and color consultant for a number of national and international frame manufacturers.
My passion over the years has been in the area of high quality Contact Lens Fitting. Over my 40 years as an optician I have received specialized training in 5 different medical schools. As a member of the Contact Lens Society of America, I have enjoyed many happy years associating with my fellow fitting professionals and translating that association into a successful contact lens practice.
My husband, Charles and I have both completed testing and original work which resulted in our being named Master Opticians, there are only 6 in our state Oklahoma.
List of publications
Over time I’ve been asked to write and speak on a variety of topics. Now, I’ll just have to say that I have assumed a role of Optician Emeritus. The very lively technical and esthetic aspects of our optical industry are in new hands. I have had my turn and now it is my turn to help where I can to all you wonderful “givers of vision” out there.
Topic: Who's Who at the IOA