NECO’s 2019 Visionaries Honors Student Accomplishments


BOSTON—The New England College of Optometry (NECO) hosted its annual Visionaries: A Celebration of Student Accomplishment event on April 23, 2019. Each year, Visionaries showcases student achievement. NECO’s Ophthalmic Business Plan Competition is the culmination of a year’s work in David Mills’, MBA, OD, Ophthalmic Management Class, where groups of students complete a business plan, including their business goals, staffing, marketing plans, and financial considerations. The top five groups then present their proposals to a panel of five judges, which included Essilor’s Janelle Routheir, Aaron Goffinet, and Ryan Parker, and NECO board of trustee members Rich Small and Bob Ryan this year.

The winning team this year was called Woodbridge Eyecare, made up of OD3 students Stephanie Aigbe, Lisa Chen, Cora Plummer, Joella Martire, Azalea Garcia and Fareeha Amjad.

The winners of this year’s SABRE cup were also honored. Using a cloud-based business simulator developed by Dr. Mills, Cam Tipping and Essilor developers, students create a mock practice to learn more about the businesses of optometry and the challenges they might face.

Also at Visionaries, second year students attended a lecture by John Rumpakis, OD, MBA, titled, “The Independent Practice in the World of Health Care Reform.” At this presentation, Dr. Rumpakis discussed value and quality in care over quantity, and a total patient care model, as well as trends affecting practices and health care reform.

In addition, teams of first year students presented their public health research posters at Visionaries. This year’s topic was Community Health Centers (CHC), which are an integral part of the NECO Clinical Network, as each student rotates through a CHC during their clinical training.