At the October 10th Annual Board of Directors meeting, pediatric ophthalmologist Dr. Ed Wortham completed his term, rotating off the Conexus Board of Directors. Dr. Wortham has been a long time friend, supporter, and advisor to Conexus and we are grateful for his service. The good news is that Dr. Wortham will continue to serve as Co-Chair of the Council for Pediatric Vision!
Replacing Dr. Wortham on the Board is Dr. Evan Silverstein, author of our study on technology based screenings. Dr. Silverstein, also a pediatric ophthalmologist, has already demonstrated enthusiastic leadership as a member of the Council for Pediatric Vision and we are honored to have him as a member of our Board of Directors.
On the evening of June 16th, Governor and Mrs. Jim Gilmore graciously opened their home to community leaders who were interested in learning more about how improving vision outcomes for our students will impact education. Patricia Cornwell joined the event as a special guest and shared her passionate comments about the work of Conexus and how Virginia’s students are at risk of falling behind in school due to the prevalence of undetected and untreated vision problems.
We are grateful for the support of so many and are excited to have the opportunity share our mission with those who are in a position to help Conexus expand its reach. These are exciting days for Conexus and we are eager to move forward.
World renowned, best-selling author Patricia Cornwell visited the Conexus Headquarters today to learn more about how our programs are working to improve educational outcomes for students. Patricia, a long-time friend of Conexus Board Chair, Roxane Gilmore, spent time with the Conexus staff to learn more about our comprehensive children’s vision program, VisioCheck, and how prevalent vision problems are in children, especially in our urban communities. Ms. Cornwell had a deep appreciation and understanding of the importance of good vision as it pertains to learning success in school and offered her support in our mission.
We look forward to exploring how we can work together to help eliminate undetected and untreated vision problems as barriers to success in school and life, allowing every child to reach their fullest potential.
More to come……
The staff at Virginia Eye Institute’s Watkins Center location enjoyed a delicious hot breakfast in celebration of their fundraising efforts in the holiday Gift of Light Campaign. Under the leadership of Michael Cuffee, the Watkins Center office more than tripled their efforts from 2015 and raised $1,583.93 in support of Conexus school-based programs, narrowly beating out the three-time winners from the Forest Location by just $7.26!!
Virginia Eye Institue CEO Brad Smith joined Conexus President and CEO Tim Gresham in congratulating the Watkins staff and helped Michael Cuffee recognize his top fundraising associate, Pam Combs, who raised a whopping $641.82 over the 4 weeks of the Campaign!!!
Congratulations to all of our Virginia Eye Institute locations for an amazing campaign that raised over $18,000 in support of improved school based vision programs for area students!!
Ed Greene, former President of The Vision Council and Dr. Charles “Bo” Pegram were both honored separately on June 6, 2016 with the Joseph E. Nichols Award.
The Joseph E. Nichols Award, only awarded five times since being established in 2004, is named in honor and memory of Mr. Nichols. Mr. Nichols founded the organization as the National Association for the Prevention of Blindness, Virginia Affiliate in 1957 and provided many years of dedicated service and leadership. The award is to recognize the most distinguished level of service to Conexus, with special emphasis given to some of Mr. Nichols’ most admirable qualities: leadership, strength of character, dedication, selfless service, and longevity.
Ed Greene was recognized at the June 6th board meeting by former Conexus Board Chairman, Conexus Golf Classic Chairman, and 2012 Nichols award recipient, John Locher. Mr. Locher and the Conexus Board offered their resounding praise for Ed's service and his work for Conexus, most especially through the transition from Prevent Blindness Mid-Atlantic.
Just 12 hours later at the Kroger-sponsored awards dinner at the Conexus Golf Classic, 2010 Nichols Award recipient and former Conexus Board Chairman Steve Dickinson presented the honors to current Board Chair, Dr. Charles “Bo” Pegram in front of a crowd of 240 tournament guests, Conexus board members and staff, and event volunteers.
“Both of these men have been deserving of this award for years, most especially for their work in leading us through the transition from PBMA,” says Tim Gresham, Conexus President and CEO. “We were waiting for just the right occasion and audience, because it truly is the highest award of service offered through our organization. We have been very fortunate to have had some of the most talented and exceptional leadership over the years. I couldn’t be more pleased with the opportunity to recognize Ed and Bo with this well-deserved honor,” says Gresham.
Greene and Pegram now join the following distinguished list of past honorees:
2004 – General John P. Henderson Jr., ret.
2006 – John D. O’Neill, Jr., Esq.
2007 – A. Dale Cannady
2010 – Stephen Y. Dickinson
2012 – John P. Locher
On June 6th, Conexus’ newest board members, Dennis Mayo, Director of Programs and Operations, Essilor Vision Foundation, and Danny Singer, VP Eastern Region Lab Operations, VSP made their first trip to the Conexus headquarters in Richmond, VA.
Mayo and Singer flew in to participate in their first board meeting and the 25th Annual Conexus Golf Classic, which netted more than $105,000 in support of Conexus’ comprehensive children’s vision programs. The two spent the following day touring the recently renovated Conexus headquarters and spending time with Conexus senior staff to learn more about the organization and how their new roles on the Board can help to expand the reach of Conexus, both in geographic service to children and within the vision industry.
“Bringing representation of two industry giants to the Conexus Board is an important growth initiative of the organization,” says Tim Gresham, Conexus President and CEO. “Inviting Dennis and Danny to the Board seemed like a natural fit. VSP has long supported the work of Conexus through their Sight for Students voucher program, and recently Conexus has had the privilege of partnering with Essilor Vision Foundation on two significant children’s vision initiatives in Virginia.”
“Danny and Dennis bring insight that can broaden our perspective and our reach, and they each represent unique qualities as individuals and professionals that will continue to strengthen and diversify our board,” says Ed Greene, Conexus Board member and former President of The Vision Council. Greene, who uses his expertise to guide the strategic planning process of the organization, views Mayo and Singer as “real assets to the organization as we move forward to expand our mission.”