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2018 SPEAKERS
(in order of appearance)


 
Stefan Collier
F.O., F.C.S.O., L.F.B.O.A.F., L.F.E.A.S.O
 
Professional pioneer in the introduction of Behavioral Optometry and Syntonic Phototherapy in Europe. He studied Sports Science, Physiotherapy and Applied Optical Sciences in the Belgian cities of Boom, Antwerp and Brussels. He also has various awards and recognitions for his work and career, is the Dean of the European Association of Behavioral Optometry (BOAF) and has been the European liaison to and vice president of the College of Syntonics (CSO).
 
Stefan is a leader in bringing Behavioral/Functional Optometry and Syntonics to Europe. His knowledge and willingness to share has allowed him to have several awards bestowed upon him over the years:
 
  • 2002 & 2004 The Armand Bastien Award from Optometric extension Program Foundation (OEPF) 
  • 2010 The Skeffington-Alexander International Award from OEPF 
  • 2011 The Spitler Award from the College of Syntonic Optometry (CSO) 
  • 2012 The Lifetime Achievement Award from Behavioral Optometry Academy Foundation BOAF 
  • 2014 The International Lifetime Achievement Award from OEPF 
  • 2015 The - Premio Robert y Linda Sanet- Award from SIODEC 
  • 2016 The Advancement of Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Award from NORA
 


 
John Abbondanza
O.D., F.C.O.V.D.
 
Dr. John Abbondanza is a graduate of Boston College and the New England College of Optometry and has been practicing for thirty years.  He is a fellow in the College of Optometrists in Vision Development, a past president of the Mass Society of Optometrists, and a strong supporter of COVT&R. 
 
He is currently Treasurer/Secretary of the Optometric Extension Program Foundation and an instructor for the OEP Clinical Curriculum series of courses and lectures all over the world about behavioral optometry and vision therapy.    
 
In addition, he is the Residency Supervisor in Pediatrics/Vision Therapy at Vision Care Specialists and is Adjunct Clinical Faculty at the Southern College of Optometry and the New England College of Optometry.  Dr. John is in private practice and specializes in vision therapy and vision related learning problems.  
 


 
Nancy Torgerson
B.Sc., O.D., F.C.O.V.D.
 
Dr. Nancy Torgerson’s passion is to help those that struggle needlessly in school, work, sports and/or life because of visual difficulties. Those that are gifted are many times overlooked because they are able to make it by in spite of hidden visual problems.  She works extensively with children and adults who have challenges in learning or vision information processing, special needs and/or brain injuries.
 
Alderwood Vision Therapy Center, in Lynnwood, Washington celebrated its 30th year of serving patients in the Seattle area in 2014. With an emphasis in developmental and rehabilitative optometry and vision therapy, her practice strives to live up to its motto of “Transforming Lives Through Vision”. Her team of vision therapists, patient care coordinators and doctors love the challenges that come with treating children and adults with learning related vision problems and special needs.  Alderwood Vision Therapy has a satellite office in Redmond, Washington collaborating with pediatric ophthalmology.
 
Dr. Torgerson is a graduate of Pacific University’s College of Optometry and is a Fellow and past President of the international College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD). She has been the chairman of the Washington State Board of Optometry and the Optometric Extension Program’s National Chairman of Regional Clinical Seminars. She has received numerous awards for her work, including COVD’s Presidents Award and Outstanding Young Woman in America Award and 2015 Optometrist of the Year by the Optometric Physician of Washington State. An adjunct professor at Pacific University College of Optometry, and Western Optometry School, she is a frequent lecturer and consultant to educators, rehabilitation and therapy providers, sports teams and other eye care professionals.
 


 
Vishakha Thakrar
O.D., F.A.A.O., F.S.L.S.
 
Dr. Vishakha Thakrar is residency-trained in cornea, contact lenses and refractive surgery. She co-owns a specialty contact lens, pediatric, and binocular vision practice with Dr. Angela Peddle.   
 
Dr. Thakrar primarily sees patients with corneal and ocular surface disease.  She previously held the role of Director of the Contact Lens Service at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, and has spoken on contact lenses throughout Canada and the US.  She has been a contributing editor for Contact Lens Spectrum, Eye Care Review, and Optometric Management, and has written numerous articles for Canadian and American journals. 
 
 


 

Stelios Nikolakakis ​​
B.Sc., O.D.
 
Dr. Stelios Nikolakakis graduated from the University of Waterloo School of Optometry with a Bachelor of Science Degree and Doctor of Optometry Degree in 1996.

He currently owns a full scope practice in Etobicoke, Ontario that includes Neuro- Visual Training. In 2012, Dr. Nikolakakis’ son was born prematurely. This experience led him to discover Neuro- Visual Training to improve his son’s abilities and quality of daily life. Dr. Nikolakakis realized he could help so many others if he had the knowledge to practice it himself. He began training in Neuro-Visual Optometry and was mentored by world renowned doctors in the field Dr. Robin Lewis, Dr. Robert Sanet, and Dr. Stefan Collier. His Neuro- Visual Training clinic specializes in treating those with learning disabilities, mild traumatic brain injury, amblyopia, and strabismus; as well as Sports-Vision Training for high level athletes.

Dr. Nikolakakis lectures at the University of Waterloo to 4th year Optometry students, and actively mentors the next generation of Optometrists in his office. He also lectures and consults optometrists and companies on effective communication techniques. His unique ability is inspiring, motivating, and empowering others, with a passion for the betterment of humanity. He is a member of the Ontario Association of Optometrists, the Canadian Association of Optometrists, the Canadian Optometrists in Vision Therapy & Rehabilitation (COVT&R), associate member of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD), and affiliate of the Optometric Extension Program. 
 


 
Paul E. Levine 
O.D., F.I.A.O., F.A.A.O

Dr. Levine received his Doctor of Optometry degree in 1997 from the New England College of Optometry where he graduated with honors as a four-year member of the Beta Sigma Kappa International Optometric Honor Society.  He then completed a one year residency in Primary Care Optometry at the South Boston Community Health Center in conjunction with the Boston Medical Center.  He is co-founder of Vision Care Specialists in Southborough, MA. 

Dr. Levine has a special interest in Orthokeratology. He is CRT (Corneal Refractive Therapy) and VST (Vision Shaping Treatment) certified. He is also a Certified Wave Designer. He actively practices Myopia Control and specializes in difficult-to-fit contact lenses including Scleral and Gas Permeable.

Dr. Levine is a Fellow of the International Academy of Orthokeratology and Myopia Control (IAOMC).  He is President of the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Orthokeratology and Myopia Control and also is a board member of the IAOMC and serves as its treasurer.  He is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry (AAO), a member of the Massachusetts Society of Optometrists, the American Optometric Association, and Beta Sigma Kappa International Optometric Honor Society.

 


 
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