Board of Directors
President: Rhonda Ullom, COMT, FCLSA, OSC, OCS, OCSR
Rhonda has been in the field of Ophthalmology for over four decades. Rhonda began her career as the surgical technician for a small private practice in West Texas. Everywhere her career has taken her, Rhonda has tried to serve on local and state boards, teach courses for the different organizations, do mission and charity work, and always elevate those AOP around her. Rhonda loves the field of ophthalmic technology and consider it an honor and privilege contribute to it. Ophthalmology is full of opportunities, challenges, and endless possibilities.
PRESIDENT-ELECT: Martin Orozco Jr., COMT, OSC
Martin has been in Ophthalmology since 2012. His career began when he was looking for a job, came across an ophthalmic technician career when taking his grandmother to her eye doctor’s appointment. He began his ophthalmic career by learning on the job training in sub-specialty clinics at Dean McGee Eye Institute in Oklahoma City. Recently, in 2020 he achieved the highest level of certification for a technician, Certified Ophthalmic Medical Technologist (COMT).
VICE PRESIDENT: Joel Olivo, COT
My desire to help people dates back to elementary school. I had a childhood friend that got hit in the eye with a basketball causing swelling, tearing, and eye redness. I rushed to his rescue and kept him calm until we arrived at the nurse's office. He was quite thankful, and we have remained friends ever since. I had a strong desire to assist those in need. I always knew I wanted to be a leader who understood what to do in a crisis. I bring over 5 years of clinical and administrative expertise to my present role as a Lead Technician. My efforts include creating and implementing training and education programs for all employees. By developing new live and virtual education programs. I aim to continue expressing my passion for eyecare and grow by generating awareness, creating relationships, and educating better patients' eye care experience. My background has aided me in developing and implementing strategies to improve patient care, budgetary choices, and team morale. My schooling and background have prepared me for the Vice President role at ATPO by allowing me to acquire skills and knowledge.
Past President: Sarah Gill, COT, OSC
Sarah has been in Ophthalmology since 2007. Like many other ophthalmic technicians, she came upon the career by chance when she accepted a position as a front desk receptionist with the intention to train as a technician. She fell in love with the field of Ophthalmology and hasn't looked back. A trained educator, her motto is, "I love to gain and share knowledge." She uses her passion for teaching to help educate and motivate others in ophthalmology, and is the Clinical Trainer for Virginia Eye Institute where she is responsible for the training and education of all incoming and current clinical staff. Sarah is eager for the continued opportunity to contribute to the member’s professional and career development. She looks forward to serving ATPO as President and helping to increase the visibility of ATPO within the ophthalmology profession.
Treasurer: Susan Busch, COMT, (F)ATPO
Susan started her career as an ophthalmic assistant in 1984 and fell in love with it. Throughout her career she worked as an ophthalmic tech-photographer, Clinical Research Coordinator and as a Study Coordinator. She joined ATPO in 1992 and has always been a supporter and volunteer serving on many committees, volunteering for IJCAHPO’s COMT Practical Review since 2005. Susan was recipient of JCAHPO Foundation’s The Virginia S. Boyce Humanitarian Award in 2016. She served two terms as Treasurer on the Board from 2010-2014. She currently is the National Chair for the Regional Mentor Program and is a Director on the JCAHPO Board of Education and Research Foundation, Inc. Susan was inducted as an ATPO Fellow in 2020.
SECRETARY: Savory Turman, COMT, OCS, BHCA
Savory carries more than 20 years of experience in ophthalmology in every facet: optician, technician, testing technician, research, educator, and administrator. She currently serves as Director of Clinical Operations for Eye Center of Northern Colorado and as an Integrations Specialist for Panorama Eye Care. Savory seeks to raise more awareness about the field of ophthalmic medical assisting. Savory holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Healthcare Administration and Management from Colorado State University.
Director-at-Large: Sharon Alamalhodaei, COMT, OSC
ATPO represents all that is good in ophthalmic medical assisting. With the dire need for people to enter the field ATPO is the outreach branch. They also nurture current medical assistants.
DIRECTOR-AT-LARGE: Wanda Ottar Pfeifer, OC(C), COMT, CO
Wanda serves as Associate Director of University of Iowa Orthoptic Fellowship Program and Ocular Electrophysiology Service Coordinator. She has been a tireless advocate for all ophthalmic professionals, encouraging certification, and helping to provide high quality continuing education opportunities. As an international orthoptist who has worked with many ophthalmic organizations, she in a unique position to help promote the image of Allied Ophthalmic Personnel not only nationally but also internationally. She has been teaching for 29 years and recently challenged herself to be a better teacher by going back to school to get a master’s degree in medical education.
DIRECTOR-AT-LARGE: Veronica Plessinger, BA, COT
Veronica started her ophthalmic career working in optical sales for Pearle Vision in 2005, then became a tech for Tri-State Ophthalmology in Ashland, Kentucky from 2006-2011. In 2010, Veronica served as Vice President for the Kentucky chapter of ATPO (KATPO) and was a valued member of the board. Since 2011, Veronica has been a Technician at Eye Care Associates in Youngstown, Ohio, and in 2015, she became the Clinical Supervisor. Veronica’s role in her own words, “As clinical supervisor, I have created and implemented an extensive training protocol, and new bonus and review structure, which has now been adopted by the entire company. Veronica is an Adjunct Instructor at the Mercy College of Ohio Ophthalmic Technology Program.