SECO 2019 Awards

OD of the South – Pete Smith, OD

The 2019 Optometrist of the South Award was presented to Pete Smith, OD of Greer, South Carolina. Dr. Smith has been in private practice in South Carolina for nearly fifty years, alongside his wife and fellow practitioner, Rosalind Overton-Smith, OD. A lifetime member of the South Carolina Optometric Physicians Association (SCOPA) and the American Optometric Association (AOA), Dr. Smith has served on the SCOPA Board of Directors and provided invaluable leadership and advice as a result of his years of experience in private practice. He is a grassroots expert, actively involved in advocacy work to support the optometry profession legislatively and working with legislators to develop their trust when it comes to vision and eye-related issues. Dr. Smith’s contributions to optometry in South Carolina are immeasurable and he continues to influence and make a difference in the profession.


Young OD of the South – Kayla Campbell, OD

The 2019 Young Optometrist of the South Award was presented to Kayla Campbell, OD of Barboursville, West Virginia. Dr. Campbell is a graduate of Alderson Broaddus University where she earned a B.S. in Chemistry and Biology, graduating Magna Cum Laude, before attending and receiving her Doctor of Optometry degree in 2014 from Indiana University School of Optometry. She returned to West Virginia to practice optometry, becoming involved in the West Virginia Association of Optometric Physicians and the community programs they support, including education and leadership programs. In 2019, Dr. Campbell will become the newest Trustee of the WVAOP Executive Board. A devoted mother and wife, Dr. Campbell is an important asset to the optometric program and the West Virginia Association of Optometric Physicians.


Paraoptometric of the South – Melanie Jenkins, CPO

The 2019 Paraoptometric of the South Award was presented to Melanie Jenkins, CPO of Spring Hill, Tennessee. Ms. Jenkins is a crucial asset to the office of Rob Szeliga, OD, managing all administrative aspects of Spring Hill Eyecare with heart and creativity. Her involvement and attention to the community are unparalleled, whether it is her commitment to internal office initiatives that put a smile on the faces of Spring Hill Eyecare associates, charitable initiatives that give back to the community, or involvement in the state association officers’ board. Ms. Jenkins’ hard work, dedication, and willingness to go above and beyond at Spring Hill Eyecare is recognized and appreciated among optometry professionals.


President’s Award – Jerald Combs, OD

The Southern Council of Optometrists are pleased to honor Jerald Combs, OD, of Martin, Kentucky, with the 2019 President’s Award in recognition of his dedicated years and outstanding advancements to the profession of optometry. Dr. Combs received his Doctor of Optometry degree from the University of Alabama School of Optometry before returning to private practice in Kentucky. He previously served as President of the Kentucky Optometric Association from 1988-1989, President of the Kentucky Board of Optometric Examiners in 2003, 2005, and 2012. His dedication to the growth of optometry serves as an example to the professional community.


Distinguished Service Award – Catherine Amos, OD, FAAO

The 2019 Distinguished Service Award was presented to Catherine Amos, OD, FAAO, of Hoover, Alabama. Dr. Amos is recognized for her outstanding service and distinguished contributions to the advancement of continuing education in optometry worldwide during 40 years of service as a dedicated volunteer leader with SECO International. Dr. Amos graduated from the University of Alabama School of Optometry with her Doctor of Optometry degree in 1974, making her the first female graduate of the school. She has served on numerous committees and boards of many professional organizations throughout her career. Dr. Amos has served as President of the Birmingham Area Optometric Society, President and Chairman of the Board of the Alabama Optometric Association (ALOA), among others. She has published eleven refereed papers and presented over thirty continuing education courses. She is currently
serving as Chair of the Disaster Relief Committee for Optometry Cares.



The annual SECO meeting is produced by SECO International, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Southern Council of Optometrists, Inc. SECO International, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, is a not-for-profit association founded in 1923 boasting an approximate membership globally of 25,000. The annual SECO Congress on average attracts 6,000 national and international eye care professionals, vendors, and allied ophthalmic personnel. SECO International is widely acknowledged as the largest optometric educational meeting in the world.

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