Independent Optometry is thriving. Despite perceptions that private equity, corporate retailers and the online marketplace is dominating the industry, The Vision Council’s 2023 Market InSights report disclosed that 62% of retail optical locations in the United States are independent.

In addition, “Optometry’s essential and expanding role in health care has become well-recognized by the provider community, policymakers, the health care media and the public,” says Ronald L. Benner, O.D., AOA president, in response to study findings. “Now, with every indication of an accelerating decline in the ophthalmology workforce outlook, our profession is poised for historic, new opportunities that will allow for the full use of our education, training and skills in caring for our patients.”

It’s up to the independents, and those who support them, to ‘lean in’ to building a collaborative and prosperous independent eye care community.

The Connection Arena

One basic human need is to feel a sense of belonging, to be part of a community bigger than oneself. This element is vital in an alliance, and precisely why PECAA’s first pillar is ‘Connect.’

Independent eye care practices face unique entrepreneurial and operational challenges and the best ways to address those obstacles can be found within our own community.  When Independent Eye Care Professionals (IECPs) share ideas, discuss new opportunities and support one another, the result is stronger practice performance and better patient experiences.

PECAA provides a variety of options for members to connect with and learn from one another.  We strive to create new ways to meet members’ needs and desire to connect with those who face similar business challenges.  While the ways in which people connect, the changing demographics of practice ownership, and beneficial topics remain moving targets, we aim to stay ahead of the curve, so you can too.

Challenge Yourself: Show Up! Learn From AND Support Your Colleagues

  • Attend a Peer-To-Peer dinner in your region, or a virtual event, to share ideas and best practices, discuss issues and concerns, and build camaraderie with other IECPs.
  • Attend the PECAA Annual Meeting, our signature event of the year, held each spring. This is the ultimate opportunity for cutting-edge business education, making new connections with practices from across the country, and creating unforgettable experiences for you and your team.
  • Reach out to the PECAA team — our Member Business Advisors (MBAs) can provide you with insights and solutions gained from member practices who face similar challenges. The MBA team is led by PECAA’s Chief Member Experience Officer, Justin Manning, OD, MPH, FAAO.

For The Greater Good

Whether you’re a part of a brand-new practice, a comfortably established practice, or nearing retirement, your perspective and insights can play an important role in helping shape the future of the profession. Invest your time into something bigger and elevate independent eye care by collaborating with other IECPs who work hard to provide the same great level of eye care as you. Your experiences and achievements matter — and sharing them helps others elevate their practice and patient experiences.  Independents are not competitors; we need each other to survive and thrive.

Help Fuel The Independents

An important tactic for the health, longevity and growth for independent eye care providers is to band together. PECAA’s ability to improve practice productivity and profitability by connecting independents with the purchasing power and the most compelling vendor programs fuels optometry, ophthalmology and optical businesses, in all stages of growth.

PECAA is a breakthrough for independent eye care professionals. With renowned peer networking and idea exchange, unmatched practice management solutions, and industry-leading vendor offerings, we bring together the best resources available to enable the independent eye care community to connect, build and prosper. Not a PECAA Member? Contact us to learn how PECAA can help your practice thrive.


Jamie Hughes, Chief Operating Officer
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Jamie brings steadfast commitment to delivering outstanding customer, partner, employee and investor outcomes. He believes that organizational excellence is achieved through fostering exceptional experiences for those whom we serve. Jamie is a turnaround specialist and is energized by solving problems, creating systems of excellence and enhancing financial performance.

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