Home Newsmakers Leaders Six Women Among Winners of 2022 Eyecare Business Game Changer Awards

Six Women Among Winners of 2022 Eyecare Business Game Changer Awards

Ten winners were selected as 2022 Eyecare Business (EB) Game Changer Awardees, all of whom are respected optometrists or opticians who delivered support, guidance and vision to change the eyecare arena this year. Six of the winners were women, including former Theia winner and Independent Strong’s professional editor Jennifer Stewart, OD, and WO 2022 Theia winner, Essence Johnson, OD, FAAO.

Jennifer Stewart, OD

Dr. Stewart has been a proponent of private independent practice optometry and opticianry her entire career. She is the professional editor of Independent Strong and a 2019 WO Theia award winner. She works as a consultant, speaker, writer, educator and mentor in the industry, and as founder of OD Perspectives– her consulting firm– Dr. Stewart is committed to sharing her widespread experience with her peers and colleagues. She is “incredibly honored to be selected, inspired to continue innovating, proud of my accomplishments, motivated by my peers, friends and industry connections.”

Essence Johnson, OD, FAAO

Inside and outside of the office, Dr. Johnson is committed to serving as a mentor, preceptor, facilitator and speaker and inspiring girls and women in every phase of education to visualize their goals and reach their potential. She also was one of WO’s 2022 Theia Award winners

April Jasper, OD, FAAO

Dr. Jasper has a passion for helping others achieve their passion.  The journey with April is as much a joy as the destination. After 25 years as an optometrist helping people see, she now also enjoys a broader mission of helping people create value for others. She is a highly motivated speaker with a passion for changing lives for the better.

Assia Valentin

Assia is an executive partner at atelier mira in Brooklyn, New York. She told Eyecare Business, “I feel incredibly grateful! Going above and beyond, and to be recognized in our community is very rewarding and motivating. Being veterans in the eyewear game is truly a pleasurable honor.”

Nadia Afkhami, OD, MS

Dr. Afkhami is a new graduate and practicing optometrist whose passion has always been putting “a smile on a patient’s face.” She told Eyecare Business, “I feel truly privileged. I’ve been able to watch so many of my amazing mentors and colleagues be honored with this award and it’s been a big dream of mine to be able to follow in their footsteps.”

Tyjia Sherman, ABOC, NCLEC, LDO

Tyjia is a licensed dispensing optician in Georgia. She is an ABO and NCLE certified speaker, consultant and highly involved in the optometric community. She is a member of the advisory board for Georgia Piedmont Technical College, an IOT semi-finalist for Optical’s Next Top Speaker 2022, on the Board of Directors for Optician Association of America, diversity equity and inclusion chair for OAA, Optician Association of Georgia 2nd Vice President Elect and Transitions Brand Ambassador 2020.LDO


Other winners included: Jason Nichols, OD, MPH, Ph.D.; Blair C. Wong, M.Ed, ABOM, NCLC, CRO; Harbir Sian, OD; and Moses Nawlo, MHA, LDO

Congratulations to all winners!




Featured photo credit: PCH-Vector/iStock/Getty Images Plus

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