Arkansas Optometric Association

Executive Director

Come lead ArOA’s efforts as we provide best-in-class member training and education, professional resources, legislative influence, and a community of optometric connections!


About the Arkansas Optometric Association

The Arkansas Optometric Association (“ArOA”) has been preserving, promoting, and advancing the practice of optometry in Arkansas since 1906. The ArOA is a state affiliate of the American Optometric Association. Representing a growing base of doctors of optometry (ODs) alongside a robust community of student doctors and industry stakeholders, ArOA is committed to providing meaningful opportunities for networking, continuing education, legislative advocacy, and professional development. In addition to its 350+ association members (80%+ market representation), active member-led committees, and an engaged Board of Directors, ArOA’s community includes Vision Arkansas (charitable foundation) and its own political action committee (PAC). Learn more at

Poised for continued growth, ArOA is seeking an Executive Director (“ED”) who will serve as a passionate advocate for its professional membership base and provide exceptional oversight for all association operations. Reporting to ArOA’s Board of Directors, the next Executive Director will thrive on enabling association success through the delivery of well-crafted, must-attend statewide events and high-quality educational content along with the management of member relations and retention, involvement in advocacy and legislation, and innovation that will shape ArOA’s next chapter of growth. This leadership opportunity has emerged by the advancement of a successful long-tenured Executive Director to a national role.


Your role as Executive Director

  • SERVE AS KEY PARTNER TO ArOA’s BOARD – Provide senior leadership and serve as key partner to the Board of Directors, Vision Arkansas, and ArOA’s PAC. Ensure board member engagement and frequent communication on all fiduciary and association matters. Oversee all internal operations, including budget management and cash flow, event planning, member relations, and strategic utilization of internal and external resources to enhance ArOA’s ability to better serve its active members and valued industry partners.
  • MANAGE STATEWIDE EVENTS & BUILD INDUSTY PARTNER RELATIONS – Manage event strategy, planning, logistics, marketing, and all related event contracts and sponsorships. Partner closely with ArOA’s committee chairs to provide actionable follow-up on all event plans, speaker invitations, and program recommendations. Develop creative, innovative, and mutual ROI-boosting relationships with industry partners and event sponsors to support in-person meetings and virtual events, while expanding ArOA’s overall member value proposition.
  • LEAD MEMBER RELATIONS: SERVE AS FACE & VOICE OF ArOA – Serve as the organization’s voice and face to our statewide membership base. Raise awareness on local and national issues, ensuring that ArOA has a comprehensive marketing and communication strategy to increase visibility, reinforce brand identity, and engage future generations of ODs, optometric students, paraoptometric professionals, and strategic partners. Maintain a competitive member value proposition. Ensure continuous improvement, program innovation and a metrics-based approach to program assessment and ROI evaluation.
  • TRACK LEGISLATIVE ISSUES & ENGAGE STATEHOUSE COMMUNITY IN LITTLE ROCK – Closely monitor the landscape of optometric legislation in Arkansas for key issues necessitating ArOA advocacy and intervention. Leverage ArOA’s member base, PAC, and lobbying team to advance and preserve the optometric scope of practice and access to eye care in Arkansas. Attend public health committee meetings and engage in relevant advocacy during legislative session years.


Is this a match for you?

  • You believe in the mission of ArOA and will thrive within a multi-faceted association and stakeholder ecosystem. You appreciate the needs and challenges of optometric practice. You consider yourself a people connector, a project management guru, a savvy event planner, a strong communicator, and a hands-on, operational expert with a keen eye for detail.
  • You have gained 5-7+ years of progressive leadership experience, including a demonstrated record of success in engaging people while building products, processes, and organizational resources. Ideal candidates bring familiarity with nonprofit and/or professional membership organizations. Management of direct reports is preferred yet not required. Prior legislative experience is preferred. Experience serving on and/or collaborating closely with a Board of Directors is desired.
  • You are well-versed in proactively communicating in a transparent manner with internal and external stakeholders. You confidently interact at all levels and respond with diplomacy and tact. Demonstrated experience building a community of like-minded professionals and fostering cooperative partnerships is ideal.
  • Your experience includes a proven track record or aptitude in building strong stakeholder relationships and engaging key partners. Familiarity with fundraising strategies, donor-sponsor-industry relations, management of key accounts, and/or building strategic partnerships a plus.
  • You are willing to serve as a hands-on leader with the ability and desire to flex between strategic and tactical priorities required. Superior project management skills and a proactive mindset is required.
  • You have developed a solid business acumen, including prior P&L responsibility and savvy technology skills. Four-year college degree required. MBA or CAE a plus.


Why join us?

YOU THRIVE ON CREATING CONNECTIONS & CONTENT – You love to network and are passionate about building relationships and facilitating connections that make a lasting impact. You are skilled at identifying, improving, and marketing key value propositions and member-centric programs that create long-term ROI for members, sponsors, and industry partners within ArOA.

MAKE AN IMPACT IN OPTOMETRY – You will help ensure the scope of optometric practice in Arkansas, while supporting the professional growth of the Arkansas optometric community with value-add networking opportunities and curated educational content. You will serve as the face and voice of ArOA’s members and an advocate for their needs on both a state and national level.

YOU ENJOY INNOVATING & DRIVING GROWTH – ArOA recognizes that innovation in programs and resources is critical to continued organizational growth. We are seeking a leader who brings the energy, drive, and operational expertise to help ArOA remain on the cutting edge of its mission!


Location & travel

This is a hybrid-position with an association office near the Capitol based in downtown Little Rock, Arkansas. Ability and willingness to travel for local, statewide, and national events is required, including attendance at all ArOA state functions, select AOA-National events, and special events related to optometric student engagement and recruitment. Travel is estimated at 15-25%, including 8-10 event-related weekend trips per year.


Compensation package

ArOA offers a competitive base salary ($100,000 to $125,000) plus personal medical benefits, including 100% reimbursed coverage for ArOA’s Executive Director. ArOA also offers a retirement IRA plus match, generous paid time off, a cell phone reimbursement, and professional development opportunities.


Apply now

Share your resume with Occhio Search via LinkedIn. All resumes, referrals and inquiries will be held strictly confidential. Please direct all questions, referrals, and applications to our retained search consultants at Occhio Search. Contact Hannah Phillips ( or Sarah Krueger ( with questions. ArOA is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We welcome differences in form of gender, race, ethnicity, disability, geography, socioeconomic status, age, politics, religion, philosophy, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression and veteran status. All applicants who share this goal are encouraged to apply and we look forward to hearing from you!

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