2023 Leadership Program

The deadline to apply for the 2023 Leadership Program has passed. We will be accepting applications for the 2024 program towards the end of 2023/beginning of 2024.


The purpose of the program is to create more avenues for young ODs to engage and experience the significant role NCOS plays in our profession through active participation. The program identifies future leaders and provides valuable learning experiences through group sessions, individual activities, and a group project.

To be considered for the leadership program you must:

  • Be in your second through tenth year of licensure (in 2023)
  • Have had limited involvement in the society
  • Complete the leadership program application by Friday, March 10th

To participate in, and graduate the leadership program, you must:

  • Attend ALL scheduled sessions (one session takes place during the week so time out of your practice may be required)
  • Complete several activities
  • Complete a group project

Additional details are provided below.

The cost to participate in the program is $100

After the March 10th application deadline, the Membership committee will review applications and select participants by March 17th

Graduation Reward
Free registration to the 2023 Fall Congress and 2 nights stay at the hotel (if you meet all necessary requirements)

If you have any questions about the program or are not able to participate in the 2023 class but would like to be considered for a future class, email Paul Kranze, NCOS Associate Executive Director, at [email protected].



* Virtual sessions will be scheduled at a time that works for all participants.

Session 1 – Society Overview
Date: March (exact date TBD)
Time: evening (exact time TBD)
 Meet with the NCOS's President, Membership Trustee, Executive Director, and Associate Executive Director for a behind the scenes overview of what the Society does for optometry in our state.

Session 2 – Advocacy and Grassroots 
Location: Virtual
Date: April (exact date TBD)
Time: evening (exact time TBD)
Description: Meet with the NCOS's State Affairs Trustee, PAC Treasurer, Executive Director, and lobbyists to learn about our legislative history, current efforts, NCOS PAC, how legislation is passed at the capitol, and how you can best advocate for your profession. 

Session 3 – Legislative Day
 Legislative Building - Raleigh, NC
Date: Wednesday, April 26th
Time: 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Description: Join fellow optometrists to help bring attention and awareness to NC optometry. During the day you will meet with your legislators and attend a BBQ lunch held for legislators and staff.

Session 4 – How to be a Great Volunteer
Date: May (exact date TBD)
Time: evening (exact time TBD)
Description: Hear from an NCOS Past President about what it takes to be a great volunteer and how to develop/improve your leadership and communication skills.  

Session 5 – Spring Congress        
 Embassy Suites Kingston Plantation, Myrtle Beach, SC
Date: Saturday, June 10th
Time: TBD (typically 12:00 PM - 7:30 PM)
Description: Meet with an AOA Trustee who will discuss all aspects of the AOA. Also, attend the NCOS business meeting, NC Board of Optometry election, and Saturday evening reception.

Session 6 – Executive Council Meeting
 NCOS Office – Raleigh, NC
Date: Saturday, September 9th 
Time: TBD (will start in the morning and last several hours)
 Sit in on an Executive Council Meeting and present your group project.

Fall Congress/Graduation
 Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Downtown Asheville, NC
Date: Friday, November 3rd - Sunday, November 5th
Description: Graduating class will be recognized during the meeting (you will also be expected to visit partner booths and attend partner meal functions and NCOS events). 


Write an article
Pick a topic related to your knowledge and experience as a young OD and write an article for the NCOS e-newsletter or printed newsletter. 

Become a Legislative Keyperson
After the second and third sessions, you will have the necessary tools to be a legislative keyperson. As a keyperson, you will serve as an advocate of optometry to your legislators. This will involve meeting and developing a relationship with your legislator, supporting their campaigns, and keeping an open line of communication with them via email/phone/text.

Group Project

As a group you will complete a project that is focused on challenges that face today’s North Carolina optometrists. As future leaders in your industry, you will be tasked with problem solving on a larger scale. This project is meant to demonstrate your ability as a group to come up with a presentation on how to solve either one of the problems listed or come up with your own original project as a group. Whatever the project may be, it must align with the Society’s strategic plan.

Previous group projects:

  • Developed PAC fundraising program
  • Established OD to OD specialty referral network
  • Created a mentorship program

This project is meant to be fun for the group and inspire you to look at optometry in North Carolina as a whole and focus on the direction you would like the profession to go and how you can help make it happen. You’ll present your project at the September Executive Council meeting. If approved, you will be expected to carry out the project beyond the November graduation date to help ensure it is successful.

If you have any questions about the program please contact Paul Kranze, NCOS Associate Executive Director, at [email protected].