2022 Leadership Program

The application deadline for the 2022 Leadership Program has passed.


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 2022)
  • Have had limited involvement in the society
  • Complete the leadership program application by January 31st

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

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

Additional details are provided below.

The cost to participate in the program is $100

After the January 31st application deadline, the membership committee will review applications and select participants by February 7th

Graduation Reward
Free registration to the 2022 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 2022 class but would like to be considered for a future class, email Paul Kranze, NCOS Associate Executive Director, at [email protected].


*All times are tentative. In-person sessions are subject to change due to the pandemic.

Session 1 – Complete Overview of Society
Date: February/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 – How to be a Great Volunteer
Date: March/April (exact date TBD)
Time: evening (exact time TBD)
Description: Hear from the NCOS's Immediate Past President about what it takes to be a great volunteer and how to develop/improve your leadership and communication skills.  

Session 3 – Legislative Overview 
Location: Virtual
Date: April/May (exact date TBD)
Time: evening (exact time TBD)
Description: Meet with the NCOS's Executive Director and lobbyists, and the AOA’s Manager of State Government Relations 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 4 – Legislative Day
Legislative Building - Raleigh, NC
Date: Wednesday, May 11th
Time: 8:00 AM - 1:30 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 5 – Spring Congress        
Kingston Plantation Embassy Suites, Myrtle Beach, SC
Date: Saturday, June 11th
Time: 11:30 AM - 7:30 PM
Description: Meet with an AOA Trustee who will discuss all aspects of the AOA. Also, attend the NCOS business meeting, Board election, and installation ceremony.

Session 6 – Licensing Board meeting
McKimmon Center - NC State University – Raleigh, NC
Date: Friday, August 12th 
Time: TBD (meeting typically starts between 8:30 AM and 10:00 AM)
Description: Sit in on a North Carolina State Board of Optometry board meeting.

Session 7 – Executive Council Meeting
Date: Saturday, September 17th
Time: 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Description: Sit in on an Executive Council Meeting and present your group project.

Fall Congress/Graduation
Date: Friday, November 11th – Sunday, November 13th
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). 


1. Write a Young OD Blog Post 
The NCOS’s Young OD Blog features content that relates to optometrists who have been practicing ten years or less. Topics can include personal experiences, links to resources, event recaps, and more.

2. Join a local district society / give a short talk
The NCOS has 10 local district societies which meet at different times throughout the year in their respective counties. Give a short talk about attending an NCOS event, donating to PAC, the value of membership, etc.

3. Recruit a new NCOS PAC monthly contributor
PAC funds are used to support the candidates identified as most supportive of the issues facing optometry. Simply talk to fellow NCOS members and ask them to support NCOS PAC via monthly credit card contribution (must contribute for a minimum of 12 months).

4. Become a Legislative Keyperson
After the third and fourth 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, attending their campaign fundraisers, donating to their campaign, and keeping an open line of communication with them via email/phone.

5. Meet with your state legislators in your district
Meet up with each of your legislators at least one time locally by taking them out for coffee or lunch. This will help you to build relationships with them in an informal setting.

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 address a need in the society’s strategic plan.

Previous group projects:

  • Developed PAC fundraising program
  • Established OD to OD specialty referral network

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].