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Dr. Dan L. Fortenbacher, O.D., FCOVD, Becomes 29th President of 'College of Optometrists in Vision Development' (COVD); Unveils 7-Part Development Plan for Ongoing Growth

NEW YORK, Nov. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- The College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) ( today announced Dr. Dan L. Fortenbacher, O.D., FCOVD, was installed as its 29th president during an inauguration banquet at the organization's 37th Annual Meeting held on October 20. Dr. Fortenbacher, 53, who has been a member of COVD's Board of Directors for eight years, assumes the new role and responsibilities immediately. He succeeds Dr. Drusilla Grant, O.D., FCOVD, as COVD's top executive as her two-year tenure ended.

As president, Dr. Fortenbacher leads COVD's Board of Directors, all Board and organizational initiatives and meetings, policy development and adherence, and serves as an ex-officio member of all COVD committees and task forces. Additionally, he appoints all committee Chairs and is responsible for COVD's Annual Report to membership.

"When I first met Dr. Fortenbacher early in our careers at a COVD event, I was immediately impressed with how he thinks," said Dr. Leonard Press, COVD past-president. "In the ensuing years, Dan and I have had the pleasure of working on a number of COVD and other optometric initiatives together. As we progress into an era when technology has become a critical link to an organization's future and success, COVD is privileged to have a leader of Dan's caliber, breadth and acumen. I look forward to our continued growth and evolution under his leadership."

During his inauguration, Dr. Fortenbacher presented a seven-part development plan for the ongoing growth of COVD. The key initiatives of the plan are:

1. Expand Associate COVD members 25% by October 2008.

2. Increase the number of COVD Fellows from 397 currently, to 800 by

October 2010.

3. Expand COVD member products and services.

4. Expand existing Continuing Professional Education opportunities for

COVD members including access to a host of learning programs and

materials via new technology delivery channels.

5. Expand professional networking opportunities for COVD members via

traditional and virtual study groups and expanded COVD externship

sites in practices of excellence.

6. Launch the "Visionary Group," a new COVD Leadership Development

Training program.

7. Re-brand COVD and launch a new strategic marketing program for the

global organization.

Each initiative will be helmed by one or, in some cases, two COVD Board members.

Dr. Fortenbacher has specialized in developmental and rehabilitative optometry and vision therapy for the past 28 years. He is the founder and CEO of WoW Vision Therapy, a highly regarded specialty practice dedicated to developmental and vision therapy diagnostics and services, located in St. Joseph, Michigan.

His keen interest in this area of optometry specialization began during his studies at Michigan's College of Optometry at Ferris State University, where he received a Doctor of Optometry degree in 1979. In post-graduate study, Dr. Fortenbacher was particularly inspired by the work of pioneer developmental optometrist, Dr. G.N. Getman, and incorporated much of Dr. Getman's techniques into his own practice approach. Over the 28 years, his interest in vision development has ranged from extensive work with children and adults, to neuro-optometry and extended work with patients suffering vision problems from neurological events.

Dr. Fortenbacher was certified in vision development and therapy in 1987 by the International Examination and Certification Board of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD). He has held staff positions that have included extensive consulting to acute care medical facilities providing diagnostic and visual rehabilitation programs to patients with traumatic brain injuries and related disabled and handicapped patients. He has also lectured widely to peer, professional, educator, parental and community groups.

In addition to his 27-year membership in COVD, Dr. Fortenbacher holds memberships to the American Optometric Association (AOA), the Optometric Extension Program Foundation (OEPF), and the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association (NORA).

About COVD

Founded in 1971, the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) is an international, non-profit optometric membership organization that provides education, evaluation and board certification programs in behavioral and developmental vision care, vision therapy and visual rehabilitation. The organization, which currently has over 3000 members, is comprised of doctors of optometry, vision therapists and other vision specialists. For more information on learning-related vision problems, vision therapy, and COVD please visit


Michael Draznin, Principal

Michael Draznin Consulting

+1 917 921 1039

SOURCE College of Optometrists in Vision Development
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