May 2023

The Yin and Yang of Leadership

From the SNAPP Board

There’s a reason the SNAPP board is comprised of four members. Not only does it distribute the workload, but it also enables SNAPP to envision our objectives from different perspectives.

We each bring unique experience and leadership styles to our amazing SNAPP National Meetings, and it shows through the attendee engagement and the positive feedback we receive. In the grand scheme, SNAPP’s Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sept. 26-28 will deliver!

Vendor-Partners contribute key insights and provide current trends and opportunities across many aspects of our industry. Doctors, Licensed Operators and other stakeholders share experiences providing support and ideas in REAL TIME. Industry leaders are set to bring up to five hours of COPE- and ABO-approved continuing education.

Now is the time to start making plans to attend SNAPP Las Vegas-2023! For details on the venue, speakers, the agenda and how to register, click here. Watch for updates as they become available.

Don’t wait. It is precisely this kind of collaboration and networking that help us bring new and creative ideas into our practice leadership.


Here Comes the Class of 2023

Every graduating class of optometrists is special, and SNAPP congratulates the talented and smart graduating class members who are or will be looking for work shortly. SNAPP board member Ken Kopolow, OD, is particularly excited to bring his daughter, Kara Kopolow, OD, and three of her classmates from Western University of Health Sciences to work in Kopolow & Girisgen offices.

Dr. Ken Kopolow and Dr. Kara Kopolow

(l-r): Vanessa Pan, OD; Jenna Ferrar, OD; Jasmine Ta, OD; and Kara Kopolow, OD

Leadership Skills

Bring the Human Dynamic Into Your Leadership

The SnappGroup Masterminds group added an innovative element to its usual lineup at its April meeting in Savannah, Georgia. In addition to the deep-dive financial analyses and metrics, Director of Training for THC and Co-founder, Edge4 Systems Cathy Larsen facilitated a day-one journey on self-reflection and how to strengthen leadership skills through that growth. “You have to know yourself to be a great leader. So we home in on our limitations as well as our strengths. Being aware and unafraid of those limitations is the path to growth,” she says.

Cathy Larsen

Sometimes, that’s nothing more than a matter of inertia. People may recognize there are areas where they’ve become stuck or have some personal development opportunities, but they lack the tools to move forward. Larsen uses the Color Code developed by Dr. Taylor Hartman. This personality test categorizes people into four categories: reds (the power-wielders, focused on results and productivity); blues (who are motivated by connecting and relationships); whites (the peacekeepers who prefer absence of conflict); and yellows (the people who live in the moment and are charismatic and spontaneous).

Here are some tips she recommends.

• Take 100% responsibility. “If you can start with the mindset that you are 100% responsible for where you are and how you got here, that’s important. When you take responsibility, rather than assign blame, finding solutions becomes easier. This can be challenging, but it’s helpful.”

• Understand what your employees want. The labor environment is tough for employers, but strive to define your culture in order to help engage and connect with employees. “It’s not just paying them more but looking at ways to be flexible and providing employees with a chance to grow,” she says.

• Know that soft skills matter. “For years, soft skills have been considered a lightweight force. But they are drivers of the numbers. Soft skills are essential to the patient experience, upgraded product recommendations and more,” she says.

• Weave leadership dynamics into your everyday assessments. Larsen says that people filter the information they get by the kind of person they are. For example, a highly motivated, self-starter kind of leader might get frustrated by a staff member who says repeatedly that they don’t understand how to accomplish something. Try to step back and figure out the “why.” Does this employee need information in a checklist or instruction format to gain confidence? Did this employee receive the training they needed? Are they looking for reassurance? “Look toward the goal of what you want to achieve and try not to take these situations as personal criticism,” she says.

Larsen says that attendees of the SnappGroup Masterminds session and others often tell her that these exercises can be more difficult than making metrics-based decisions. “We can help people understand themselves better with empathy. We have to hold on tight to the great employees we have, and they are spending a lot of time in your workplace, so they need to feel appreciated.”

Case Study

The Human Dynamic in Action

When Courtney Beatty heard that the first day of the SnappGroup Masterminds meeting was going to be focused on behavioral science, she had her doubts. “I like facts and numbers, where 2+2 = 4 always,” she says. She felt like she would be outside of her comfort zone, but that only lasted a short time. In fact, she soon began to realize how much more efficiently the practice could run.

Dr. Perry and Courtney Beatty attended their first
Pearle Vision Summit in 2014.

Beatty has been working with Anthony Perry, OD, in one role or another since the end of 2009. When they first met, he was finishing optometry school and she was in finance and working as a technician at a LensCrafters. When Dr. Perry converted a corporate Pearle Vision location in Madison, Tennessee, to a lease in 2013, he asked Beatty to join him. Within a year, the practice saw a 25%-plus increase in revenue. In August 2016, Dr. Perry opened another Pearle location in Clarksville, Tennessee.

Both of them have been attending SnappGroup Masterminds sessions. “I’m learning a lot about how our profit and loss statements compare to other practices,” says Beatty. After an earlier Masterminds meeting, Dr. Perry and Beatty came up with a strategy for charging more for specialty contact lens fits. His colleagues helped him reset that specialty fits justified a higher charge—not necessarily because of the time they took but because of the expertise required. With a tiered contact lens fitting structure—and support to help staff explain it if asked—the practice gained thousands in additional revenue. That’s the kind of numbers-based decision-making that she’s comfortable with.

Personality color

So using The Color Code personality test to help her decipher her leadership style made Beatty a little uneasy. However, trainer Cathy Larsen was great, she says. “Doing the personality test made me reflect on my childhood. As part of a military family, I had to grow up quickly and be a kind of second mom,” she says. As she was going through those exercises, she began to see why some new employees say that she can be intimidating. “I have to have my day planned out. I want to be prepared, and I want to have a plan for things that can go wrong,” she says.

She realizes that to some people, that can seem inflexible and robotic. “As a ‘blue’ person, I recognize that my strength is that I can get things done. But I realize that people whose personalities are ‘yellow’ may need me to approach them differently,” she says.

The more she listened and began to think of her co-workers by their personality colors, the more she could see where their strengths were. For example, one co-worker is creative but takes critiques personally. “I couldn’t figure out how to provide constructive guidance without her feeling like I was criticizing her,” Beatty says.

Matching people and strengths

This session gave her an idea. When she came back to the office, Beatty asked this co-worker to start office-wide competitions and harness her positivity to create a better office environment. She ran with the idea and created a goal sheet with everyone’s name. There’s an opportunity to win individual prizes, and for bigger goals that require more teamwork, the whole team can be rewarded. “I can give her the positive feedback she wants because she’s doing a great job with this,” Beatty says.

Another co-worker has a peacemaker personality. “She’s great at organizing, so I’ve made her the project manager. She has created a process for contact lens and lab orders and reorders where there wasn’t one cohesive way before. The office is tidier, and everyone feels that it runs a little more smoothly,” Beatty says.

She says that now that she’s seen the successes, she is also more open to delegating. “It’s hard for me to delegate, but when we match a person with a task or project that fits their personality strengths, it’s great.”

Compliance Advice

The Dos and Don’ts of Password Privacy

These days, it feels like there’s a different password for everything, and as hard as you try, it can be difficult to keep track. It doesn’t get any easier when you add the important passwords that secure the systems in your practice to the mix. At the same time, though, making sure your practice has adequate password security to protect personal health information (PHI) and other data is absolutely critical: it doesn’t matter how secure the systems you use are if potential attackers can easily get ahold of your passwords. According to Verizon data, 80% of data breaches involve compromised passwords.

Here are some tips to make sure that your passwords—and the PHI of patients in your computers—stay secure.

• Do choose long, hard-to-guess passwords, and change them regularly. It’s easy to use personal information in passwords and keep them forever so you’ll remember them. But unfortunately, this also makes them easier to guess, hack, or eventually be leaked. An ideal password is too long to hack and too odd or random to guess. For complicated and memorable, get creative!

• Don’t give one password for all employees to access information. Sharing passwords between employees is convenient. It also raises major concerns. How much PHI can be left unsecured with one password? Can some employees see more than they should with this login? If someone misuses software, how do you track who did it? And can past employees still log in?

• Do set up two-factor authentication, especially for remote work. Two-factor authentication, or two-step verification, is pretty simple: after you enter a password, 2FA systems will also send a code to your mobile device or email to confirm your identity. This way, even if someone gets access to your computer or password, they won’t receive instant access to your practice data and patient information. We especially recommend it for any systems that can be reached remotely.

• Don’t leave passwords on sticky notes. Having passwords laying around is one of the easiest and most common ways for PHI to be compromised. Make sure everyone in your practice is trained on password security as soon as they join the team to avoid any accidents.

Learn more at

HR Update from Amcheck

Ghosting Applicants

It seems like we’ve had a lot of candidates ghosting us recently. Is there anything we can do to prevent this?

Nothing you do will prevent ghosting altogether, but there are steps you can take to keep candidates engaged and discourage them from just disappearing on you.

• Start with a clear, descriptive job posting so they understand exactly what they are applying for.

• Have a transparent recruitment process so every candidate knows what to expect even before they apply. Provide an outline of the interview process on your website and an estimated timeframe.

• Communicate frequently throughout the process, especially if your process gets delayed. Even if you don’t have an update about their advancement, candidates appreciate knowing your timeline. For example, you could share something like, “We’ll finish the first round of interviews next week and will reach out the following week to let you know whether you’ll be moving to the next round.”

• Encourage questions from candidates, and answer them as quickly and thoroughly as you can.

• Confirm with candidates that they are still interested in the role as they move through the process.

• Remove unnecessary steps that aren’t adding to the overall experience or won’t affect the final decision.

News of Interest

It’s Healthy Vision Month

The National Eye Institute offers a tremendous number of resources.

These can be used as content for social media posting and in conversation with patients.

FDA Approves Mydcombi Ophthalmic Spray for Mydriasis

An ophthalmic spray to induce mydriasis has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Eyenovia received the approval on the spray, Mydcombi, a combination of tropicamide and phenylephrine.

The spray is delivered through Eyenovia’s proprietary Optejet® dispenser. Read the announcement from Eyenovia and the important safety information here.

June 27 Is National Sunglasses Day

Get your sunnies ready. The Vision Council’s National Sunglasses Day is June 27. The day is meant to celebrate “the importance of wearing shades to protect the eyes from the sun’s harsh UV rays,” according to the website. Learn more about the day and view helpful materials here.

Post pics to social media using the official hashtags and tagging the Vision Council on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter:

#SunglassSelfie #SolarFlair #NationalSunglassesDay
Facebook/Instagram: @TheVisionCouncil
Twitter: @OpticalIndustry

Research Shows Retinal Scans Have Better Potential to Track Human Aging

New research by the Buck Institute has shown retina scans can be used to track human aging in a less expensive, more accurate and noninvasive way than other options currently available. The reliability comes with changes in the eye being less likely to show day-to-day fluctuations compared to blood biomarkers.

“This type of imaging could be really valuable in tracking the efficacy of interventions aimed at slowing the aging process,” says a senior co-author of the study. Read more here.

New Study Shows Vitamin D Supplements Could Help With Long COVID Symptoms

A recent study showed that patients with long COVID had lower levels of vitamin D than patients who had recovered from COVID-19. The data “suggest that vitamin D levels should be evaluated in COVID-19 patients after hospital discharge,” the researchers from San Raffaele Hospital, in Milan, Italy, wrote. Read more here.

Las Vegas photo credit—Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority
Getty Images photo credits—case study: ileezhun; ghosting: Andrii_Yalanskyi; leadership: Philip_Steury; password privacy: tsingha25; retina: Tetra_Images; and vitamin D: Blueastro

•  Connect with us on Facebook and LinkedIn  •

Visit to learn more about SNAPP.