We are VERY proud to announce that our own Dr. Neukirch was awarded the 2017 Young Optometrist of the Year award by the Illinois Optometric Association. He was nominated by his fellow professional colleagues for this prestigious accolade.

The Young Optometrist of the Year award is granted to the optometrist who, within the first 10 years of graduation, demonstrates his or her dedication to the advancement of optometry. It is presented to a doctor of optometry who has shown dedication to the profession of optometry through public service, service to the visual welfare of the public, service to optometry, and service to the Illinois and American Optometric Associations.

Drs. Neukirch and Agrest

The nomination speech, given by Dr. Andrew Kohn, follows:

“It is my great pleasure to introduce my friend and colleague Dr. Andrew Neukirch as a candidate for Young Optometrist of the Year for the state of Illinois. He graduated from the Indiana University School of Optometry in 2008 and has cultivated an impressive career in our profession since that time. He is a 6 year IOA and 13 year AOA member.

Dr. Neukirch moved to Illinois in 2011 when he purchased Carillon Vision Care in Glenview from another long-serving IOA member, Dr. Jerome Agrest. This is when things really picked up. Since that time, the office has tripled in size, hired a full-time optometrist specializing in vision therapy and added specialty care in the form of orthokeratology and scleral fits.

In 2013, he was promoted to Member Director of Independent Doctors of Optometry, representing the city of Chicago. He became a member of the IOA Executive Committee in 2014, representing the North Chicago area. He has received the Vision Monday Optometric Business Innovator Award and has lectured extensively on optometric management, including at multiple national conferences. Additionally, he participates in the annual IOA Student Panel at ICO every year.

Dr. Neukirch’s professional and business achievements are matched, if not exceeded, by his service to the community. He is a member of the Illinois chapter of Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity and the Illinois Society for the Prevention of Blindness. He contributes time and donations to local charities and community events including area high school sports, fun runs, and the Chicago Lighthouse. He volunteers at the Willow Creek Eye Clinic, providing free eye exams to those in need.

My wife and I are privileged to have known Andrew for over a decade and it is with great pride that I say he is one of our very closest friends. Even if that were not the case, he will still be overwhelmingly qualified to receive this honor. I truly think his accomplishments are worthy of the highest degree of recognition and I sincerely hope that you agree. Thank you all so much for your time and consideration.”

Dr. Neukirch with his wife Susan

Dr. Neukirch’s acceptance speech follows:

“Nothing that I have accomplished would be possible without the help of my colleagues and mentors, all of whom are AOA members and many of whom are present in this very room.

There are 3 people present though that have supported me professionally more than I could have ever imagined.

Our rockstar young OD Dr. Christina DalPorto recently celebrated a year with our practice – she’s been keeping me on my toes academically, has allowed me more time to keep up with my other endeavors, and has been taking phenomenal care of our patients.

Susan, my beautiful wife and new mother of our 10 week old daughter. Thanks for putting up with my ADHD, my obsession of this profession, and the multiple nights I’ve spent away on business travel.

Lastly, Carillon Vision Care celebrates it’s 60th anniversary this next year and is stronger than ever. None of this, and all the great things our team does, would be possible without our founder. This 1954 Graduate of ICO is a 54 year IOA member. He has built a practice with fiercely loyal 4th generation active families in the practice, significant pathology, and countless RGP and specialty contact lens patients. His service to his patients, our local community, and his influence on my personal and professional development is unmatched. Thank you for everything, Dr. Jerry Agrest.”

Congrats again Dr. Neukirch!!!