The Monterey Bay Optometric Society was originally part of the Central Coast Counties Optometric Society. The society was made up of optometrists from the Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, San Benito and Monterey counties. Originally there were two sections of the society, the Santa Clara and the Central Coast sections.
During the early days, there were fewer than twenty optometrists in this area, with about four each in Salinas, Santa Cruz, and Watsonville, three in Monterey, one each in Carmel, Capitola, Gilroy and Hollister. In the mid-nineteen fifties, the two sections, became two separate societies, the Santa Clara Optometric Society and the Central Coast Optometric Society. Our society was made up mainly of optometrists in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties, with a few from San Benito and Santa Clara. In the late nineteen eighties, the name of the society evolved into the Monterey Bay Optometric Society to more accurately reflect who we were.
Our society is headed by a president, who serves for two years as well as a board, put together by the president. Originally the society had a very active auxiliary, as did the COA. The wives generally came to the society meetings and would generally hold their own separate meeting after dinner. They had their own president and board. That changed in the mid-nineteen eighties and we no longer have an auxiliary. The makeup of the society was all male until the mid-eighties. Dr Ellie Hattori was the only female optometrist in the area, and early on she was busy raising a family so wasn’t actively practicing.
Our society has produced two COA presidents, Dr. Scott Daly and Dr. Bob Theaker. Also, we have had a least three COA Young Optometrists of the Year, Dr. Marc Shaw, Dr. Scott Daly and Dr. Bob Theaker. Dr. Bob Honners served a number of years on the board of VSP, including a term as board president.
Though relatively small, our society has historically helped shape and influence optometry in California over the past 75 years.