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2024-2025 AROA Board of Directors

Our Board
2024-2025 AROA Board of Directors


President Alex Bell, O.D.

Dr. Alex Bell was elected as President on April 26, 2024. A native of Rogers, Dr. Alex Bell received his Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Arkansas. Dr. Bell went on to graduate Cum Laude from the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee in 2009. He completed extensive training in ocular surgery co-management, glaucoma diagnosis/management, and contact lens. He is a partner at Parenti Morris Eyecare with locations in Rogers and Bentonville. He was voted Arkansas Young Optometrist of the Year in 2019 and has won the Special Service Award in 2016 by the Arkansas Optometric Association. Dr. Bell and his wife, Lauren, enjoy spending time with their four young children. They are active members of Fellowship Bible Church. They also enjoy attending Razorback sporting events and other community and church events. 


President-Elect Julie M. Dolven, O.D.

Dr. Julie M. Dolven was elected to the Arkansas Optometric Association board of directors in 2018. She currently serves as Vice-President of the Arkansas Optometric Association.  Dr. Dolven is originally from Gosnell, a small town in Northeastern Arkansas. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway and graduated Cum Laude from Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Dr. Dolven is the owner and Optometric Physician at James Eyecare & Optics Gallery in West Little Rock.  Dr. Dolven is a graduate of the inaugural ArOA leadership program, LEAD. Dr. Dolven was selected as the Young Optometrist of the Year for the Arkansas Optometric Association in 2020.  Outside of the office, Dr. Dolven enjoys keeping active with her two daughters, hot yoga, and is a self-proclaimed "foodie". She is an active member of Christ Community Church, and spends her time volunteering as a wish granter for Make-a-Wish,  and providing eye examinations for the women of the Dorcas house and the children of the Brandon Burlsworth Foundation through the Eyes of the Champion program. 


Vice-President Katie Brown, O.D. 

The 2023-2024 Secretary/Treasurer is Dr. Katie Brown.  Dr. Brown was elected as director of the Arkansas Optometric Association in 2018.  She graduated from Southern College of Optometry in 2012 and found her home in academics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, as Assistant Professor of the College of Medicine in the Department of Ophthalmology.   In 2022, Dr. Brown received her Masters of Business Administration with Healthcare Focus from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.  Dr. Brown was named the 2018 ArOA Young Optometrist of the Year and has been awarded the 5 Star Medical Student Teaching Award from the UAMS College of Medicine in 2016.  Dr. Brown enjoys community service and is the Little Rock Shepherd’s Hope Free Eye Clinic Coordinator as well as a regular clinic volunteer.  She is a founding board member of ROOTS (Rural Ophthalmology Optometry Treatment and Screening), a non-profit organization, formed by a first year UAMS medical student under her mentorship.  ROOTS has been heavily involved in community events such as the MLK Day Pediatric Free Clinic for the past 5 years.  Dr. Brown has served as Membership Committee Chair, and serves on the convention committee and as coordinator for LEAD, the Arkansas Optometric Association leadership program.


Secretary/Treasurer Allison Hall, O.D. 

Dr. Ali Hall was elected as a director in 2020. Dr. Allison Hall is a 1997 graduate of Arkansas Tech University in Russellville and received her Doctor of Optometry degree from the University of Missouri--St. Louis College of Optometry in 2003 with Beta Sigma Kappa honors. An active member of the American Optometric Association and the Arkansas Optometric Association, she serves as chair of the Awards Committee, past member of the ArOA Membership Committee and is a graduate of the inaugural LEAD class. Dr. Hall serves on board of directors of Vision Arkansas, the charitable foundation of the Arkansas Optometric Association. She serves on the Arkansas State Board of Dispensing Opticians, is an associate member of College of Optometrist in Vision Development, an InfantSEE provider, and a life-member of the Junior Auxiliary of Clarksville. Dr. Hall started Hall Eye Care Center, L.L.C. (Clarksville) in April of 2004. She and her husband, Mel, and their daughter, Hannah, are members of Victory Missionary Baptist Church in Russellville.


James Hertzog.O.D.Immediate Past President James Hertzog, O.D.

Dr. James Hertzog serves as Immediate Past President.  Dr. Hertzog is the owner and optometric physician of Hertzog Family Eye Care in Cabot and Jacksonville.  He graduated from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, and the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee. He is a Past President of the Cabot Lions Club and a past Board Member of the Cabot Chamber of Commerce.  He currently serves on the Board for the Cabot Panther Foundation and in his second term on the School Board for the Cabot Public Schools.  He is the ArOA Vision Consultant to Medicaid. Dr. Hertzog gives his time to Optometry by promoting public awareness through health fairs, social media and eye screenings with the Lions Club. Other accomplishments and awards include: Arkansas Democrat –Gazette’s “20 to Watch in 2013”; the Arkansas Optometric Association Young Optometrist of the Year in 2011; the 2013 Cabot Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year; the 2014 ArOA Special Service award; and 2014 Cabot Panther Foundation's Hall of Fame; the Hayes Center Practice of Excellence Award through Southern College of Optometry in 2015. Of all of his accomplishments he is most proud to be the loving husband to Dr. Charity Hertzog and father to his three sons, Jacob, Jonah, and Isaac.  


Justin Beavers, O.D. Director

Dr. Justin Beavers was elected to the Arkansas Optometric Association board of directors in 2020.  Dr. Beavers lives in Fayetteville with his wife Kristen and their two children Ryan Anna and Hendrix.  He is originally from Blytheville, Arkansas. He received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Arkansas in 2003. After graduating from the University of Arkansas, he attended Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee where he earned his Doctor of Optometry degree in 2007. Dr. Beavers is the owner of Beavers Eye Care in Rogers. He currently serves on the convention Committee. 


Sarah Lunsford, O.D. Director

Dr. Sarah Lunsford was elected to the Arkansas Optometric Association board of directors on May 7, 2021.  Dr. Sarah Denman Lunsford is a fourth-generation optometrist currently practicing in Bryant, Arkansas.  She received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Central Arkansas in 2004 and then went on to graduate from the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee with her Doctorate of Optometry in 2008. She is a 2022 graduate of the ArOA LEAD program. Dr. Lunsford is past president and active member of the Little Rock South Lions Club.   She currently serves as the convention chair and is active in the legislative structure for the Arkansas Optometric Association.  Dr. Lunsford also serves on the medical response team for East Union Missionary Baptist Church and was the first optometric physician to staff a school-based health clinic in Arkansas. 


Barrett Brown, O.D., Director

Dr. Barrett Brown was elected to the ArOA board of directors on April 23, 2022.   A native of Monticello, Arkansas, Dr. Barrett Brown received his Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Arkansas at Monticello. Dr. Brown went on to graduate Cum Laude from the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee. He returned to his hometown and is the owner and optometric physician of SEARK Eyecare in Monticello. Dr. Brown completed the inaugural class LEAD leadership program in 2019 and received the Hayes Center for Practice Excellence from Southern College of Optometry in 2020. Dr. Brown and his wife Meri Whitney have two children, Oliver and Ruby. Dr. Brown is a member of Monticello First Baptist Church and is actively involved in the community. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family, being outdoors, gardening, and going to the lake. 


Aaron Tollett, O.D., Director

Prior to beginning his career in optometry, Dr. Tollett attended Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, where he graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. After receiving his undergraduate degree, Dr. Tollett attended Southern College of Optometry where he graduated in 2020. While in optometry school, Dr. Tollett was the president of the Arkansas Optometric Student Association organizing and overseeing student-legislature relationships during Arkansas’ Advanced Procedures legislative battle.  In 2019, Dr. Tollett received the American Optometric Student Association Student of the Year Award for his leadership and service to the profession of optometry. He was recognized as a member of the Gold Key Honor society for his leadership skills during optometry school. Dr. Tollett’s real passion in school was organizing the Fellowship of Christian Optometrist mission trips to various countries.  Upon graduation, Dr. Tollett returned to his hometown, purchased a private practice, and now practices to the highest level permitted in Arkansas. Dr. Tollett believes that access to quality eyecare should not be dictated by the area that a person calls home. Dr. Tollett is a graduate of Arkansas LEAD program and serves on the State Association’s AOP-PAC committee. Dr. Tollett serves on the AOA Leadership and Development Committee. Dr. Tollett and his wife, Lisa Marie, were blessed with a baby boy, Rhett, in February of 2021. 


Zach Burroughs, O.D., Director

Dr. Zach Burroughs was elected to the Arkansas Optometric Association board of directors in 2023. Dr. Burroughs graduated from Arkansas State University with a Bachelors of Biological Sciences in 2015. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Southern College of Optometry in 2019. He is originally from Paragould, Arkansas. He practices in Benton and Little Rock at Simmons Eye Care. Dr. Burroughs currently serves as a student liaison for the association assisting students in their transition into practicing optometrists. He attends Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock. Dr. Burroughs enjoys spending time with his friends and family, playing golf, and pursuing his passion for duck hunting. 


Jade Coats, O.D., Director

Dr. Jade Coats was elected to the Arkansas Optometric Association Board of Directors on April 26, 2024. Dr. Jade Coats was born and raised from Hot Springs, Arkansas and is an honors graduate of the University of Arkansas. Since graduating in 2016 from Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, TN, Dr. Coats practices at McDonald Eye Associates in Rogers, Arkansas in which she dedicates the majority of her clinical practice to ocular disease, comprehensive eye care, and contact lenses. In addition to being named a 2023 and 2024 Contact Lens Institute Visionary, Dr. Coats also serves on the board of directors for Women in Optometry, Intrepid Eye Society, and YoungODsConnect. She is an active member of the Arkansas Optometric Association and a graduate of the AOA Leadership Institute 1.0 and 2.0 programs. Receiving several local, state, and national awards for her dedication to philanthropy and her profession, Dr. Coats has also recently been honored as one of NWA Celebrate Arkansas Magazine's 'Ones to Watch' in 2023. Dr. Coats serves on the advisory board and/or as a speaker for over 12 pharmaceutical companies and is an editorial board member for numerous publications. She is a well published author with articles in Advanced Ocular Care, Primary Care Ocular News, Healio, Review of Optometry, Optometry Times, Optometric Management, and Modern Optometry.

  Click here for past AROA presidents.

Rabbit Rabbit! And Happy Birthday to these beginning of February AR ODs 🎉🎉

Posted by Arkansas Optometric Association on Thursday, 1 February 2024

Rabbit Rabbit! And Happy Birthday to these beginning of February AR ODs 🎉🎉

Posted by Arkansas Optometric Association on Thursday, 1 February 2024

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