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Congratulations 2022 NJSOP Award Recipients!

The E.C. Nurock Award
Dr. Ronald Siwoff

The E.C. Nurock Award – Dr. Ronald Siwoff

The E.C. Nurock Award is NJSOP’s highest and most prestigious honor. To qualify for this lifetime achievement award, a candidate must exemplify those characteristics of an outstanding practitioner, and who, for a continuous period of several years, has rendered outstanding service to his or her profession and colleagues. In addition, the optometrist must have shown concern and involvement within the association and the profession and made a significant contribution to the community. The NJSOP is honored to announce that Dr. Ronald Siwoff has been presented with this honor this year. 

Dr. Siwoff, while attending NECO for school, worked at the Gundersen Clinic for his low vision clinical training at Boston University Medical Center. After his graduation in 1977, he moved to NJ, where he started in private practice. Within one year, Dr. Siwoff was appointed to run a low vision clinic for UMDNJ. There he met Don Greenfield, MD, who was chief of the ophthalmology department. Together, the two men founded the NJ Committee for the Blind and Visually Impaired (NJCBVI) Low Vision Panel, recruiting eye care specialists to provide low vision care for visually impaired and blind individuals at subsidized and reduced reimbursements provided by the State of NJ. Dr. Siwoff was the first doctor on the low vision panel, followed by many more doctors over the past 45 years. Dr. Siwoff continues to serve patients from the NJCBVI, as well as those referred to him by NYCBVI, as he also is on the low vision panel in NY. Dr. Siwoff has many other accomplishments, including fellow diplomat, and director positions, consultant work, award recognitions, research work, publications, and multiple vision related patents. He is most deserving of this NJSOP lifetime achievement award. Congratulations Dr. Siwoff!  

NJSOP Optometrist of the Year Award 
Dr. Trinae Rosato


NJSOP Optometrist of the Year Award  - Dr. Trinae Rosato

The NJSOP OD of the Year Award is presented to Dr. Trinae Rosato. This award is granted to that Optometrist who during the past eighteen to twenty four months has shown themselves to be an outstanding practitioner. The award winner will have proven outstanding involvement and concern for their patients, the profession, and the community.  Dr. Rosato is a shining example of outstanding professional leadership in organized optometry. Dr. Rosato understands and advocates for our profession issues, and her passion for what our profession is and what we can do collectively through organized optometry is palpable. At the same time as being a strong professional leader for organized optometry, she maintained a healthy private practice in her small community and most importantly, an involved mom to her children. Congratulations Dr. Rosato! 

Young OD of the Year Award
Keith Levinson, OD 


Young O.D. of the Year Award - Keith Levinson, OD (TCSOP)

(The Young OD of the Year Award is given to an NJSOP member who has been actively involved on an NJSOP Committee or Project.) This year's Young OD Award goes to Dr. Keith Levinson for his active participation in NJSOP leadership and the legislative committee, and for being a valuable voice for and connection to the new OD graduates. He vocalizes what young ODs want and need from organized optometry.

Public Service Award
Gerald Kass, OD


Public Service Award - Gerald Kass, OD (MOSOP

(Recognition of the contributions of a person or an organization to the visual welfare of the people of New Jersey)
This award is presented to Dr. Gerald Kass for his willingness to volunteer, post- retirement, to help underserved populations and perform primary eye care services at the Parker Family Health Center.  The Parker Family Health Center provides free medical care for Monmouth County residents who meet certain requirements and who are without any medical insurance. Congratulations Dr. Kass! 

Dr. Paul Berman Distinguished Service Award
Kathleen Kinzley, OD


Dr. Paul Berman Distinguished Service Awards - Kathleen Kinzley, OD (MOSOP)

(OD with outstanding society service for and on behalf of their NJSOP colleagues)
This award  is presented to Dr. Kathleen Kinzley for her service to the NJSOP Young OD member populations, position on the NJSOP Board, role as PAC Officer, and participation with the Favreau Foundation work.  Congratulations Dr. Kinzley! 

Paraoptometric of the Year Award
Ms. Sabrina Zaman


Paraoptometric of the Year Award - Ms. Sabrina Zaman

(Paraoptometric with outstanding contributions to the profession of optometry/patients/public)
This award is presented to Sabrina Zaman. Ms. Zaman oversees an office of 11 doctors, who provide eye care to nursing home and home bound patients as well as patients in the private practice. Ms. Zaman has been with Resident Eye Care Associates for over a decade and goes above and beyond for her patients. Congratulations Sabrina Zaman! 

President’s Award
Todd H. Gershenow, OD


President’s Award - Todd H. Gershenow, OD (MOSOP) (NJSOP President 2021-2022)

Dr. Gershenow has served tirelessly this past year, and leading up to this year as Chair of the NJSOP ED Search Committee. He has represented NJSOP and New Jersey, making Optometry’s presence known, protecting our rights and making New Jersey a better place to practice Optometry. Thank you for your service this year Dr. Gershenow!

President’s Selection
OD Journalism Award
Nicky Despotidis, OD, FCOVD, FAAO


President’s Selection - OD Journalism Award - Nicky Despotidis, OD, FCOVD, FAAO (MOSOP)
This year, I selected an award topic that has not been presented in a few years, because I hope it would generate some excitement about the profession and the many ways our members can give back. The award for outstanding journalism contributions to the profession is given to Dr. Nicky Despotidis; an optometrist using his passion for healthy eyesight to promote optometry as an author and lecturer of videos and TED Talks on optometry. Congratulations Dr. Despotidis!

Presidential Special Recognition Award
Congressman Albio Sires


Presidential Special Recognition Award - Congressman Albio Sires
This award was established to permit the President to recognize the accomplishments of an individual or group for contributions to the profession.  This year the award is given to Congressman Albio Sires. Congressman Albio Sires has been a longtime advocate for doctors of optometry and their patients. Time and again he backed and helped advance key policies that help ensure more New Jerseyans have access to local optometrists for the comprehensive eye and vision health care they need and deserve. He was an early and strong supporter of optometry-backed Affordable Care Act provisions to bar health plan discrimination against doctors of optometry and their patients and to create a new pediatric vision care essential benefit to help ensure kids weren’t left behind in the classroom due to an undiagnosed or untreated eye or vision problem. Congressman Sires was also a strong backer of optometry-supported legislation to rein-in anti-doctor and anti-patient vision plan abuses and to protect the health and safety of millions of contact lens wearers in New Jersey and across the country.  Congratulations to the Congressman!


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