Message from the President – New Registrar and CEO

We are pleased to announce that after a thorough and exhaustive Registrar Search process with more than 100 applications, our Registrar Search Committee, with the help of a highly reputable professional search firm (Waterhouse Executive Search), has selected a new Registrar and CEO. We are delighted to announce that Mr. Joe Jamieson has been selected for this important role with the College of Optometrists of Ontario. Mr. Jamieson will be taking over from the current Interim Registrar, Mr. Ira Bernard Teich effective February 16, 2021. The Registrar and CEO is responsible for the administrative duties of the College by providing strategic and operational support to Council and its committees, overseeing the operation of the College office and staff, representing the College to a variety of stakeholders, and ensuring the statutory responsibilities of the Regulated Health Professionals Act and the Optometry Act are fulfilled.

Mr. Jamieson is former Deputy Registrar of the Ontario College of Teachers, in addition to being a past Council member for the College of Nurses of Ontario. Prior to his appointment as Deputy Registrar with the College of Teachers, Mr. Jamieson held various leadership roles at the College, including Director of Standards and Practice and Accreditation, as well as Director of Investigations and Hearings.

Mr. Jamieson holds an MEd from the University of Toronto, a BA from the University of Waterloo, and a diploma in secondary education from McGill University; he also belongs to the Council for Licensure Enforcement and Regulation’s (CLEAR) international relations committee. We are delighted to welcome Mr. Jamieson to the College and look forward to working with him.

On a personal note, I would like to thank Mr. Teich, our Interim Registrar. Back in late July 2020, with the unplanned departure of our former Registrar and CEO, the Council’s Executive Committee reached out to Mr. Teich to infill the Registrar and CEO position temporarily while we engaged in a thorough six-month executive search process to identify and hire a permanent candidate. Formerly a volunteer public member of our Council and its Executive Committee for 10 years, Ira had distinguished himself by his contribution to the College of Optometrists of Ontario in many ways. As a renowned and sought-after international consultant, we hoped that he would agree to respond in “our hour of need.” Despite his having to depart from his semi-retired lifestyle and having to take a massive economic loss relative to the level of income he earns as an advisor to multinational corporations and governments worldwide (not to mention his “afternoon naps” as he would put it), Ira agreed out of a great sense of duty and connection with our College to assume the role of Interim Registrar and CEO.

We are so thankful that he agreed. In the last six months, Ira has demonstrated superb leadership, humanity, innovation, and class. He has skillfully managed the College through one of the most challenging periods in its history. We as a College, and I personally as the current President, will be forever grateful. As an advisor to our Registrar Search Committee, Ira also played an important role in the selection of a fantastic candidate in Mr. Jamieson. Ira has also agreed to remain with the College for several weeks as an advisor to facilitate a seamless transition in leadership. The College of Optometrists of Ontario has a deep sense of gratitude for Ira Teich. Thank you, Ira!

Please join me in welcoming Mr. Jamieson to the College as our new Registrar and CEO and thanking Mr. Teich for his invaluable assistance in what has been a very challenging 2020 for all.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of those who have helped me in my role in 2020. I have been blessed to be surrounded by ethical people with great leadership skills who have been selfless in giving their advice and time. 2020 has no doubt been a tough year for all and the challenges continue. However, one thing I have learned in my tenure as President is that what matters is the caliber of the people you surround yourself with. We help people – this is what we do. Yes, our mandate is to protect the public, but this is still when you break it down, simply “helping people.” We are all human and we all need support, both public and professionals alike. I look forward to working with Mr. Jamieson in 2021 in making the College even stronger moving forward and forging the strong relationships and trust that our profession and more importantly the public, deserve.

Dr. Patrick T. Quaid, Optometrists, PhD
President, College of Optometrists of Ontario