Get to know us

Meet Our Staff

Welcome

We work to provide the best support possible.

Ellen Goad, LDO

Ellen Goad, LDO

Practice Administrator

Born in Atlanta, Ellen grew up in Covington, Ga. She moved to Athens to pursue and degree and graduate from UGA.
Ellen passed her Georgia State Boards to become a Licensed Dispensing Optician in 1990. Her career with Thomas Eye Center began in 1998. Since then she has become a consultant, author and advisor to the optometric industry.

She is married to Stephen and mother to two sons, Mason and Jackson. Ellen enjoys time with family, traveling, reading and creating spectacular patient experience.

Sean Bailey, COA

Sean Bailey, COA

Assistant Practice Administrator

Along with his duties at TEC as Certified Ophthalmic Technician, Sean is also enthusiastic about photography, writing, and music.

He currently resides in Oconee county with his incredible wife, Lindsay and their two dogs and cat.

Victoria Packard

Victoria Packard

Apprentice Optician

Most commonly known as Tori, resides here in Athens. Tori grew up in Jackson county area and went to UNG in Oakwood. She spent years in retail and was a substitute teacher for special needs kids before beginning her career in the medical field.

Tori has a passion for kids, dogs (especially pugs) and helping others. Tori’s hobbies include working out, going to church, traveling, going to concerts, and cooking. Tori’s favorite things to do are to go to the gym and take naps.

Caroline Burton

Caroline Burton

Front Office Lead

Caroline is from Oconee County, GA and currently resides in Athens, GA with her cat, Zoey. She is attending the University of North Georgia in hopes to further her career in the healthcare industry.

In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

Tammy Hair

Tammy Hair

Insurance & Billing, Front Office

Tammy is from washington DC, she received her BA in history from UWF. She has worked in the medical field for over five years.

She currently resides in Athens with her fiance and daughter. In her spare time she loves to travel, cook and read.

Nicole Clark

Nicole Clark

Front Office

Nicole is originally from Social Circle, but now resides in Madison with her two dogs (Thomas and Cooper). Shortly after graduating from Morgan County High School in 2016, she started her career in the medical field.

Her hobbies include shopping, traveling, and spending time with her family.

Steve Helwig

Steve Helwig

The Eyewear Guy

Steve came to us in May of 2019. He has over 20 years of experience in the optical profession. He is happily married to Angela and lives in Bogart. He and Angela have three children and five grandchildren.

Steve is a long-time member of the Athens Lions Club and also enjoys tennis, bowling, and Civil War history.

Melissa Burkhalter

Melissa Burkhalter

Front Office

Melissa has been in the medical field for over 30 years. She lives in Nicholson, GA with her husband and two sassy dachshunds, Kricket & Kooper.

In her spare time she enjoys reading & watching tv.

ABOC- WHY BE CERTIFIED?

ABO-NCLE certification demonstrates to the public and the industry that an ophthalmic professional is qualified and competent. It proves that this person takes pride in their profession and in maintaining up-to-date skills and knowledge.

In particular, it identifies to the public that this professional is a dispenser who will handle your eye wear needs with competence – someone who can be trusted to provide the quality care you want and deserve.

It’s also interesting to note that: As of December 31, 2013, there were 29,585 ABO Certified Opticians and 10,557 NCLE Certified Contact Lens Technicians.

Testimonial

I’ve been using Thomas Eye Center since… I guess about 2008. They all know me by name, which I find amazing since I only go in for an annual exam. Dr. Thomas is a really friendly doctor and has a great staff supporting him!

Daniel F. ~ On Facebook