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Doctors & Staff

Meet the experienced and friendly doctors and staff who make Gaylord Eye Care Center the leading provider of vision care products and services in Gaylord.

Photo of Kristen Banek O.D.

Kristen Banek, O.D.

Dr. Banek was born in Detroit and grew up in northern Michigan, metro Detroit, and Ohio. She attended Miami University of Ohio, where she double majored in microbiology and Spanish. She then received her Doctorate of Optometry from the Ohio State University. Dr. Banek practiced in Virginia, Boston, and metro Detroit before joining Gaylord Eye Care Center in 2021.

She is an active member of the American and Michigan Optometric Associations, a board member of the Optometric Cornea, Cataract and Refractive Society, and a volunteer with Prevent Blindness.

Dr. Banek lives in Gaylord with her husband Steve, two sons Teddy and Tommy, dog Remy, and cat Charlie. She loves northern Michigan and the easy access to outdoor recreation it offers year round.

Photo of Dr. Casey FesterlingCasey Festerling, O.D.

Dr. Festerling grew up in Northern Michigan and received his Bachelors of Vision Science in 2017 from Ferris State University and his Doctorate of Optometry, with distinction, from Michigan College of Optometry in 2021.

He is a member of the American Optometric and Michigan Optometric Associations. He is also a member of Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (VOSH) where he helps to provide eye examinations in developing countries.

Dr. Festerling specializes in eye health examinations for patients of all ages including pediatrics, macular degeneration, glaucoma, and corneal disease. He also specializes in Low Vision and specialty contact lens fitting.

He currently lives in Alanson where he enjoys hunting, fishing, boating, and coaching downhill ski racing.

Ronald Mead, O.D.

Undergraduate: Central Michigan University, Ferris State University

Doctor of Optometry: Ferris State College of Optometry

Married to Lori, childen: Jason, Kristin, Cameron and Trevor.

Dr. Mead’s professional associations include the Michigan Optometric Association and the American Optometric Association. He serves as a Vision Source Adminstrator for Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. Hobbies include: Golf, computer.

Peter Oppermann, O.D.

Grayling High School graduate with honors.

Bachelors of Vision Science: 1995 Ferris State University with honors.

Doctorate 1998 Michigan College of Optometry with honors.

Dr. Oppermann specializes in the eye health examination of patients of all ages, including the management of complicated eye disease as well as recommendation of all forms of eye wear.

He married and the father of two children, enjoys downhill skiing, hunting, boating, fishing and various other outdoor activities.

Dr. Oppermann is an active member of the Rotary Club of Gaylord, the Michigan Optometric Association and the American Optometric Association. He also serves as an Administrator for Vision Source of Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.

Nathan R. Slezak, O.D.

Bachelor of Science , 2006 Central Michigan University.

Doctorate of Optometry 2010 with Highest Distinction, Michigan College of Optometry

Dr. Slezak specializes in eye health examinations for patients of all ages including pediatrics, macular degeneration, glaucoma, and corneal disease. He currently fits most of our specialty contact lenses.

Dr. Slezak enjoys coaching athletics, hunting, fishing, and spending time with his wife and 3 kids.

Lindsey Wynkoop, O.D.

Lindsey Wynkoop, O.D. received her bachelor’s degree in Vision Science from Ferris State University and her doctorate at the Michigan College of Optometry.

She moved to the Fiji Islands in 2012 to pursue a position in educating and training general doctors and nurses from all over the Pacific Island at the Pacific Eye Institute.

Dr. Wynkoop provides comprehensive eye care services including: primary ocular health assessment, glaucoma management, ocular surface disease, pre/post-operative surgical care, and specialty contact lens fitting.

Dr. Wynkoop returned to Michigan in 2017 to join our practice.

Kami Knopp, CPOA

Office Manager for Gaylord Eye Care Center

Kami began working for Bellaire Eye Center / Gaylord Eye Care Center / Eyes on Main in 1991. She is a Certified Paraoptometric Assistant and the Office Manager for Gaylord Eye Care Center.

Kami is a “Jill” of all trades, assisting where needed.

Kami has extensive training on all levels of preliminary testing, including slit lamp evaluation of contact lenses, topography, optical coherence tomography (OCT), visual evoked potential (VEP) and retinal photography. She also does intra-ocular pressures, corneal measurements, visual fields and visual acuities.

She is married with three children. She enjoys reading and bowling.

Tammy Warren, CPO

Tammy began working for Gaylord Eye Care Center in 1999. Her duties include the our phone and call center, front desk and reception area, as well as technician. She greets patients as they arrive, assists in preparing records, answering the telephone and checking insurances. She also schedules appointments and handles referral scheduling. Tammy’s duties also include monthly statements and account receivables.

Tammy is married with two children and grandchildren. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, bowling, knitting and cross-stitch.  Tammy is also our resident baker.  She is responsible for most of our birthday treats.

Teresa Abbott, ABOC

Teresa has worked for Gaylord Eye Care Center since 1993.  She became a board certified optician in 2000.  Teresa works in helping our patients to select their personal eyewear and instructs new contact lens wears on how to insert and remove their contact lenses, as well as how to properly care for them.

Teresa’s other duties include dispensing glasses, adjusting and repairing eyewear.

When not working Teresa enjoys spending time with her husband Chris, large family and traveling.  She is Nana to many beautiful grandchildren!

Sandy Mammoser, ABOC

Sandy has worked at Gaylord Eye Care Center since 2007. She has been an American Board of Opticians Certified Optician since 1996. Her duties include assisting in frame selections, adjustments of eyewear, repairs and ordering of all frames, lenses and contacts. She also dispenses glasses, lenses and contact lenses. Prior to moving to Gaylord she worked as an Optician at an optometric office in the state of Virginia.

Sandy is married to Tom and together they have one daughter. She enjoys gardening and singing.

John Puroll

John has worked for Gaylord Eye Care Center since 1995 as our surfacing lab manager, but has many more years of experience in surfacing and edging lenses. Because of this, John has a vast knowledge of lenses and optics. He handles the process of surfacing the power of lenses, as well as edging and repairs. John has been known to take a “beyond repair” frame and make it wearable until the new frame and lenses are ready for a patient.

John is married with two daughters. He enjoys playing basketball, golfing and hunting.

Marj Webster, CPO

While Marj joined the Gaylord Eye Care Center staff in 2011, she comes to us with 40+ years of experience in ophthalmology/optometry. Marj is an optician and has a background in ophthalmic assisting. Her  responsibilities can range from assisting in the eyewear selection, contact lens training for the new wearer, as well as ordering and dispensing eyewear. Most days, however Marj is on the phone managing our ever hectic schedule.

After  25 year of residing in Florida, Marj relocated to northern Michigan and is active in remodeling, including woodworking. She enjoys being out-of-doors. We do try to keep her off the roof as much as possible!

Cassie Taylor, ABOC

Cassie joined our team from the office of Dr. Peter Fedor.  She is working as an optician, but also has the training to do special testing. Cassie completed training at Ferris State University for Opticians. Cassie has an amazing passion for learning and always willing to do more!  Her smile and cheerful attitude make working with her a bonus.

Cassie is a graduate of GHS and the University of Phoenix.  She and her husband have two children, Thomas and Madalyn.

Photo of EmileeEmilee Lazzari, CPO, CMA

Emilee joined Gaylord Eye Care in August of 2018 and is currently working as an Optician. She also specializes in patient care prior to seeing the doctor, medical testing, and occasionally works at reception. Emilee was born and raised in Gaylord, Michigan. She graduated from Gaylord High school and continued her education at North Central Michigan College where she received her Medical Assistant Certificate and associate’s degree in Allied Health and Science. Emilee is married to her high school sweetheart, and they enjoy kayaking, ice fishing, camping, and spending time with their two dogs, Hemi and Ruger.

AliciaAlicia Howell

Alicia joined Gaylord Eye Care Center in the spring of 2019, and is currently working as an optometric technician and loves it. In the months to come she hopes to become CPO certified. Alicia works not only our Gaylord location but at our Bellaire location as well. Alicia grew up in Gaylord, MI, and graduated from Gaylord High School in 2013. After high school, she moved to East Lansing where she graduated from Douglas J Aveda Institute in 2014 with her cosmetology license. Currently, Alicia lives in Bellaire MI. Her two little brothers and dog, Harper, keep her busy. In her spare time, she enjoys camping, painting, traveling, music, reading, and spending time with her family and friends.

Theresa Haske

Theresa began her career with Gaylord Eye Care Center in 2013 where she multi-tasked many positions at our front desk while sporting the title of “Director of first impression”. Theresa left our office for a short period to do some traveling, sightseeing and quality bonding time with her two out of state grandchildren.

She recently returned to Gaylord Eye Care Center under a new title as Manager. She is very excited to be part of an amazing team. while working beside each employee. Theresa cheers them on encouraging them to excel to the best of their ability.

Theresa was born and raised in Mt. Pleasant MI. After graduating from High School, Theresa married her husband of 34 years, Steve. Due to her husband being in the military they traveled to many different places before settling in Gaylord, MI where they raised their two children Sara Lyn and Zachariah. She enjoys spending time with two Grandbabies, reading and gardening.

Katie Kirk

Katie joined Gaylord Eye Care in the Fall of 2019, where she works as a receptionist. Katie was born and raised in Gaylord MI. She graduated from Gaylord High School in 2012. Katie loves working with people, and she always knew that helping people was her calling. She hopes to further her education and become a Certified Paraoptometric Technician. Katie currently lives in Gaylord with her four-year-old daughter Anahlynn. She enjoys spending time with friends and family, going to the beach, riding dirt bikes, and anything that’s outdoors.

Bailey Samkowiak

Bailey started at Gaylord Eye Care Center as an optometric technician in July 2020 upon moving back to Gaylord from Midland. She graduated from Gaylord High School in 2015 and got a degree in cardiac sonography in 2018 from Kirtland Community College. Bailey enjoys camping, kayaking, and spending time with her dog Delilah. She is a great addition to our team and we are happy to have her here!

Amanda BrownAmanda Brown pictured on gray background

Amanda joined the Bellaire Eye Center in August of 2021 as the optometric technician (who performs any

necessary testing with the patients before seeing the doctor). Amanda works out of our Gaylord Eye Care Center location as well. She enjoys her work and interacting with patients and coworkers.

Amanda has lived in Michigan her whole life; she has a son and three dogs. In her own time, she enjoys outdoor activities, spending time with her family, and baking!

Jennifer GapinskiJennifer Gapinski pictured on gray background

Jennifer joined Gaylord Eye Care Center in the summer of 2021. She works as a paraoptometric. Jennifer was born and raised in Gaylord Michigan. She graduated high school in 2018. Jennifer loves getting to meet new people everyday and assist with their optical needs. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, spending time with her family, and being on the water in the summer.

Kayleigh CafukKayleigh Cafuk pictured against gray background

Kayleigh joined Gaylord Eye Care Center in May of 2021. She started as an optician but is learning as much as she can about optometry. She was born in Virginia Beach, VA. Kayleigh moved to Michigan as a child and graduated from Gaylord High School. She has two little boys, Easton and Atlas, who are 4 and 2. Kayleigh enjoys spending time with family, camping, fishing, traveling, and of course, spending time with her sons.

Stephanie RhoadesStephanie Rhoades pictured against gray background

Stephanie Rhoades

Stephanie started her journey with Gaylord Eye Care in July of 2021. You will find her behind the front desk ready to greet you as you walk through the door. She has always enjoyed helping others, and fills in the title of “director of first impressions” perfectly.
Stephanie has the crazy ability to remember names and numbers, always has a can-do attitude, and brings great communication and positive energy to our office. She is open and eager to learn all she can to see the office succeed.

She has called Gaylord home since 2005. She shares her northern adventures with her two daughters that are the loves of her life. She loves spending time with her grandson. In her off time she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, camping, drag races, mud runs, reading, and baking.

Audre Kraus

Audre joined our team in October 2020 as an optometric technician. Audre has a bubbly personality and is quick and eager to learn. During her free time you will find her outside hunting and fishing. Audre has an older sister, twin sister and two younger sisters. Audre enjoys working in the garage with her dad in her free time as well. Audre finished High School early and is currently enrolled in the North Central Michigan Early College program working to get her Bachelors in nursing. She is a dog lover and hopes to have a Weimaraner in the future.