Eye care professionals specialize in understanding how the human eye really works, as well as diseases and conditions that affect your vision – many of which do not have obvious symptoms. Eye doctors know how age and risk factors affect vision over time for young and old, and they understand the benefits and features of corrective lenses including eyeglasses and contacts.
Our optometrists take the time to explain the results of your eye exam, describe your options and listen to your eye care needs. Because maintaining good eye health is an ongoing partnership, we encourage you to ask questions and share your health information, which could be vital to monitoring, diagnosing and treating potential vision problems.
Meet our doctors:
Dr. Shelby Alda grew up in East Tawas, MI where she attended Tawas Area High School. Her undergraduate and graduate studies were completed at Ferris State University where she received a Bachelor of Science in Biology with high distinction then went on to receive her Doctorate of Optometry from the Michigan College of Optometry. Dr. Alda continued her training with Andersen Eye Associates in Saginaw, MI, the Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center in Saginaw, MI, and with Seals, Tacia, Bartz, Zainea, Whitmore. Her interests lie in the treatment and management of ocular disease and fitting contact lenses. She practices full-scope optometry. Dr. Alda is a current member of the American Optometric Association and Michigan Optometric Association. Dr. Alda enjoys travel, spending time with her family and friends, and staying active outdoors.
Dr. Peter Tacia received a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from Michigan State University in 1985. He went on to obtain a Doctor of Optometry degree from Ferris State University College of Optometry in 1989. Dr. Tacia's training includes management of diabetic eye diseases, glaucoma, management, contact lens fitting, and pediatric care. Dr. Tacia is a member of the Michigan Optometric Association and the American Optometric Association.
Dr. Tacia currently serves as president of the Alma Library Board, is active in the Gratiot County Players both as an actor and volunteer. He enjoys reading, running and biking. Dr. Tacia and his wife Vicki have been married more than 25 years, and have two children.
Dr. Garrett Whitmore is an Alma High School graduate who attended Alma College for his undergraduate education where he received a Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Health Science. He went on to receive a Bachelor in Vision Science and a Doctorate of Optometry from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, where he graduated with honors.
Dr. Whitmore’s training includes pediatrics, geriatrics, contacts and the treatment and management of ocular diseases including diabetes, macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts and many more. Dr. Whitmore is also a member of the Michigan Optometric Association and the American Optometric Association. He enjoys volunteering his time with his church, getting outside to cycle as well as likes to hunt and fish. When he isn't doing these activities he is spending time with his family, especially with his sons, Cole and Mack, and his wife, Andi.
Dr. Zainea grew up in Midland and attended Alma College where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in Exercise and Health Sciences. While at Alma he played football all four years and also participated in competitive powerlifting. After matriculating from Alma College Dr. Zainea moved to Chicago to attend the Illinois College of Optometry. Dr. Zainea’s training in Chicago had a strong focus on treating and managing ocular disease as well as serving kids K12 in the Chicago public school system. His training also included rotations in a pediatric clinic and the Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center in Saginaw. When not at work Dr. Zainea enjoys hunting, weightlifting, and taking his dogs to the local parks in Mount Pleasant. Dr. Zainea and his wife Erin are big football fans and regularly attend CMU football games. He and his wife also enjoy spending time up north with family and friends.
Dr. Lark was raised in Alma, MI where he graduated from Alma High School before enrolling at Western Michigan University. During his time as a Bronco, he was a member of the football team and received a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences. He completed his doctorate at the Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University. Dr. Lark is a member of the Michigan Optometric Association and the American Optometric Association.
Dr. Lark continued his optometric training at the Battle Creek VA and with Seals, Tacia, Bartz, Zainea, Whitmore before joining the practice in the spring of 2018. Dr. Lark practices full-scope optometry with a special interest in pediatrics and vision therapy. Dr. Lark and his wife Megan enjoy attending sporting events, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.
Dr. Megan Lark was born and raised in Kalamazoo, MI where she graduated from Hackett Catholic Central High School before attending Western Michigan University. She served as a member of the women’s soccer team and received her Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences. She went on to receive her Doctorate of Optometry from the Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University. She continued her training at the Duane L. Waters Hospital in Jackson, MI and the Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center in Saginaw, MI. Dr. Lark’s training includes the treatment and management of ocular disease, contact lenses, and a special interest in pediatric eye care and vision therapy. She is a current member of the Michigan Optometric Association and the American Optometric Association. Dr. Lark and her husband Kyle enjoy biking, spending time with friends and family, and vacationing in Northern Michigan.
Dr. Stephen Near grew up in Shelby, Michigan. He attended Muskegon Community College before going on to earn a Doctor of Optometry degree from Ferris State University in 1989. He has practiced in St. Louis since 1994 and has served on the St. Louis Downtown Development Authority board for many years. Dr. Near is a member of the Michigan Optometric Association and the American Optometric Association.
When he is not working, Dr. Near enjoys gardening as well as playing guitar and keyboards. He and his wife Pepper also spend time biking and hiking.
Dr. Laura Keller was born and raised in Battle Creek, MI where she graduated from Lakeview High School. She went on to attend Michigan State University and received a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology. She received her Doctorate of Optometry from the Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University. Dr. Keller continued her training at the Ralph H. Johnson VA in Charleston, South Carolina as well as Henry Ford OptimEyes in Troy, MI and the Duane L. Waters Hospital in Jackson, MI.
Dr. Keller’s training includes primary eye care, ocular disease, contact lenses and a special interest in dry eye care. She is a member of the Michigan Optometric Association and the American Optometric Association. When she is not working, Dr. Keller enjoys watching Michigan State basketball, rollerblading and spending time with family.