Dr. Simonich achieved his undergraduate degree in pre-medicine at Carroll College in Helena Montana. He went on to acquire his Doctorate of Optometry degree at Pacific University outside of Portland. Joining the practice in 2009, Simonich has been a big part of the continued success of Ronan Eye Clinic for over a decade. He enjoys treating and managing ocular disease and post-surgical care. Raised in eastern Montana, Simonich enjoys guitar, writing, and biking.
Dr. Black joined our eye care team during the summer of 2021. Originally from Dillion Montana, he is a dedicated family man with three boys. Acquiring his Doctorate of Optometry degree from Pacific University outside of Portland, Dr. Black is highly educated in general eyecare: dry eye, contact lenses, binocular vision, and ocular pathology. Dr. Black is an Eagle Scout and also well versed in Spanish. In his spare time he enjoys painting and playing the saxophone.
Joyce is a Michigan native and received her Bachelors in Education from Concordia University in River Forest, Illinois. At Concordia, she was a fast-pitch softball star. After spending some time teaching for an inner-city school district in St. Louis, Joyce relocated to Montana in 1986 with her husband.
Joyce began her career at the Ronan Eye Clinic and earned her American Board of Opticianry Certification in 1987. Hard-working and devoted to the Mission Valley community and Ronan Eye Clinic, Joyce has proven herself to be invaluable asset to the business as a role model and mentor. Her knowledge regarding computer medical records, coding, and the ophthalmic industry has grown with the clinic and so have her responsibilities.
Joyce lives in Ronan with her husband, Gordon, and she has two beautiful daughters who have grown into professional women like herself. Joyce is known for her appetite for Detroit Red Wing hockey and Grizzly football.
Gordon Cummings is our finishing and dispensing optician. Although is primary responsibilities are in the lab, he also offers customer service and a friendly face while helping customers choose just the right products for their individual needs. He has knowledge about all the latest frames, styles, and lenses.
Gordon hails from Michigan. He received a BA from Concordia, Ann Arbor, Michiagan where he played collegiate tennis and a Master’s Degree from Concordia, St. Louis. Gordon has been active in the community as a 4-H leader, Lake County Fair Board Member, School District 30 Board Member, Ronan High School Freshman Volleyball coach, and Ronan High School Tennis Coach for 20 years.
Prior to joining the Ronan Eye Clinic, Gordon gained optical exeriance as a sales representative for Charmant Eyeware, traveling to the states of Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. He joined Ronan Eye Clinic in 2000.
Mary has brought a touch of modern style to the Ronan Eye Clinic in many different ways. Mary has strong roots in Missoula, Montana, and recently moved to the Mission Valley with her husband and three children.
Mary has held many different jobs in her life, but she has a very strong background in waitressing and customer service. Mary has a good taste for fashion and trends, and her bubbly personality and attitude towards seeking a healthy lifestyle is contagious.
Mary is currently working towards obtaining her credentials as a certified optician. She recently traveled to Las Vegas’ Vision Expo (a world renowned ophthalmic industry conference) to learn and to bring new ideas back to Ronan. In her spare time, Mary enjoys physical training, boating, and spending time with her family and friends.
Originally from Great Falls, Frances has many years of experience in the eyecare industry. She has worked as an ophthalmology technician for over 20 years in the specialized niche of retinal surgery in Sacramento California. Originally from Great Falls, she enjoys time with her family and dogs. She is a gifted musician and skilled seamstress.
Skyla grew up in Arlee and Charlo, MT, and currently works at our office as our patient care communicator and technician. In the past, Skyla has worked as a paraprofessional in the local school districts as well as a certified nurse assistant. Skyla is involved in the community and enjoys watching the local sports teams play on the weekends.
Julie is one of our new optometric technicians and has been with our team for about two years. Julie has tremendous experience in patient care, and prior to her work with us, was a part of the cardiac rehabilitation unit at Community Hospital in Missoula. Originally from Haver, MT, Julie was recruited as a Division One basketball player at a young age at Northwestern College. Her hard work and dedication to individualized patient care is excellent.
Jacob joined our team two years ago as an optician. He was born and raised in Wisdom, MT. He brings a lot of charisma to our team and has served as an Army Veteran. He enjoys the humanities and has volunteered locally at the Montana Musician Co-op and Ronan Brewery Co-op.
Benkelman was raised in Polson, MT. He continued his undergraduate studies at Montana State University as well as The University of Montana. Dr. Benkelman obtained his Doctorate of Optometry Degree from Pacific University College of Optometry in 1976. His first years as a practicing optometrist were spent with the Navy, serving in Portland, Oregon, and Barstow, California. In 1978, Dr. Benkelman returned to his home–Montana–and started his own private practice in Bigfork. He has continued to work in Bigfork as well as part-time for Glacier Eye Clinic and Ronan Eye Clinic for almost forty years. Recently he has made the decision to partly retire and relocate back to his “old stomping grounds” near Polson with his loving wife Joella.
Dr. Benkelman is one of the most benevolent people you will ever meet. He is also an avid outdoors-man and historian.