Doctors & Staff
Meet the experienced and friendly doctors and staff who make Lifetime Vision Center the leading provider of vision care products and services in Auburn.
Darren Wright, O.D.
Dr. Wright grew up in Millard, NE and graduated from Millard South High School in 1987. He attained a Bachelors degree from Nebraska Wesleyan University in 1991 and his Doctorate from Illinois College of Optometry in 1995. Dr. Wright and his wife, Jodi, moved to Auburn that year and Dr. Wright joined Dr. John Crotty in practice as Dr. Pat Crotty retired. In addition to his primary practice in Auburn, Dr. Wright is also the Optometric Consultant to the Nebraska Center for the Education of Children Who are Blind or Visually Impaired and the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution.
Dr. Wright and Jodi met in college and have been married since 1993. Together, they have been blessed with 3 children: Megan, Nathan and Brandon. The family enjoys camping, hiking, biking, snow skiing, Husker football, hanging out in the backyard, and playing games. Dr. Wright can also be seen jogging late at night or tooling around town in his “old school” ’64 Corvette or his ’91 “baby Vette” Miata.
Dr. Wright enjoys the diversity that practicing in a small town allows. “In an area like ours, you can be looking in an infant’s eyes one minute, removing a piece of steel from someone’s cornea the next minute, and following up on an 80-year-old’s cataract surgery shortly after that”, says Dr. Wright. “There’s really no limit on the types of cases you see while taking care of the great people of our area.” Dr. Wright reports he especially enjoys working with children, the elderly, challenging contact lens cases, and surgical patients.
Dr. Wright is involved in many community and optometric organizations. He has been the president of the Auburn Chamber of Commerce and the Auburn Rotary Club. Dr. Wright has been a member of the American Optometric Association and Nebraska Optometric Association for over 25 years and is currently the Immediate Past-President of the NOA and President of the North Central States Optometric Council. He has also been recognized as the NOA’s Young Optometrist of the Year in 2004. Dr. Wright is currently serving on several boards and committees including the Good Samaritan Advisory Board, the Auburn Memorial Library Foundation Board, and Corporate Sponsorship Chairman for the Nemaha County Relay for Life. He has donated his time to care for Special Olympics Athletes at the Nebraska State Games.
Russell Crotty, O.D.
Dr. Rusty Crotty graduated from Auburn High School in 2003. He attained his Bachelor degree in Psychology from the University of Nebraska Lincoln in 2007. He then continued his studies at Northeastern State University College of Optometry where he received his Doctorate in Optometry in 2013. Upon graduation he returned to Auburn and joined in practice with is father, John Crotty, O.D. and partner Darren Wright, O.D.
Dr. Rusty and his wife, Bobbie, have been married since 2011. Together they have a beautiful baby girl, Ari.
Dr. Rusty Crotty graduated Optometry School with Honors and served as his class’s president for all 4 years he attended. He received one of the most advanced clinical educations available thanks to Oklahoma’s well deserved reputation as one of the best clinical optometry schools in the country. Dr. Rusty is also a published author, as his research project he completed during his education was recently published in the “Optometry and Vision Science” journal. He is a member of the American Optometric Association (AOA) and the Nebraska Optometric Association (NOA). Dr. Rusty is also getting involved in the community by joining the Nemaha County Leadership Council, serving as a board member on the Chamber of Commerce, and is a recent inductee to the Knights of Columbus. He also donates his time to care for Special Olympics Athletes at the Nebraska State Games.
Dr. Rusty’s interests are jogging with his dogs, playing golf, basketball and watching football. (He roots for the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Detroit Lions). He enjoys participating in Voluntary Optometric Services to Humanity (VOSH) missions. Those missions have taken him to Peru and South America so far, and he plans to go on many more missions with Bobbie. They also love camping, hiking, watching moves and spending time with their niece and nephews.
Dr. Rusty Crotty’s goals for the future include the following: To continue the tradition set in place by his father, and his grandfather, Dr. Patrick H. Crotty, before him. To build upon the foundation of “Excellence in Eye Care” and to provide a “Lifetime of Vision” for all our patients. To connect and give back to the community and surrounding area in which he was born and raised.
Tessa Wellsandt, O.D.
Dr. Tessa Wellsandt, O.D. is a comprehensive optometrist who enjoys working with patients of all ages to achieve and maintain their best vision. She believes in a personalized approach to a patient’s eye care needs, whether it be a perfectly styled frame, prescription lenses to relieve digital eye strain, or a custom fitted contact lens. In addition to vision correction methods, Dr. Wellsandt has extensive training in medical optometry. As her patient, you can feel confident in receiving services for glaucoma treatment, macular degeneration management, dry eye therapies, diabetic monitoring, and emergency triage of eye injuries and infections. She currently co-manages with surgeons from Lincoln & Omaha and provides local follow-ups in Nebraska City or Auburn after cataract or LASIK surgeries.
Beyond the visual system, Dr. Wellsandt is trained to recognize a range of health issues, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, thyroid disorders, autoimmune diseases, and neurological conditions. It was the realization of how much the eyes can reveal about the overall health of the body that initially inspired her to pursue a career in optometry. With a background in nutrition, she is passionate about disease prevention, and routinely communicates with other healthcare providers to co-manage her patients’ overall wellness.
Dr. Wellsandt joined Lifetime Vision Center as an associate in 2018 during the expansion of their patient care services to include a Nebraska City location. As a native of Otoe County, she is thrilled to return home with the latest training and technology to provide a fresh perspective to eyecare in the community. She is a member of the Nebraska Optometric Association, and is locally active in the Nebraska City Rotary Club. She is the Optometric Consultant for the Nebraska Center for the Education of Children Who are Blind or Visually Impaired, and helps with vision screenings at Nebraska City Public Schools.
Dr. Tessa was a class valedictorian of the 2010 graduating class at Johnson-Brock High School. She completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition Science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2014. She continued her doctorate education in Memphis, Tennessee at Southern College of Optometry where she graduated magna cum laude in 2018. Dr. Wellsandt stays current in her field by regularly attending advanced training courses. It is because of her dedication to continuing education that our patients will continue to receive the most modern and progressive vision care available.
Lisa Kirby, CPOA, VSBA,
Financial Coordinator & Human Resources Coordinator
Lisa joined the Lifetime Vision Center team in April 2004. She started out as a Pre-Tester. She then moved on to Contact Lens Specialist and Front Desk Specialist. She is now our Human Resources Coordinator. She is married to Kris, and together they have two children, Alexis and Nathan.
Lisa is a 1979 graduate of Auburn High School. She went on to graduate from University of Nebraska Omaha with a BA in Business Administration/Accounting Major and MIS Minor.
Lisa is actively involved with her church. Her interests are her family, her children’s activities, cooking, and reading. Lisa has a dog, Chauncey and a cat, Felix.
Debi Crotty, Financial Team
Debi joined the Lifetime Vision Center team in January 1997 as our Financial Coordinator. Debi is married to Dr. John Crotty and together they have four children: Ryan and wife Janny, Robin and husband Carl, Rick and wife Lindsey, and Rusty with wife Bobbie. They are also blessed to have 6 grandchildren.
Debi is a 1970 graduate of Burwell High School in Burwell, NE. She went on to graduate from the University of Nebraska.
Debi’s interests are spending time with her family, traveling, camping, hiking, gardening, reading, and baking. She actively volunteers with Southeast Nebraska Center for Pregnancy Counseling for the hotline and as a counselor, St. Francis Gift & Thrift Shop, Matt Talbot Food Kitchen, Meals on Wheels, and many Pro-Life activities. She is a volunteer and board member of SKY Catholic Youth Camp and a board member at UNL Catholic Sorority.
Devon Volkman, CPO, Optical Specialist
Devon joined the Lifetime Vision Center team in July 2003. She started out as a Pre-Tester, moved on to the Optical Lab and became the Optical Team Coordinator. She is married to Dennis and together they have two children, Cailyn (husband Luke), and Brenden. She’s also the proud grandmother of Gabriel and Clancy Winkelman.
Devon is a 1976 graduate of Johnson-Brock High School in Johnson, NE. She has gone on to earn her optical certification of Certified Paraoptometric.
Her interests are her children and grandchildren’s activities, movies, and dining out.
Debbie Meyer, CPO, VSBA, Call Center Specialist
Debbie joined the Lifetime Vision Center team in January 2005 as our Call Center Specialist and greets you with her sweet voice. She is married to Richard and together they have two children, Julie and Brian and his wife Ashley. They are also blessed with 3 grandchildren; granddaughters, Stephanie and Lainey, and 1 grandson, Logan.
She is a 1975 graduate of Hiawatha High School in Hiawatha, KS. She has gone on to earn her optical certification of Certified Paraoptometric and Vision Source Business Associate.
Debbie is a member of the American Legion Auxillary and active in her church where she happily donates her talents to the Women’s Group and Spirit Wave Music Ministry. She enjoys spending time with her family. Other interests include music, crocheting, gardening, reading and her 2 cats, Muffy and Mazie.
Amanda Beard, CPO, Scribe Team Coordinator
Amanda joined our Lifetime Vision Center team in June 2009 as one of our Pre-Testers and part of the Clinic Team. Amanda has two sons; Ryan and Wyatt.
Amanda is a 1999 graduate of Exeter Public School, Exeter, NE. She went on to graduate from SCC in 2002 with an Associates of Applied Sciences in Radiologic Technology.
Amanda’s interest are spending time with family, cooking, and taking pictures. She has a dog, Bandit.
Jacquelyn Kennedy, CPO, Optical Team
Coordinator & Marketing Team Specialist
Jacquelyn joined the Lifetime Vision Center team in July 2011. She is married to Dayton, and they have two children; Daphne and Weston.
Jacquelyn is a 2006 Graduate of Auburn High School and a 2010 graduate of Midland Lutheran College where she earned her degree in Marketing.
Jacquelyn enjoys spending time with family and friends and helping on the farm. She also enjoys cheering on the Nebraska Huskers and the Denver Broncos.
Melissa Fowler, CPO, Clinic Specialist
Melissa joined the Lifetime Vision Center team in December 2012. She has two children; Colwyn and Teagan.
Melissa graduated in December 2014 from Peru State College with a degree in Human Performance and System’s Management.
She enjoys music, spending time with her kids, cooking, camping, and running. Melissa also attends the Zion Lutheran church.
Danelle Ottemann, CPOT, Clinic Team Coordinator
Danelle joined the Lifetime Vision Center team in January 2013. She is married to Jeff, and they have 3 children; Aiden, Taryn and Brecken.
Danelle is a 1997 graduate of Southeast Consolidated and has a degree in Computer Programming from Peru State College.
She enjoys spending time with her family, playing volleyball and learning more about farming. Danelle volunteers in the classroom for Junior Achievement and is a volunteer in the Martin Luther church where she attends.
Bobbie Crotty, CPO, Clinic & Optical Specialist
Bobbie joined the Lifetime Vision Center team in June 2013. She is married to Dr. Rusty Crotty, and they have a baby girl, Ari.
Bobbie graduated from the College of Hair Design in 2002.
She enjoys spending her free time gardening, canning, wake-boarding, skiing, playing softball and sand volleyball, camping, and hiking.
Cristan Lopez, CPO, Clinic Specialist
Cristan joined the Lifetime Vision Center team in September 2015. She is married to Cesar, and they have 5 boys; Easton, Baylor, Kayson, Daniel, and Crew.
Cristan graduated from Auburn High School in 2004.
She enjoys golfing, crossword puzzles, and spending time with her family.
Stephanie Culling, CPO, Clinic Specialist & Optical Specialist, Marketing Team Specialist
Stephanie joined the Lifetime Vision Center team in January 2017. She is engaged to Nate. They will be getting married during the summer of 2019.
Stephanie graduated from Auburn High School and is currently attending Peru State College.
Stephanie enjoys spending her free time reading, fishing, and spending time with her fiance and her two dogs, Tallie and Melvin.
Julie Hartman, CPO, Clinic Specialist
Julie joined the Lifetime Vision Center team in September 2017. Julie is engaged to Tom, and she has 3 children, Michael, Brody, and Summer.
Julie enjoys spending her free time doing yoga and watching her daughter play Adrenaline softball.
Tamara Bridges, Clinic Specialist
Tamara joined the Lifetime Vision Center team in October 2017. Tamara has 4 children; Paisley, Ariale, Madi, and Tristan. She also has a dog named Axle.
Tamara enjoys spending her free time with her family, watching the races, and mudding.
Tamara’s favorite movie is “8 Seconds”, and her favorite food is chicken.
Mikenzie Carlson, Optical Specialist & Front Desk Specialist, Marketing Team Coordinator.
Mikenzie joined the Lifetime Vision Center team in February 2018. Mikenzie has two children, Lily and Sophia. Her and her fiance, Zach, will be married in November of 2019. She also has a dog named Peter.
Mikenzie graduated from Midland University in 2013 with a degree in Sociology.
She enjoys spending her free time reading, playing sports, camping, fishing, and spending time with family.
Mikenzie is a volunteer for Teammates Mentoring Program and the Auburn Chamber of Commerce.
Anjelica Akins, Clinic Specialist
Anjelica joined the Lifetime Vision Center team in July 2017. She has one daughter, Ariyah.
Anjelica graudated from Auburn High School in 2013.
She volunteers for Teammates Mentoring Program.
Ryleah Burke, Clinic Specialist
Ryleah joined the Lifetime Vision Center team in April 2018. Ryleah has one daughter, Jakleigh.
Ryleah graduated from Rockport High School in 2011 and from St. Joseph Beauty University in January 2013.
Ryleah enjoys spending her free time with her family, cooking, baking and listening to music.
Stacey Cumley, Front Desk Specialist.
Stacey joined the Lifetime Vision Center team in September 2017. Stacey has two children, Cortney and Spencer. Stacey also has 6 grandchildren.
Stacey enjoys spending her free time with her family and going to church.
Stacey’s favorite book is The Bible. Her favorite movie is “A Time to Kill”, and her favorite quote is “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.