Congratulations to Felipe Esparza!
Felipe has very clear memories of applying at CBHA almost five years ago.
He had just graduated with his AA degree in business management and he
was excited to work in that field. However, he hadn’t been able
to find a job. At that point there was an opening at CBHA for an optician.
“I had had absolutely no training in the optical field but decided
to apply anyway,” he said. “My only other option was to go
back to school.” He didn’t really have much hope of being
hired; therefore he was very surprised to get the call telling him he
had gotten the job!
Turns out Felipe is very well suited for the job, partly because of his
excellent attitude, according to Navid Fregoso who nominated him to be
Firestarter of the Month. “Felipe treats everyone, staff and patients
alike, with a great deal of respect. He speaks very professionally to
everyone and greets them always with a sincere handshake which gives patients
the confidence to ask any unanswered questions they may have. They also
know they can return if they have any concerns or problems and he will
take care of them. Patients often ask for Felipe by name.”
It’s been four years, nine months since Felipe began working at CBHA.
When he was hired, he was told it was ‘on the job training’
- that he could sign up for the optician apprenticeship program. He would
need to log in 6,000 hours before he would even qualify to take the exam
to become a licensed optician. It took three years. “I have already
worked the 6,000 hours, I am in the middle of the studying portion and
will enroll this month to take my state boards in February. I am studying
When asked what the favorite part of his job is, Felipe quickly says “everything!”
He went on to say it is the people he works with that makes his job so
special. His title changes to licensed optician when he passes the state
board. Here at CBHA it will be Manufacturing Licensed Optician which he
says is “a real mouthful.” Felipe credits Dr. Forbes with
the work he has done to make Eye Care’s transition to manufacturing
eye glasses so successful. In the beginning we’d do 40 jobs a month
and now we are up to 240 a month.” His home base is the Othello
Clinic; however, he visits the other clinics on a regular basis which
is very much appreciated. “Felipe is always willing to help out
with anything he can do to help the PSR’s. We know if he is coming
to Connell, we can count on his support and we appreciate his willingness
to help out,” Fregoso said who works at our Connell Clinic.
Felipe found out he had been chosen Firestarter of the Month at the conclusion
of the monthly Eye Care staff meeting. He was under the mistaken impression
that, since he had already had the honor of being chosen Employee of the
month in May, 2017, that he would never be chosen again. “I was
rendered completely speechless when a large number of staff members walked
in and congratulated me”, he said. “No kidding, I couldn’t
even think of anything to say!” He is very grateful to have been chosen.
He likes to spend any spare time he might have with his family. He and
his wife have a three year old son. “He’s a busy little guy,”
Felipe said. “We recently hosted Thanksgiving Dinner complete with
turkey, ham and all the trimmings at our house. Our extended families
came and we had a great time together.” He continues to study for
his state boards when he isn’t working.