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The 20-Year Employee Club at Fichte, Endl & Elmer

The 20-year club

Fichte, Endl & Elmer Eyecare started out with only three employees in 1985. Founder Dr. Claus Fichte had dreams of expansion, however, the company today has far exceeded his expectations.

The practice now has two offices and more than 74 people on staff, including founding partners Michael J Endl, M.D. and Thomas R. Elmer Jr., M.D. For company growth of this magnitude, it takes not only exponential leadership, but also devoted employees. Dr. Fichte says, “Human dedication and talent are the most valuable resources we have.” So, we want to show our appreciation with the 20-year club, honoring 10 individuals who have shared their commitment, passion, and lives with us.

Fichte Endl Elmer 20-year club photos and frames

About the 20-Year Club

Everyone in the 20-year club has worked for the organization for a minimum of 20 years, some over 25 years and some longer than thirty years. These valuable employees are honored in the Niagara Falls office, where a photo is hung with their name, title, and year of hire on our 20-year club wall.

Why Stay at Fichte, Endl & Elmer

The staff at Fichte, Endl & Elmer is very much like a family and treats patients just the same. Clinical Research Coordinator, Kathleen Goodnick says, “I’ve been here almost 21 years. Why  leave the nest when you work for the best?”

Aside from the typical things employers offer, Fichte, Endl & Elmer offer a generous 401K match, continuing education credits, plenty of vacation days, and discounted eye procedures for employees and their families.

The company also allows for unique opportunities, like attending conferences and traveling.  “I enjoy the benefits of working here,” Kathleen Otto, Coordinator of Marketing and Outreach says. “Throughout my 20 years, I was given the rare opportunity to visit Central America twice and take part in two different surgical mission trips with the practice as a surgical technician. I visited Honduras with Dr. Fichte and a team of others where we did cataract surgery on the less fortunate. I also traveled to El Salvador with William White M.D. to work aboard the Mercy Ship – A floating eye hospital.”

The completed 20-year club wall

Our Philosophy

Dr. Fichte’s philosophy is to fully train employees from the bottom up and encourage skill growth by allowing more opportunities to take ownership of their position. Partners Michael J Endl, M.D. and Thomas R. Elmer Jr., M.D.  also subscribe to this philosophy and carry on the tradition.

Donna Rae Kania, a certified ophthalmic assistant in the Surgical Counseling Department, speaks to this kind of work culture: “I started as the appointment secretary. Over time I took classes and worked my way up to where I am today,” Donna says. “We have a motto here that holds true to our philosophy, ‘Watch one, do one, teach one, this works for us.’”

Congratulations to our 20-year club members! We look forward to many more years working together as a team, and as a family.


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