Optometrist at THE EYE GUYS

Growing up, Eric always enjoyed science and biology, and he quickly became fascinated with how the eyes work. “My grandparents had a lot of vision issues when I was younger, and that always hit home as a way I could potentially make a difference,” Eric says. “The most important part of my career is taking care of people with a kind, compassionate approach that includes our patients, employees, and families.”

The most memorable moments of Eric’s career include passing his national boards and getting his optometry license, opening his own office in 2009, and partnering with Jeff Phillips in 2013. They have grown The Eye Guys business since then. “I always believe that you should work hard no matter the current circumstances because you never know when that hard work will allow you to take advantage of an opportunity,” Eric says. “I also believe that we should learn as much as we can because knowledge can never be taken away from us, and we should acknowledge that we can’t do everything on our own, and that’s okay. We are not the masters of the universe, and we should seek Jesus with an open and repentant heart.”

Eric has always wanted to be known for being an honest, hard-working person, but that original motivation has grown into being a provider for his family and being a role model to them for what a Christian man and father looks like. “I am married to Leigh, my childhood sweetheart, and we have four daughters ages 14, 10, 7, and 4. I bet my house has the highest spoken word count per day in the 4-states area!” Eric says. “We also have five dogs and two cats!”

For Eric, growing up in a small town with lots of family nearby has made him the man he is today. “Having grandparents close by, and aunts, uncles, and cousins all around, you have a lot of emotional support and encouragement. Without loving, hard-working parents and the ongoing love and support of my wife and kids, I don’t think very many things in my life would have turned out like they are now,” Eric says. “When I married Leigh, I inherited another loving family of in-laws that love and treat me like one of their own, so that’s a huge blessing, too.”

When Eric isn’t at work, he enjoys spending time with family and going on date nights with Leigh. “I love being outside, building things, playing golf and cornhole, shooting guns, and making my wife and kids laugh!” Eric says. “I also really get a kick out of doing impressions.” 

Eric and his family are new members of Christ Community Church. Eric’s papaw, John Watkins, always said to keep God first. “It’s tough to apply this wisdom consistently because pride, conceit, and sin tell me to put myself and my desires first,” Eric says. “Applying this is a challenge, but giving people the benefit of the doubt and being slow to anger are good daily targets to aim for.”

Through it all, Eric wants to be remembered for treating people kindly, being trustworthy and loyal, and being a devoted husband and father. “My long-term plans are just to keep life between the guardrails with the grace and mercy from God and the love and support of my family,” Eric says.

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