Board of Directors
“Optometrists Combine Art & Science”
Deborah Zelinsky O.D.
Executive Director of Research
Deborah Zelinsky O.D., F.N.O.R.A., F.C.O.V.D.
Deborah Zelinsky graduated from the Illinois College of Optometry in 1985 and founded the Mind-Eye Connection in 1993. She has spent the past thirty years developing methods for assessment of brain function with emphasis on the often untested linkage between eyes and ears. Dr. Zelinsky’s cutting edge research in retinal circuitry and three patents in novel usages of retinal stimulation have been described in neuro-optometric rehabilitation publications and optometric courses worldwide.
She consults with other optometrists in various states as well as internationally. Currently she is a reviewer for Elsevier’s Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JOVE) and has been a scientific grant reviewer for the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program several times.
In 2013, she was presented with the Founding Father’s Award from NORA (Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association), is an active member of the World Brain Mapping Foundation and a neuro-champion for the Society for Neuroscience (sfn.org). Her books include “Open your Eyes and Listen” and “An Insight to Vision”. Along with Donalee Markus, Ph.D (designsforstrongminds.com), Dr. Zelinsky is featured in the 2015 book “The Ghost in My Brain: How a Concussion Stole My Life and the New Science of Brain Plasticity Brought it Back” by Dr. Clark Elliott (clarkelliott.com). She is also cited in the afterword of Norman Doidge’s 2016 paperback version of the New York Times 2015 Best Seller, “The Brain’s Way of Healing.” She is an invited speaker in the US, Canada and Europe, presenting workshops to internists, neurologists, and rehabilitation professionals in addition to optometrists.
James W. Smyth, Esq.
Director of Mind-Eye Institute
James W. Smyth, Esq. MBA/JD,
University of Notre Dame
James (Jim) W. Smyth, MBA/JD, is a member of both the Indiana Bar and Michigan Bar and serves as executive director of Legendary Partners, LLC and Custom Structured Settlements, LLC, two private equity firms. The former assists growth companies with maximizing unrealized potential. The latter company serves as an intermediary to protect people’s assets, minimize taxes on sales, and provide tax-advantaged income preservation. Jim believes this know-how can prove important to Mind-Eye Institute optometrists seeking comfortable retirement after contributing their skills on behalf of patients.
Jim has advised many high-net-worth business owners and individuals from all industries and worked closely with a nationwide list of legal and financial experts on tax minimization strategies. His unique approach to estate planning and multigenerational wealth through The Family Trust Institute has included creation of The Legacy Lifeboat, a generational succession plan focused on families’ goals, perspectives, and true wealth.
A 1979 graduate of the University of Notre Dame Law School and Graduate School of Business, Jim is or has been a member of the National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys, the Renaissance Advisors, the Fortress Attorney Advisors and the National Charitable Advisors, Attorneys for Family Held Enterprises, Legacy Boston, The Heritage Institute, Purposeful Planning Institute, among other groups and organizations. He also has served as an advisory board member for the neurosurgery department of Johns Hopkins Hospital, the Duke University Catholic Center, and the Planned Giving Council of the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana.
Jim first became involved with the Mind-Eye Connection – now the Mind-Eye Institute – after a comprehensive evaluation and prescription of “brain” lenses from Mind-Eye director Deborah Zelinsky O.D. prompted his autistic son John to begin talking for the first time – even singing and reciting prayers in church. This “amazing transformation” of his son has led Jim on a mission to support and help expand Dr. Zelinsky’s ongoing clinical work and research so that more patients can benefit nationwide – and globally.
Although Jim is director of the Mind-Eye Institute on the business side, neither he nor his direct support staff receive any compensation.