Dr. Charlene Burnett came to Jackson in 1983. A native of Santa Monica, California, Dr. Charlene met Dr. Fred Burnett at Vocational Rehabilitation where they both worked in Orlando, Florida, in 1972. They married in 1974, and they moved to Memphis to go back to school. Dr. Charlene graduated summa cum laude in 1979 from Memphis State University with a BS in Vertebrate Zoology. At Memphis State she received the Chi Beta Phi Department of Biological Sciences Award for the highest GPA and also received the Memphis State Women’s Association Junior Scholarship Award for the highest GPA for any MSU Junior Woman. She graduated from Southern College of Optometry in 1983 with her Doctorate of Optometry with honors. She was Junior Class President, and she won the Bausch and Lomb Outstanding Senior Contact Lens Clinician Award while at SCO.
In service to her profession, Dr. Charlene served through all the chairs of the Tennessee Optometric Association, being President for 1997-98. She was the first and still is the only woman President of the TOA. She was the Northwest Tennessee Optometric Association Optometrist of the Year for 1992-93 and 1994-95. She is a past advisory board member for West Tennessee Healthcare Sight Care Network, past advisory board member of the Omega Eye Care Clinic, is a founding member of the American Optometric Society, a past member of the Tennessee and American Foundation for Vision Awareness (including past VP for the Tennessee Chapter), Past Chair of the Tennessee Optometric Political Action Committee, Past President of the Northwest Tennessee Optometric Association, past fellow of the Tennessee Academy of Optometry, past examiner for the National Board of Examiners in Optometry, and a member of the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce. She currently serves as a board member for The STAR Center in Jackson. She is Board Certified and a Diplomate of the American Board of Optometry.