Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Afira Hasan, O.D. never thought she’d end up in Edina. But when her husband landed a job in Minnesota, the family moved north. Now, after seven years of calling Edina home, Hasan spends her days actively involved in the community.
As the mother of two, Hasan stays busy. Her kids, Abid, 13, and Zoya, 11, currently attend Valley View Middle School. Her community involvement started with volunteering as a way of connecting with the schools. She eventually held positions as the treasurer and president of the Creek Valley PTO and last year was treasurer for the Valley View PTO after joining last year. “I feel like that’s a big part of my life, to be involved,” Hasan says. “It mostly started with the kids, and it has just moved on to personal connections more than anything.”
Several of the organizations she gravitates toward possess one overarching theme: giving back to the community. Two years ago, she joined the nonprofit Edina Education Fund as a board member. She’s been on Edina Give and Go’s board for over a year. To network and get more involved, Hasan recently joined the Edina Rotary. She says, “I think I stretch myself thin sometimes, but it’s fun and a great way to meet people and connect with the community.”
To manage it all, she finds one or two aspects in each organization that intrigue her and that she can help with. She also became a member of the Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce after opening of her first private practice Insight Vision Care there.
Before becoming her own boss, most of Hasan’s 12-year career as an optometrist involved contracting for corporate and private practices. After taking a year off to stay home with her children, she missed working. “Now that I’ve started [Insight Vision Care], I almost wonder why I didn’t start it 10 years ago,” Hasan says.
Hasan received her undergraduate degree in science and nutrition at the University of Texas at Austin and went on to optometry school at the University of Houston. Her practice on Flying Cloud Drive is only three miles from her home, making it convenient to be available for her kids.
“I have no idea how she does everything she does,” Jackie Sotoj says, who works as a full-time ophthalmic tech/optician for Hasan and is one of only two staff members. “She’s teeny tiny and she put together most of the clinic furniture, keeps up with her community service, her tennis and kids.”
When she manages to find free time, Hasan loves to play tennis. She’s on three tennis teams with the USTA and Lifetime leagues. Travel prevails as another time-worthy pursuit. Her most recent trip was to Ixtapa, Mexico. “I also enjoy biking and spending time with my family,” she says. “A fun time for me would be to watch a movie with my family on an evening that we are all free.”
She’s busy, but she makes it work. “You just have to kind of know what your priorities are, and from that goal, you can definitely balance work and life,” she says.
Insight Vision Care
7731 Flying Cloud Drive, Eden Prairie