‘Eye for growth’ in Town with Amburn, Cross

The Eye Group’s Farragut location, 11124 Kingston Pike Suite 127, welcomed two new doctors last year: Dr. Harrison Amburn, left, and Dr. Kevin Cross, as part of its overall expansion plan, which included major renovations and an increase in office space.
Owners of a long-time optometrist office had an “eye” toward the future when they put expansion plans into motion last year.

The Eye Group, begun by Dr. Joseph Manning and Dr. Dorian Lain more than 20 years ago, had a growth spurt last year at its Farragut location, 11124 Kingston Pike Suite 127, which included physical expansion of the offices and the addition of new doctors Dr. Kevin Cross and Dr. Harrison Amburn.

Melissa Mann, director at The Eye Group’s Farragut location, said the business expanded “by at least a third” last year by absorbing a former clinic space next door.

After completion , she said The Eye Group “has one of the largest frame selections in Knoxville.”

The office added exam rooms and updated and upgraded its equipment as well.

“We are always staying on the forefront of technology,” Mann added.

“When we added on, we were able to remodel. It is wonderful now, and completely renovated.”

She also credited the staff for “being a big part of our success. They are the reasons we are able to do what we do.”

With the expansion, The Eye Group was able to add Cross and Amburn, who are working with Lain, Manning and Dr. Randy Dutton.

Cross, originally from Byrdstown, said it was “a God thing” that brought him to The Eye Group. “I saw God’s hand in all of it.”

He had worked almost 30 years at University Eye Surgeons, from where he said he could have seen himself retiring, when he was approached by Lain, former Southern College of Optometry classmate.

“I was pretty happy where I was,” Cross said. “We talked about it for two hours over pizza, and I said I wanted to pray about it, but they said, ‘Why don’t we pray about it?’

“It meant a lot to me that they prayed with me.”

Cross said he was fairly quickly “at peace with the decision to be here. It has been a great blessing and a joy to see how God’s plan is moving in my life.

“I am also blessed to be a with a great group of doctors who care about their patients, and are up on all the latest technologies,” he added. “I can see staying here until I quit,” although he said he would likely never completely leave the field — with plans to work for Remote Area Medical and Interfaith Health Clinic in the future.

He and his wife, Stephanie, a long-time OB/GYN, share a mutual love of golf. They have “three wonderful kids” and one grandson, he said.

Amburn came “home” when he joined The Eye Group last June. The Farragut High School graduate — Class of 2010 — had worked there while in college “doing odd jobs,” he said, and also had shadowed other doctors during his junior year at the University of Tennessee.

He also graduated from Southern College of Optometry in Memphis in May, then married his wife, Leah, in June before coming back to the Farragut area. “This was the first place I had worked at,” Amburn said. “I feel like I have been here for years. It is also cool to see patients I know.

“My parents are still here (Dale and Melanie Amburn), and my in-laws. I am very lucky and very blessed to be able to work here. It has been a fantastic experience. The doctors here are great people and very talented doctors,” he added. “It has really been a humbling experience to come home, and I couldn’t ask for a better spot to be at.”

Amburn has had a busy eight months: he graduated from optometry school in May, which was the same month he joined The Eye Group.

His wife is a physical therapist, and the couple live near the Farragut area, toward Hardin Valley.

He is also looking to be involved in the community, and has already joined the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce.

“It has been perfect so far,” he added. “I didn’t know what to expect, but I have loved every second of it.”