Doctors & Staff
Meet the experienced and friendly doctors and staff who make The Eye Center – VisionSource Asheville the leading provider of vision care products and services in Asheville.
Dr. Ashlin Mikolich
Dr. Ashlin Mikolich earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with a focus on Ecology at Penn State University. After taking a year off to work as an optometric technician, she then went on to earn her Doctor of Optometry at Salus University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she specialized in primary care, contact lenses, and ocular disease, with a special interest in low vision services. While in school, Dr. Mikolich completed an externship in primary eye care in Mars Hill, which seeded her love for the mountains and western North Carolina. She then completed ocular disease rotations at both the James H. Quillen VA hospital in Johnson City, Tennessee and the Yukon-Kuskokwim hospital in Bethel, Alaska focusing on the native Yupik population. She also completed both a contact lens rotation and low vision rotation in Philadelphia.
Dr. Mikolich is a member of the North Carolina Optometric Society, American Optometric Association, and local Mountain District Society of Optometrists where she is current Vice President. She works alongside her husband quarterly to bring eyecare to patients at the Black Mountain Neuro Medical Center. She formerly practiced in the Charlotte metropolitan area and is glad to bring her experience to Asheville. In her free time, you can find her hiking, camping, crafting, reading, or relaxing with her husband, cats, and turtle.
Dr. Mikolich is excited to get you started with seeing and feeling your best with new glasses and contacts. She is also excited to bring special care to the practice including low vision and specialty contact services.
Dr. Benjamin Steger
Dr. Benjamin Steger earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Bioinformatics, with a minor in Biochemistry, at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. He then worked as a genetic researcher on chronic Hepatitis B infections and how that can lead to liver cancer, at Drexel University. Afterward, Dr. Steger studied, and earned, his Doctorate in Optometry at Salus University in Pennsylvania.
Dr. Steger’s optometric training took him to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to a specialty contact lens site, and to the Santa Fe Indian Hospital in New Mexico, to study Native American genetics and disease variabilities. He then focused on diseases in veterans at the Wm. Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center in Columbia, South Carolina, as well as primary care Optometry in both Wilmington, North Carolina and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
As a member of Student Optometric Service to Humanity, Dr. Steger participated in a medical mission trip to El Salvador, where he and his fellow doctors and students provided vision correction and disease treatment to over two thousand patients across their country. He continues to offer his time to the community by offering ocular health screenings at the Black Mountain Neuro Medical Treatment Center, and as a volunteer at the Asheville Museum of Science, where he is currently serving on their Education Committee in an effort to expand interest in the sciences to the Western North Carolina region. He is a member of the American Optometric Association, North Carolina Optometric Society, and Mountain District Society of Optometrists. Dr. Steger has been featured on both WBTW-Charlotte, and local WWNC 570 as a professional guest for Glaucoma Awareness Month.
Dr. Steger loves science, especially focusing on molecular biology and genetics, watching scientific documentaries, history, archaeology, hiking, biking, and video games. He is happy to bring his expertise, along with his wife’s, to provide the best eye care to the greater Asheville area, always with his patient’s optimal health in mind.
Dr. Paul J. Endry
Dr. Paul Endry opened The Eye Center in The Grove Arcade in 2006. Paul relocated to Western North Carolina after earning his degree in optometry from the Ohio State University in 1985. Expecting to stay about five years, he fell in love with the mountains and the people in the area.
In the early 90s, Paul spent a year in Nome, Alaska with the Public Health Service, flying to coastal communities along the northwest coast and Saint Lawrence Island. He returned to Asheville, and always wanted to provide eyecare in downtown Asheville. There weren’t any full-time optometrists in the downtown area, and he was excited to see that the Arcade was going to be renovated and converted back to civilian use. He moved in soon after, enjoyed watching the area around the practice come back to life.
In 2017, Paul fell off of his bike, falling forward over the handlebars and injuring the spinal cord in his neck. He continues to work on recovering the movement and function in his arms and legs. He was happy to transfer his practice to Dr. Ashlin Mikolich and Dr. Ben Steger at the end of 2018. He wishes them all success and plans to move back to the area in 2021.
Jessika E. Arena, CPOC
Jessika has been our Office Manager since she moved to Asheville in the Spring of 2008. In 2012 she obtained her Paraoptometric Coding Certification. Jessika would be happy to help you with any of your insurance questions from benefits to billing!
She and her husband Michael are the proud parents of their daughter Guinevere, and fur-children Izzy, a Pug-Boston Terrier, and DeLuca, a retired Greyhound. Jessika and her family enjoy spending their time together traveling, cooking, and being outdoors.