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Doctors & Staff

Meet the experienced and friendly doctors and staff who make My Eye Xpert the leading provider of vision care products and services in Gurnee.

Brent Gandolfi, O.D.

Dr. Gandolfi grew up in the LaSalle, Illinois area. He attended college at Augustana where he played football and wrestled a bear. He later graduated from the Illinois College of Optometry. Dr. Gandolfi has been practicing optometry in Gurnee for over twenty years.

Dr. Gandolfi loves to coach football and has been coaching since 1981, most recently at Lakes Community High School. Other hobbies include riding (and breaking) wave runners with his three kids and being a gardening mule for his wife, Janie. If Dr. Gandolfi isn’t coaching defense at Lakes highschool , hanging out by the lake, or covered in dirt at home, you can find him in the spin or yoga classes at Fit Nation in Gurnee.

Jeffrey Swafford, O.D.

I was born and raised in the small conservative town of Alma in Arkansas. I graduated from Alma High school in 1989. After 2 years at Westark junior college in Fort Smith, AR, I went to Northeastern State University, College of Optometry and graduated with honors in 1997. I began my optometry career working for the US Navy and served at Great Lakes from 1997-2000. Then I began working for Dr Gandolfi at the Wal-Mart in Gurnee. Now we are partners at My Eye Xpert. I love working here. The best part of my job is working with the people. I have been in Gurnee long enough to see some of the kids grow up and get married and even have children of their own. It is always great to get to know my patients. It makes me feel like I am a small part of their lives. My Eye Xpert gives me a healthy environment to be that small part. Without my patients, my job would not be exciting.

I am very involved in my church, The Sign of the Dove, in Waukegan, IL. I have been the director of home groups there since 2004. I also volunteer at the Lake County Food Pantry. I really enjoy swimming, weight lifting, mountain biking, bowling, and my pets. I have 14 fish and a dog named Matilda.


Amanda Tickes – Office Manager

Amanda Mae Tickes currently resides in Grayslake. Her accomplishments include winning a year’s supply of Eggo waffles when she was 13, playing the flute since 6th grade, and entertaining as various mascots for both work and school. She enjoys black and white film photography and literature, and spending time outdoors having adventures with her wonderful husband, Geoffrey.

Angel Velazquez – Optician

Angel is originally from Philadelphia. He is married with four children. Angel has coached youth baseball for the last 12 years and he is a huge White Sox fan. Angel has been working optical for the last ten years, six as a lab technician and four at My Eye Xpert as an optician.

Carolina Pancardo –  Customer Service Manager

Carolina Pancardo has been in the optical field for 6 wonderful years. She is bilingual, and has a lovebird named “Mangito”. She enjoys bowling and sampling fine cuisine. Her superpower is invisibility (but only when no one is watching).

Rachel Rivera – Lab Manager

Rachel has 3 beautiful children. When she’s not working or playing with her children, she enjoys musicals, reading, shopping and eating gummy bears. This is her first time working in optical, but in the past has worked in customer service.

Ricardo Jimenez – Frame Board Manager

Ricky Has a life outside of work that is full of wonder and mystery, So much so that none of his co-workers are allowed to know exactly what it is. Although if you ask any of them they will give you answers ranging from CIA agent to dog walker, and he does a mean rendition of “Maria, Maria”  and knows all of the West Side Story choreography as well. Artist rendered photo to a company as he has not been photographed in ten years.

Shawnaw Fischer – Digital Marketing Manager

Shawnaw has two adorable kidlets named Ali and Benji with her husband Alex. She is a fan of books, movies and plays and can frequently be heard singing to the music playing in her head.

Robert Heiser- Medical Technician


Robert’s passion is writing because he feels words and ideas can change the world. His first language is egyptian, and he loves to be corrected everytime he says a word wrong.He is an avid  chicago sports fan, except the white sox, and love to play sports whenever he can. He is going to school to become an Architect, and someday wants to design the world’s tallest Wendy’s.


Courtney Wittke – Optician

Courtney is an avid “Pirates of the Caribbean” fan, to the point that when going to her favorite band’s concerts she dresses as Jack Sparrow. While going through her training we found she was actually previously trained as a contact lens whisperer, so if you are ever in need of a new class or just want to brush up on how to put contacts in, just ask Courtney.

Luis Patlan -Medical Technicain

Luis Patlan is one of our newest team members at My Eye Xpert! He is a veteran of the U.S. army, and a great athlete- a boxer and previous National Championship winner on his college soccer team. He has many years in optical care, and his other favorite sport is adjusting your glasses- he specializes in difficult glasses fittings and repairs. He enjoys caring for our patients and would love to tell you the story of the Christina Aguilara cake of his childhood so be sure to ask at your visit.