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Doctors & Staff

Meet the experienced and friendly doctors and staff who make Nordby Vision Center the leading provider of vision care products and services in Watford City.


Douglas Nordby, OD

Dr. Douglas Nordby grew up in Bowman, ND where he graduated from Bowman High School in 1973. He then attended Dickenson State College, graduating in 1978. After that he pursued his degree in Optometry from Southern California College of Optometry. After graduating in 1985 he moved back to North Dakota and opened his own practice in Watford City. In 1996, Dr. Nordby opened a satellite practice in New Town, ND. Dr. Nordby is very involved in the community, serving as a member of the Masons since 1978, the Lions since 1985, and Rotary since 1985- where he served as president from 2002-03. He has also served on the board of North Dakota Vision Services, where he was president in 2009, and North Dakota Optometric Association, which he has been a member of since 1985, serving as president in 1996. Dr. Nordby was honored by the NDOA in 1996, being named as Young Optometrist of the year, and in 2010, when he was named Optometrist of the year. Dr. Nordby has a wife, Lori, and three children: Jessica, Mikka, and Douglas III. In his spare time, Dr. Nordby enjoys golfing, hunting and sports officiating.

  • What are some small things that make your day better? Remembering all of my internet passwords for work and home
  • What would be an amazing adventure to go on? Exploring the Great Wall of China
  • Which celebrity has the best glasses? David Letterman

Melissa Hjelden, OD

Dr. Missy joined Nordby Vision Center as an associate doctor in July 2013 and joined Doug as part owner of the practice in December of 2014. Before joining the practice she worked in Minnesota for ECCA and Maple Grove Vision Clinic. Dr. Missy grew up in Watford City, ND. She attended undergraduate school at the University of North Dakota where she obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration. In 2008 she graduated with her Doctorate of Optometry from Southern California College of Optometry. Dr. Missy was a part of Beta Sigma Kappa Optometric Honor Society and was a recipient of WICHE scholarship. During school she had internships at HuHukam Memorial Hospital, Tucson Veteran’s Medical Center, and Southwestern Eye Center. She is excited to be back home in Watford City with her husband, Matt, her daughter, Nova, and their dog Oscar. In her free time she enjoys playing with Nova and being at the family lake cabin. She also enjoys local sports leagues, such as golf and softball.

  • What are some small things that make your day better? Morning kisses from Nova and coffee!
  • What would be an amazing adventure to go on? I would love to do a VOSH trip.
  • Which celebrity has the best glasses? Zooey Deschanel

Susan Sampsel

Susan Joined Nordby Vision Center in 2011. Susan is a certified optician with over 25 years of experience in eye care. She and her husband Rodney have a son, Andrew, a daughter, Fallon, and now a daughter-in-law, Allison. Andrew and Allison were married in June, 2018. Susan and her family enjoy spending time together hunting, fishing, and traveling.

  • What are some small things that make your day better? Hugs from my kids
  • What would be an amazing adventure to go on? I want to learn to fly an airplane
  • Which celebrity has the best glasses? Gayle King

Karen Lawson

Karen became a member of the team in May of 2012. She is now our billing coordinator. Karen is originally from New York and came here with her husband, Bob who is the pastor at Living Faith Church.

  • What are some small things that make your day better? Coffee, grandchildren, time spent with friends
  • What would be an amazing adventure to go on? To travel where Jesus traveled
  • Which celebrity has the best glasses? Anne Hathaway

Kathy Tretter

Kathy came to us from East Grand Forks, MN in May of 2014. She works part time in both our New Town and Watford offices. Kathy resides in Watford City with her husband, Duane. She enjoys traveling to see her daughters and her grandson. In her spare time she runs her own business in Watford called Sew Fine Embroidery.

  • What are some small things that make your day better? I love helping people and being able to see the smiles on their faces!
  • What would be an amazing adventure to go on? Visiting Shanghai, China, where my daughter interned during college and going to the markets.
  • Which celebrity has the best glasses? Oprah

Jessica Pruitt

Jessica came to North Dakota six years ago with her husband and three children from Arizona. She spends her free time with her family going on fishing trips and enjoys watching her son play hockey.

  • What are some small things that make your day better? Coffee, cuddles from my kids and a face full of make-up
  • What would be an amazing adventure to go on? Spending a few weeks in Egypt at the must sees
  • Which celebrity has the best glasses? Emily Rossum

Jody Deserly-Mehlhoff

Jody is a North Dakota native. She grew up in New Town but moved to Tennessee in the early 90’s, where she raised her 2 boys – Tallon 24 and Logan 20. After 25 years away she decided to move back to North Dakota to be closer to family and friends. Jody joined the Nordby team in 2017. In her spare time she loves to travel and spend time with loved ones.

  • What are some small things that make your day better? Coffee, good morning texts, laughter, singing (even though I can’t), and hearing from my boys
  • What would be an amazing adventure to go on? Any adventure with my boys and my family
  • Which celebrity has the best glasses? Sandra Bullock

Amanda Pope

Amanda was born and raised in San Diego, California. After her husband, Herbie, got out of the USMC they moved to Oklahoma for a short time before settling in Watford City. She is excited to experience all of the season changes for the first time this year! In her spare time she enjoys running, hiking, and playing with her 3 dogs- Maximus, Bailey, and Boomer. Amanda also loves going on weekend adventures with her husband and visiting every zoo she finds.

  • What are some small things that make your day better? Animals, facetime and cookies
  • What would be an amazing adventure to go on? Traveling the world to run all of the half marathons on my bucket list
  • Which celebrity has the best glasses? Gigi Hadid

Mary-Jo Dillard

Mary Jo is from the small town of Jasper, Georgia. She recently moved up here with her husband and son. In her spare time she enjoys going kayaking and spending time with her family.

  • What are some small things that make your day better? Being able to eat lunch with my son every day and hearing from my mom and sister
  • What would be an amazing adventure to go on? Exploring the outback in Australia – I would love to go out and see the wildlife
  • Which celebrity has the best glasses? Hilary Duff

Michelle Thompson

Michelle started with our team in January 2015 and works in our New Town office. Originally from Florida, she enjoys the changes in seasons and being on the lake fishing and kayaking.

  • What are some small things that make your day better? Spending time with my family and listening to music
  • What would be an amazing adventure to go on? I’ve always wanted to travel to see where my dad was born in Switzerland
  • Which celebrity has the best glasses? Jennifer Aniston