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2 Longtime Essilor of America Leaders Retire




Both began their careers with Varilux.

DALLAS – Essilor of America announced the retirement of longtime company executives Bob Colucci and Dr. Rodney Tahran at the end of 2017.

Colucci has been president of the Independent Distribution Division of Essilor of America Inc. since October 2004. IDD is dedicated to supporting independently owned and operated optical labs with products, programs and strategies to grow their business. He began his career with Essilor in 1989 as director of sales for Varilux Corp. He was promoted to vice president of sales in early 1991 and had an active role over the years in the rapid growth of the Varilux product line.

In 1996, Essilor Lenses reorganized into distinct business units focusing on unique customer segments and Colucci served as senior vice president, general manager wholesale group, Essilor Lenses. In 1997, he was elected by U.S. employees to serve on the board of directors of Valoptec Association, the association that represents Essilor employee shareholders, a position he held through April 2006.

In 1999, Essilor International shareholders elected Colucci as a member of the Essilor board of directors, a role he held until March 2004. Also in 1999, he assumed the position of senior vice president, sales and marketing, for Essilor Laboratories of America.


Colucci became the chairman of Essilor Vision Foundation in 2012. The foundation is committed to eliminating poor vision and its lifelong consequences, and to providing underprivileged people the opportunity to live a better life through better sight.

With Colucci’s retirement, Essilor of America has created the Wholesale Business group led by Senior Vice President John Walborn. This group, which includes IDD, Integrated Independents, Essilor Prescription Safety Eyewear, Shore, KBCo and X-Cel Lens companies, consolidates most of Essilor’s lens businesses under the leadership of Walborn and his team. Shon Bjornberg, vice president IDD, will take over day-to-day operations of IDD. Colucci will remain chairman of Essilor Vision Foundation and on the board of the Vision Council in 2018.

Additionally, Tahran, vice president of professional relations, is retiring after 36 years with the company. Tahran, who is also an adjunct professor at the Southern California College of Optometry and the Pacific University College of Optometry in Forest Grove, OR, began his career with Essilor as director of professional services for Varilux Corp.

Tahran is co-creator of the popular Essilor Optometry Student Bowl held annually during Optometry’s Meeting. This year marked the 26th anniversary of the OSB, a game show-style event where students from all 24 schools and colleges of optometry answer optometry-related questions in an effort to win money and the coveted Ventura Cup crystal trophy.

During his career, Tahran traveled internationally to lecture in places including Europe, China, Singapore, North Africa and Australia. He also has been published in numerous ophthalmic trade publications including Optometric Monthly, Optometric Management, Review of Optometry and the Journal of the American Optometric Association.

Tahran is a member of the American Optometric Association and a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry. He serves as the vice chair of the Marshall B. Ketchum University Board of Trustees.


Essilor stated in a press release: “Replacing someone like Rod is a difficult task and his tenure with Essilor has laid a solid foundation for the importance of having optometrists on the industry side of the business. As a leader known for its innovation and realizing all the value Rod has brought to the organization and the industry, Essilor is implementing a plan that will continue to serve its customers while also filling the gap left by Dr. Tahran.”

​In that vein, the company announced that Dr. Ryan Parker is joining the professional relations team at Essilor of America. Parker has been a consultant for EOA since 2013 and will join the team on a full-time basis.

“His dynamic style, keen clinical and management insights along with a successful history of growing a thriving independent practice in Oklahoma are only a few of the many skills Parker brings to the team,” the company stated.



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