In the five years INVISION has been holding the America’s Finest Optical Retailers contest, the winners have almost to a one been characterized by their sleek, modern aesthetics. But what stands out about our top three place winners this year is that they are not “modern.” 

Each is rooted in provenance; a deep appreciation for the history of the optical profession and for the sort of storied places that evoke a respect for such things… They are throwbacks, if you will. All three, in their own manner, are elevating eyecare and the dispensing of eyewear back to an art form. An art that risks being lost to progress, to the proliferation of online eyewear, and to the instant gratification mentality that all too often is the enemy of quality.

That is not to say each of our winners doesn’t offer the most modern of techniques and technologies. They absolutely do. But their approach to their business, including their physical locations, is steeped in history, a respect for the optical profession and the delivery of excellent eyecare. 

Of course, there is no one correct way to do anything, so if variety is what you seek our Honorable Mentions have it in spades. If nothing else, our class of 2018 America’s Finest honorees prove that if you know who you are, love what you do and deliver the best experience possible, success is sure to follow.  

 


 

THE JUDGES

NATALIE TAYLOR 
Taylor Vision Consultants
Boston, MA

Natalie is a licensed optician and manager for the renowned Dr. Donald Korb in downtown Boston, MA. A regular contributor to INVISION, Natalie is a public speaker, writer, and practice management consultant. Her AOA, COPE and ABO CE lectures and consultation services can be found at tayloreye.com. 

ROBERT BELL
The Eyecoach
San Francisco, CA

Robert is the EyeCoach, a sales strategist, trainer and coach for optometrists and opticians. He’s been an INVISION columnist since the magazine’s launch, and a repeat judge for the America’s Finest contest. He’s the creator of the EyeCoach Selling System and will soon work in association with Cleinman Performance Partners.  

MICHAEL A. “MICK” KLING, OD
Founder and CEO, Invision Optometry
San Diego, CA

Invision Optometry was awarded first place in the America’s Finest Optical Retailers contest in 2017. In addition to private practice, Mick is a consultant and speaker for Impact Leadership and a member of the American Optometric Association, the California Optometric Association (Young OD of the Year in 2000), and a past president of the San Diego County Optometric Society. Mick has held several committee positions within the California Optometric Association and is an Adjunct Faculty member of Southern College of Optometry.

JENNIFER COPPEL
Vice President of Brand Management, Tura Inc.
New York, NY

After graduate school and a time running her own business, Jennifer moved to NYC shortly after 9/11 where she worked for several companies primarily focused on home fashion products, before joining ClearVision Optical as their head of product design and development. In October 2012, Jennifer became the Vice President of Brand Management for Tura. One of three executives leading the company, she oversees a team of 10 responsible for the strategic alignment of branding, product, marketing, and sales.

BRENT ZERGER
Director of Communications & Retail Operations L.A. Eyeworks
Los Angeles, CA

Following a career in the contemporary art world, Brent joined l.a.Eyeworks in 2002 as the inaugural manager of their retail flagship in Los Angeles. In 2007, he was appointed Director of Communications and Retail Operations for the independent brand. With a passion for design, print media, and cake, Brent contributes to the overall evolution of the brand’s provocative image-making, freewheeling wordplay, and artist-driven initiatives. 

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