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ABOUT THE CONTEST
Onega Astaltsova is managing optician at Providence Optical in Rhode Island, a 2014 America’s Finest Optical Retailers Fine-alist. A studio painter who has had art exhibits in Europe and the United States, she uses her experience as an artist to help develop Providence Optical’s brand. She was a judge for the Russian optical industry’s first national awards ceremony, held earlier this year at the Moscow International Optical Fair.
Robert Bell is a 30-year veteran of the optical industry, and — as creator of The EyeCoach Selling System — he’s considered one of the top consultants for optometric/optical retail strategies, sales training and marketing implementation. “Before anything, I look for the story being told,” he tells clients. “Make your story compelling. Capture my attention immediately, as first impressions are paramount! Seduce me or make me smile. Inspire me. And always end with ‘...and they lived happily ever after.’”
Andrea Hill helps companies plan for and navigate growth. She has more than 25 years of experience as a strategy and brand adviser to luxury companies, specializing in the clothing, jewelry and marketing worlds. Her latest book, Big Business Brand, Small Business Budget, will be published later this year. Hill says she is a bit of an eyewear geek — she owns 11 pairs of glasses, three of them red.
Nate Ogura owns Eyes on Fremont in Seattle, WA, winner of the 2014 America’s Finest Optical Retailers competition. He’s a devotee of all things local and independent, and the optical business has been his only profession. He is an active member in the Eastern Optical Research Group, a think tank made up of optical retailers throughout the country. As of today, his own favorite glasses include the Kala Max and Roger Eye Design Marko.
DR. HOWARD PURCELL
Dr. Purcell is senior vice president of customer development for Essilor of America and a popular industry lecturer. Earlier in his career, he was senior director of professional affairs for Johnson & Johnson Vision Care; taught at Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry; and worked with his father in a group optometric practice. He believes one secret to success in optical retailing is to regularly look at your business through your customers’ eyes.
BIG THANKS TO ALL OUR GREAT JUDGES!