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Essilor of America Names Leader for Customer Development Group

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(PRESS RELEASE) DALLAS – Essilor of America announced that Millicent “Millie” Knight, OD, FAAO, FAARM, will be joining the company later this summer as senior vice president, customer development group, and member of the leadership team, reporting to Rick Gadd, incoming president, Essilor of America. In this role, Knight will be responsible for Essilor of America’s professional relations, communications and eyecare professional and sales training efforts. 

“Dr. Knight has a diverse and extensive background in the optical industry, including experience in a hospital-based ophthalmology/optometry practice, two optometric practices and a former member of Vision Source,” Gadd said. “Her rich industry knowledge and deep connections to eye care professionals ensures that our customers will continue to have a voice at the highest level of the company.” 

Prior to Essilor, Knight was vice president of professional affairs, North America, at Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Inc. While there, she served on the North American Leadership Team, where she developed and deployed a competitively differentiated eyecare professional strategy, establishing connections between the company’s strategy and eye care professionals and industry leaders by building industry affiliations, education platforms and advocacy. 

Knight has consulted for eyecare and health and wellness companies, conducted contact lens and solutions office clinical trials, and lectured on a wide variety of topics including contact lenses, leadership, cultural sensitivity, eye and systemic health, and business and entrepreneurship. She has published numerous articles, and has received wide-ranging industry and academic recognition including “Optometrist of the Year” by both the National and Illinois Optometric Associations, Vision Monday’s Most Influential Women in Optical, and a Women in Optometry Theia Award for Leadership. 

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Knight received her doctor of optometry degree and a bachelor of science, visual science, degree from the Illinois College of Optometry. She also holds a bachelor of arts degree in biology from Augustana College. She served on the board of trustees of both alma maters and has received leadership awards from both institutions. 

 

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