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Buzz Session

From Travel to Exercise to Alcohol, ECPs Recharge in Diverse Ways

How do you regain your momentum?

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  • Work out. — Steve Whitaker, Whitaker Eye Works, Wayne, PA
  • I unwind and recharge with Pilates and girls brunch. — Leah Johnson, Central Texas Eye Center, San Marcos, TX
  • Beach!— Paula Hornbeck, Eye Candy & Eye Candy Kids, Delafield, WI
  • Ride my bike or go to the gym in the early mornings before work, listen to podcasts throughout the day, sit down for a great meal with my wife after work.— Ted McElroy, OD, Vision Source Tifton, Tifton, GA
  • Listening to INVISION’s podcast. — Josh Bladh, Dr. Bladh OD, Diamond Bar, CA
  • Motorcycle camping. — Dave Goodrich, Goodrich Optical, Lansing, MI
  • Drink Scotch. — Richard Kemerling, Margolis Vision, Castle Rock, CO
  • Golf. — Rick Rickgauer, Vision Associates, Girard, PA
  • When it comes to recharging as an optician, a good optical challenge between our owner (LDO), lab manager (LDO), and myself (LDO). We press each other and create situations that force us to get our heads back in the books. This happens weekly sometimes. — William Chancellor, Eye Can See Eyewear, McDonough, GA
  • We spend time off at an old farm that we own in rural West Virginia. It’s so peaceful; no sign of neighbors and only about ten cars drive by a day. — Barbara Bloom, OD, Weber Vision Care, Harrisburg, PA
  • Go to the mountains or to the beach for a long weekend. — Laura Wright, Upstate Eyecare, Greenville, SC
  • CALM meditation app on my iPhone. — Vlad Cordero, Focus Eye Care PC, Hackensack, NJ
  • Did someone say Happy Hour?!? — Meredith Hall, Miller Family Eye, Cedar Rapids, IA
  • I just came back after a weekend with girlfriends. We rented a cabin, drank some adult beverages, took naps, and talked about husbands, work, kids, family, and life. I came back on Monday ready to get organized and tackle my mounting to-do list. I feel better about this than I have in ages! — Jenna Gilbertson, McCulley Optix Gallery, Fargo, ND
  • Rock concerts. — Steve Nelson, Eye Candy Optical, Westlake, OH
  • Travel and music. — Pablo E Mercado, Mount Vernon Eyecare, Dunwoody, GA
  • I need to figure that out. — Zachary Dirks, OD, St. Peter and Belle Plaine Eyecare Centers, Saint Peter, MN
  • I spend time with family or friends who are not in this field. I go to the beach to seaglass and beach comb. — Doreen Erbe, Snyder Eye Group, Ship Bottom, NJ
  • Go to CE. — Cedric Mitsui, OD, Big Island Vision Center, Hilo, HI
  • Desert in the winter, beach in the summer. — Amy Pelak, Proview Eyecare Optometry, Corona, CA
  • I play World of Warcraft with my friends. It’s relaxing but still stimulates the brain. — Frances Ann Layton, Eye Associates of South GA, Valdosta, GA
  • Sleep. — Leisa Lauer, Dr. H Michael Shack, Newport Beach, FL
  • Vacay! — Cynthia Sayers, OD, EyeShop Optical Center, Lewis Center, OH
  • Sleep, sleep and more sleep. — Jill Sweig, OD, Oyster Bay Optics, Oyster Bay, NY
  • Beer festival, dancing at a 70’s/80’s club — shout out to Johnny’s Hideaway! Atlanta natives of a certain age will know this place. — Tom Brillante, OD, Decatur Eye Care, Decatur, GA
  • At work, when I need a quick, 5-min recharge, I run receipts reports or restock inventory. I find repetitive patterns and reassuring numbers are great for self-soothing! Off work: hiking, mountain biking, reading, eating at our great local restaurants, and snuggling O’Malley the Alley Cat. — Jen Heller, Pend Oreille Vision Care, Sandpoint, ID
  • Just got back from two weeks fishing in the Amazon. That was a pretty good recharge. I find working a three day week gives me a pretty good recharge each week, but office stays open five days. — Texas L. Smith, OD, Dr. Texas L. Smith & Associates, Citrus Heights, CA
  • Over the weekend, go driving. — BJ Chamber, Carrera Optical, McQueeney, TX
  • Exercise. — Kaleena Ma, MK Vision Center, Forest Hills, NY
  • My artwork and my writing for fandemoniumnetwork.com. — Angel Miller, Cynthiana Vision Center, Cynthiana, KY
  • Bicycling. — Fred Sirotkin, OD, Eagle Eye Care, Columbia, MD
  • Fresh air! — Candy Crone, Wayne Optical, York, PA
  • Trade shows like Vision Expo always tend to give us a little boost of motivation when we get back. — Travis LeFevre, Krystal Vision, Logan, UT
  • Woodworking; repurposing headboards to benches among other things. — Scott Felten, Fox Valley Family Eye Care, Little Chute, WI
  • I travel. Whether it’s a big trip or just a weekend getaway, getting out of my normal zone helps recharge. Also, some spa time is also a big help. — Christine Howard, Attleboro Vision Care, Attleboro, MA
  • Drink beer! IPA preferably. — Dave Schultz, OD, Urban Optics, San Luis Obispo, CA
  • It’s nice to get away from the business but for me I love working and luckily, I work in an area of the country that a lot of people come to visit so it’s kind of like we’re always on vacation… just being back recharges me from time off. — Julie Uram, Optical Oasis, Jupiter, FL
  • Family! — Pam Peters, Midwest Eye, Downers Grove, IL
  • I start with a very serious discussion with myself. I consider the facts, why things are not going as planned, if there is a rotten apple causing discord, what caused situation and then what actions I need to take. The next step is to plan and prepare a meeting to address the issues at hand. This usually recharges me, giving a positive attitude. I believe no situation is hopeless, and something can always be done. Right or wrong, you keep moving forward and don’t give up. One of Murphy’s Laws states “left alone things go from bad to worse.” — Pam Housle, Texas State Optical of Nederland, Port Arthur, TX
  • Caribbean vacation. — Brian Finley, Island Opticians LLC, Palm Beach, FL
  • Eating apples! They always give me a burst of energy. — Jade Kowalic, Rophie Eye Care, Dunedin, FL
  • Take a week off and go anywhere.— Sandy Slang, Ophthalmology Associates, Cudahy, WI
  • Lock the doors and try on glasses for an hour! Nothing is more fun!— Jennifer Leuzzi, Mill Creek Optical, Dansville, NY
  • Look forward to weekends. — Betty Aret, The Eyecare Boutique, Wexford, PA
  • Play with my three kids, travel with my wife, read and attend church. — Ken Boltz, OD, Kenneth D Boltz OD LLC, Dublin, OH
  • Vacation! — Amina Ebrahim, OD, D Vision Eyecare, Allen, TX
  • Vision Expos. — Scott Keating, OD, Vision Trends, Dover, OH
  • Retire? — Jill Schnurer, OD, Village Eyecare Co., Clarkston, MI
  • Vacation!!! — Susie Phillips, Dr. Brendon Johnson, OD, Pekin, IL
  • Sleep, elliptical, pray. — Brian Parker, Temecula Eye Center Optometry, Temecula, CA
  • What’s that? — Caitlin Binyo, Vision Center, Bellingham, WA
  • Moving my shop from commercial location to its new, sweet, in-home location has helped so very much in recharging! Having a shop downtown along with running my home, single-handedly was just too much, like having two homes to keep up! This integration is just the best for my stress and psyche … plus I’ve been able to clean up all business debt! — Elle Tatum , Island Spectacle, Bainbridge Island WA
  • Mini weekend vacation somewhere warm and not too far; like Florida on a Friday and coming back Sunday evening. — Diana Canto-Sims, Buena Vista Optical Boutique, Chicago, IL
  • I plan to take some time off before Thanksgiving to do some late season yard work and plant some fruit trees. I will also be taking a road trip to MI to spend Christmas with my in-laws. — Jesse Ellis , Eye Health Vision Center, North Dartmouth, MA
  • Starbucks!! — Jessica Brundidge , Clarity Vision, Clayton NC
  • Play with grandkids. — Robert McBeath , Edina Eye Physicians and Surgeons, Edina MN
  • Coffee or Red Bull. — Heather Harrington, Elevated Eyecare, Denver, CO
  • Yoga, vacations, bar trivia or concerts. — Harris Decker , Eye Designs of Westchester, Scarsdale, NY
  • I take a day off. Sometimes I just need some “me” time. On my day off, I quilt. — Vicki Thompson , Grandville Optical, Grandville, MI
  • I’m a big crafter and that relaxes me. — Colleen Brondo, Visual Eyes Optical, Stanhope, NJ

What’s the Brain Squad?

  • If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. eyecare business serving the public, you’re invited to join the INVISION Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting eyecare professionals. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

Since launching in 2014, INVISION has won 23 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INVISION's editors at editor@invisionmag.com.

Buzz Session

Many of You Think You’d Be Sorted into Gryffindor with Harry Potter

‘Which Hogwarts House would you belong to and why?’

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THIS MONTH’S QUESTION: If becoming an ECP required lessons in wizardry (and yes, some argue it does), which Hogwarts House would you belong to and why? (Gryffindor: Daring but a little self-righteous; Slytherin: Cunning, aristocratic and power hungry; Hufflepuff: Modest, kind but lacking ambition; Ravenclaw: Intelligent, good looking, cliquey.)
  • Hufflepuff. — Tom Hicks, Oxford Opticians, Oxford, OH
  • It would totally be Gryffindor. Most people that know me will say I am not afraid to take risks. — Bhumika Patel, OD, Redstone Family Vision, Indian Land, SC
  • Gryffindor! — Larah Alami, OD, Hudson River Eye Care, Tarrytown and White Plains, NY
  • Gryffindor… go-getter! — Susie Phillips, Dr. Brendon Johnson, O.D., Pekin, IL
  • Ravenclaw. — Angie Patteson, OD, Sunset Eye Care, Johnson City, TN
  • Gryffindor, I am daring with my frame selections. I LOVE to take someone a little out of the comfort zone with a funky shape or even just a little more color than they are used to. — Maggie Ryan, Optical Arts, Toledo, OH
  • Slytherin: Cunning, aristocratic and power hungry. — Diana Canto-Sims, Buena Vista Optical, Chicago, IL
  • I haven’t seen the movies, but if I have to choose just by reading the descriptions, I would be a member of Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw. — Rigo Lopez, Gilman &Vorster Optometry, Indio, CA
  • Slytherin, always looking for ways to make more sales which requires some cunning and always power hungry. — Pam Neagle, Austin Eyeworks, Austin, TX
  • Hufflepuff … because that’s what Pottermore told me! — Erin D’Elia, 3 for 1 Glasses, St. Catharines, ON, Canada
  • Ravenclaw. — Amy Pelak, Proview Eyecare Optometry, Corona, CA
  • Gryffindor. In pursuing a new practice, we expect our staff to excel at customer service and exceed our patients’ expectations. Five years in, our reviews show we are doing what we set out to do, but we are always looking for ways to improve! — Pam Peters, Midwest Eye, Downers Grove, IL
  • Gryffindor. — Tabitha Fuller, Thomas Eye, Palmetto, GA
  • Ravenclaw. — Robert M Easton, Jr., OD, FAAO, Oakland Park, FL
  • Gryffindor, we like to try new things and can be a bit stubborn in our quests! — Selina McGee, OD, Precision Vision, Edmond, OK
  • Why pick one when a combination of them all would be ideal! A quality from each House will make for a well-rounded ECP! — William Chancellor, Eye Can See Eyewear, McDonough, GA
  • Merlin, Arthur and the Knight of the Round Table. — Dave Goodrich, Goodrich Optical, Lansing, MI
  • None. I’d go with Starfleet Academy! — Dennis Iadarola, OD, Center For Vision Care, Monroe, CT
  • Gryffindor: A kind leader. — Chris Mark, OptiMark, Des Moines, WA
  • Definitely Gryffindor, some of the best opti-wizards come from here! Defeating a troll or surviving a game of quidditch makes being an ECP look easy! Doreen Erbe, Snyder Eye Group, Ship Bottom, NJ
  • Gryffindor, huge Harry Potter fan, the only house to choose! — Deb Jaeger, Eye Center of the Dakotas, Bismarck, ND
  • Gryffindor. You have to be willing to take chances and believe in yourself. — Paula Hornbeck, Eye Candy & Eye Candy Kids, Delafield, WI
  • Ravenclaw. — Kate Giroux, MacPherson Opticians, Arlington, VA
  • I’m a perfect split: 50% Gryffindor/50% Slytherin. — Harris Decke, Eye Designs of Westchester, Scarsdale, NY
  • Hufflepuff but wishing I was cunning and power hungry like Slytherin. Oh well, I gotta be me, right? — Tom Brillante, OD, Decatur Eye Care, Decatur, GA
  • Gryffindor, can’t be a great OD without being daring and taking the occasional chance. — Kenneth D. Boltz, OD, LLC, Dublin, OH
  • I am sorted into Ravenclaw but have always felt I belong in Hufflepuff! — Stephanie Crowley, Sie Eyecare, Charlotte, NC
  • Gryffindor, you have to have balls to make it big in this profession. — Adam Ramsey, OD, Socialite Vision, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
  • I’m definitely a wizard. Everyone always tells me so. I’d have to say I’d be a member of Ravenclaw. I’m super educated in what I do, and I just happen to be very good looking!! — Jade Kowalick, Ryczek Eye, St Petersburg, FL
  • Ravenclaw. — Heather Harrington, Elevated Eyecare, Denver, CO
  • Gryffindor; daring: constantly looking to improve and change what we do and how we do it, and self-righteous: due to confidence from years of experience. — Pam Housley, Texas State Optical of Nederland, Port Arthur, TX
  • Ravenclaw. — Ron Hansen, Southwind Eyecare, Hutchinson, KS
  • Since I am a Ravenclaw in every “Which Hogwarts House do you belong in?” quiz I have ever taken, I will have to stick to being a Ravenclaw professionally too. Always creatively problem solving, selling beautiful frames, and treating patients like family! — Jenna Gilbertson, McCulley Optix Gallery, Fargo, ND
  • Gryffindor. — Kyle Kravick, Davis Duehr Dean, Portage, WI
  • Ravenclaw, but only because that’s the House I’m sorted into on Pottermore. There should be a House for Chameleons that become whatever’s needed! — Angel Miller, Cynthiana Vision Center, Cynthiana, KY
  • Ravenclaw! Great question! — Amy Kraemer, Optometric Eye Care Centers, Maplewood, MN
  • Honestly, I have never read Harry Potter so I don’t even get these references but based on descriptions I would say a mix of Gryffindor and Slytherin. — Josh Bladh, Dr. Bladh OD, Diamond Bar, CA
  • Gryffindor, I’m not afraid to step out of the box to solve problems and my stores reflect this as well. We are independent focused and offer brands and service that you can’t find anywhere nearby. — Travis LeFevre, Krystal Vision, Logan, UT
  • Gryffindor for sure. I know am a great optician and I will make sure you know it too. — Jason Stamper, Eye Care Pavilion, Davenport, IA
  • Personally, I would be in Ravenclaw. As an office, we would be in Hufflepuff! — Judy Scheuerell, Fox Valley Family Eye Care, Little Chute, WI
  • Gryffindor. — Christine Howard, Attleboro Vision Care, Attleboro, MA
  • Gryffindor, no question. Ever since I left the grind of corporate optical it’s been a welcome change to select my own frames and lab work. I’m not as daring as I’d like to be with frame selection but I have to cater to my small demographic. And, unfortunately, that goes double for my men’s frames. — Rick Rickgauer, Vision Associates, Girard, PA
  • Ravenclaw: We aspire to have our patients look intelligent in their new eyewear and look “elevator good” so people in an elevator will ask where they got their eyewear. — Texas L. Smith, OD, Dr. Texas L. Smith & Associates, Citrus Heights, CA
  • Gryffindor: I own an optical shop. I’ve worked really hard and have taken a lot of chances. When things were successful I was a little self-righteous. — Jennifer Leuzzi, Mill Creek Optical, Dansville, NY
  • I’m actually in Slytherin, but by those descriptions, most probably Gryffindor. I like to try new things and bring my sense of humor and flare to the optical. — Frances Ann Layton, Eye Associates of South Georgia, Valdosta, GA
  • Ravenclaw. — Betty Aretz, The Eyecare Boutique, Wexford, PA
  • Hufflepuff. — Annie Thompson, Lawrence Eye Care Optical, Lawrence, KS
  • Gryffindor: No guts, no glory. I like to do what others say can’t be done. — Annette Prevaux, The Visionary Inc, Allen Park, MI
  • I would have to start my own house. Intelligent, daring, ambitious but also modest. — Leisa Lauer, Dr. H Michael Shack, Newport Beach, FL
  • Slytherin. — Colleen Galanti, Pascarella Eye Care & Contact Lenses, Newtown, PA
  • Gryffindor all the way. — Scott Keating, OD, Vision Trends, Dover, OH
  • Gryffindor? But I know very little Potterverse … I’m more of a unicorn than a wizard, anyways. All my talents come naturally rather than through schooling! — Jen Heller, Pend Oreille Vision Care, Sandpoint, ID
  • Gryffindor. — Ron Catterson, Clear View Optix, The Villages, FL
  • Gryffindor. — Marc Ullman, OD, Academy Vision, Pine Beach, NJ
  • I’m a little of each I think…what does that make me? A Gryffindor? — Zachary Dirks, OD, St. Peter and Belle Plaine Eyecare Centers, Saint Peter, MN
  • A blend of Gryffindor and Hufflepuff depending on mood. — Bob McBeath, Edina Eye, Edina, MN
  • Hufflepuff right now! — Bridgett Fredrickson, Whelan Eye Care, Bemidji, MN
  • Gryffindor … Harry definitely would’ve wanted me on his team. — Andrew Romeril, OD, Torrey Highlands Optometry, San Diego, CA
  • Gryffindor. — Todd Lapointe, VIP EYES, Portland, ME
  • Ravenclaw. — Kelsey Ruminer, Kavanaugh Eye Care, Little Rock, AR
  • Gryffindor because it just fits me! — Scott Felten, Fox Valley Family Eye Care, Little Chute, WI

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. eyecare business serving the public, you’re invited to join the INVISION Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting eyecare professionals. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

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Buzz Session

ECPs Share the Hidden Talents That Help Them in Business

You’re a talented bunch! Some of you should go on the road.

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THIS MONTH’S QUESTION: What’s a hidden talent that unexpectedly helps you in your business?
  • I’m the office whistler. I’ve convinced myself I will go on tour one day with a band. Kind of like when a band adds a keyboardist later in their career? Well, I’ll be the whistler. Like Guns N’ Roses patience good. — Renee Berry, Nappanee Family Eyecare, Nappanee, IN
  • Photography. It helps in almost every facet of marketing! And I am a “celebrity dancer” in our local Chamber of Commerce Dancing with the Stars event. Our dance off is September 5! — Selina McGee, OD, Precision Vision, Edmond, OK
  • I fix my employees cars sometimes. It saves them some money and time. — Bret Hunter, Sports Optical, Denver, CO
  • Attention to detail and efficiency. — Larah Alami, OD, Hudson River Eye Care, Tarrytown and White Plains, NY
  • I have an insanely good memory. I can remember a patients name, their spouse, kids, dogs. Just last week I helped a patient find his plano sun lenses because when I dispensed them to him 2 years ago I remember him saying, “I know just the spot for these, I’ll put them in my office chest.” When I told him to look there and he found them, even I was surprised. — Jessika E. Arena, The Eye Center, Asheville, NC
  • The gift of gab. I have always assumed it was shared by all doctors until recently. I feel very fortunate to be able to talk with pretty much anyone about pretty much anything. It makes the experience extremely personal. — Blake Hutto, OD, Family Vision Care, Alma, GA
  • I sing to my pediatric patients when I am performing retinoscopy. I am not a brilliant singer, but the very small kids love it, and so do the parents. — Angie Patteson, OD, Sunset Eye Care, Johnson City, TN
  • Good memory for details. — Brendon Johnson, OD, Pekin, IL
  • Creativity and honesty. — Candy Crone, Wayne Optical, York, PA
  • Interior design. — Jocelyn Mylott, D’Ambrosio Eyecare,
  • Knack for following my gut. — Nicole Heyduk, Eye Centers of NWO
  • My superpower is dealing with difficult people. I usually can disarm them and get a reasonable resolution to a problem. — Annette Prevaux, The Visionary Inc., Allen Park, MI
  • Creativity. As a new business, we don’t have the funds that other businesses have so we have to be creative with our displays, ways to show our appreciation to patients, and how to run the office on limited funds. — Nytarsha Thomas, OD, Visionelle Eyecare, Zionsville, IN
  • Being able to smell the BS-ers or incompatible customers the moment they enter the office. If the moment a person walks into our office with a condescending attitude, unrealistic expectations or the following words come out of their mouth: “I just left another optical storming out with outrage” this is a big red flag. There are exceptions where the person was treated badly elsewhere and we become their hero, but 80% of the time, they are toxic and we kindly and respectfully tell them we are NOT what they are looking for, have incongruent expectations and thank them for stopping by. We have the habit of NOT talking bad about other opticals when people complain about them. It helps no one. — Diana Sims, Buena Vista Optical, Chicago, IL
  • Style! It helps with frame selection, office decor, in office music, hiring, window displays, etc.! — Dave Schultz, OD, Urban Optics, San Luis Obispo, CA
  • Selective hearing. Marc Ullman, OD, Academy Vision, Pine Beach, NJ
  • My Minnesota nice-ness. I am able to tell patient that frame is Not. For. Them. but nicely, where they don’t have hurt feelings and I get to put them in a better-looking frame! — Jenna Gilbertson, McCulley Optix Gallery, Fargo, ND
  • Humor!! — Mark Perry, OD, Vision Health Institute, Orlando, FL
  • My ability to smile even when I want to throat punch a patient. — Amy Pelak, Proview Eyecare Optometry, Corona, CA
  • The ability to find common ground with customers, and engage in easy conversation. — David Weber, The Eye Zone, Dallas, TX
  • I have a commercial art degree! Also, I am a nerd. Not sure they are very well hidden talents, though. — Angel Miller, Cynthiana Vision Center, Cynthiana, KY
  • Building relationships. — Adam Ramsey, OD, Iconic Eye Care, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
  • I’m often told a should be a stand-up comedian by my patients. So, a sense of humor helps more times than I can count. — Cynthia Sayers, OD, EyeShop Optical Center, Lewis Center, OH
  • Graphic design/marketing background. Native of the area and length of time with the practice, know and recognize many patients. — Deb Jaeger, Eye Center of the Dakotas, Bismarck, ND
  • I grew up never being taught how to use tools. I’ve been self-taught doing repairs and adjustments with little or no problems and I say Thank You Lord when everything turns out great. — Jeff Grosekemper, Casa De Oro Eyecare, Spring Valley, CA
  • My sense of humor. — Texas L. Smith, OD, Dr. Texas L. Smith & Associates, Citrus Heights, CA
  • Art! — Pam Peters, Midwest Eye, Downers Grove, IL
  • I enjoy hearing about what people do for a living … and coincidentally, people enjoy talking about themselves; so, it works out well. — Tom Brillante, OD, Decatur Eye Care, Decatur, GA
  • I wouldn’t say it’s a talent but as a man “I listen to my patients.” Maybe that’s more of a superpower. — William Chancellor, Eye Can See Eyewear, McDonough, GA
  • Being a mom gives me LOTS of patience with young kids. — Amina Ebrahim, OD, D Vision Eyecare, Allen, TX
  • It’s so well-hidden I’m still looking for it. — Andrew Romeril, Torrey Highlands Optometry, San Diego, CA
  • My hidden talent is having stage time as both a musician and a stand-up comedian. Neither of which I am very active in now. That said, I believe selling to be a performance. — Steve Nelson, Eye Candy Optical, Westlake, OH
  • Frame making. — Huge differentiation. Kevin Count, Prentice Lab, Glenview, IL
  • Having formerly worked at an Apple Store, people are always eager to share issues they’re having with their electronics. I’m always happy to do a little hard reset or reboot here and there. Definitely makes getting glasses a memorable experience. — Harris Decker, Eye Designs of Westchester, Scarsdale, NY
  • Customer service. — Paul Super, The Eyesite Optometric, Los Angeles, CA
  • Positive outlook. — Bethany Cassar, Complete Eye Health, Holland, MI
  • It’s not hidden, but humor is huge in my office. If people don’t leave with a smile, we feel like we’ve let them down. When people are laughing/smiling, everything runs smoother. — Frances Ann Layton, Eye Associates of South Georgia, Valdosta, GA
  • Remembering details about patients that I learned during previous visits and being able to resume the conversation. It makes them feel special that I remember things about them or their family. — Pauline Buck, OD, Behavioral and Developmental Optometrists, Miami, FL
  • I guess not so hidden — I have a pretty good sense of humor and often use it to put people at ease. — Paula Hornbeck, Eye Candy & Eye Candy Kids, Delafield, WI
  • Initiative! — Becki Martin, Harrington Vision Center II, Florence, SC
  • Well I think being an optician we find all kinds of ways to actually be magicians with people’s eyewear which is helpful you can amaze people by what you can do by fixing their glasses and helping them out. — Julie Uram, Optical Oasis, Jupiter, FL
  • Being genuine with patients. I think the majority of patients expect us to be a stereotypical doctors visit. I love to not only help the patient but ensure they leave in a better mindset than when they arrived, to feel good about their visit! — Carissa Dunphy, Lake Stevens Vision Clinic, Lake Stevens, WA
  • My strong medical background as a BSN RN PHN has proven to be a great cross over in an effort to provide the best quality of life for our patients. — Leisa Lauer, Dr. H Michael Shack, Newport Beach, FL
  • Listening to the customer. — Chris Cordes, Fischer Laser Eye Center, Marshall, MN
  • I’m an empath and fairly good at mirroring peoples’ behavior and body language. It’s good for sales, but also helpful for developing lasting customer relationships. — Katie Root, Latham Family Vision, Latham, NY
  • Finding the reason why. Be it a patient’s vision issue, frame repair, computer problem. I want to know why it’s happening and how to fix it. — Dave Goodrich, Goodrich Optical, Lansing, MI
  • I used to be a licensed health insurance agent. Understanding the industry from every point of view is helpful in articulating to patients why their vision plan isn’t insurance. — Nikki Griffin, EyeStyles Optical and Boutique, Oakdale, MN
  • I was an art major so it really helps with color in frame selection. — Rick Rickgauer, Vision Associates, Girard, PA
  • My knowledge of health care policy, Florida rules and regulations. — Robert Easton Jr, Robert M Easton Jr OD FAAO, Oakland Park, FL
  • I love people and their stories. People love to talk about themselves and it helps keep them coming back to know that I’m genuinely interested in them! — Jennifer Leuzzi, Mill Creek Optical, Dansville, NY
  • Storytelling! I was an English major, which doesn’t seem to correlate to optical, UNTIL you realize that every single person that walks in wants to be the main character in a vibrant, exciting story. It informs how I listen to people, how I present glasses options, and how I fit frames. My well-honed literary research skills have also produced some wickedly-good insurance appeals and billing letters. I’ve only lost one first-level insurance appeal in seven years! — Jen Heller, Pend Oreille Vision Care, Sandpoint, ID
  • Fairy Hair by KeKeVanB (originalfairyhair.com). Once a month nearly 40 ladies come in to our boutique. — Ron Catterson, Clear View Optix, The Villages, FL
  • Listening to the patient, gathering information about their lifestyle; how they use their eyes every day. — BJ Chambers, Carrera Optical, McQueeney, TX
  • If a young child is nervous for their exam, I can turn a bathroom towel into a turkey. — Scott Keating, OD, Vision Trends, Dover, OH
  • Knowing my inventory so well that I immediately know what frame will be perfect for their needs and style. — Dorothy Reynolds, Optical Alternatives, Milford, CT
  • I definitely think I am able to put people at ease, so they relax a bit and let themselves have fun in the selection process. — Siobhan Burns, The Eyeglass Lass, New London, CT
  • I can remember anyone’s name — patients can come back a year later and I know who they are and they seem quite impressed! — Stephanie Crowley, Sie Eyecare, Charlotte, NC

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. eyecare business serving the public, you’re invited to join the INVISION Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting eyecare professionals. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

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Buzz Session

When it Comes to Lens Materials, Coatings or Enhancements, You Guys Have No Problem Playing Favorites

AR coatings are obviously a must and one specific material is most of your MVP.

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THIS MONTH’S QUESTION: What is your favorite lens material, design, coating or enhancement (brand names welcome)? Briefly, why?
  • 1.74 Hi Index for high Rxs. Crizal Easy because, like the name implies, it’s easy maintenance. — Rick Rickgauer, Vision Associates Girard, PA
  • Trivex due to its clarity. Eyezen for people who use computers and cell phones, including kids. My favorite progressive is Shamir Autograph Intelligence because of its wide computer channel. We also use Shamir Computer as a second pair for office personnel. — Monika Marczak OD, Eye Candy Optical Center, McMurray, PA
  • Favorite lens material is Trivex; it has superior optics as compared to other materials. It is also very lightweight, as well as being nearly indestructible. I prefer Crizal AR coatings as they seem to be much more durable. — Gregory Williams, Arboretum Vision Care, Austin, TX
  • Love my Eye-Kraft DLS mobile private label progressives! Really help with night driving. — Gail Bailey, Eye Care Clinic, Grand Rapids, MN
  • A good high quality hydrophobic, non-glare lens is essential to us. It’s inhuman to have to deal with glare and tired eyes. — Diana Canto-Sims, La Vida Eyewear. Chicago, IL
  • I love the new X Design by Essilor. We have had such a positive response from our patients. — Michelle Wright, DePoe Eye Center, Stockbridge, GA
  • Trivex, IOT lens designs, premium anti-reflective coatings. IOT has a lens design for every lifestyle, I can manipulate corridor lengths and get wider fields of vision. — Sherry Berry, Eye Against Eye & Ardmore Eye Care, Ardmore, PA
  • 1.53 Trivex … everything about it is good! — Dr. Brendon Johnson, O.D., Pekin, IL
  • Trivex and Recharge. — Katie Rutledge, Arnold Family Eyecare, Arnold, MO
  • CR-39 or Trivex is my go to when it comes to material, but depending on prescription, a high index when necessary. Eyezen+’s have been one of our most popular lenses because of the clarity, Smart Blue Filter, and getting everyone in digital technology is something that is going to set us above competitors when it comes to actual product. When it comes to progressives, our office really likes to put everyone in a lens that truly caters to their lifestyle so it varies for everyone. Crizal, Shamir and Sentinel coatings are some of the only coatings I stand by for clarity, long lasting and EASY TO CLEAN! — Heather Harrington, Elevated Eyecare, Denver, CO
  • Poly Transitions Avancé; some plans want to use Unity lenses, some Essilor lenses. — Marc Ullman, OD, Academy Vision, Pine Beach, NJ
  • Love Hi-Index lenses with Blue Light AR. — Amina Ebrahim, OD, D Vision Eyecare, Allen, TX
  • I have always been a Varilux guy but since I have been using Shamir, I think I’m liking them a lot. Shamir Intelligence PAL, it’s like magic! — Rigo Lopez, Gilman & Vorster Optometry, Indio, CA
  • 99.9 percent we use polycarbonate, a generic single vision with UltraClear or UltraClear with Blue. — Susan Miller, OD, Bright Eyes Vision, Hartsville, PA
  • Anything high index. — Leisa Lauer, Dr. H Michael Shack, Newport Beach, FL
  • LiteStyle, we explain that this lens is a phenolcarbonate and NOT a polycarbonate. We also use mid index lenses (1.56 Trivex). — BJ Chambers, Carrera Optical, McQueeney, TX
  • Totally loving mirrors again. — Annette Prevaux, The Visionary, Allen Park, MI
  • Hoya Sync with Recharge, has a small anti-fatigue amount of add in the lens with a blue light filter AR. This combo is a knockout for pre-presbyopic patients that spend many hours on devices. — Carissa Dunphy, Lake Stevens Vision Clinic, Lake Stevens, WA
  • We use a lot of poly but if I had to choose, it would either be Trivex or 1.60 but it also depends on the patient and their Rx needs. I prefer to use IOT designs from Laramy-K, there are more options than we could ever think of using and Laramy-K has the knowledge of when it’s best to use which design. — Travis LeFevre, Krystal Vision, Logan, UT
  • Shamir Autograph III in Trivex with Shamir Glacier. They are the perfect lens with a perfect patient adaptability score. I always want my patients wearing what is best for them and this is it. — Susan Frein, Ames Eye Care, Ankeny, IA
  • Recharge, love the bluish purplish tint. — Maureen Garbis, Compass Eyecare, Oak Park, IL
  • Hi Index 1.74 with Crizal. — Richard Frankel, Atlantic Cape Eyecare, Wildwood, NJ
  • Trivex is a favorite lens material because it’s a stable substrate for coatings. We are using Camber and IOT lens designs for their superior optics and excellent margins as a house lens. — Nikki Griffin, EyeStyles Optical and Boutique, Oakdale, MN
  • I am LOVING mirror coatings. We use Digital Eye Lab and their mirror coatings are stunning! — Jenna Gilbertson, McCulley Optix Gallery, Fargo, ND
  • I’m wearing the Power SV lenses in Trivex with Sapphire Transitions and Retinal Bliss DES non-glare coating. My absolute favorite lens I’ve worn yet. — Frances Ann Layton, Eye Associates of South GA, Valdosta, GA
  • Both of the two top labs we work with offer a really good CO2/TD2 scratch coat with a two-year warranty, which we sell as an upgrade for $48. If a patient experiences any scratching, they get one free lens pair replacement anytime during the first two years after dispensing. I have won over so many patients who have histories of being tough on stuff and who have been erroneously sold AR coatings. Our honesty in sales wins us so many people and we capture more AR coatings on our sales than the national average. — Jen Heller, Pend Oreille Vision Care, Sandpoint, ID
  • 1.60 with Crizal Avancé is my favorite. It doesn’t ship or get stress fractures, vision is fantastic, and lenses are lightweight. — Jennifer Leuzzi, Mill Creek Optical, Dansville, NY
  • CR-39! Great clarity, just add a treatment like Zeiss DuraVision BlueProtect to boost your durability. I wear this lens and have had the best optical results since I’ve been in the industry. — William Chancellor, Eye Can See Eyewear, McDonough, GA
  • Trivex Autograph Intelligence. — Paula Hornbeck, Eye Candy & Eye Candy Kids, Delafield, WI
  • Trivex with AR for clear lenses and anything and everything polarized for sunglasses. — Pablo E. Mercado, LensCrafters, Alpharetta, GA
  • Material = Trivex. The best for low to mid prescriptions! — Dave Schultz, OD, Urban Optics, San Luis Obispo, CA
  • Trivex for standard Rxs Autograph 2, 3 or Intelligence. Shamir Glacier Coat. — Zachary Dirks, OD, St. Peter and Belle Plaine Eyecare Centers, Saint Peter, MN
  • Recharge. — Tina Smrkovski, Reed Optical, Claremont, NH
  • Polycarbonate with Unity AR Coating and Tech Shield for the computer crowd. — Texas L. Smith, OD, Dr. Texas L. Smith & Assoc., Citrus Heights, CA
  • Zeiss’s mirror coatings are on-trend and an easy add-on to boost slower summer sales numbers. — Kris Kittell, Torrey Highlands Optometry, San Diego, CA
  • Varilux X design from Essilor is my go to progressive usually in a poly since we have a lot of drill mounts and semi rimless frames. However, if they are going with Transitions in a semi-rimless I will change to a Trivex or higher index to cut down on de-lamination that will frequently occur with the poly/Transitions. Crizal Sapphire 360 is also my go to AR for single vision/progressives. Crizal products in general are my most used. — Caitlin Wicka, San Juan Eye Center, Montrose, CO
  • Trivex or 1.67, Eyezen for SV and X Design for progressives. Had a lot of success with these lenses during the ULP. Crizal Sapphire for AR Trivex. — Pam Peters, Midwest Eye, Downers Grove, IL
  • I love Trivex. Versatile and tough, it beats polycarbonate hands down. We only do Trivex in drill mounts because of poly’s habit of cracking at the drill points over time. — Angel Miller, Cynthiana Vision Center, Cynthiana, KY
  • Transition Crizal Trivex. — Tabitha Fuller, Thomas Eye, Palmetto, GA
  • Phoenix Super Hi Vision EX3 from Hoya works well, no vague complaints. — Bob McBeath, Edina Eye, Edina, MN
  • Trivex favorite material because of lightweight, clarity and doesn’t chip or crack. Very happy with Walman’s Power products, they have been working extremely well. — Scott Felten, Fox Valley Family Eye Care, Little Chute, WI
  • IOT Camber Steady in Trivex with an AR coating in a Minima Chassis with Chemistrie Clip. You can use any lens shape and eye size. Available in 23 colors, four bridge sizes and temple lengths to 160 mm. What more could you ask for? — Dave Goodrich, Goodrich Optical, Lansing, MI
  • For heavy Rx, I love the 1.74 Hi Index. Couldn’t get it when I worked the chains. Crizal Easy is a no-hassle AR. — Rick Rickgauer, Vision Associates, Girard, PA
  • Loving Trivex and high index with or without Blue Zero. — Dorothy Reynolds, Optical Alternatives, Milford, CT
  • Lab Tech’s own FSV lenses with Peak AR. Luzerne’s SightStar+ progressive lenses and AGT AR which is compatible to Crizal. Transitions Signature 7 in fashion colors does well. — Mitchell Kaufman, Marine Park Family Vision, Brooklyn, NY
  • We see the merits of Trivex. Hard as poly but with better optics. After doing a great deal of Trivex for our entire existence, we see our customers’ glasses over a period of time. Trivex holds up and looks great! — Steve Nelson, Eye Candy Optical, Westlake, OH
  • I love Crizal Avancé and Sapphire. When the lenses come from lab, they look so clear and the reflection of lights are like jewels on the glasses. — Bhumika Patel, Redstone Family Vision, Indian Land, SC
  • Trivex! Blue Light AR, over 90 percent of our patients understand the need for AR and Dr. Cassar prescribes it in the exam room. Tom, our optician, is awesome at educating our patients on the need for AR as well. — Bethany Cassar, Complete Eye Health, Holland, MI
  • Poly does so much now. Transitions, they are very versatile and healthy. — Jeff Hayden, Vision Care Center, Brighton, MI
  • Trivex because it is lightweight, has a low ABBE value — which equals better optics than poly —and is impact resistant. It is our primary material. — Bridgett Fredrickson, Whelan Eye Care, Bemidji, MN
  • Trivex material, Hoya Array Pal, Recharge coating. Durable, work well, less trouble shooting. — Cynthia Sayers, OD, EyeShop Optical Center, Lewis Center, OH
  • Trivex, closest tough lens to CR39. — Pauline Buck, OD, Behavioral and Developmental Optometrists, Miami, FL
  • Anti-reflective! It’s so worth the extra money. I can’t wear glasses without it now. — Cindy Henderson, Eyear Optical, Hixson, TN
  • 1.67 Transitions with Avancé coating, comfortable for everyday! — Kaleena Ma, MK Vision Center, Forest Hills, NY
  • I love Hoya’s Phoenix with Recharge. It gives the patient a great scratch warranty, it’s better than poly with less aberrations and I’ve had no issues with the lens crazing. I actually use it myself. — Deanna Phillips, Clemmons Family Eye Care, Clemmons, NC
  • BlueProtect by Zeiss for people on devices all day, Eyezen by Essilor for the same reason. — Nytarsha Thomas, OD, Visionelle Eyecare, Zionsville, IN
  • We use Shamir and their AR coating or our labs AR coating and the main reason is that Varilux/Crizal dropped the ball after promising to help my office with a simple request. I guess it’s all the same company so they win anyway. — Marc Ullman, OD, Academy Vision, Pine Beach, NJ
  • Shamir Autograph Intelligence, first progressive in YEARS that there is a noticeable improvement in optical quality! — Stephanie Crowley, Sie Eyecare, Charlotte, NC

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