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President Named for Essilor of America

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The promotion is effective Sept. 1.

Rick Gadd will be promoted to the role of president of Essilor of America as of Sept. 1. Eric Leonard will move to new senior responsibilities for the Essilor Group at that time.

Gadd joined Essilor of America in 2011 as senior vice president of key accounts, a group he led until 2017, when he was named president of ECP sales and services. Recently, he has been responsible for leading the brand and lab sales organization, Kodak brand and Partner Labs to accelerate customer growth and satisfaction through eyecare professional partnership and customized product and service innovation.

Prior to his roles at Essilor of America, Gadd served as a senior leader at Motorola.

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“I warmly thank Eric Leonard for his significant contribution to the strategic development and success of Essilor of America during the past four years,” said John Carrier, chief operating officer, Essilor International. “Eric and Rick will work together over the next few months on a transition plan that ensures Essilor of America will continue to drive unique innovations and services for its customers and live our Group’s mission of improving lives by improving sight.”

Leonard has held a variety of roles within Essilor since 2002. Most recently, prior to joining Essilor of America in 2014, he served as the president of Essilor Europe.

Matt Tackman, current vice president of brand sales, has been named senior vice president of ECP sales and services to lead the brand and lab sales organization as Gadd moves into his new role. He has worked within Essilor of America for 10 years in a variety of leadership roles within the sales organization.

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And the Optometry School with the Highest Exam Pass Rate Is …

The pass rate nationally was 92 percent.

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Southern College of Optometry had the highest exam pass rate for 2017-18, according to newly released data.

For the second year, the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry partnered with the National Board of Examiners in Optometry to make the pass rates for the 2017-18 academic year at every institution available on its website. Data for the 21 schools is found here.

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“The results are from calculations using candidates’ scores who have both graduated during the listed timeframe and attempted all three parts at least once,” said Dr. Jill Bryant, NBEO’s executive director. 

The ultimate pass rate for Southern College of Optometry’s 130 candidates was 100 percent. The school requires students to take and pass parts I and II for graduation.

The school with the next highest pass rate was the University of California/Berkeley, at 98.41 percent.

The ultimate pass rate nationally was 92.09 percent.

“The national pass rates from our institutions are important information for all stakeholders in our profession, and we are happy to make this information readily available,” said Dr. David Damari, ASCO president.

“Faculty at every one of our member institutions aims to equip each optometry student with the skills and knowledge to pass each part of the exam. We all are always working toward 100% pass rate.”

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Optical Display Firm ‘Moving Forward’ After HQ Is Damaged by Wildfire

‘Down but not out,’ CEO says.

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PARADISE, CA — Though it lost over 75 percent of its facility in one of California’s worst natural disasters, Fashion Optical Displays has announced that it is moving forward and working with a certified manufacturer to fulfill current and new orders.

“We may be down, as the saying goes, but we’re not out,” Matthew Kiraly, president of Fashion Optical, said in a press release. “Though the worst of the fire has passed, there is still much to be done — not only at our company but for the entire area.”

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The company, which designs, manufactures and installs custom dispensary environments, sustained substantial losses in the November 2018 Camp Fire, the worst wildfire in California’s history, according to the release. The blaze devastated the company’s home town of Paradise and was responsible for the loss of over 86 lives and 18,000 homes and other buildings.

Kiraly said Fashion Optical has opened a temporary office in nearby Chico, CA.

“Though the company isn’t looking to expand operations at the present time, it is fulfilling orders with the expectation of moving forward,” according to the release.

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“All of our employees are safe, which is the most important thing,” Kiraly said.

“Though we’ve all lost so much, the spirit and resilience of our employees and neighbors allows us to look to the future with some degree of hope.”

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UK Gets Nationwide Contact Lens Recycling Program

It’s available to all soft contact lens wearers.

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LONDON — Johnson & Johnson Vision announced that it is launching the Acuvue Contact Lens Recycle Programme, the United Kingdom’s first free nationwide program that “enables consumers to easily recycle their contact lenses and the blister and foil packaging after use.”

The program is available to all soft contact lens wearers, regardless or which contact lens brand they use, according to a press release.

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The program aims to reduce plastic waste in landfills and waterways by providing a simple and practical alternative to the UK’s 3.7 million contact wearers, according to the release. That includes the 20 percent of wearers who reported that they currently dispose of their lenses by flushing them down the toilet or the sink.

“The end result will see the recycled contact lenses, blister and foil packaging turned into new products such as outdoor furniture and plastic lumber,” the release explained.

“Seventy-seven percent of British contact lens wearers said they would recycle their contact lenses if they could and we share their interest in reducing the amount of plastics in the environment,” said Sandra Rasche, area vice president, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Vision Care, Johnson & Johnson Medical GmbH. “As a business, we are committed to doing our part to combat climate change, protect our planet’s natural resources and reduce waste, and this new UK recycling programme represents the next step in our company’s sustainability commitment.”

Consumers will have the option of either having their contact lens material collected, or dropping it off through a network of recycling bins at public drop-off locations at optical stores across the UK, including retailer Boots Opticians Ltd. The recycling partnership with Boots Opticians and a number of independent stores aims over time to provide over 1,000 public drop-off recycling locations for contact lens waste across the UK.

Johnson & Johnson Vision is collaborating with TerraCycle, a leader in the collection and reuse of non-recyclable post-consumer waste, to run the program.

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