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Prevent Blindness Names Ed Buffington, GPN Technologies, as the 2024 Person of Vision Award Recipient

Annual Prevent Blindness Person of Vision Award Gala at Vision Expo East to Honor Ed Buffington, GPN Technologies, and Recognize 20/20 Magazine for 50 Years of Publication

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(PRESS RELEASE) CHICAGO – Prevent Blindness, the nation’s leading eye health and safety nonprofit organization, announced today that the 2024 Person of Vision Award will be presented to Ed Buffington, president and CEO of GPN Technologies. The Person of Vision Award Gala will be held on March 14, 2024, at 583 Park Avenue, New York City, in conjunction with Vision Expo East. Prevent Blindness will also be giving special recognition to 20/20 Magazine in celebration of its 50th Anniversary of publication. All proceeds from the event support the sight-saving mission of Prevent Blindness.

The Prevent Blindness Person of Vision Award recognizes an individual, corporation and/or organizationwhose inspired outlook champions healthy vision and its importance for a healthy life. Buffington was chosen as the recipient of the 2024 Person of Vision Award for years of outstanding service in the optical and eyecare industry.

Buffington began his career in the optical industry in 1979 as part of the contact lens company, American Hydron. In 1983, with his partners, he launched OfficeMate Software installing the first eyecare practice management software system to run on an IBM PC in April 1984.

After tremendous growth, in 1994, Marchon acquired OfficeMate, which was later acquired by VSP. Today OfficeMate remains one of the leading eyecare practice management and electronic medical records software solutions in the optometric industry with a significant market share.

After retiring from VSP in 2014, Buffington began his private consulting firm, The Buffington Company, leveraging his nearly 40 years of expertise in the eyecare industry. In 2017, Buffington joined data analytics firm, GPN Technologies as President and CEO.

“I am humbled and honored to receive this very special industry recognition from Prevent Blindness, thank you!” said Buffington. “I want to thank all the wonderful friends and partners I’ve worked with throughout my tenure in eyecare. It’s those relationships that have contributed to my success and enjoyment in my career.”

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Additionally, at the Person of Vision Award gala, Prevent Blindness will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of 20/20 Magazine, a publication of Jobson Medical Information, LLC. The publication includes information and resources for optometrists and other eyecare industry professionals, featuring fashion trending, branding, style, lenses and technology, product news and continuing education.

“We are incredibly honored that Prevent Blindness will be recognizing the 50th Anniversary of 20/20 Magazine at the Person of Vision Dinner in March,” said James DeMatteis, Group Publisher, 20/20 and Vision Monday. “Achieving this milestone is something Jobson is both humbled by and very proud of—not only of the accomplishments this anniversary represents, but also of the tremendous strides the optical arena has achieved these past five decades.”

Maureen Cavanagh, Safilo, is once again serving as the 2024 Person of Vision Committee Chair. Additional committee members include Marge Axelrad, Vision Monday; Jay Binkowitz, Keplr Vision; Deb Bulken, Luxottica Wholesale; Marc Ferrera, Jobson Medical Information; Anne Kavanagh, Kavanagh Consulting LLC; Katie Lauver, GPN Technologies; Lorie Lippiatt, LLL Holdings, LLC; Prevent Blindness Board of Directors Chair Jim McGrann, Advancing Eyecare; and Matt Tackman, Essilor.

“We are proud to recognize Ed Buffington and 20/20 Magazine at the 2024 Person of Vision Award gala,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “Tickets will be selling quickly, so we encourage everyone to purchase their seats now and make sure they don’t miss out on this fantastic event!”

For more information, including sponsorship opportunities, Person of Vision Award committee membership, and tickets, please contact Albert Muci at (312) 363-6020 or amuci@preventblindness.org, or visit https://preventblindness.org/personofvision.

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