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Vision Expo 2019 OPTImum Retail Award Finalists Announced; Voting Now Open

The program celebrates independent boutique retailers.

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(PRESS RELEASE) ALEXANDRIA, VA – Vision Expo announces the finalists for the second annual OPTImum Retail Award. This award celebrates independent boutique retailers by allowing them to showcase their products, stores, visions and stories to the optical industry.

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The finalists are:

  • Art of Optiks – Wayzata, Minnesota
  • Black Optical – Dallas, Texas, Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Edward Beiner – South Miami, Florida
  • Focus Optical – The Woodlands, Texas
  • Le Lunetier – Milan, Italy

From Feb. 6 to Feb. 25, Vision Expo is encouraging the vision community to share their input and vote to help select the winner. To vote, as well as see the photos and stories of the finalists, click here. The results of the social media vote will factor into the judges’ scores.

The winner will be announced during the exclusive Boutique Buyer Panel on Saturday, March 23, from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the new Exhibit Hall destination the BRIDGE.

“We were extremely inspired by all the stories we received for the second annual OPTImum Retail Award,” said Joanne Mohr, event director for Reed Exhibitions. “This is an outstanding group of retailers and the judges had a tough decision to make. We look forward to celebrating the winner at Vision Expo East next month.”

To determine the finalists, a committee of the industry’s top leaders deliberated and voted on which stories they feel are most deserving of the award. This year’s committee members include Dr. Arian Fartash, optometrist and influencer of @glamoptometrist; Christian Roth, eyewear designer and the first Council of Fashion Designers of America member in the eyewear category since 1990; and James Spina, 20/20 Magazine editor-in-chief and senior vice president.

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To register for Vision Expo East 2019, visit VisionExpoNY.com and be sure to follow along on all of Vision Expo’s social media channels, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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The Vision Council Welcomes New Director of Industry Development, Think About Your Eyes

He brings more than 15 years of combined optical industry experience.

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Nathan Troxell

(PRESS RELEASE) The Vision Council has appointed Nathan Troxell as director, industry development for Think About Your Eyes. In this role, Troxell will help to grow the reputation of Think About Your Eyes among industry partners and expand participation and sponsorship of the campaign.

Troxell brings more than 15 years of combined optical industry experience to his role with extensive expertise in international multi-channel consumer and B2B marketing communications. A longtime active member of The Vision Council, Nathan served as a member on The Vision Council’s Marketing Communications Committee for several years before being appointed to chairman of the committee in January 2019.

Troxell holds a Bachelor of Science in Business and Communications from Grove City College. He lives in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife and two sons.

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Press Releases

Match Eyewear Signs Licensing Agreement with 1980s Brand Members Only

The launch eyewear collection will consist of fashion forward styles offered in a 12-color palette range.

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(PRESS RELEASE) WESTBURY, NY — Match Eyewear announces the signing of a licensing agreement with JR Apparel World for the development and distribution of the Member Only Eyewear brand.

“When you put it on…..something happens”, the tag line that launched a major fashion trend in menswear. Wildly popular in the 1980s with its Iconic Racer jacket, this lifestyle brand is having a resurgence more than 35 years later. Celebrating every detail that has made the jacket so iconic from the materials to the colors to the classic fit for men, women and kids and streetwear. With a mass cult following from famous celebrities to the working-class hero, fans of Members Only come from all occupations, age groups and socio-economic levels. Members Only is inclusive and welcomes everyone to be part of the Members Only family.

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Keeping with the same formula that continues to make Members Only the must have fashion item to have in one’s wardrobe, the launch eyewear collection will consist of fashion forward styles offered in a 12-color palette range. Trendy and colorful, the Members Only Eyewear collection will be a perfect complement to the Members Only apparel collection.

“Growing up, there was nothing cooler than having a Members Only jacket” said Ethan Goodman, Match Eyewear president, “the opportunity to create the very first Members Only eyewear collection allows us to take that nostalgic feeling and express it within the
latest eyewear trends.”

“Our efforts in growing the Members Only brand lead us to Match Eyewear. We were looking for a partner who is a leader in their field to help us launch an eyewear collection that is representative of the Members Only brand” said Ron Malhotra, managing partner at JR Apparel World.

Members Only Eyewear will make its debut at Vision Expo East in Spring 2020.

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Press Releases

Healthy Eyes Advantage Announces Leadership Appointments

Company welcomes Dr. Justin Manning and Laura Dorris.

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(PRESS RELEASE) BOCA RATON, FL – On Dec. 2, Healthy Eyes Advantage Inc., an optical purchasing and business solutions marketplace for 10,000 independent eyecare professionals nationwide, announced two leadership appointments.

Dr. Justin Manning

“I am pleased to welcome Dr. Justin Manning to the HEA leadership team and to announce the promotion of Laura Dorris and her increased scope of responsibility within our organization,” said HEA Chairman and CEO Jim McGrann. “Both are highly talented individuals who are committed to HEA’s mission of empowering independent eye care professionals to succeed in a rapidly-evolving optical industry. I look forward to working with them to deliver best-in-class programs and service to HEA’s members.”

Justin Manning, OD, MPH, FAAO, has joined the HEA team as executive vice president, professional strategies. He is responsible for leading HEA’s professional efforts and ensuring that the company delivers effective programs that address the unique needs of IECPs. In this pivotal role, Dr. Manning oversees HEA’s National Advisory Board and, together with other members of the HEA team, collaborates with state and national professional organizations, as well as HEA strategic vendor partners.

“I was an HEA member long before joining the HEA team, so I have experienced firsthand the strength of the Healthy Eyes Advantage partnership and the company’s active support of independent eye care professionals,” Manning said. “It’s a privilege to step into this role, and I look forward to communicating the value of HEA membership to my colleagues and shaping HEA’s programs to further support the growth of IECP practices.”

From growing up in an optometry family to driving double-digit growth in numerous private practices, Manning is committed to advancing independent eyecare. He has a passion for the medical optometry model, niche specialties, billing and coding, and culture and staff development. He earned his Doctor of Optometry degree from The Ohio State University, completed a residency in Geriatric Optometry at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System in Tacoma, Washington, and subsequently earned a Master of Public Health degree from Salus University. Dr. Manning is the former medical director of Better Vision, where he founded the Keratoconus and Scleral Lens Institute, and he is also the founder of eyeLeader, a leadership development and population health consulting company.

Dr. Manning is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and is a member of the American Optometric Association, the Colorado Optometric Association, and the American Public Health Association.

Manning succeeds Lorie Lippiatt, OD, president and founder of Salem Eyecare Center, Inc., in Salem, OH, who remains an important voice on HEA’s National Advisory Board. “I have greatly enjoyed my tenure with HEA and look forward to continuing to contribute to the company’s success through my National Advisory Board participation, while also devoting more time and energy to my practice and my position on the Optical Women’s Association Executive Board of Directors,” Lippiatt stated.

Laura Dorris

Laura Dorris, a long-term HEA team member, has been promoted to the newly created position of vice president, member solutions. In this capacity, she will support HEA’s business development and growth goals by ensuring exceptional levels of service and value optimization for HEA’s members and professional organization partners.

“Laura brings more than 25 years of invaluable experience to this critical member-facing role, including a wide-ranging background in patient care excellence, implementing staff education programs, directing human resources teams, and leading the effective management of multiple successful eye care practices,” said Stephanie Lucas, HEA’s executive vice president and general manager of member solutions. Dorris also serves on the Board of Directors for the Optical Women’s Association and is a past recipient of Vision Monday’s Most Influential Women in the Optical Industry award.

“I am passionate about helping independent eye care professionals realize the greatest value from their HEA membership and enthusiastically embrace this opportunity to work with our internal teams and external partners to ensure maximum impact for each of HEA’s valued members,” Dorris said.

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