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VSP Global and Heart of America Eye Care Congress Honor Legacy of ‘Uncle Frank’ with Creation of the Fontana Scholarship

It will be awarded annually, beginning in 2020.

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(PRESS RELEASE) RANCHO CORDOVA, CA — VSP Global and Heart of America Eye Care Congress announced that they have partnered to launch a new optometry scholarship in honor of Frank Fontana, OD, affectionately known to all as “Uncle Frank.” After a storied career as a doctor of optometry for nearly seventy years, Dr. Fontana passed away last fall at the age of 96, leaving an unmatched legacy behind as a colleague, mentor, and friend to so many. The Fontana Scholarship will be awarded annually, beginning in 2020.

“Dr. Fontana was committed to helping others – from his patients to fellow doctors of optometry, which included optometry students starting their careers,” said Gordon Jennings, OD, and VSP Global chairman of the board. “We are proud to celebrate his legacy through this scholarship and recognize the next generation who carry the same commitment to care and passion for our profession that he embodied.”

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The Fontana Scholarship will be open to third and fourth year optometry students actively engaged in patient care. Applicants will be judged in four areas in which Dr. Fontana excelled at: 1) clinical performance; 2) empathetic patient care; 3) ability and interest to adopt modern technologies; and 4) a strong interest in developing and participating in the optometric community. The scholarship recipient will receive $4,250 in scholarship money and a $750 travel grant to attend Heart of America’s Eye Care Congress Conference in 2020.

“As a National Optometry Hall of Fame inductee, Dr. Frank Fontana was an icon in the field of optometry and helped found the Heart of America Contact Lens Society in 1961, serving as a charter Board Member,” said Sean Mulqueeny, OD, president of Heart of America Eye Care Congress. “Earlier this month, at the 58th annual Heart of America Eye Care Congress, we honored Dr. Fontana’s career and the many accolades he received, including the 1987 Heart of America OD of the Year award, as well as the Heart of America Founder’s Award in 2016. We are thrilled to establish this scholarship and award it to the optometry student who best exemplifies the personal character and integrity of Uncle Frank – a true visionary.”

Additional details about the application submission process will be shared in the coming months. Since 2010, VSP Global has provided more nearly $2 million in scholarship support to hundreds of optometry students.

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Press Releases

Nominations Being Accepted for the Dr. W. David Sullins, Jr. InfantSEE Award

Submit your applications now.

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(PRESS RELEASE) Optometry Cares – The AOA Foundation is now accepting nominations for the Dr. W. David Sullins, Jr. InfantSEE Award, which recognizes an individual doctor of optometry who has made significant contributions to optometry or his/her community for outstanding public service involving the InfantSEE program.

The award honors the memory of Dr. W. David Sullins, Jr., the late optometrist’s inspiring and passionate leadership as a driving force in the profession of optometry. A memorial fund was established after his passing in 2005 and led to the creation of the award.

Nominations for the award may be submitted by members of the American Optometric Association, any faculty member of the schools and colleges of optometry, AOA committees, councils, sections, groups, AFOS, affiliated associations and societies, and other optometric organizations. Nominees must be doctors of optometry who meet the criteria established for the award, as strong advocates for infant eye health and vision.

Nomination forms are to be submitted online at http://www.aoa.org/sullins by April 30, 2019. A statement not to exceed 1,500 words is required. This statement should amplify and substantiate the reasons why the nominee should be considered for the recognition and describe the nature of the individual’s public service and contributions for InfantSEE. All nominations should include a brief type-written biographical sketch.

The recipient is awarded a gold medallion and a $1,000 travel grant to attend and be recognized at Optometry’s Meeting.

For more information, contact Meghan Endicott, Program Manager, at mendicott@aoa.org or (P) 314.983.4172.

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AAO Announces New Executive Director

He will officially begin his new role on April 11, 2019.

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(PRESS RELEASE) ORLANDO – The American Academy of Optometry, an international professional association for optometrists, vision scientists and optometry students and residents, has announced that Peter Scott, CAE, APR, MBA will assume the position of executive director in mid-April 2019. The Academy’s outgoing executive director, Lois Schoenbrun, CAE, FAAO, will retire from her position at the end of April. Ms. Schoenbrun has been executive director of the American Academy of Optometry and the American Academy of Optometry Foundation since 1996.

“On behalf of the board of directors, I am pleased to introduce Peter Scott as our new executive director. Peter brings with him a wealth of ideas for our meeting, fundraising and strategic relationships. He is a delightful person who has boundless energy and a very creative mind,” stated Barbara Caffery, OD, PhD, FAAO. “We are deeply appreciative of all that Lois Schoenbrun has done during her time with the Academy, and we wish her all the best as she heads off to her much-deserved retirement.”

Mr. Scott most recently served as the Chief Operating Officer for the North American Veterinary Community in Orlando, Florida, where he led the planning and implementation of one of the world’s top 15 global medical conferences with over 17,800 attendees. He has extensive association experience in the areas of business development, program/certification development, strategic partnerships and revenue diversification. Mr. Scott holds an MBA from Nova Southeastern University and has earned both the Certified Association Executive (CAE) and Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) distinctions.

“I am excited to join this accomplished group of professionals, and I look forward to building upon the Academy’s past successes and working closely with the board of directors, staff and volunteers to positively impact this next chapter of the organization’s growth,” said Peter Scott, incoming executive director.

“I am grateful to have had the pleasure of working with so many talented and dedicated members and staff during my tenure, and I have full confidence that the Academy will continue to thrive under Mr. Scott’s leadership,” said Lois Schoenbrun, outgoing executive director.

Peter Scott will officially begin his new role on April 11, 2019.

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eyebobs Bolsters Leadership Team to Support Rapid Growth and Digital Innovation

It will oversee eyebobs’ rapid retail expansion as well as manage brand growth.

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(PRESS RELEASE) MINNEAPOLIS, MN — eyebobs, the Minneapolis-based eyewear brand, welcomes a new leadership team across marketing, sales, and information technology (IT). The strategic hires on the executive and marketing teams will oversee eyebobs’ rapid retail expansion as well as manage brand growth in direct-to-consumer channels and key accounts through strategic campaign development and execution.

Leading the addition of new talent is Vice President of Marketing Joe Prebich. Prebich will oversee all marketing, brand and product operations in North America, and joins eyebobs in its Minneapolis, Minnesota, headquarters. Prebich comes to eyebobs with extensive experience as a retail-driven brand marketer, effectively leading strategic e-commerce campaigns and elevating the digital and brick-and-mortar presence of several notable brands including Oakley, Red Bull and Fjällräven. As vice president of brand at Fjällräven, he developed and executed strategic marketing solutions and aided in the brand’s extensive growth through core messaging and brand development.

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The brand also announces the addition of Andy Swope, vice president of IT. Swope comes to eyebobs with more than two decades of experience creating, leading, and executing digital marketing and e-commerce campaigns in the financial services and speciality retail landscapes. He has served in senior leadership roles at Schwans, Gander Mountain, Asset Marketing Services, and Wells Fargo where he played a significant role in leading strategic innovation opportunities and digital marketing efforts.

“ The caliber of talent joining our executive and marketing teams is invaluable as we drive for aggressive growth,” says Mike Hollenstein, CEO of eyebobs . “With Joe’s deep experience in executing creative marketing strategy, and Andy’s expertise in disrupting digital landscapes, we are positioned for success while we grow our number of retail doors and help our teams scale to market demands in 2019.”

The leadership expansion comes as eyebobs restructures its internal marketing and sales teams with the addition of Megan McGough as director of marketing and sales operations, and Sarah Lindberg as director of sales. McGough joins eyebobs with nearly a decade of marketing experience at Target Corp., Mammut Sports Group, and Fjällräven North America. She will closely support the brand in large-scale marketing plans, while providing ground-level support at eyebobs retail openings, trade shows, and brand events.

Lindberg brings a wealth of startup drive and corporate scale to the sales process. Leading the wholesale team, Lindberg will focus on specialty retail, optical, and key accounts, all essential components to eyebobs brand success.

“I am thrilled to join a brand that has built success by valuing authenticity and diversity for nearly 20 years,” says Prebich. “With the marketing and sales expertise of Megan and Sara on board, we are excited to begin launching new retail locations across the nation. As eyebobs presence grows, those values will remain at the core of our efforts. We’re eager to focus on enhancing the brand’s legendary model of service in our brand centers and improving our fans’ digital experience in order to help frame each person uniquely.”

The restructuring at eyebobs coincides with the brand’s growing presence across the United States. After disrupting the traditional eyewear retail model with the opening of three brand stores in the past 18 months, eyebobs is planning for 12 new brand centers nationwide. Three of the four store openings will occur in a one-month span during spring 2019 in Boston, Denver, and Washington D.C.

For more information on eyebobs, please direct media inquiries to PR Account Manager Anna Avery at anna@outsidepr.com

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