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OWA Connection Series

Educational Opportunities on Topics Important to You

The OWA Connection Series: Connecting Members to Leadership Ideas, is one of several OWA events providing unique educational opportunities both regionally and in conjunction with major trade shows. Members and guests can explore topics of interest to women working in the optical industry that will enrich their personal and professional lives.

Connection Series: Connecting Members to Leadership Ideas

OWA Connection Series

Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
Your Key to Personal and Professional Success!

The Optical Women's Association's Connection Series: Connecting Members to Leadership Ideas offers an in-depth panel discussion of core EQ skills that enable you to fulfill your highest potential on Thursday, September 14, 2017, from noon to 1:30 in the Sands Expo Las Vegas, Rm 303.

Emotional Intelligence 2.0

Based on the OWA book selection Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves, moderator Erinn Morgan, editorial director of Eyecare Business magazine, along with five specially chosen panelists, will expand on the four EQ skills — self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management -  that will help you manage, adapt, and come out ahead in both your private life and your competitive workplace. As quoted by Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, (Emotional Intelligence 2.0)"gives abundant, practical findings and insights with emphasis on how to develop EQ. Research shows convincingly that EQ is more important than IQ."

This ABB Optical Group sponsored event is a must for anyone interested in self-improvement and meaningful career relationships. Pre-registration and a nominal fee are required, and lunch is included.

Meet our moderator and panelists:

Erinn Morgan

Erinn Morgan
Editor-in-Chief & Editorial Director, Eyecare Business Magazine

The Editor-in-Chief & Editorial Director of the award-winning Eyecare Business magazine, a PentaVision publication, Erinn Morgan has been covering the business and fashion trends of the optical industry for over 20 years.

With a B.A. in Fashion Merchandising from Philadelphia University and a Master's Degree in Journalism from Temple University, she got her start as the Managing Editor of Accessories magazine and quickly moved on to become the Founding Editor-in-Chief of FrameBuyer magazine, published by Eyecare Business and recipient of several FOLIO magazine awards. She was then brought on to 20/20 magazine as Editor-in-Chief to redesign and oversee the publication and the launch of

After several years at Jobson, Erinn set her sights on the consumer magazine segment and moved over to work as a Special Projects Editor at Playboy Enterprises, Inc. overseeing a new magazine launch and, subsequently, as Editor-in-Chief of the award-winning SoHo Style, a cutting-edge magazine that focused on the culture and style of downtown New York City. At the same time, she took a position as freelance Fashion and Retail Editor with Eyecare Business.

Erinn is also the author of the book "Picture Yourself Going Green" and her written work has appeared in The New York Times, National Geographic Adventure, Outside magazine, Skiing, and Bike.

Erinn has also directed the Special Projects Team at Eyecare Business to conceive and develop custom content projects for numerous optical companies, including both trade-focused and consumer-facing sponsored content and supplements that have appeared in Eyecare Business, as well as in Vogue, Elle, GQ, and InStyle.

Johanna Loeffler

Johanna Loeffler, CPBA
Associate Consultant, Cleinman Performance Partners, Inc.

In her capacity at Cleinman Performance Partners, Johanna Loeffl¬er oversees the development of client resources, supports all consulting projects, and facilitates the ManagementWorks wisdom-share group at network meetings. Johanna brings a wealth of practical management training to her role, including certifications in behavioral profiling through DISC, lean management as a Six-Sigma Lean Agent, managing workplace confl¬ict, and emotional quotient interviewing. Her experience and acumen in these areas have positioned her as not only a valuable member of the team, but as a knowledge expert in process, systems, and team dynamics.

Prior to joining Cleinman Performance Partners, Johanna was a licensed life and health insurance agent for a small, independent insurance agency in Charlotte, North Carolina. With her return to upstate New York in 2006, she joined Team Cleinman and began to hone her skills in project management, content development, and event planning, including the Cleinman Performance Partners' bi-annual 10-Year Member Celebration held in Cooperstown, NY.

Nan Meehan

Nan Meehan
Vice President of Eyewear, ABB OPTICAL GROUP

ABB OPTICAL GROUP Vice President of Eyewear Nan Meehan is responsible for overseeing the strategic direction and development of the company's eyewear division. With more than 25 years of sales, marketing and management experience, Nan leads the strategic direction for ABB OPTICAL GROUP's frame distribution services that offers eye care professionals a wide variety of new frame products and lab services. Through this initiative, ABB OPTICAL GROUP creates a full-on optical solution and allows eye care professionals to streamline the process of ordering optical products, which will cut costs for consumers and manufacturers and patients.

Over the course of her career, she has helped build several businesses from the ground up, delivering rapid revenue growth and increased market share through highly effective results-oriented sales practices.


ABB OPTICAL GROUP is a leading distributor of optical products in the United States, supplying nearly two-thirds of eye care professionals across the country with brand name contact lenses, fully customizable gas permeable, and custom specialty soft contact lenses, ophthalmic lenses, and eyewear services through DIGITAL EYE LAB. Their state-of-the-art DIGITAL EYE LAB is dedicated to freeform digital lens fabrication ABB also offers our customers practice-building services such as pricing strategy tools, business reviews, annual supply staff training, and e-commerce solutions through Primary Eyecare Network.

"ABB is proud to sponsor this year's 20th anniversary Connection series event. We have built a reputation over the last 30 years, under the leadership of Angel Alvarez, of connecting the practices that we all serve with valuable resources to position them for growth. This year's topic of 'Emotional Intelligence' is a conscious way for all of us to insightfully create the best teams we can by using EI 2.0." — Nan Meehan

Megan Molony

Megan Molony
Vice President, Merchandising, National Vision, Inc.

Megan began her career in the optical business 22 years ago, spending most of her career with Luxottica Retail. While at Luxottica, Megan held various leadership positions for both LensCrafters and Pearle Vision, including heading up Product and Merchandising, Store Operations, Innovation, Manage Vision Care Strategy and Pricing Strategy. Megan also spent time with Essilor as Vice President of Integrated Services, working with independent ECPs to help them remain competitive in the ever-changing optical landscape. Most recently, Megan accepted the position of Vice President, Merchandising, for National Vision, where she is responsible for the product and merchandising strategy for National Vision's 975+ stores.

Deborah Shute

Deborah Shute
Vice President of Human Resources, Essilor Laboratories of America

Deborah Shute is an experienced Global Human Resources executive, who has been with Essilor of America based in Dallas, TX since 2011. She is highly skilled in all areas of HR with particular emphasis on strategic business partnering, talent management, change management, and executive coaching. At Essilor, Deborah is responsible for leading HR commercially and operationally for the largest optical lab network in the U.S., Essilor Laboratories of America. She is an Executive Team member of Essilor Labs Group, EOA Operations, and Strategic Initiatives and leads the Strategic Business Partnering arm of HR for all lab channels and strategic alliances. Deborah is a founding member and past leader of Essilor's Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Steering Committee and the Essilor's Women's Network. She was also a member of the Global D&I Best Practices Committee and served as a D&I Global Ambassador.

Prior to Essilor, Deborah was Vice President, HR & Administration at Interphase Corporation, and Senior Director, Employee Relations/Strategic Business Partnering at Packard Bell NEC. Deborah earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from California State University-Sacramento and maintains her professional certifications at both a senior and global level.

Benjamin Young

Benjamin Young, PHR, SHRM-CP
Manager of Talent Development, Luxottica

Benjamin Young is the Manager of Talent Development for Luxottica Wholesale North America. He has over ten years' experience building and delivering leadership development programs and holds certifications from both the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI). Ben designed and currently facilitates Luxottica's EDGE program, which includes Emotional Intelligence as a foundational skill for employees at all levels of the organization.

EQ Skills

1. Self-Awareness

This is how aware you are and how accurately you can assess your emotions. Most of us are so busy with the daily grind that we rarely take a step back and think about how we're responding to situations and how we come across. The other source of self-awareness is recognizing how others respond to us. This is often challenging because we tend to see what we want to see. And we tend to avoid the uncomfortable action of asking others for feedback.

People with strong self-awareness build time for reflection and routinely collect specific feedback from people who will be honest and whose ideas they value. A study found that leaders who sought out negative feedback were much more self-aware and effective than those who sought out positive feedback.

2. Self-Management

Self-management is your ability to control your emotions. This component also includes your transparency, adaptability, achievement, and optimism. A key factor is whether you react or respond to situations. When you react, you do what comes naturally, which is going with the emotional part of your brain. When you respond, you act against what is natural, which is why it is difficult. You engage the rational part of your brain and select the best response.

People with self-management are able to control impulsive feelings and behaviors, manage emotions in healthy ways, take initiative, follow through on commitments, and adapt to changing circumstances.

3. Social Awareness

Your organizational awareness, focus on service, and level of empathy compose your social awareness.

People with social awareness understand the emotions, needs, and concerns of other people, pick up on emotional cues, feel comfortable socially, and recognize the power dynamics in a group or organization. They always take personal responsibility even when things aren't going well.

4. Relationship Management

Developing others, serving as an inspiring leader and catalyst for change, collaborating with a high-performing team, and managing conflict are part of relationship management.

People with this characteristic know how to develop and maintain good relationships, communicate clearly, inspire and influence others, work well in a team, and manage conflict. They are seen as likeable and able to work well with diverse groups, even in the face of stress and conflict. They can create and communicate an inspiring vision and help others to do difficult things, such as embrace change.

Launched in 2005 originally as the OWA Professional Optical Women's Workshops (POWW), this popular event has become an OWA "signature series" overseen by the OWA Events Committee. Its goal is to provide forums for OWA members to gather and network while gaining access to information geared toward moving them along their career path. The first Connection Series event — Seeing (Blind) Spots? Men and Women Working Together — was held in September 2014.

Connection Series events will be listed on the OWA Events page, and registration links / additional details for upcoming events can be found here.

Learn more about our most recent events here:

Topics for past events include:

For more information on these informative and energizing workshops or to request program topics, please contact our Events Committee Co-Chairs, Courtney Myers at and Beverly Bianes at .

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