First awarded in 2019, the OWA offers at least two Leadership Scholarships every year to OWA members. These scholarships are to be used for the professional and personal development of each recipient and are funded through the Individual Contributor Program donations. The purpose of the Leadership Scholarship is to provide a professional mentoring opportunity, reward those who have volunteered their time and efforts to help the OWA reach its goals, and to promote the founding principles of the organization: to connect, inspire, and lead future leaders.
Beginning in 2020, as an added benefit, each OWA Platinum Sponsor company selects an exceptional female employee who shows promise, dedication, and drive to also receive a Leadership Scholarship.
2023 Leadership Scholarship Winners
- Katherine Cruz, OWA Connection & Enrichment Committee (Silhouette)
- Mary Lanning Jones, OWA Connection & Enrichment Committee (Zyloware)
- Shelley Logan, OWA Membership Committee (WestGroupe)
- Heather Bethel, Manager, Lens and Accessories Merchandising (National Vision)
- Monica Chopra, Senior Business Data Analyst, VSP Vision
- Reagan Colpitts, Senior Business Development Manager, N.A. Independent Channel (Safilo)
- Liz Friedfeld, Head of Business Development (ClearVision)
- Lila Hanish, Marketing Associate (Thelios)
- April Hatten, Operations Manager/Eye Care Alliance (Essilor Instruments)
- Kristen Lukacs, Creative Manager (Zyloware)
- Carly Meyerson, Strategic Business Manager, U.S. Vision Care (Bausch+Lomb)
- Stephanie McCoy, Senior Manager, EyeMed Provider Experience (EssilorLuxottica)
- Tracy Neal, Director of Customer Support (GPN Technologies)
- Chrissie Pattison, Marketing Events Manager (Advancing Eyecare)
- Lindsay Romah, Business Development Lead (EssilorLuxottica)
2022 Leadership Scholarship Winners
- Carissa Dunphy, OWA Communications & Website Committee (PECAA)
- Kerri Ann Raimo, OWA Digital Marketing Committee (PentaVision)
- Jennifer Trakhtenberg, OWA Connection & Enrichment Committee (ClearVision Optical)
- Shelley Brady, Regional Manager (Safilo)
- Cara Endriss, Brand Marketing Director (National Vision)
- Shweta Gupta, Senior Marketing Director (EssilorLuxottica)
- Sarah Lovallo, Sales Manager (Essilor Instruments)
- Cheryl Moore, Director of Human Resources (GPN Technologies)
- JaMarie Pfaff, Account Manager (Zyloware)
- Janie Schwartz, Trade Marketing Coordinator (Thelios)
- Tatiana Stewart, Senior Public Relations Specialist (VSP Vision)
2021 Leadership Scholarship Winners
- Dr. Beverly Bianes, OWA Events and Connection/Enrichment Committees (Pack & Bianes Vision Care)
- Rachel Meyer, OWA Connection/Enrichment Committee (Eyefinity)
- Dawn Alcorn, VP of Marketing & Development/Essilor Vision Foundation (Essilor)
- Marilyn Bautista, Global Sales Operations & Logistics Manager (Zyloware)
- Marie-Claude Boutin, National Sales & Marketing Director/Axis Medical in Canada (Essilor Instruments)
- Carissa Enea, Sales Manager (Safilo)
- Emilia Flamini, CFO Luxottica North America (Luxottica)
- Melissa Gomez, Regional VP, Pacific Central (VSP)
- Staci Johnson, Customer Success Coordinator (GPN Technologies)
- Monica Wheelock, Senior Manager, Visual Merchandising (National Vision)
2020 Leadership Scholarship Winners
- Stephanie Espinosa, "OWA Talks" Podcast Host
- Sandra Mohr, "OWA Talks" Podcast Host
- Courtney Myers, Vice Chair, OWA Events Committee
- Jasmine Broussard, Senior Director, HR Business Partner, Essilor
- Cathy Firman, Customer Care Assistant Manager, EdgePro/GPN
- Kathie Sapnas, Regional Sales Manager, Luxottica
- Kylie Matya, Sales Director/West, Safilo
- Kristen Reynolds Hopper, State Optometric Assoc. Relationship Manager, VSP
- Arlene Rinaldi, Product Development Coordinator, Zyloware
"After reviewing many options, I selected a small group-intensive program called Executive Ahead of Time to continue growing my skills. This program was selected because it allowed me to further develop my executive thinking and communication skills, and it created a new network of successful women to learn and collaborate with during and after the program."
— Sandra Mohr
"I chose Kimberly Davis's Brave Leadership Masterclass. What drew me to this program was the ability to focus on what is naturally inside of us instead of trying to change who we are. Being brave means being our best, most authentic and powerful self."
— Kristin Hopper
"I chose Mosaic with my scholarship award. Mosaic focuses on leadership and managing change. That change is not just with teams and organizations, but also with your own mindset. This program really helped me focus a lot on taking a pause and really thinking about the intent of conversation and how to work with teams. I really hope to use this information and share it with all of you."
— Kylie Matia
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2019 Leadership Scholarship Winners
Janna Neal, VP of Operations at Zyloware, and Alana Whitaker, Ray-Ban Sales Consultant with Luxottica, are the 2019 Leadership Scholarship recipients, allowing them the opportunity to attend the "Brave Leadership Program" hosted by Kimberly Davis. Davis, author of the book Brave Leadership, was the featured speaker at the OWA's Connection Series luncheon at Vision Expo West in September 2019.
"I was able to get a sneak peek of what is to come at this conference from Kimberly at the OWA luncheon at Vision Expo West where she literally pulled something out of me! We don't realize how brave we are in life every day — we all have our own superpowers. Leaders should try to bring our the superpower in their teams. I plan to spread the word and bring out the superpower within each woman in my circle."
"I'm incredibly honored to be one of the inaugural Leadership Scholarship recipients with Janna Neal. Kimberly Davis's presentation at the Connection Series at VEW was impactful and has made me even more excited to have the opportunity to attend her seminar in Dallas next year."