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April 2015 : First Annual Champagne Breakfast is a Success

Karen A. Michaelson (ABOC), Mentoring Committee
Karen A. Michaelson (ABOC), Mentoring Committee
By Karen A. Michaelson (ABOC), Mentoring Committee
(OWA Events)
OWA Champagne Breakfast Celebrating Women in Leadership

The Optical Women's Association kicked off Vision Expo East 2015 with their first annual Champagne Breakfast honoring women leaders. The sold out event was the perfect way to celebrate the accomplishments of our two star award honorees, Maureen Cavanagh and Amy Spiezio, and then wrap it all up with an intimate conversation with industry leader Holly Rush from Luxottica.

Maureen is a bright star in our industry, and with both the grace and eloquence she is known for, accepted the 2015 Pleiades award. Her accomplishments and advocacy for women in leadership made her the perfect choice for this prestigious award.

When you hear the name Amy Spiezio, many words come to mind such as commitment, support, and passion, to name a few. She is selfless when it comes to mentoring and being involved in the growth of others. Always humble, Amy accepted the 2015 PYXIS award for her unwavering service and vision for the OWA.

Please reach out to these great women, not only to congratulate them, but also to thank them for the roles they have and will continue to play in making our industry so rich with opportunity for women to excel.

Upon conclusion of the recipients giving their acceptance speeches, Holly Rush, president of Luxottica North America and Lois Romano, editor of Washington Post Live kicked off the segment called "An Intimate Conversation with . . ." where Lois interviewed Holly live on stage. (Video available here.)

With endearing candor, Rush shared stories of her career, and pearls of wisdom including the poignant call-to-action for women to find their own authentic leadership style that enables them to stand out. The world is definitely ready for more women in leadership, and Rush also mentioned that leading with your heart and not being afraid to show emotion and compassion are key ingredients for success.

Romano asked Rush about her biggest challenge to which she spoke about breaking through her own glass ceiling.

"No one can do it for you so you must rise to the occasion and be your own chief visionary to achieve your goals and dreams," said Rush.

The movement of women mentoring other women has never been as strong. With this positive and energetic shift in thinking and approach, the next generations of women rising up in their careers will enjoy feeling empowered and supported. When you have such a strong support system, you become a true force to be reckoned with.

Special thank you to our event sponsor, Luxottica, and to all of our sponsors, without whom, we could not continue to create such memorable and meaningful events.

Click here for the complete photo album, including high resolution versions of these photos.

OWA Award honorees, members and guests celebrate women in leadership at the 2015 OWA Champagne Breakfast Event. The sold-out event honored women leaders including Pleiades honoree, Maureen Cavanagh, president of the Vision Impact Institute; and 2015 Pyxis honoree Amy Spiezio, executive editor of Eyecare Business. Both honorees offered short presentations on mentoring and giving back followed by a champagne toast in their honor.

A highlight of the event was An Intimate Conversation with Holly Rush, president, Luxottica Wholesale North America (l) facilitated by Lois Romano (r), editor, Washington Post Live.

OWA members and guests from Luxottica joined Holly Rush and Lois Romano for the Champagne Breakfast.

Kathy Rismiller and Kristan Gross from Essilor enjoy the breakfast event.

Two special guests of 2015 Pleiades Award honoree, Maureen Cavanagh were fiancé, Tim Cutter and niece, Kelly Gorman.

Lenor Fowler (Jobson) and Debbie Myers (Pacific Northern, Inc.) network after the breakfast presentations.

Former OWA board members, Laurie Badone (20/20 Now) and Sherrie Rogerson (REM Eyewear), reconnect at the OWA Champagne Breakfast.

Heather Smith (VisionWeb), Dave Beebe (OWA Executive Director), Barbara Wagner (Santinelli International), and Marge Axelrad (Jobson) attend the breakfast event.

Lois Romano (Washington Post Live), OWA President Christie Walker (Jobson), and Holly Rush (Luxottica) at the breakfast event.


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