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April 2018 : Champagne + Inspiration

Shadetra Johnson, Communications Committee
Shadetra Johnson, Communications Committee
By Shadetra Johnson, Communications Committee
(Committee Spotlight)

The OWA celebrated three remarkable women and their impact on the optical industry on March 16 during Vision Expo East at the OWA Champagne Breakfast.

Held at the Espace event venue in New York City, the OWA pink-inspired room was brimming with optical industry leaders, admiration, and champagne. Tiara Claxton, President of the OWA, thanked OWA Champagne Breakfast sponsor Luxottica for its fourth year of sponsorship. She introduced Fabrizio Ugozzoni, President of Luxottica Wholesale North America, who spoke on the value of sponsoring the OWA organization.

The OWA Awards honorees include:

Ashley Mills

Pleiades Award

Ashley Mills, CEO of The Vision Council

Deb Bulken

Pyxis Award

Deb Bulken, Eastern Regional Sales Director at Luxottica

Janelle Pauli

Emerging Leader Award

Janelle Pauli, Marketing Manager at VisionWeb

During the champagne breakfast's awards recognition, attendees were also introduced to the OWA's new "Do More" campaign with a highly inspiring and encouraging message from Holly Rush, CEO of Costa. The campaign, launched with a "Do More" bracelet given away to attendees, encourages OWA members and others to do more to give back to inspiring causes and initiatives.

The OWA breakfast event was capped off with an eye-opening talk by keynote speaker Frances Cole Jones. Jones is the author of several books, including How to Wow: Proven Strategies for Selling Your [Brilliant] Self in Any Situation. Her client list includes corporate executives, actors, and motivational speakers. Through hilarious stories, real-life examples, and easy-to-remember points, the "Ted Talk" alumna provided useful tips on how to present your best self in professional and personal situations, as well as how to navigate potentially dangerous situations successfully. A few of her best tips included:

Each of Jones' colorful tips resonated with the OWA audience. Crystal Contreras, an Essilor National Account Manager, found the material extremely beneficial. "I enjoyed how Frances made the content relevant in personal and professional settings. I look forward to incorporating several key tips in my everyday life. I love the tip of 'tell me more about that' — it's a great way to gain additional insight with people."

Visit for additional tips and resources, including her app and videos. OWA President, Tiara Claxton, has selected How to Wow as one of the three OWA member book benefits this year.

Click on either of the photos below to view a high-resolution version.

VEE Breakfast 1
OWA Champagne Breakfast keynote speaker Frances Cole Jones.
Photo: Jacob Gonzalez

VEE Breakfast 2
OWA President Tiara Claxton speaks to a packed house at the OWA Champagne Breakfast.
Photo: Jacob Gonzalez

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