The OWA is excited to honor Deborah Myres as the 2021 Pyxis award recipient.
While being interviewed from her home in February during the worst storm that Texas has ever experienced, she remained calm and collected, stating, "I am so honored and humbled to be given an OWA award." Myres is proud of what the organization has been able to deliver for so many members such as One-Minute Inspiration, OWA Reads, OWA Talks podcasts, and the new Advisory Groups.
She is dedicated to the success of the OWA and is incredibly happy to see how far it has grown. Here, we check in with Myres to get a snapshot of her career, her passion for the industry, her views on the COVID crisis, and her Charity of Choice.
As the Pyxis winner, Myres said it was difficult to narrow down which charity to support as her award Charity of Choice. She considered many larger and well-known organizations, but her final choice was clear — an organization that is small but powerful.
"I've chosen The Dallas International Street Church, founded by Pastor Karen Dudley. The organization is dedicated to helping people come back to life physically, spiritually, and/or emotionally. Pastor Karen truly defines #domore. The organization routinely feeds 200 people three meals a day in South Dallas. They have grown from primarily providing shelter, to now building a commercial kitchen which will allow them to cook more efficiently. Any money will go a long way to helping people transition out of a shelter and into the real world."
Her introduction to this industry is not unfamiliar to many OWA members; it was built through an early hands-on retail sales position. Her family turned their farm property into a championship golf course where Deborah worked in the golf pro shop. That's where she fell in love with sales and learning everything that she could about the products that they sold.
After graduating from college, she went into retailing for a large department store group and became a buyer. From there, Myres' career path changed, and she became an area sales manager — and later a District Sales Manager — for Tura. After Tura, she worked as a sales consultant for Marchon. And later on, she worked for Pacific Northern, a luxury display manufacturer, and specialized in optical displays.
Today, Myres is an entrepreneur. She has launched and runs her own specialized display company, Visual Inspirations. Her brightly colored, fun eyewear display cases are now used in optical offices across the U.S., and now in Canada.
Looking back, Myres shares that she truly enjoyed her many years working as a frame rep and is very proud of her career path that took her to a display manufacturing company.
"I love the constant change in this industry. Whether you are in sales, marketing, finance, HR, or technology, everyone can have a place, whether you are an introvert or extrovert. There are many hard-working people in this business."
Myres also likes that it's a "clean" industry that it is honest and needs-based. With her hands-on background and experience she developed a true fondness for eyewear — how it looks and feels. "This is a career that is fun, and there is something new all of the time. The industry is in me and I love it."
When it comes to advice for the next generation of leaders, Myres' recommendation is to stay open-minded to the things around you.
"Listen to the new people that come into this profession. Younger individuals can have a fascinating new perspective on the world and how it operates." Myres also advises to be aware of and open to change. "For example, the creation of the OWA Talks podcasts might not have taken place had we not paid attention to what younger people were doing in the industry."
As far as surviving in today's pandemic world, Myres says that it is important to surround yourself and network with a group of people that can encourage and support you.
"Take advantage of the OWA programs that offer personal development and a way to connect and inspire women. It's free information. I predict there will be a slow evolution back to kindness and gentleness. There have been some dark days during this pandemic. The OWA can support and encourage you."
Back to: March 2021 : March 2021 Newsletter