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15th Anniversary Celebration and Award Event

The OWA Celebrates 15 Year Anniversary in Style

The Optical Women's Association's Annual Networking event and Pleiades Award ceremony was held on Friday, March 15th at the Milk Gallery on 15th Street in Manhattan's Meatpacking district. The event was a star studded celebration of the association's 15 year anniversary and honored three OWA women who have made a difference: Marge Axelrad, Jobson Optical Group, Pleiades Award honoree; Grady Culbreth, Grady & Associates, Inc., the OWA's first Lifetime Achievement Award honoree; and Tiara Claxton, Safilo USA, Pyxis Award honoree.

We hope you enjoy this photo gallery of the evening and the press event that took place on Saturday. Thank you to our sponsors, and a special thank you to our event sponsor, Marchon. Their dedicated support makes our Pleiades event better and better every year.

You may click on any photograph to download a high-resolution version.

Marge Axelrad (Jobson) was surprised by the arrival of long-time friend and the originator of the OWA, Linda Little, exclaiming, "What a total shocker!"

Pyxis honoree, Tiara Claxton (Safilo, USA) is congratulated by Reade Fahs (National Vision) and coworker, Gretchen Farina (Safilo, USA).

Heather Campbell (Q-Specs) and founding OWA member Valerie Manso do some networking before the start of the awards presentation.

Previous Pleiades award honorees, Dana Weeks and Shirley Platzer-Stocks, await the announcement of the new honorees.

OWA board members Sherrie Rogerson (REM Eyewear) and Heather Smith (VisionWeb) are ready to celebrate.

Founding member Linda Little reminisces with current OWA board member Debbie Lochli McGrath (Altair/Marchon).

Kevin Paddy (National Optronics) and Lenor Fowler (Jobson) are regulars at OWA events.

Joe Savarese (Jobson) and Diane Gillis (Essilor) do some networking before the start of the presentations.

Stephanie De Long and Amy Spiezio (Eyecare Business) enjoy the Pleiades event at the Milk Gallery.

Christie Walker (Jobson) and Heather Smith (VisionWeb), both OWA board members, reconnect at the event.

Ann Englert, OWA president, welcomes everyone to the event.

Marchon's Mark Ginsberg welcomes the OWA to the Milk Gallery on behalf of Vogue Italia and Marchon.

OWA Board Member and Past-President Sherrie Rogers takes a few moments to express the organization's sincere appreciation to its Professional Development Fund Sponsors, individually naming the rosters of OWA Lifetime and 2013 sponsors.

Lorinda Fraboni, founding board member and previous Pyxis honoree, presents the 2013 Pyxis award.

Pyxis honoree Tiara Claxton (Safilo) accepts her award.

Founding board member Valerie Manso presents and accepts the Lifetime Achievement award on behalf of Grady Culbreth.

Marge Axelrad (Jobson) accepts the Pleiades award from OWA founder Linda Little.

Jobson's Marge Axelrad, founding member of the OWA, and past OWA president and board member, accepts the 2013 Pleiades Award in front of a record group at the Milk gallery.

Jobson's Marge Axelrad, founding member of the OWA, and past OWA president and board member, accepts the 2013 Pleiades Award in front of a record group at the Milk gallery.

Tiara Claxton (Pyxis honoree), Ann Englert (OWA president), and Marge Axelrad (Pleiades honoree) enjoy the applause of the crowd.

Marge Axelrad and Tiara Claxton hold up Grady Culbreth's award as the crowd cheers."

   

On Saturday, following the Pleiades Award reception, a champagne toast was held at Vision Expo at the North Hall for founding and current board members. Founding board members were given gifts of appreciation including an engraved bud vase signifying that they planted the seeds of the organization and now it has blossomed.

Two founding board members, Linda Little (l) and Valerie Manso (r), chat with Gale Meyer, OWA vice president.

OWA board member Christie Walker congratulates Pyxis award honoree Tiara Claxton.

OWA board members Jodi Groh and Amy Spezio take a break from all the excitement.

Posting photos directly to Facebook, Valerie Manso and Linda Little pose in their new LAFONT sunglasses, one of the gifts presented to founding board members with appreciation to LAFONT.

Current, past, and founding OWA board members raise a toast to 15 years as an organization. "We've come a long way."

   

Videos

Anniversary Celebration

"Marge" - Video Tribute

Press Event

Anniversary Celebration, Awards Presentations