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What is the Optical Women's Association's Pleiades Award?

Each year, our Pleiades Award honors an individual who has shown exceptional support in advancing the leadership role of women in the optical industry. This award is named after the star cluster "The Pleiades" in the constellation of Taurus. "The Pleiades" is also known as the "Seven Sisters" - referring to the seven brightest stars in the cluster.

According to Greek mythology, each star was named after the seven daughters of Atlas who were turned into stars by Zeus. Together these stars create one of the brightest clusters visible in the northern hemisphere, just as by working together, the women of the OWA have created an organization that is bigger and brighter than the sum of their individual efforts.

Past Honorees

Kate Renwick-Espinosa

2017 Pleiades Award Recipient, Kate Renwick-Espinosa

Kate Renwick-Espinosa is the President of VSP Vision Care, the nation's largest not-for-profit vision benefits and services company. She leads efforts to provide high quality eye care and eyewear services to 83 million members worldwide, supporting VSP's mission to help people see.

Renwick-Espinosa has worked for VSP for more than 25 years, and previously served as VSP Global's first Chief Marketing Officer. In that role, she led the organization's global marketing strategy to deliver its products and services to a diverse client base — including Fortune 500 companies, the federal government, and small businesses — as well as more than 77 million members and 34,000 doctors. Renwick-Espinosa's marketing and communications strategies resulted in historic domestic membership growth as well as the international expansion of VSP's offerings in Australia, Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.

Renwick-Espinosa has been instrumental in helping VSP evolve to meet the demands of clients, members, and eye care providers. This includes rebranding multiple lines of business, developing new brands, launching new products and programs, and leveraging digital technology. She was responsible for creating VSP's marketing infrastructure as well as the development of a broad corporate social responsibility and charity program which has provided millions of dollars in free eye care and eyewear to hundreds of thousands of people in-need around the world.

Renwick-Espinosa was named one of Vision Monday's "Most Influential Women in Optical" in 2005 and was a 2013 recipient of the "Most Powerful and Influential Women Award" from the California Diversity Council. She holds a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of California, Davis, and a master's degree in business administration from California State University, Sacramento.

"The positive response to Kate's nomination for the Pleiades Award was as expected — overwhelming! This award honors an individual for showing exceptional support in advancing the leadership role of women, and we are honored to present this prestigious award to such an inspiring leader," said Maureen Cavanagh, OWA President. "She has earned the respect of so many people in our industry, and that is exactly what we look for in our annual honoree."