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2023 Recap AND Reader Survey Results



2023 brought many favorites, and several firsts, for the OWA. Our members exuded our mission to enhance and promote the leadership role of women in the optical industry. Lets start by reviewing the year in numbers:


2023 OWA Statistics

OWA at Vision Expo East


Champagne Breakfast: You could feel the energy across the room as we celebrated these women and future women to join the leadership force. During this breakfast, Dr. Beverly Bianes received the Pyxis Award, Karen Roberts accepted the Pleiades Award, and Talia Bruno was presented the Emerging Leader Award — the audience loved hearing what forces drove them toward their successes.


Annual Star Award Cocktail Reception & Networking Event: Whether you caught up with optical friends, learned what’s new from a former colleague, or discussed business needs you can partner together on, this was a great place to make it happen. This brief evening event celebrates both members and future OWA members, in joining a network of like-minded women with a similar goal.


Career Zone Student Lounge: OWA members, students, and young professionals were welcomed to attend a moderated presentation on Life, Work, and Balance in the Eyecare industry. Students were engaged and listened-in to hear what optical organizations offer to professionals seeking opportunities in the eyecare field.



Photos of the OWA town hall

OWA Holds First Town Hall

The OWA held its first-ever Town Hall Meeting, which provided an opportunity to meet and speak directly to OWA board members, hear more about the OWA’s activities and initiatives, and greet fellow members. Over 75 attendees discovered how impactful the OWA’s committees are and learned how to get more involved.



Optical Women's Association Town Hall logo

OWA at Vision Expo West


Board of Directors Meeting: Before the show officially began, the OWA board met and welcomed four new members and our new President, Dr. Lorie Lippiatt, who chaired her first meeting with a focus on the future and what can be imagined for the OWA.


Connection Series Luncheon: The OWA hosted another sold-out Connection Series luncheon, which energized attendees and reminded us to get real about identifying our goals and how we can achieve them, take action, be a lifelong learner, focus on self leadership, and say yes to challenges.


Networking Reception, Raffle, and Silent Auction: The OWA hosted the annual Friday networking reception, where OWA sponsors donated items for the raffle and online auction. One of the best events to network and win big in Vegas, the event consistently raises funds to support future OWA programming.


Pictures of the OWA Member Retreat

OWA Holds First Member Retreat

Around three dozen OWA members gathered for a sunny weekend at Paradise Point Resort in San Diego for an uplifting and inspiring experience: the OWA Unplugged Retreat. A labor of love spearheaded by the OWA’s Connection & Enrichment committee and powered this year by ClearVision Optical, this inaugural OWA retreat was a remarkable first for this amazing organization.


OWA members gather together for the member retreat

Leadership Scholarship Awards

The Leadership Scholarship Award recognizes OWA members who have served the OWA with their dedicated committee work and strong commitment to growing leadership roles for women in the optical industry. These grants are used for professional and personal development of the recipients who were nominated by other OWA members.

Many thanks go to our OWA Individual Contributors, whose donations help make these scholarships possible.


Reader Survey Results

Earlier this month, the OWA Communications & Website Committee published a survey, asking readers of the OWA Connects Blog for feedback. If you have not yet completed the survey, you may anonymously do so here.


Here is a summary of the survey results:

  1. Most desired topics: business development, work strategy, motivational, career advice, career journeys

  2. Would like to read more about: team collaboration, motivational, working from home, patient care: managing a business, leadership journeys, advanced level career advice

  3. Struggles you’d like help with: field sales, leadership, career advancement, work/life balance

  4. Existing blog topics, ranked by favorite:

  5. Leadership (100%)

  6. Professional Development (60%)

  7. Networking (40%)

  8. Work/Life Balance (30%)


In addition to completed surveys, several members expressed interest in contributing articles for the blog.


A big THANK YOU to you, the members, that make up the Optical Women’s Association! What was your favorite 2023 OWA memory? Let us know in the comments!

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