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Get To Know This Year’s OWA Award Recipients

Get to Know the 2023 OWA Award Recipients

Next week during the annual OWA Champagne Breakfast and kick-off for Vision Expo East, Karen Roberts (Carl Zeiss International) will receive the Pleiades Award, Dr. Beverly Bianes (Pack & Bianes Vision Care Optometry) the Pyxis Award, and Talia Bruno (De Rigo REM) the Emerging Leader Award! Read on to learn more about the individuals who exemplify a passion for promoting the role of women in our industry.

2023 Pleiades Award Recipient: Karen Roberts, Carl Zeiss Vision International

As far as women leaders go, Karen has given so much to our industry. She is in a global role with Carl Zeiss Vision, is a true leader, and has pushed the Vision Council, and therefore, the industry forward. She delivers outcomes and is well respected.


What does winning this award mean to you? It was a surprise and a delight to win this award since I’ve always been passionate about women having a voice and feeling empowered to carve their own path without bias or favor.


What motivates you at work or on a personal level? People. Working within a team to shape outcomes and create impact. At work, I love the impact we make on the quality of people’s lives through good quality eyecare and eyewear.


What piece of advice, person or event has impacted you in the past? Re: impactful advice; Stay focused on the job to be done, and be prepared and persistent in getting it done. Re: impactful person; My dad has had a big impact on my career – he’s a very good listener, a deep thinker and an unemotional sounding board.


What is one piece of advice you would want women to hear today? Don’t be your own worst critic. There are plenty of others lined up to judge you, so back yourself to win and give it your best shot.  If it doesn’t work the first time, go back and try again.


What are you looking forward to in the future (personally, professionally or for the OWA)? Even more diversity and inclusiveness in our industry … and technology transformation. Both important enablers for better outcomes in preventative healthcare, more empathetic services and smarter solutions for people in need.



2023 Pyxis Award Recipient: Dr. Beverly Bianes, Pack & Bianes Vision Care Optometry

Beverly received numerous nominations for this award. She has been a passionate and active supporter of the OWA. As the Vice Chair of the Events Committee, she draws crowds to our events, and creates engagement by giving her personal time and attention. Beverly has connected the OWA with inspiring keynote speakers and brought ideas to life.


What does winning this award mean to you? Being involved with and doing work for the OWA has brought me so much joy. Receiving an award from an organization that I believe in is so special to me. My heart is full in knowing that my contributions have made a difference in helping women feel connected and supported.


What motivates you at work or on a personal level? The relationships that I build with patients, the community, and my employees.


What piece of advice, person or event has impacted you in the past? A virtual event given by Jamie Kern Lima, Founder of iT Cosmetics.  She said, that “Rejection is God hiding your true value because they were not part of your destiny.” This taught me that in the midst of my turmoil came my clarity, I was not rejected just redirected, selfcare to love the person I am, that I don’t have to prove my worth.  I just need to find a place that appreciates my gifts.


What is one piece of advice you would want women to hear today? Dig deep to get clarity on what is important in life, career, and relationships.  Focus on your talents and passion and share it.  The more you give yourself away, the happier you’ll be.


What are you looking forward to in the future (personally, professionally or for the OWA)? As a look forward to my fourth quarter of my career I want to finish strong with no regrets.  Be open to what can be.



2023 Emerging Leader Award Recipient: Talia Bruno, De Rigo REM

As a member of the OWA Professional Development Fund Committee, Talia has taken action and moved ideas forward. She is an up-and-comer in the making! Talia leads through example, as she seeks to inspire the next generation of female leaders in the optical industry.


What does winning this award mean to you? Outside of feeling honored, receiving this award is an uplifting experience for me as it demonstrates my leadership qualities, volunteer work and overall work ethic is recognized and valued. Active participation in helping others succeed both in and outside of the OWA through mentorship has allowed me to contribute to the optical industry and to the growth of future leaders.  The work being done in the OWA has been so fulfilling without need of recognition. With that said, there is no better feeling than industry leaders and fellow peers validating the various projects I had been involved in. This award reiterates that I am one of the many females changing the industry in a positive way by encouraging women around me to be the best that they can be.


What motivates you at work or on a personal level? I am motivated by challenges and building from the ground up.  For some reason when proposed with a challenge, it ignites me to research and figure out a solution.  Helping others is also motivating as I truly believe that if I can do it, then anyone can do it and I am happy to share my tactics with fellow working moms.


What piece of advice, person or event has impacted you in the past? In the earlier part of my career, I had received what I thought at the time to be a negative evaluation and perception of my character from my direct report.  The experience inspired me in a positive way to work harder on myself and make the necessary changes which has made me the leader that I am today.


What is one piece of advice you would want women to hear today? I apologize as I cannot just give one piece of advice.  I will share what I tell those that I mentor, careful to not fall victim to self-criticism as we can be our worst enemy.  We have the power within us to accomplish anything if we truly love ourselves.   We are responsible to be our biggest cheerleader as we will face criticism and jealousy while on our path.  Start the day with positivity via self-affirmations and journal your goals (short and long term) and make it a point to stay stimulated by learning something new.  In the age of technology, information is at our fingertips.  Make yourself a priority and always treat others the way you want to be treated.  What we put into this world, is what we will get out of it.


What are you looking forward to in the future (personally, professionally or for the OWA)? I look forward to many things in the future.   From celebrating my peers of the OWA at future ceremonies, to one day attending an award banquet that will honor a mentee of mine. Finally, to continue to grow the OWA ambassador program by bringing inspirational speakers and having them share their knowledge that will further nurture and strengthen female leaders.


Inspired by these women? Leave your comment below!


Article written by Courtney Myers

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