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Star Cluster

The Pyxis Award

PYXIS is a constellation in the southern sky known as "The Compass". The PYXIS Award is presented to a member of the OWA who actively participates in the organization and promotes the OWA throughout the optical industry, contributing to OWA's continuing growth.

All Pyxis Honorees

Trudi Charest Portrait

Trudi Charest

2024 Honoree

Trudi Charest is the Co-Founder of Marketing4ecps, a digital marketing agency focused on building digital advertising for the eyecare industry, and President of Total Focus Consulting. She doesn't just "talk" the digital marketing talk, she walks it every day in her own social and digital efforts. With over 10,000 followers on LinkedIn, she is known as a LinkedIn guru by her peers. She also heads up the Digital Marketing Committee for the Optical Women's Association, leading a team of 17 women volunteers who create the social media strategy for the OWA. Charest is well known for designing, developing, and facilitating sales training and marketing programs across North America.

Charest is a licensed optician with over 25 years of extensive eyecare experience, and also holds a Human Resource Management certificate from the University of Calgary. Before starting her marketing agency, Marketing4ECPs, in 2015, her experience included corporate training in retail optical, territory management for Bausch & Lomb, clinical consulting with Optos, and the role of Vice President of Marketing and Training for Eye Recommend, one of Canada's leading optometric buying groups.

She is an "Amazon Best Selling" author of the book, The Digital Sales Rep, a literary guide to social and digital sales techniques and the art of personal online branding.

Charest was one of Vision Monday's Most Influential Women in the optical industry and is currently a very active OWA board member, co-chairing their Digital Marketing Committee. She is an international speaker, author, industry consultant, and business innovator.

Dr. Beverly Bianes Headshot

Dr. Beverly Bianes

2023 Honoree

Beverly Bianes, OD is Optometrist/Partner/Owner of Pack & Bianes Vision Care Optometry. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of California, San Diego, and received her Doctor of Optometry degree from the Southern California College of Optometry. Soon after graduation, she started her first private practice in San Diego with her husband, Dr. John Pack, and later went on to open second and third locations. Dr. Bianes is an active board member of the San Diego County Optometric Society and currently serves as its 2023 President. As the director of Charitable Outreach for Total Vision LLC, she was recognized and named as one of the Most Influential Women in Optical in 2021 for her program Neighbors Helping Neighbors, an initiative that allows the local community to nominate neighbors impacted by COVID-19 to receive free exams and glasses.

Dr. Bianes has a passion for giving back to both her local community as well as communities abroad. She participated in several medical mission trips to the Philippines, and for the last 30 years has provided free exams and glasses to the underserved in her local community. Her efforts have been recognized by community leaders such as Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez and by organizations such as the South County Economic Development Council and the Military Employer Support League. She was featured in 20/20 magazine for her efforts supporting homeless transitional adult youth. Recently, the Neighbors Helping Neighbors program partnered with the EssilorLuxottica Vision Foundation's Changing Lives Through Lenses program to further expand their reach of charitable giving.

Dr. Bianes joined the OWA in 2019 and was the creator of the virtual event series known as "Coffee Break . . . connecting one sip at a time." It was designed to provide an online platform allowing women to connect and feel supported during challenging times. In 2021 she also created and launched "Food for Thought . . . where food breaks down barriers and brings us all to the table." This series used food as a way to share traditions, cultures, and embrace one another's diversity. She currently serves as OWA's Vice-Chair of the Events Committee and is a member of the OWA Connection and Enrichment Committee. Dr. Bianes is a champion when it comes to women in leadership roles. She serves on the board of Women in Optometry and is an Ambassador for the Optometry Divas. She has served as a panelist speaker for both the American Academy of Optometry Women's Leadership Conference and Johnson & Johnson's Power of Women in Optometry.

Laura Dorris Portrait

Laura Dorris

2022 Honoree

Laura Dorris currently serves as the Executive Vice President and General Manager of Strategic Sales for HEA+PECAA, where she works with the Solutions team, state optometric associations, and other industry partners. With more than 25 years in the eyecare industry, Laura brings a background of optical sales, practice management, human resources, event planning, and customer service to her role. Prior to her 18 years in the buying group/GPO business, she got her start in the industry in 1989 working with one of the leading corneal surgeons and pioneers of refractive surgery. She later went on to manage a very successful multi-location optometry practice in San Diego.

As an active member of the OWA, Laura has served the last 5 years as a member of their Board of Directors and as Co-Chair of the Events Committee, where she has helped create some highly memorable OWA events. She previously served on both the OWA Digital Marketing and the Website Design Committees. In 2013, Vision Monday named Laura as one of the "Most Influential Women in Optical" in the "Mentor" category.

 

Outside of work and the OWA, Laura enjoys traveling, reading, cooking, and spending time with her husband and two daughters.

Debbie Myres Headshot

Debbie Myres

2021 Honoree

Deborah Myres has been in the optical industry for over 30 years, working for both Tura and Marchon in sales and management positions. In 2005, she joined Pacific Northern, a luxury display company, and developed a new line of optical displays for them. Following a brief "retirement," Debbie began her own company in 2018. Her vision was to create affordable luxury eyewear cases in beautiful fashion colors, designed for eyewear aficionados, and Visual Inspirations was born.

Debbie has been a member of the Optical Women's Association since 2009, also serving on the board as a co-chair of the Mentoring Committee, newly renamed the Connection and Enrichment Committee. When she first became co-chair of the committee, the One-Minute Mentor (now called the One-Minute Inspiration) series was already in place, but Debbie was instrumental in starting the Tuesday Talks project, a webinar program which has since morphed into a dynamic podcast program known as OWA Talks. She helped launch OWA Reads in 2020 and has also assisted with the many other programs under this committee, including Food for Thought. Debbie is currently most excited about the OWA Advisory Groups, a new program developed by several committee members for the purpose of connecting and educating OWA members through various business disciplines. She remains active in this committee, knowing that so much would not be possible without the hard work of many.

 

Debbie's interests include a fascination with unique eyewear and sunwear, and she has amassed a collection of both, thus the need for eyewear cases! She is enthusiastic about connecting with people in many different areas of business and loves spending time with family and friends, especially her three grandkids. She enjoys traveling, cooking, reading, and, while quarantining, has become an avid walker! Optimistic for 2021, she hopes to play golf again soon.

Jean Sabre Portrait

Jean Sabre

2020 Honoree

Jean Sabre, along with her husband Dr. Mark Sabre, founded Uptown Vision in Minneapolis, MN in 1991. In her role with the clinic, she is the practice administrator, buyer and lead optician. Before entering the optical profession, she held management and sales positions throughout the US with major retailers including Marshall Field's, Nordstrom, and Barneys New York.

Sabre has been a member of the OWA since 2004 and currently serves on the Membership Committee, where she heads up the Student Ambassador program. She is excited to be facilitating the outreach to future members of the optometric and optical professions via the OWA. Formerly, she served on the Board of Directors of the OWA as co-chair of the Mentorship Committee.

 

Additionally, Sabre has served on Transitions Optical's Pro Forum advisory panel for the past 10 years and on the Board of Governors of Interlachen Country Club in Edina, MN. Her optical interests include mentoring others, emerging eyewear and lens technology, and practice management. She enjoys spending time with her husband, traveling, running, bike riding and golf.

Laura Lewis Portrait

Laura Lewis

2019 Honoree

Recently nominated in Vision Monday as one 2018's Most Influential Women in Optical, Laura Lewis currently serves as the Vice President of Human Resources with MyEyeDr. where she focuses on talent development and strategic growth as just a few of the primary functions of her role. With a background that spans several industries including banking, insurance, and optical, Laura is an active member of the Optical Women's Association (OWA), is a Sponsor Ambassador, and is a current member of the OWA Connection & Enrichment Committee. Recently, Laura was named OWA Sub-Committee Chair of the Sponsor Ambassadors due to her meaningful work and contribution to fully developing the Sponsor Ambassador role.

 

As one of her many passions, Laura is truly committed to not only the support and development of the Optical Women's Association, but also to the growth and development of its many individual members. Some of her proudest moments have been playing a role in the career growth opportunities of personal friends, close colleagues, and acquaintances. She recently recorded a Tuesday Talk for the OWA titled "Shine and Sparkle: Interviewing with Intention." Simply stated, she has a passion for seeing careers of all types "take flight." A graduate of James Madison University's School of Business, Laura believes in building self-marketing strategies for women of all ages and professional experience levels. In addition to her time spent with the OWA, Laura enjoys spending free time with her 2 teenage sons, traveling, and volunteering.

Deb Bulken Headshot

Deb Bulken

2018 Honoree

An optical industry professional for over 30 years, Deb Bulken is currently Regional Sales Director at Luxottica Group, where she is a strong, dynamic leader of the Eastern Region. She is well known for her abilities to mentor, inspire, build and nurture sales teams, and develop meaningful, long-lasting business relationships.

Deb has been a member of the OWA since 2011, and holds the director position of Co-Chair, Membership Committee and Secretary/Treasurer, Executive Committee. Under her leadership, the OWA has seen its membership grow exponentially in the last two years.

Recognizing her passion, creativity, and outstanding professionalism, Vision Monday 2015 named Deb one of "Optical's Most Influential Women" in the mentoring category.

Lorie Lippiatt Portrait

Lorie Lippiatt, OD

2017 Honoree

Lorie Lippiatt, OD, is President of the Salem Eyecare Center, Inc., a comprehensive optometric center she founded in 1989. Dr. Lippiatt has been instrumental in the development of electronic medical records for optometrists and technology integration. She has served as a consultant for OfficeMate, VisionWeb, and Marco. Dr. Lippiatt was named one of Vision Monday's "Most Influential Women in Optical" in 2006.

An OWA member since 2004, Dr. Lippiatt has served as co-chair of the Professional Development Fund on the board of the OWA for the past three years. She is a member of Salem Rotary, an advisory board member of the Salvation Army, and is active in her local church.

 

"The Pyxis award recognizes someone who contributes to the OWA's growth by actively participating in the organization and promoting it throughout the industry. Lorie's commitment and dedication to the OWA have led to many accomplishments over the years. We are very grateful to have such a spirited, talented, professional so actively involved in our association," said OWA President, Maureen Cavanagh. "Lorie's background as a successful optometric entrepreneur brings value to the OWA, especially as we look at expanding this membership base and meeting the needs of other women Optometrists. It's exciting to be able to honor someone so very deserving!"

Ann Englert Portrait

Ann Englert

2016 Honoree

Ann E. Englert is the owner and sole proprietor of Solutions, a concierge style business dedicated to working with wholesalers, retailers and ECP's in the eyewear industry. A full service management resource, the company develops proprietary solutions to achieve performance improvement throughout the client company's sales organization. Prior to starting the company in 2001, she held senior leadership positions at some of the industry's top optical and sunwear companies. She was selected as one of VisionMonday's Most Influential Women in Optical in the Executive Suite (2013).

An active OWA member since 2001, Englert has served on the board and chaired multiple committees. During her term as President of the OWA, in partnership with a remarkable board of leading women and administrative staff, she initiated the campaign to refresh the OWA brand, launched the Digital Marketing Committee to expand the organization's website and social footprint, and collaborated with industry partners to maximize OWA programs. These initiatives resulted in membership growth and new benchmarks for value added benefits.

Englert remains committed to the OWA's mission of advancing the leadership role of women and she enthusiastically connects with industry professionals to invite them to share their time and talent. "The OWA is a dynamic platform to work with the industry's best and brightest. Together with OWA members who volunteer their time, effort and ideas, and our distinguished Professional Development Sponsors, the OWA is expanding meaningful services such as educational workshops, webinars, leadership tools and networking opportunities."

Englert resides in Naples, Florida with her husband, Tom and enjoys sunny outdoor activities.

Amy Spiezio Headshot

Amy Spiezio

2015 Honoree

Amy Spiezio is the executive editor of Eyecare Business magazine and has been with the publication for 13 years. Since starting at EB as managing editor, she has enjoyed being mentored and in turn mentoring young editors. In 2013, she was promoted to her position of executive editor and works on the day-to-day business of the publication while covering the frame market.

During most of her career in this industry, she has also been a member of the Optical Women's Association, serving on the board for nine years and as the secretary treasurer for several terms. Her tenure in the organization has included involvement on many committees, particularly communications and mentoring, and with events where she has learned many invaluable lessons and made many great friends.

Prior to joining the optical industry, she edited for a wide variety of publications, from weekly newspapers to monthly newsstand magazines, writing about everything from zoning laws to claw foot tubs and Caribbean getaways. In addition, she has had several stage and radio plays produced and was named a New Jersey Young Playwright.

When not optically occupied, Amy lives in Pennsylvania and enjoys her pets, her friends, and her wonderful family.

Tiara Claxton Portrait

Tiara Claxton

2013 Honoree

Tiara Claxton is considered one of our newer members — a member since October 2010 — but not new to our industry as she is celebrating 32 years in optical! The Pyxis award is presented to a member of the OWA who actively participates in the organization and promotes the OWA throughout the optical industry, contributing to OWA's continuing growth. Pyxis is a constellation in the southern sky and is known as "The Compass" and like a compass the Pyxis Award Honoree helps guide the organization with her leadership and example.

A deserving recipient of the Pyxis award despite her short term membership with the OWA, Claxton, is exceptional in her commitment to support and develop the OWA. She helps set direction of the organization by her actions and inspires by her leadership.

Starting back in 1982 Tiara enjoyed a great start selling high-end eyewear in an Optical Boutique. She fell in love with the industry as she learned to refract and do in-office medical procedures with an ophthalmologist. Although she found this interesting, it was not what she enjoyed the most. She pursued her optician's license then managed and helped make profitable a dispensary for another ophthalmologist. It was at that point that Tiara realized her talent for sales, people, self-motivation, and communications. She then took a sales position with Carrera Optyl, selling nine product lines including Dior. She followed Dior to Safilo in 1997 and has been there ever since. She has earned a spot in Safilo's Presidents and Million Dollar Members Club and has many other achievements in sales, synergy, and dollar growth. Tiara was most recently promoted (2013) at Safilo where she has been proudly employed for 18 years. Today, Claxton sells the ultra-luxury brands for Safilo — Saint Laurent Paris, Bottega Veneta, Celine, and Alexander McQueen — covering her home state of California as well as the other western states.

When it comes to the OWA, Claxton is passionate about her involvement and commitment to the organization. "Connecting and networking with like-minded individuals is one of the reasons I joined the OWA. I am dedicated to an organization that encourages and supports woman throughout our optical community, and I really enjoy our POWW events and VEE/VEW activities. They are inspiring and educational," said Claxton.

Claxton likes to surround herself with hardworking, dedicated individuals. "I am truly inspired by the OWA woman whose vision founded this great organization and the companies who support it by their sponsorships," said Claxton.

Claxton has been married to her husband Scott for 24 "vivacious" years. They have two sons: Christopher, 18 who will be graduating high school soon and going off to college; and Cole, 14, a ninth grader. The family enjoys traveling to Tucson, Arizona and spending summers at our beach house in Newport, California. Claxton enjoys cooking and baking, and is known for making the "best peanut brittle you've ever tasted," her grandmother's recipe. She loves nature hikes, walking her two dogs Walter and Jade, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

When asked what advice she would give other women she said, "I'm a huge believer in surrounding yourself with positive and accomplished people. I have learned so much from these individuals who inspire me...and you know who you are!"

Claxton shares her secret to happiness and success. "Work every day in a job you love to do 100 percent, except weekends. On the weekends, take time out for family and friends. Plan great getaways that help you relax and rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of my successes! It takes a team to accomplish great things!"

Lorinda-Fraboni.jpg

Lorinda Fraboni

2010 Honoree

Lorinda Fraboni, one of the original thirteen founding women of the OWA (1997) is a most deserving recipient of the OWA's first Pyxis Award. The Pyxis award is presented to a member of the OWA who actively participates in the organization and promotes the OWA throughout the optical industry, contributing to OWA's continuing growth. The recipient of the Pyxis Award is exceptional in her commitment to support and develop the OWA. She helps set direction of the organization by her actions and inspires by her leadership.

Lorinda, currently the IS Manager at Walman Optical Company in Minneapolis, MN has been with the company since 1974, yes 36 years!

Her career developed from lab rat to programmer to IT Manager of Lab Operations and Data Warehouse. Her specialties include project management, employee relations, organizational communication and workflow processes.

Lorinda has dedicated years of serving the optical industry in a variety of ways including; Chairperson of the Employee Suggestion Program at New Visions; OWA President from 2006-2008; active OWA Board member for eleven years and is currently on the Membership Directory Committee.

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