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OWA Tuesday Talks

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With all that's going on in the world today, the Optical Women's Association is committed to doing everything we can to support the health and well-being of the optical industry. For the months of May and June, we will open up exclusive member benefits for non-members. If you wish to access this content, please fill out this form.

OWA Tuesday Talks is Moving to a Monthly Podcast

Join us for this new, more flexible, and convenient format! But don't worry, we're keeping an archive of our past Tuesday Talks presentations so you can view them whenever you want. Browse through the archive below.

The monthly Podcast hosts, Sandra Mohr and Stephanie Espinosa, will stream monthly chats featuring influential optical leaders to share their insights and stories on trending topics that matter. Listen to the first episode to learn more about the series and our hosts, and subscribe to stay updated on the newest episodes streaming the last Tuesday of each month.


Tuesday Talks Archive

2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020

2016

Michelle Banks

Michelle Banks — Spread Too Thin / Work Life Balance
Former Global General Counsel
Gap, Inc.
Tuesday, November 8, 2016


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Jill Franze

Jill Franze — Harnessing Confidence to Go After Opportunities
Senior Director, Global Customs and Trade & Inclusion and Collaboration Lead
Cisco Finance
Tuesday, December 13, 2016


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2017

Mary Anne Murphy, OD

Mary Anne Murphy, OD — Jump at Leadership Opportunities
Business Woman
VSP Global Board of Directors
Tuesday, January 10, 2017


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Maureen Cavanagh

Maureen Cavanagh — Gaining Confidence to Go After Leadership Opportunities
President of Optical Women's Association
President
Vision Impact Institute
Tuesday, February 21, 2017


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Susan Parker

Susan Parker — Communicating Across Generations and Cultures
Director, Purchasing and Logistics
Kenmark Eyewear
Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Susan puts her 30+ years of experience into practice each day at Kenmark Eyewear, a fashion based eyewear provider. Her knowledge is extensive across all levels of social compliance, trade, import, and the entire supply chain, but the passion she brings is what's most commended. As an industry authority, she works each day to maintain social compliance initiatives across all spectrums of the business.


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Sue Downes

Sue Downes — A Brand Called YOU
CEO
MyEyeDr.
Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Sue Downes is driven today by the same goal that inspired her to co-found the company 15 years ago. From one office in 2001, she has led the growth of MyEyeDr. brand to almost 300 locations across the Mid-Atlantic and southeast, with more practices joining every month.

Sue has built a brand that is as unique as she is and has created a brand identity for MyEyeDr.

Her real skill is in her ability to share that vision with her team and instill that same commitment to the profession that she has demonstrated over the past 30 years.

Sue had an extensive career in the industry before starting MyEyeDr. She was the Director of Managed Vision Care with Hour Eyes and Eye Care Centers of America. In April of 2015, Sue was named CEO of MyEyeDr.

In addition to her work managing MyEyeDr. offices, Sue served on the advisory board for the Colombia Lighthouse for the Blind & Visually Impaired, and is a past board member of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce. She is the recipient of several prestigious honors including, Montgomery County Chamber's "Spirit of Free Enterprise" award, one of Vision Monday's "Most Influential Woman in Optical" in 2011, the 2012 smart CEO award for Entrepreneurial spirit, the 2015 ACG Corporate Growth Award, and was named the Optical Women's Association 2016 winner of the Pleiades Award.


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Marge Axelrad

Marge Axelrad — "CONNECTABILITY" — How Can You Create a Network?
Editorial Director, VisionMonday
Senior Vice President
Jobson Optical Group
OWA Founding Member
Tuesday, May 16, 2017

In today's world, "connectability" often means digital connections. But to advance in our professional lives, the power of a network of personal contacts can't be overstated. What are your opportunities to network? How do you build connections, within your own company and with others outside?

Axelrad joined Jobson in 1988 when she was named editor-in-chief of Vision Monday and her role at Jobson has since expanded to senior vice president and editorial director of both VM and 20/20.

With 29 years of experience as an eyewear and vision care market observer, columnist and frequent speaker about optical industry issues in the U.S. and internationally, Axelrad oversees Jobson's coverage of industry developments via Vision Monday, VMail, VisionMonday.com, and VM's Global Leadership Summit. VM's various e-initiatives, such as DBA, CLICK and other special reports, such as the VM Top 50 Retailers and VM's Most Influential Women in Optical are also under her overall direction, overseen by VM Staff. She is also the editorial liaison for the Jobson Research Group.

Axelrad is a founding board member of the Optical Women's Association and was honored by the OWA in 2013 with its Pleiades Award.

In 2008, Axelrad was recognized by the Accessories Council with its "Hall of Fame" Award and in March 2011 she was honored by SUNY's Optometric Foundation.

She also served on the national board of Prevent Blindness America (2009-2013) and currently serves on the board of trustees of SUNY-Optometry's Optometric Center of NY Foundation.

This past March, Axelrad was honored by Prevent Blindness as its 2017 "Person of Vision."

A graduate of the University of Rochester, Axelrad started her business journalism career first as an editorial assistant and then as reporter and editor covering the fields of men's apparel, home furnishings and department store retailing.


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Sherianne James

Sherianne James — Investing in You
Vice President of Consumer Marketing
Essilor USA
Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Ms. James successfully guides the brand positioning and marketing of one of the best-known optical lens brands. After joining Transitions Optical, Inc., in 2011, she was promoted multiple times until, in 2014, when she took on the role of Vice President of Marketing. Then in 2016, she became Vice President of Consumer Marketing. With an impressive professional background in developing and executing trade and retail marketing programs, maintaining business and research partner relationships, and implementing organizational marketing strategy, in addition to an educational background in chemical engineering and business management, Sherianne will be sure to inspire all attendees of the June Tuesday Talk.


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Ashley Mills

Ashley Mills — Know Your Value
Chief Executive Officer
The Vision Council
Tuesday, July 11, 2017

"Time is currency. Only you can establish the value of your personal and professional time."

Ashley Mills leads The Vision Council, the industry's association for optical suppliers and manufacturers. In this role, she works to elevate awareness of the importance of vision to the public, and is deeply committed to cultivating strong, effective partnerships throughout the optical arena and in adjacent sectors. She brings over 20 years of progressive communications, philanthropy and trade association experience to The Vision Council after several years in both consulting and association roles with major associations including the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and the Council on Foundations. After serving as The Vision Council's director of marketing & shows from 2003-2006, Ashley returned to The Vision Council in January 2016 to lead The Vision Council's International Vision Expo shows. A graduate of The University of Maryland, she serves on the Optical Women's Association Communications Committee. Ashley and her husband, Jeff, live in Bethesda, Maryland, where they spend their precious little free time monitoring the social media accounts of their two tween children.


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Kate McIntyre

Kate McIntyre — Who's on Deck: Engaging Millennials and Gen Z as Employees and Consumers
Diversity & Inclusion Officer and Content Specialist
VSP® Global
Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Kate McIntyre is focused on empowering others to live their best lives. As the Diversity & Inclusion Officer at VSP Global, she partners with business units and seven employee Business Resource Groups to provide employees, VSP network doctors, VSP members, suppliers, and community members with content and engagement opportunities that support an inclusive work environment, connecting patients to doctors, products and services that can best meet their unique eye care and eyewear needs.

Additionally, she also develops content for Eyes of Hope, through which VSP Global partners with VSP network doctors to provide access to high-quality eye care and eyewear where it's needed most.

A recent addition to the workforce, Kate joined VSP in 2013 after attaining master's degrees in journalism and public health. She lives with her fiancé in Sacramento, California, where they're currently spending their free time getting ready to get married in September.


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Danielle Polite Bowles

Danielle Polite Bowles — Resilient Renaissance Women
Account Manager
X-CEL Specialty Contacts
Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Danielle Bowles started in the optical industry in 2002 working as an ophthalmic technician at a private doctor's office in Maryland. She graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County with degrees in psychology and biological sciences.

She worked as a manager for several optical chains while she obtained her ABO and NCLE certifications, and has done everything from lab edging, to running a lane for a doctor, to providing Rx follow-ups, and contact lens fittings.

She's currently a licensed optician working for X-CEL Specialty Contacts.


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Jennifer Coppel

Jennifer Coppel — Developing Your Leadership Style: What Works for Me
Vice President of Brand Management
Tura, Inc.
Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Jennifer has been the Vice President of Brand Management for Tura since October of 2012. In her current role, she is responsible for the strategic alignment of Branding, Product, Marketing, and Sales. She leads a team of 10 responsible for brand building, marketing, campaign development, social media, sales promotions, product design, product development, product merchandising, licensing, and new business development.

Jennifer's career journey has been varied and non-traditional for the optical industry. She began her career shortly after graduate school with her own business, Eden Hardware, where she designed, manufactured, and sold decorative door and cabinet hardware. Shortly after 9/11, she decided to move to NYC and join the corporate world. She worked in several companies, primarily focused on home fashion product from bath accessories, to luxury gifts, dinnerware, furniture, and lighting. After leaving Ralph Lauren, she entered the optical industry by joining ClearVision Optical as their head of product design and development. In 2012, she joined Tura as one of the four executives responsible for leading the company.

Jennifer lives in her home in Brooklyn, NY with her husband Chris and her precocious 7-year-old daughter Elena who is always the "boss" at home.


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Deborah Shute, SPHR SHRM-SCP GPHR

Deborah Shute, SPHR SHRM-SCP GPHR — Leveraging Emotional Intelligence (EQ) for Success at Work and in Life
Vice President of Human Resources
Essilor Laboratories of America
Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Deborah Shute is an experienced Global Human Resources executive, who has been with Essilor of America based in Dallas, TX since 2011. She is highly skilled in all areas of HR with particular emphasis on strategic business partnering, talent management, change management, and executive coaching. At Essilor, Deborah is responsible for leading HR commercially and operationally for the largest optical lab network in the U.S., Essilor Laboratories of America. She is an Executive Team member of Essilor's ECP Sales & Services as well as EOA Operations and Supply Chain, and leads the Strategic Business Partnering arm of HR for ELOA, Brand, and Partner Labs. Deborah is a founding member and past leader of Essilor's Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Steering Committee and the Essilor's Women's Network. She was also a member of the Global D&I Best Practices Committee and served as a D&I Global Ambassador. Prior to Essilor, Deborah was Vice President, HR & Administration at Interphase Corporation, and Senior Director, Employee Relations/Strategic Business Partnering at Packard Bell NEC. Deborah earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from California State University-Sacramento and maintains her professional certifications at both a senior and global level.


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Jessica Darcy

Jessica Darcy — Turning An Idea Into Reality
CEO
funoogles
Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Jessica Darcy is the founder and CEO of funoogles. She is an entrepreneurial mother of three seeking to create an international brand that revolutionizes the way people view eyewear. She earned a BA in business administration with a concentration in marketing from Fordham University. Jessica worked in marketing while in school, and after she earned her BA. She then earned a masters in early childhood education from Molly College and went on to teach kindergarten. She has successfully invested in various financial and consumer product businesses through a jointly owned family partnership.

funoogles is a cultivation of these experiences to fill a void in the multi-billion dollar eyewear industry. funoogles is a patent pending interchangeable eyewear company that allows children to express their creative selves through complete customization. This business was inspired from discussions with Jessica's now 9 year old daughter, Ella-Jane. Ella-Jane was born with a congenital cataract and underwent extensive surgery the summer of 2013 to have it removed.

Jessica is 37 and has been happily married for 15 years to her husband Patrick Darcy. They have three children: Lily Anne (11), Patrick (10), Ella-Jane (9). They reside in Long Island, NY.


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Corinne McCormack

Corinne McCormack — How I Learned to Make the Impossible Possible
Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Corinne McCormack is a seasoned executive and entrepreneur who conceived and created a brand of Designer Eyewear in 1993 that carved a new niche in the eyewear industry. Today, Corinne McCormack Reading Glasses are sold in over 2000 stores in the U.S. including Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, and Barnes & Noble.

Corinne designed a unique and fashionable line of eyewear accessories that was distinctive in the product design, quality, and packaging. The packaging established her brand in retailers including LensCrafters and Sunglass Hut. She sold her company, FGX International, to the largest manufacturer of reading glasses and popular priced sunglasses in 2009.

Corinne understands how to build businesses and make them profitable with limited resources. Her ability to understand the needs and priorities of modern consumers has been translated into her innovative designs and also enabled her to receive 5 patents.

She has also been active in many high visibility industry organizations and was the President and on the national board of the OWA for more than 10 years. She received the OWA's inaugural Pinnacle Award in March 2017 for her service and contributions in the industry and was recognized as one of the Most Influential Women in Optical by Vision Monday in 2010.


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2018

Christine Dellecave

Christine Dellecave — Making a Transition Successfully
Chief People Officer
MyEyeDr.
Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Christine Dellecave, Chief People Officer of MyEyeDr., is a seasoned executive who has spent time leading people strategy in a variety of organizations and industries. Christine thrives in situations that require transformation, and brings vision, planning, and execution to bear. Her 20-year career spans many Fortune 500 companies, as well as midsize companies going through various phases of growth. Christine is passionate about using talent strategies to solve business problems, and helping individuals, teams and organizations grow in parallel.

In addition to her work at MyEyeDr., Christine invests time in the development of others, with a particular focus on women and girls through her work with various local non-profit leadership organizations.


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Koi Rivers

Koi Rivers — Let's Get TIPsy™: Tools to Inspire Purpose in Your Life
Founder + Principal Strategist
The Koi Rivers Experience
Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Already kicked that New Year resolution to the curb? Caught up on that never-ending teeter of work/life balance? Maybe you're struggling to muster the courage to change career paths? No worries. We're only a few weeks in; you can still discover and enjoy a new high in life. Join Koi Rivers for an interactive and introspective webinar where you'll design your best life, develop a plan to make it real, and dash away with the tools to make it happen.

Wildly passionate about civic leadership, grammar lessons, Urban Cowboy, and all things salsa (food and dance), Koi Rivers is quite the anomaly.

For nearly 20 years, Koi has engaged, influenced, and evoked action in people through powerful brand building, charismatic leadership, and authentic intentions.

A market and communications manager with Eyefinity for eight years, Koi drove the go-to-market strategy for two cloud software products and managed the brand and production of tradeshows and events.

Now through her consultancy, The Koi Rivers Experience, she challenges organizations to burst the bubble of doing things "the same old way," and reimagine how they want to impact their communities, their customers, and this world.

Recently honored on the Sacramento Business Journal's 40 Under 40 list for business and community leadership, Koi serves on the Board of Directors of two non-profits: TLCS, Inc., which provides housing and resources to folks struggling with mental illness; and Sacramento Theatre Company.

Koi motivates and inspires through her speaking series, TIPsyTime™, and produces workshops and retreats on healthy lifestyles, purpose-driven living, and diversity and cultural competency. Koi was responsible for the launch of Tuesday Talks for the OWA and we are so excited for her to participate as a speaker.

When she's not checking off items from her "40 by 40" list, Koi immerses herself in the two most beautiful people in the world, her two teenage children.

A Special Offer from Koi

Koi has generously offered OWA members a complimentary 30-minute session to dive deeper, ask questions, or just connect on ways to benefit most from the tools she shared. She adapted each of the tools from professional seminars she conducts, so they extend personal use. If you would like to take Koi up on her offer, you may reach her at 916-549-7962 or .


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Erinn Morgan

Erinn Morgan — The 5 Biggest Fashion + Eyewear Trends for Spring / Summer 2018
Optometrist and Editor-in-Chief & Editorial Director
Eyecare Business Magazine
Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Can staying on top of current fashion + eyewear trends help you in your work in the eyewear industry? Absolutely! Join Erinn Morgan, Eyecare Business Magazine's editor-in-chief + editorial director, to get the quick lowdown on the season's most on-trend, stunning, and saleable eyewear trends — plus the key fashion trends they align with.

Erinn Morgan has been covering the business and fashion trends of the optical industry for over 20 years.

With a B.A. in Fashion Merchandising from Philadelphia University and a Master's Degree in Journalism from Temple University, she got her start as the Managing Editor of Accessories magazine and quickly moved on to become the Founding Editor-in-Chief of FrameBuyer magazine, published by Eyecare Business and recipient of several FOLIO magazine awards. She was then brought on to 20/20 magazine as Editor-in-Chief to redesign and oversee the publication and the launch of 2020mag.com.

After several years at Jobson, Erinn set her sights on the consumer magazine segment and moved over to work as a Special Projects Editor at Playboy Enterprises, Inc. overseeing a new magazine launch and, subsequently, as Editor-in-Chief of the award-winning SoHo Style, a cutting-edge magazine that focused on the culture and style of downtown New York City. At the same time, she took a position as freelance Fashion and Retail Editor with Eyecare Business.

Erinn is also the author of the book Picture Yourself Going Green, the founder of the fitness- and health-focused blog WomensMovement.com, and her written work has appeared in The New York Times, National Geographic Adventure, Outside magazine, Skiing, and Bike.

Erinn has also directed the Special Projects Team at Eyecare Business to conceive and develop custom content projects for numerous optical companies, including both trade-focused and consumer-facing sponsored content and supplements that have appeared in Eyecare Business, as well as in Vogue, Elle, GQ, and InStyle.


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Coco and Breezy Dotson

Coco and Breezy Dotson — How Social Media is Evolving the Mindset of Our Business Models and Consumers
Co-Founders
Coco and Breezy Eyewear
Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Coco and Breezy Dotson are co-founders of Coco and Breezy Eyewear, which offers a full line of optical frames and sunglasses. Their eyewear has been a favorite of clients and collaborators like Prince, Diddy, and Beyonce. The company has partnered for exclusive lines with Hershey's and Foot Locker, and has received numerous optical industry accolades.

Coco and Breezy have a background in entertainment and music, having hosted national television shows, appeared in international fashion campaigns and editorials, and DJ'ed alongside top musicians, like Gucci Mane. They have directed for Disney in Europe and provided creative direction for dozens of major brands like Adobe and more.


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Frances Cole Jones

Frances Cole Jones — 10 Things You Can Do Today to Wow Tomorrow
Author, How to Wow: Proven Strategies for Selling Your (Brilliant) Self in Any Situation
10 Things You Can Do Today to Wow Tomorrow
Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Grab your lunch, join Frances Cole Jones — featured speaker at this year's OWA Champagne Breakfast during VEE, and prepare to be inspired and motivated!

Join Frances, the author of How to Wow: Proven Strategies for Selling Your (Brilliant) Self in any Situation to learn proven ways to inspire yourself — and everyone around you. Among the topics Frances will cover:

Frances Cole Jones is the author of How to Wow: Proven Strategies for Selling Your (Brilliant) Self in any Situation, The Wow Factor: 33 Things Your Must (and Must Not) Do to Guarantee Your Edge in Today's Business World, and Wow Your Way into the Job of Your Dreams. She is also the creator of Interview Wow, an app for the iPhone and iPad.

Forbes.com voted Frances' blog, www.francescolejones.com, one of the top 100 websites for women. In 2014, Speaking.com voted Frances one of the top 5 speakers in Communication. She is an etiquette expert for e-How, a job interview expert for About.com, and a body language expert for The Insider.

Frances founded her company, Cole Media Management, in 1997. The company's focus is on helping clients catch their customer's attention and keep their trust.

CMM clients have appeared on The Today Show, Good Morning America, C-SPAN, CNN, The Charlie Rose Show, E Entertainment, Oprah, Project Runway, Top Chef and others. Clients' print interviews have appeared in publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Forbes, Newsweek, etc.


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Gilda Mehraban

Gilda Mehraban — Navigating (Inevitable) Change
Director of Business Development
De Rigo Rem
Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Grab your lunch, join Gilda Mehraban, and prepare to be inspired and motivated!

Gilda Mehraban is the Director of Business Development for De Rigo Rem, managing and developing the company's key accounts channel across the U.S. and Canada, as well as growing revenue by identifying new business opportunities.

She's been with De Rigo REM for six years as head of brand marketing. Prior to working with the company, she was the director of business affairs and legal counsel for CMG Worldwide, where she oversaw marketing and legal. In that role, she was involved in both the marketing and creating licensing opportunities for approximately 200 entertainment, music, sports and historical properties.

Gilda's blend of marketing, sales, and brand development have been instrumental in her career in the optical industry.


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Sherrie Rogerson

Sherrie Rogerson — Daily Leadership - Inspire and Lead Others with Simple Daily Behaviors
President and Founder
Optical Excellence Consulting
Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Grab your lunch, join Sherrie Rogerson, and prepare to be inspired and motivated!

Sherrie is a graduate of North Carolina State University with a degree in Biology/Science Education. She began working for a small optical company in Colorado Springs as a dispensing optician and manager. She continued her career in optical with a then small group, Doctors Vision Center.

With over 29 years in the optical industry, Sherrie has made impacts in practice operations, optical retail design, product management, strategic marketing, franchising, retail and wholesale sales, sales development, managed care and education.

Most recently, she worked with Eyewear Designs as the VP of Sales where she was responsible for driving company growth and continued market leadership by delivering and supporting the full range of frames and services.

Within the pasts few years, Sherrie launched Optical Excellence Consulting designed to offer education and mentoring to independent and group optometry.

Sherrie has been on the Optical Women's Association board until 2014 and served as President in 2007. In 2003, she was awarded recognition by Jobson Publishing as one of the Most Influential Woman in Optical. In 2014, Sherrie was awarded the Pleiades Award from the Optical Women's Association.


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Holly Rush

Holly Rush — Ditch the Ladder and Carve Your Path!
CEO
Costa Del Mar
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Give yourself permission to step off the ladder and learn to embrace each stage of your career. Are you in need of some inspiration? Do you want to hear from some of the most interesting women in business? Grab your lunch, join Holly Rush, and prepare to be inspired and motivated!

Holly's career spans more than 20 years in the consumer products industry leading the growth and development of large teams and well-known brands. Before joining the Optical industry, she held key roles at L'Oreal, Duracell, a division of the Gillette Company and the White Rain Company.

In 2011, Holly became the SVP of Sales for Luxottica Wholesale and led the turnaround of the US business, ultimately restoring the company's leadership position in the US market. In 2012 she was voted one of the "Most Influential Women of the Year" by Vision Monday, received the company's Founder's Award for "Entrepreneurship" and was subsequently promoted to President, Wholesale North America in 2014.

At the end of 2015, after 2 successful years leading the North American Wholesale business along with the integration of Oakley, Holly made a personal decision to take time off with her family. She subsequently joined the ESSILOR team in April, 2016 as CEO of Costa Del Mar.

Holly is passionate about building teams, developing brands and creating lasting impact, including developing the next generation of leaders. She dedicates time to speaking engagements such as the "Women Rule" series hosted by POLITICO, Google and the Tory Burch Foundation along with the Optical Women's Association (OWA) and the Essilor Women's Network. In 2015, Holly was awarded the Fashion Industry's "Visionary" award by the Foundation Fighting Blindness and was subsequently named as a Trustee of the organization.


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Mary Lanning, ABOC

Mary Lanning, ABOC — Doing More: To Improve Through Self Growth, Support, and Leadership
Optician and Manager of Professional Business Development
Zyloware Eyewear
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Mary Lanning is an optician and ABO speaker with a passion for all things optical. With almost 20 years in the optical industry, she currently oversees business development for Zyloware Eyewear in the Texas market.

She began her career in the optometric field as a technician and a dispensing optician. As her career path and knowledge expanded, Mary moved into leadership roles including staff development, coaching, driving sales, and overseeing daily operations for a group of optometrists in the DFW area.

Mary's strength in building relationships and inspiring others has helped drive success in her current role at Zyloware Eyewear. Mary contributes her accomplishments to hard work, dedication, and many incredible mentors who helped motivate and inspire her to #DOMORE.

Outside of her career in the optical field, Mary is a group fitness instructor and singer. She enjoys travel, entertaining, and spending time with her family, especially her three sons, as much as possible.


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Laura Lewis

Laura Lewis — Shine and Sparkle: Interviewing with Intention
Vice President of Human Resources
MyEyeDr.
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Recently nominated in Vision Monday as one 2018's Most Influential Women in Optical, Laura currently serves as the Vice President of Human Resources with MyEyeDr. With a background that spans several industries including banking, insurance, and optical, Laura Lewis has conducted countless interviews, and also sat in the chair of the interviewee on many occasions.

Some of her current areas of focus include Talent Acquisition and Retention, Strategic Growth, HR Business Operations, Compliance, Contracting, and Human Resources Information Systems.

Laura is also an active member of the Optical Women's Association, Subcommittee Chair for OWA's Sponsor Ambassadors, and a is a current member of the Mentoring Committee.

In addition to her time spent with the OWA, Laura enjoys spending free time with her two teenage sons, traveling, and volunteering. Some of her proudest moments have been playing a role in the career growth opportunities of personal friends, close colleagues, and acquaintances.

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.


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Dori Carlson, OD, FAAO

Dori Carlson, OD, FAAO — Lifelong Learning — What Are You Doing to Develop Yourself?
Heartland Eye Care
Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Dr. Carlson was the first woman to serve as President of the American Optometric Association. During her tenure as President in 2011, she visited every school/college of Optometry and lobbied extensively for children's eye exams to be an essential benefit in health care reform. Optometric Management recently named her as one of the "Most Influential in Optometry" and Primary Care News identified her as a "Pioneer in Optometry".

Dr. Carlson was also the first female president of the North Dakota Optometric Association and was honored as the North Dakota Young Optometrist of the Year and Optometrist of the Year. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and a 1989 graduate of Pacific University College of Optometry. She and her husband, Dr. Mark Helgeson, founded Heartland Eye Care, a multi-location practice in North Dakota, more than 20 years ago. Despite her busy schedule advocating for the profession, she continues to see patients and strives to advance the care she provides.

Dr. Carlson is a John Maxwell certified speaker and trainer.


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2019

Elizabeth Vickers

Elizabeth Vickers — The Importance of Mentoring and Empowering Your Team
Sales Management / Corporate Account Sales
ClearVision Optical
Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Ms. Elizabeth Vickers is a sales leader with extensive experience in leading a winning sales team and working directly with key and corporate accounts. She is also a mentor for Ms. Moxxie, a non-profit organization that helps young women in business recognize their full potential.

Ms. Vickers started her career right after college working in a marketing research firm where she developed her passion for interacting with people and identified her love of sales. For the next several years, she held positions in sales, publishing, and management.

In 2014, following the death of her husband, Ms. Vickers made the decision to leave the publishing field in order to spend more time with her son. In 2015, Ms. Vickers landed the position of Head of Inside Sales for ClearVision Optical, a company that designs and sells frames to the eye care professional. An inside sales team was a new business approach for ClearVision and Ms. Vickers was brought on board to start up and lead this department as well as manage the key and corporate accounts for the company.

That same newly formed Inside Sales Team was awarded a silver Stevie Award in 2017, a prestigious award honoring the best in customer service and sales! ClearVision has also experienced significant revenue growth and customer engagement due to the inside and key account team efforts under Ms. Vickers.

In her leisure time, Ms. Vickers enjoys spending time with her son, competitive darts, reading, going to the beach, and expressing her artistic side through charcoal drawings.


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Alana Whitaker

Alana Whitaker — 5 Tips to Maximize Social Media for Your Business
Social Media Thought Leader
CaliforniaGlassesGirl
Tuesday, February 19, 2019

There are a million articles out there telling you the "secret" to social media, but after a ton of research and a lot of trial and error, Alana reveals how she has consistently grown her personal brand and her sales specifically in the optical industry by utilizing social media.

Alana Whitaker is a social media thought leader in the vision industry. As an eyewear sales rep, she created social accounts under the @CaliforniaGlassesGirl brand to network with her accounts and gain new optical shop clients. After much trial and error, she grew her following into a large, engaged national audience of eye care professionals. She educates her followers on optical trends, technologies and business best practices.


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Ashley Mills

Ashley Mills — Work It - How to Make the Most of Vision Expo
Chief Executive Officer
The Vision Council
Tuesday, March 12, 2019

"Time is currency. Only you can establish the value of your personal and professional time."

Ashley Mills leads The Vision Council, the industry's association for optical suppliers and manufacturers. In this role, she works to elevate awareness of the importance of vision to the public, and is deeply committed to cultivating strong, effective partnerships throughout the optical arena and in adjacent sectors. She brings over 20 years of progressive communications, philanthropy and trade association experience to The Vision Council after several years in both consulting and association roles with major associations including the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and the Council on Foundations. After serving as The Vision Council's director of marketing & shows from 2003-2006, Ashley returned to The Vision Council in January 2016 to lead The Vision Council's International Vision Expo shows. A graduate of The University of Maryland, she serves on the Optical Women's Association Communications Committee. Ashley and her husband, Jeff, live in Bethesda, Maryland, where they spend their precious little free time monitoring the social media accounts of their two tween children.


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Paula Puleo Blomquist

Paula Puleo Blomquist — Manage Things, Lead People
Chief Marketing and Merchandising Officer
Eyemart Express
Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Paula Puleo Blomquist is the Chief Marketing and Merchandising Officer at Eyemart Express, based in Dallas Texas. Paula and her teams are responsible for all elements of the frame buying and development process. They are exploring new brands to offer customers, as well as ways to improve and expand Eyemart's private label business. On the marketing side, Paula's team is responsible for all media efforts, PR, Social Media and Customer Relationship Marketing. They ensure the Eyemart brand is reaching relevant customers in support of their almost 200 optical retail stores.

Prior to Eyemart, Paula was Chief Innovation Officer/CMO at Academic Partnerships (AP). AP helps non-profit universities bring advance degree programs online. Paula was responsible for student lead generation for over 40 universities.

As EVP/CMO for Michaels Stores, Paula implemented Michaels' first multi-channel marketing plan. From Social Media, to CRM, to Mobile, the plan put Michaels on the map in terms of online and direct marketing, establishing meaningful connections with customers that attribute to the success of the company today. Paula has also held senior marketing roles at Limited Brands, American Express and Omnicom (a large, global Advertising Agency).

Paula has an MBA from Pace University and a bachelor's degree in mathematics and Computer Science from Manhattanville College.


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Sandra Mohr

Sandra Mohr — Your Leadership Enhancing Innovation Adaptation
Dean of Academic Resources and Administration
New England College of Optometry
Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Innovation is changing the optometric field quickly and leaders need to be able to adapt and thrive during these changing times. Join the upcoming Tuesday Talk to learn more about how your leadership can assist in innovation adaption and allow you and your team to thrive.

Sandra Mohr is known for being a change agent in higher education institutions through engaging multiple stakeholders and investing in modern learning environments for the 21st century. She has proven talent for aligning institutional strategy and objectives with established departmental paradigms to achieve maximum faculty and student success.

Sandra has earned a doctorate degree in Global Educational Leadership from Lamar University, a master's degree in Higher Educational Leadership and Administration from West Virginia University, and a master's degree in Counseling and bachelor's degree in Psychology from California University of PA.


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Jackie Janiec

Jackie Janiec — Activate Your Personal Brand with 2020 Eyewear Trends
Director of Marketing
Zyloware Eyewear
Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Authenticity, while an overused buzz word, actually is incredibly efficient. Consistency builds momentum and results. When you're who you really are, people (aka customers) know what to expect of you and that is a beautiful thing. So, who am I? It feels like a loaded and overwhelming question. Let's break it down, create a personal brand for you and while we are at it, have some fun and incorporate the latest eyewear trends.

Join the upcoming Tuesday Talk with Jackie to learn more about activating your personal brand with the eyewear fashion trends of the future.

Helping people see a beautiful day every day, lover of lip gloss, skirt steak, and the bottom line, this is Jackie Janiec, Director of Marketing at Zyloware. Joining the family over 13 years ago, Jackie is a creative and dynamic marketer who thrives on building long-term relationships with customers by offering a fresh perspective on sales and marketing strategies to support their long-term growth and flourish in this ever-evolving marketplace.

Jackie Janiec graduated from Hofstra Universality with a BA in Marketing and received her Certification in Executive Life Coaching from NYU yet credits her multi-faceted marketing and people skills to her leadership role as supervisor of Roy Rogers at 16 years old. Working at a fast-food joint at a young age taught Jackie the foundations of customer service, leading teams, prioritizing tasks, and profit building strategies that she still uses to this day.

Jackie has a sea of all black clothes in her closet, talks with her hands and has a NY accent. She resides in Long Island City, NY with her husband and daughter Sophie!


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Johanna Loeffler

Johanna Loeffler — The Inquisitive Woman: Getting Results through Questions
Director of Management Consulting
Cleinman Performance Partners
Tuesday, August 27, 2019

In the age of instant gratification, our desire to solve problems has us jumping to fixes before we even understand the true problems we are facing. By staying curious and using the art of questioning, we can drive to real solutions, not just temporary band-aids. We'll explore what the most successful journalists, reporters, and interviewers already know; the power of questions can have a major impact on every interaction both professionally and personally. Embrace the Inquisitive Woman inside to unlock deeper, more powerful interactions and ultimately, better results!

In her capacity at Cleinman Performance Partners, Johanna Loeffler oversees the development of client resources, supports all consulting projects, and facilitates the ManagementWorks wisdom-share group at Network meetings.

Johanna brings a wealth of practical management training to her role, including certifications in behavioral profiling through DISC, lean management as a Six-Sigma Lean Agent, managing workplace conflict, and emotional quotient interviewing. Her experience and acumen in these areas have positioned her as not only a valuable member of the team, but as a knowledge expert in process, systems, and team dynamics.

Prior to joining Cleinman Performance Partners, Johanna was a licensed life and health insurance agent for a small, independent insurance agency in Charlotte, North Carolina. With her return to upstate New York in 2006, she joined Team Cleinman and began to hone her skills in project management, content development, and event planning.

Johanna's aptitudes are not limited to optometric consulting; she's competed in the longest flat water, one-day canoe race in the world, is an avid 4-point pitch player, and participates in an annual polar bear swim on Superbowl Sunday.


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James Shyer

James Shyer — Why OWA? A Male's Perspective
Co-CEO / Chief Operating Officer
Zyloware
Tuesday, September 10, 2019

James Shyer is currently co-CEO and Chief Operating Officer of Zyloware Eyewear, the oldest family-owned and operated eyeglass frame company in the United States. Jamie, as he prefers to be called, has been working at Zyloware since 1993.

Part of the third generation of family management and ownership, Jamie oversees the entire sales and internal operations of Zyloware, in addition to focusing on the corporate strategic direction and financial performance of the business. In his past roles as Sales Manager and then Vice President of Sales, he established aggressive and innovative sales and marketing strategies that have resulted in continuous growth, which remains today. Along with his cousin, Chris Shyer, Jamie has led and continues to lead Zyloware through unprecedented expansion and success.

Throughout Jamie's tenure at Zyloware, he's remained closely involved with The Vision Council, having served in various capacities, including Chairman of the Board of Directors, Chairman of the Eyewear and Accessories Division, and Chairman of the Show Committee, which oversees the Vision Expo shows in partnership with Reed Exhibitions. In addition, he is presently a board member of Prevent Blindness and actively supports many optical industry associations.

Jamie currently resides between Stamford, CT and Charlotte, NC. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Sara, and together they are raising their 5 children. He spends his personal time being a dad, staying active, and supporting animal rescue organizations.


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Shaleen Ratansi

Shaleen Ratansi — Extending Our Reach Through Social Media for World Sight Day
Marketing Director
WestGroupe
Tuesday, October 8, 2019

As World Sight Day approaches, we will discuss engaging the public by using social media, a tool OWA members use on a daily basis to help spread awareness of the importance of eye health and preventable blindness.

Shaleen brings with her to WestGroupe over 15 years of design, branding and marketing experience. Previously from the fashion industry, Shaleen joined the optical industry over 6 years ago, working for a leading optical company, overseeing the creation of campaigns, branding, media strategies, events and tradeshows for the international market. Her background provides a global perspective of successfully evaluating and implementing brands, marketing strategies and developing bespoke content for a vast range of markets.


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Erika Jurrens

Erika Jurrens — Life is Life
Executive Senior Vice President, Strategy & Commercialization
ABB Optical Group
Tuesday, November 19, 2019

It's often said that the only constant is change. In just one short year, Erika Jurrens went from being a newbie in the optical industry, to successfully re-launching America's leading optical products distributor, changing the way the industry is viewing the company forever. In her Tuesday Talk, Erika will discuss how to navigate through periods of rapid change and how to stay motivated, while providing leadership to and learning from others. All this while being direct and honest about the struggles of navigating toddler drama while on conference calls, missing the critical preschool festival and deftly scheduling play dates during board meetings, and finding what she says is her uncanny ability to "Ride the Chaos". Life, Erika says, isn't as easily split up into "work life" and "personal life" as they are both often described. Instead, she says, "Life is Life."

As a devoted fighter for patients, healthcare providers, and the companies who serve them, Erika Jurrens has shown a passion for innovation infused in customer centricity. In leading major B2B and B2C brands across marketing, sales, strategic intelligence, and innovation, and in areas spanning hard products to soft, services and solutions, she has collaborated with groups like Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard Business School, FDA, CDC and other key external organizations to develop critical improvements for the future of healthcare. Over the course of her 15-year career in healthcare, she has been a guest speaker for Wharton Executive Programs, Centers for Disease Control Forums, Health Connect Partners, American College of Healthcare Executives, and many others.

Jurrens has been recognized with many awards including the Healthcare Businesswomen Association's Rising Star of the Year Award and was named one of Philadelphia Business Journal's Mentors of the Year. Today, she leads strategy and go-to-market execution for one of the largest eye care companies in the United States, ABB Optical Group, headquartered in southern Florida.


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2020

Robyn Crimmins

Robyn Crimmins — 2020 and You with the OWA
Division Vice President of Ophthalmic Sales
VSP Optics
Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Congratulations, OWA Members, you are part of the premier women's organization in the optical industry! 2020 is the year of optical vision and the OWA is starting off ready to continue cultivating the future leaders in our industry. To do that takes the commitment and dedication of our members, sponsors, individual contributors and you! Join OWA President Robyn Crimmins on Tuesday, January 28, to learn about the OWA's 2020 goals, our vision for the future, and how you can take advantage of all the OWA has to offer and be a part of bringing more opportunities and resources to women in optical.

Robyn Crimmins is Division Vice President of Ophthalmic Sales for VSP Optics where she leads sales and sales strategy in the West for VSP's proprietary branded optical products and laboratory services. During her 13+ years with the VSP Global companies, Robyn has held leadership positions in marketing, business development, and sales. Previously, Robyn was Vice President of Risk Management and Communications for The Dentists Insurance Company, representing more than 30,000 dentists. A graduate of California State University, Robyn earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and public relations. In September 2019, Robyn became president of OWA. She previously served as the OWA vice president as well as co-chair of the Digital Marketing and Nominating Committees. Robyn, her husband, and two sons live in Sacramento, California, near the American River.


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