Industry News January 2009

By Christie Walker
KATZ AND KLEIN WINS 9TH ANNUAL OPTICAL LABORATORY WEB SITE OF THE YEAR AWARD

After being listed as a top ten Web site for eight consecutive years, Katz and Klein optical laboratory of Sacramento, Calif. has emerged as the winner of the 2008 Optical Laboratory Web Site of the Year award contest. Over 480 nominations were cast, with Katz and Klein receiving 74 of those nominations followed by Cherry Optical with 72 nominations, and Diversified Ophthalmics with 70.While the top ten sites were selected based on nominations with each Web site being awarded points for the “popular” vote, these points were added to the scores of the judges to determine the final winning order. A panel of eye care professionals ranked the top ten sites based on: usefulness to the ECP, ease of use and the site’s overall look and design. The Web Site of the Year award, sponsored each year by LabTalk magazine, was presented at Labapalooza, the Friday night lab party held during the OLA in Nashville, Tenn.. Below are listed the top ten optical laboratories and their winning Web sites:

Katz and Klein (1st place) www.katzandklein.com

Diversified Ophthalmics (2nd Place) www.divopt.com

Empire Optical (3rd place) www.empireoptical.org

Tri-Supreme Optical (tied for 4th) www.tri-supreme.com

Pech Optical (tied for 4th) www.pechoptical.com

Cherry Optical (tied for 5th) www.cherryoptical.com

iCoat (tied for 5th) www.icoatcompany.com

Classic Optical (6th place) www.classicoptical.com

Central Optical (7th place) www.centraloptical.com

FEA Industries (8th place) www.feaind.com

OLA ELECTS NEW OFFICERS

At the OLA meeting in Nashville, Tenn. the following new OLA officers were installed at the annual event: President, J. Larry Enright, Perferx Optical; President Elect, Kevin Bargman, Hawkins Optical Lab; Vice President, Jonathan Jacobs, Superior Optical Labs; Treasurer, Mike Francesconi, Katz & Klein; Immediate Past President, Barney Dougher, Hoya Vision Care.

TOPS LABS HONORED

VisionMonday presented its annual list of Top Labs at the Labapalooza party held on Friday night at the OLA.

2008 HALL OF FAME HONOREES

Twelve individuals were inducted into the OLA Hall of Fame for 2008 and honored at a banquet on November 6, 2008 in Nashville, Tenn. during the OLA meeting.

The honorees included Donna Benedict, Bruce Calhoun, Susan Crawley, Al de Rojas, Ray Knoll, Don Ruden, Steve Sutherlin, Gerald Ward, Art Waite, Scott and Skip Payne sons of honoree John Payne, David Rips, son of honoree Irving Rips, and Pat Weber, wife of honoree George Weber.

HOYA Vision Care’s Lab of the Year

Members of Harbor Optical, Traverse City, Michigan, received the HOYA Lab of the Year honor at HOYA’s booth during the OLA. PHOTO CAPTION: Seen left to right are: Robert Kohn, HOYA; Geff Heidbrink, Bob Westlake and Mike Earl, Harbor Optical; and Bryan Thorne, HOYA.

TRASH TO TREASURE ART WINNERS

What can you create with used finishing pads? Apparently, quite a lot. The first annual Trash to Treasure art contest saw eighteen unusual creations with the top ten entries being displayed in the OLA registration area and again during the Labapalooza party. Trash to Treasure was sponsored by LabTalk magazine, DAC Vision, and Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, with the awards being distributed at the Labapalooza event.

1st Place, Aearo Company, Chickasha, Okla.

2nd Place, Vision Craft, Inc., Huntington, W.Va.

3rd Place, Landmark Optical, Brandon, Manitoba, Canada

Honorable Mention, Superior Optical Lab, Ocean Springs, Miss.

VISIONWEB’S 2008 LAB OF THE YEAR HONOREES

VisionWeb’s 2008 Lab of the Year winners are: Crown Optical, Greenville, RI; Hi-Tech Optics, Lincoln, NE; and OptiCraft, Portland, Ore. These labs have embraced VisionWeb’s technology to increase their efficiency and add value to the services they offer their customers.

TRANSITIONS’ LAB OF THE YEAR FINALISTS

Transitions Optical, Inc. has announced the three finalists for the 2008 Transitions Lab of the Year Award. Balester Optical, Optical Prescription Laboratory and Soderberg Ophthalmic Services have been recognized for their year-long dedication to growing their businesses with Transitions® lenses. The winner will be announced on Jan. 27 during the 13th Annual Transitions Academy at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort in Orlando Fla. The Transitions Lab of the Year title has been awarded annually since 1991 and is presented to a Transitions Optical STAR Lab that has made a significant commitment to growing its business with Transitions. All three finalists have met the criteria of implementing creative marketing strategies; achieving solid percentage growth in volume and Transitions lenses market share mix; dedication to educating its staff and customers; and showing an overall commitment to Transitions products and programs.

ESSILOR NATIONAL SALES MEETING

During the Essilor IDD award banquet for optical labs, awards were presented to outstanding labs for 2008 including Walman Optical, Davis Vision, Balester Optical and Central Optical.

Balester Optical won three of the evenings awards including: Premium Materials Award of Excellence, Crizal Award of Excellence and the overall top award of Essilor IDD Lab of the Year.

Central Optical was presented with the Varilux Award of Excellence.

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