Join the Club

By Christie Walker
Check out the optical laboratory associations and their benefits to members. Many have annual meetings, discounts on products and special projects all geared toward strengthening the independent laboratory business.

California Optical Laboratories Association (C.O.L.A.)

Montebello, Calif, (626) 675-4651

President: ’06-’08 Keith Grossman,

Executive Director: Terry Yoneda

Association E-Mail: [email protected]

Association Web Site:

“Serving California eye care professionals for more than 45 years”

Founded in 1957, the California Optical Laboratories Association is an organization of full-service optical laboratories from California and other Western states that provides:

• Annual meeting with educational seminars on subjects directly affecting laboratories and lab customers.

• Projects that strengthen the relationship between laboratories and eye care professionals.

• Annual scholarships awarded to deserving optometric students. Glasses are fabricated by COLA members for the working poor, and COLA has supplied products for Special Olympic contestants.

• Political action on issues impacting the ophthalmic industry.

Annual Meeting: We hold one meeting every year, with a minimum of six hours of educational seminars on subjects directly affecting laboratories and lab customers. These meetings provide opportunities for colleagues from all levels of the industry to share opinions and viewpoints and provide COLA laboratories and their customers a unique status in the American ophthalmic community.

The COLA Spring Meeting 2008 will take place on April 24-25 at the Sycuan Resort (formerly Singing Hills) in San Diego (El Cajon), CA. Anyone wishing to be on the mailing list can e-mail request to [email protected]

Mid-West Optical Laboratory Association – MOLA

Topeka, Kan. 785-490-2024

Hawkins Optical 785-234-0456

President: Paul Yutesler

Executive Director: Carol Michael

Association E-Mail: [email protected]

MOLA offers:

• Affordable convention to send various members of a laboratory to a wholesale laboratory convention

• Services Midwest laboratories for Midwest laboratory concerns

• Seminars for education of wholesale laboratory personnel with lots of networking time for laboratory and sales personnel.

Annual Meeting: The 2008 dates are Thursday, May 8th and Friday, May 9th.The meeting opens on Thursday afternoon with a seminar followed by the exhibitors appreciation party Thursday night. Friday morning is the Shotgun Start Best Ball golf tournament, lunch, and an afternoon seminar. The exhibits open Friday evening with prizes, drawings and a personal recognition of an attendee. Everyone is welcome to come and participate either as a member, non-member, or exhibitor.

Optical Synergies

Minneapolis, Minn. 800-305-2082

President: Bruce Brady

Association E-Mail: [email protected]

Association Web site:

“A Complete and Dependable Optical Purchasing Service”

Founded in 1995, Optical Synergies provides its 70 member laboratories a forum for the organized exchange of information and ideas including:

• Access and favorable pricing from 38 major optical suppliers, while maintaining their individual relationships with the suppliers.

• Optical Synergies creates an alliance between independent optical laboratories and manufacturers to preserve and strengthen each other’s businesses.

• The ability to network with other laboratory owners to exchange ideas and discuss topics of mutual interest.

• Participation in an annual educational conference that includes members and vendors.

Annual Meeting: The annual conference is usually held in February each year. Our 2008 meeting was held February 7-10, in San Diego, California.

Global Optics, Inc.

Green Bay, Wis. 1-800-289-5367

President: Richard Cherry

Association E-Mail: [email protected]

Association Web Site:

”The Power of Independence”

Global Optics is an exclusive optical group consisting of independent optical wholesale laboratories from across the country. Formed in 1971, Global Optics’ mission is to provide independent laboratories a means of sharing ideas and goals that lead to better service and product quality for eye care professionals.

Annual Meeting: The annual national sales meeting is designed for lab owners, sales and marketing representatives to come together to share ideas with their peers, participate in specialized breakout sessions and learn new sales skills. The 2008 National Sales Meeting is scheduled for April 23-25, 2008 in Scottsdale, AZ.

Optical Services International

Norcross, Ga. 800-228-7554

Executive Director: Dana Weeks

Association E-Mail: [email protected]

Association Web Site:

“Independent Labs Serving Independent Professionals”

• Proprietary training and education for laboratory personnel, sales reps and the ECP’s dispensing staff.

• Information Exchange - A valuable support network that allows our members to tap into each other’s wealth of knowledge and experience.

• Contract pricing with all major suppliers.

Annual Meeting: OSI holds several meetings each year. Our winter “principals” meeting is held in late February or early March. We generally have a sales meeting or production meeting in early summer and conclude the year with a two-day meeting following Vision Expo West in Las Vegas.

Optical Laboratory Association – OLA

Fairfax, Va. 800-477-5652, 1+703-359-2830

Executive Director: Bob Dziuban

Association E-Mail: [email protected]

Association Web Site:

"Voice of the Rx Manufacturing Optical Laboratory"

Name four benefits of membership:

• Legal Counsel and Technical Director's Bulletins on regulations compliance, business management, and lab operations topics.

• One-on-one consulting with Legal Counsel and Technical Director.

• Deep discount pricing through group purchasing of publications and products for lab operations and ECP/consumer education.

• Reduced cost employee group health insurance.

Annual Meeting: THE OLA 2008 Annual Meeting, November 6-8, Nashville, Tennessee; "World's Largest Show Exclusively for Optical Labs"; Three days of education, exhibits, and networking - exclusively for optical lab owners, operators, and suppliers; includes a dedicated training-track for optical labs sales reps; features announcement of the winners of the 2008 OLA Awards of Excellence.

Optical Resources

Louisville, Ky. 813.649.1664

President: John Halstead

Association E-Mail: [email protected]

Association Web Site:

“Greater Independence through Stronger Partnerships”

Optical Resources offers members:

• Better pricing through the group purchasing power.

• By exceptional customer service, we work hard to form and maintain a continued relationship with our membership.

• Time saving and informative tools, such as our Lens Price Analysis.

• With Optical Resources, there is absolutely no up-front cost to joining. Your discounts are in place, and you can resign anytime should you ever become dissatisfied.

Annual Meeting: Optical Resources’ Annual Meeting is held mid-January, alternating each year between the east and west coast. By participating in a very unique three-day meeting you will meet one-on-one with Optical Resources suppliers, network with peers, learn new ways to increase revenue and see what’s new in the industry.

Optical Supply Co-op

Pelham, Ala. 866-OSC-LABS (866-672-5227)

President: Danny Pugh, Marketing Director: Jessica Tanner, Membership Director: Jana Pugh

Association E-Mail: [email protected]

Association Web Site:

OSC provides members with the competitive advantage in service, pricing, marketing and education while establishing a camaraderie that benefits members with the exchange of information, ideas and strategies.

• Competitive pricing and services.

• Marketing programs and promotions.

• Education and training including ABO seminars.

• Annual meeting and golf tournament.

Annual Meeting: The OSC Annual Meeting and Golf Tournament allows its member labs and industry suppliers to join together to share information and enjoy the camaraderie formed by the meetings, dinners and group outings. Traditionally, OSC hosts their annual meeting in a different city/location each year. Previous locations include New Orleans, Louisiana, Phoenix, Arizona, Las Vegas, Nevada, Charleston South Carolina just to name a few. In 2008, OSC will be hosting their meeting in Nashville, Tennessee. The meeting is tentatively scheduled for November 6th-8th.

Nexus Vision

Grove City, Ohio 866.492.6499

General Manager/Managing Partner: Gerry Shaw

Association E-Mail: [email protected]

Association Web Site:

“Bringing Independent Wholesale Laboratories Together…”

Nexus Vision is made up of eight optical laboratories that are co-owners of Nexus Vision. We would be interested in like-minded, independent labs that meet some minimum levels to be considered as owners/investors in Nexus.

Customer and owner benefits include:

• High Quality AR’s (4 different levels) – First AR coater in the U.S. to offer the new anti-static layers.

• Fast Turn-a-round – 99.5 percent of all AR jobs are processed the same day they are received and shipped out overnight by DHL or other carriers.

• Shipping Savings – Because Nexus is in the Optical Village zone, we can include Xcel, Excelite, Essilor and Rodenstock Lens orders in with AR shipments, thus saving the cost of shipping from these select vendors.

• Lenses – We are an authorized SEIKO Succeed Internal distributor and can supply these to other labs.

• Promotions – Nexus offers periodically to its customer’s promotions to help build their business.


Labtalk June 2020