Celebrity Ambassadors Join With Optical Industry Leaders at Transitions Academy

By
ORLANDO, Fla.—Transitions Optical’s 17th Annual Academy was packed with celebrity appearances, awards presentations and educational sessions for the third consecutive year at the Rosen Shingle Creek resort. Among the highlights of the event were a surprise concert by Grammy winner Darius Rucker, former lead singer of Hootie and the Blowfish, and the annual awards program, which continues to add new categories. View this VisionMonday.com slideshow to see who attended the event, the winners of this year’s Academy Awards and other sightings of celebrities and optical industry leaders.

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Transitions Academy 2013 »

"We don't want to just provide a lens," said Transitions' president Dave Cole, "so we've set a new vision for our company, to enrich the way people see and experience life."

Transitions Academy 2013 »

The actress who played mistress of ceremonies kept things moving along and the audience laughing with her ad-libbed witticisms.

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Among the performers was Transitions' own Brian Hauser, general manager, U.S. and Canada.

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As one of Transition's newest celebrity ambassadors, Grammy-winning country music star and former lead singer of Hootie and the Blowfish made a surprise performance.

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Baseball legend Cal Ripken, Jr., said, "Transitions is a great fit for me at this point in my life," in the video that he used to virtually attend the event.

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Star of the Food Network's Restaurant Impossible, Robert Irvine also made an appearance at Transitions Academy as one of the company's celebrity ambassadors.

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Two of Transitions' newest celebrity spokespeople introduced at the event are from National Geographic—photographer Annie Griffiths and writer Andrew Evans.

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Complete Family Vision Care was recognized as the 2012 Eyecare Practice of the Year for promoting eye health and the Transitions brand within its practice and community.

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The honor of 2012 National Retailer of the Year went to National Vision, Inc.

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SVS Vision Optical Centers earned the distinction of 2012 Regional Retailer of the Year.

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Diversified Ophthalmics, Inc. was named the 2012 Transitions Lab of the Year, a distinction the Cincinnati-based lab also took home in 2005.

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Peter Kehoe, OD, DOS, FAAO, moderated a discussion with panelists from Eyecare Practice of the Year Finalists—Arizona Family Vision Care, Clarus Optical and Complete Family Vision Care.

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Representing Regional Retailer of the Year finalists, Henry Ford Optimeyes, were Nanette Michaels and Katie Darr.

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Debbie Bacon of Regional Retailer of the Year finalists, Barnet-Dulaney-Perkins, was in attendance with practice management consultant Greg Wolcott and Aspen Optical's Linda Atwood, ABOC.

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Lab of the Year Finalist, Expert Optics' Todd Ramlo (l) and Tom Culley.

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Multiple Lab of the Year winner, Toledo Optical's Jeff Szymanski with Transitions' Renee Himel.

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Winner of the 2011 Lab of the Year, Optical Prescriptions Lab's Charlie Hunter and Phil Quigley were in attendance.

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Winner of Lab of the Year in 1996, Three Rivers Optical's Steven C. Seibert.

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(L to R) Long Island Opticians' Barry and Susan Santini and Metro Optics' Aurora Susi and John Bonizio at Transition's Academy's opening night reception.

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Representing Canada at the opening reception, Eye Health Centres' Ashlyn Fulkerth and Diana Mones were joined by Transitions' Don R. Ross.

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(L to R) Transitions' Carol Baez with Dennis Fong, OD, and Essilor's Danne Ventura at the opening reception.

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As always, world-class performers entertained attendees throughout the event.

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Oakley's Dawne Hanks and Jobson's Mark Mattison-Shupnick.

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Transitions' Catherine Rauscher and Mario Bottion.

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Northeastern Eye Institute's Patricia Thomas, ABOC, NCLC, with Transitions' Tim Fortner.

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President/CEO of Sunland Optical, Gordon A. Bishop, FNAO, ABOC, RO.

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(L to R) Dietz Lab's Ed Dietz III with Essilor's James Schrick and Jim Rabbitt.

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(L to R) Tim Fortner, Joy Gibb, Gina and Dave Edwards, Dave Batteiger and Kristie Green.

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Teams dressed one of their members as a superhero, who spent the day in costume to earn extra points.