Latest News OWA to Extend Mentoring Efforts With Kick Off of New ‘Experts Panel’ Webinar on Feb. 15 By Staff Wednesday, January 16, 2013 12:15 AM DALLAS—The Optical Women’s Association (OWA) is expanding the outreach of its mentoring activities with the launch of a new program, the Expert Panel Series, which will kick off on Feb. 15. The program will feature two webinars this year, with each of the Expert Panels consisting of three women who will share their experience and knowledge related to a specific topic. “There are so many talented women among the membership of OWA and this series can share that expertise,” noted Nanofilm’s Jodi Groh, co-chair of the OWA Mentoring Committee with Altair’s Deborah Lochli. “Being able to mentor someone or to be mentored is an invaluable tool for one’s professional growth, and ultimately for business. Unfortunately, many people don’t get that experience,” Groh continued, noting, “It may be due to the lack of a defined program within an organization, time, or simply not knowing how to ask or offer to be part of such a program. Mentoring, however, can also be a bit more informal, simply taking the time to listen to and observe what others have done and incorporate some of that experience into your own work. This is where the Optical Women’s Association’s new Expert Panel program comes into play.” The first Expert Panel webinar, to be held Friday, Feb. 15 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. EST, is titled, “Management: Tips & Insights for Improving Skills.” The Expert Panel participants include: Kate Renwick Espinosa, chief marketing officer and senior vice president of VSP Global. At VSP for 20 years, Renwick Espinosa has been instrumental in expanding the role of marketing within the company, including rebranding multiple lines of business, developing new brands, and entering the online marketplace. Karen Michaelson, director of sales and customer care at Personal Eyes Optical Laboratory in Minnesota and the founder of i Kare Optical Education and Speaking and Services. Michaelson has been an ABO certified speaker since 1983 and provides on-site and web based training and support for her clients. Debbie Myres is an account manager with Pacific Northern, a manufacturer of displays and fixtures. Previously holding sales manager positions with Marchon and Tura, Myres brings over 25 years experience in optical and retail. Amy Spezio, Managing Editor of EyeCare Business, and OWA board member, will be the panel moderator. The Expert Panel webinar is a free program available to members of the OWA. The OWA encourages women to join its membership to take part in this valuable learning tool. Registration is available here. Each webinar will be archived as well, with the archives available to OWA members. The OWA’s Mentoring Committee is focused on helping membership grow professionally and personally, Groh pointed out. The group issues twice-monthly One Minute Mentor emails, and facilitates other mentoring resources on the website. More details about the Mentoring Committee and participation in all the OWA committees is posted at OWA’s website. The OWA’s Expert Panels are one of the initiatives supported by the OWA’s Professional Development Fund (PDF) sponsors. As of presstime, the 2013 PDF sponsors include Platinum Level: Luxottica, Marchon and Safilo; Gold Level: Altair, Jobson, REM Eyewear and VisionWeb; Silver Level: Charmant, L’Amy, Shamir, Silhouette, Tura, The Vision Council and VSP Vision Care; and Friends of the OWA: Satisloh and Walman Optical.