Third-Annual Cricket Match Sees Essilor Outscore Transitions, National Vision Teams

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By Cathy Ciccolella, Contributing Editor

SARASOTA, Fla.—Teams from Essilor, National Vision and Transitions Optical took to the Sarasota International Cricket Club’s field here on Saturday, May 4, for what has become a three-year eyecare-industry tradition—a day-long cricket match in which first-time participant Essilor ultimately claimed the top spot.

As Des Taylor, National Vision’s senior vice president of merchandising, explained, “Each team plays each other once, and the highest aggregate score from both innings is the winner. On this occasion, it was Essilor that came out the winner and took the trophy, with an aggregate score of 155 runs. National Vision was second with 109 and Transitions took the [last place] wooden spoon with 75.”

The cricket match tradition was founded in the spring of 2011 by Taylor, formerly of the United Kingdom, and Alex Louw of South Africa, who was with Transitions Optical at the time. Louw has since joined National Vision and now plays on its team. The first two annual competitions were between National Vision and Transitions; this year, Essilor joined the match.

And next year, event founders hope to get at least one additional vision industry player involved. Bruce Steffey, National Vision’s president, told VM, “This is a great team-building exercise, building relationships both within our own company and with our partners. Ideally, we’d like to have a least one more team join us next year and do a match to raise money for charity.”

Dave Cole, president of Transitions said, “Playing cricket this year has been a good way to strengthen our partnerships with these two companies, and to have us come together in a different context. I think doing it on a larger scale for charity is a great idea. If it happens, we’re all in.”

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Third-Annual Cricket Match »

National Vision's Bob Stein (l) and Reade Fahs (c) square off against Dave Cole of Transitions Optical.

Third-Annual Cricket Match »

Let the trash-talking began: Brian Hauser (l) of Transitions and National Vision's Des Taylor discuss their respective teams' prowess.

Third-Annual Cricket Match »

Matt Dorling (l) of Transitions and National Vision's Bruce Steffey talk strategy before their companies face off on the field.

Third-Annual Cricket Match »

Celebrating Essilor's victory are (l to r) Tim Spencer, Debbie Miller and Sekhar Ray, all of Essilor, plus Mike Daley of The Vision Council and Essilor's John Lastinger.

Third-Annual Cricket Match »

The Essilor team, suited up and ready to play.

Third-Annual Cricket Match »

Raj Chitta, at bat for Transitions.

Third-Annual Cricket Match »

Debra Woyce of National Vision takes her turn at bat.