VM REPORTS: D.A.R.E. Vision Monday Launches the 1st Annual Dispensing and Retail Excellence Awards By Staff Monday, June 27, 2011 12:36 AM UPDATE: Public voting is now open for the "We the People" Award. In addition to the selections the VM D.A.R.E. judges have made for each of the award categories, the judges have selected these five entries as worthy of recognition for their daring approaches across different aspects of optical retailing. Please click through each nomination to read a summary of each company's entry, click each thumbnail to review larger images of their supporting materials and cast your vote for the one you think is most deserving of the D.A.R.E. "We the People" Reader Vote Award. Voting ends Sept 2 and the winner of this award will be announced, along with the winners in all the categories, in the Sept 19 issue of Vision Monday. You must log in and create a password to vote. One vote per email address only. *** NEW YORK—Vision Monday has launched the First Annual Dispensing and Retail Excellence (D.A.R.E) Awards to salute the most innovative and daring optical retailers in their dispensing, merchandising and philanthropic initiatives, as well as their marketing and advertising campaigns. “We’re excited about the potential of Vision Monday’s D.A.R.E. Awards; a unique and new way for VM readers throughout North America to communicate how they are engaging their patients and customers creatively in their eyewear dispensaries and stores, via design, merchandising, marketing and messaging,” said Marge Axelrad, senior vice president and editorial director of Jobson Optical Group. From June 27 through July 31, readers are encouraged to nominate U.S. and Canadian optical retailers and dispensers at www.VisionMonday.com/DARE in the following award categories: The Shop It Like It’s Hot Award for Most Daring Store Design, Retail Environment, Merchandising and/or Window Display The Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Web Award for Most Daring Social Media or Web Presence (including websites, social networking and viral marketing) The Sphere of Influence Award for Most Daring Community Outreach, Philanthropic or Patient Education Program The Seeing Green Award for Most Daring Eco-chievement The Resistance Is Futile Award for Most Daring Advertising Campaign (print, TV or radio) Each award is broken down into three tiers depending on the unit size of the retail operation: 10 units/locations or less, 11 to 49 units/locations and 50+ locations, including online only retailers. For consideration , submissions must be from retailers or dispensers who have been continuously operating since June 1, 2010, an operation whose primary business is the retailing or dispensing of prescription eyewear or sunwear. Nominators, who do not have to be retailers or ECPs, are welcome to submit an application for the same retailer or eyecare professional in multiple award categories as long as that retailer has run a qualifying program within the 12-month period from June 2010 to June 2011. Duplicate submissions in the same category will not increase a retailer’s chance of being recognized for an award. There is no fee associated with nominating an optical retailer or dispensary for a D.A.R.E. Award. The most daring of these retailers, as determined by a panel of judges, which will include Vision Monday editors and experts from fields such as retailing, merchandising and marketing, will be recognized in the Sept. 19 print issue of Vision Monday and featured on VisionMonday.com. Additionally, the judges will single out a selection of truly exceptional entries for a special “We the People” reader vote award. The winner of this award will be determined by the entry that has received the most votes on www.VisionModay.com/DARE between Aug. 12 and Sept. 2. The nominees for the “We the People” award will be announced in VMail on Aug.12 and the winner will also be revealed in the Sept. 19 issue of Vision Monday. Vision Monday will also highlight the contest, process and honorees on its Facebook page and Twitter posts throughout the fall. “As VM marks its 25th year in reporting industry news, trends and topics to key decision makers throughout the vision care community, we think D.A.R.E. will shine a spotlight on ideas that continue to drive the eyewear business forward,” concluded Axelrad. For more information visit www.VisionMonday.com/DARE.