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DALLAS—Optical industry veteran Dawn Friedkin, president of Classic Optical, is bringing her extensive experience to Essilor Vision Foundation ( (EVF) as the newest member of EVF’s board of directors. “We are delighted to have Dawn on our board,” said Becky Palm, EVF president and executive director. “With her extensive knowledge of lab manufacturing and her commitment to providing vision services to underserved communities, Dawn’s involvement is a key part of our efforts to increase our organization’s impact.”

Friedkin has led Classic Optical since 2001 and became president in 2013. In this role, she has turned her family’s wholesale optical lab into one of the nation’s leading large-volume ophthalmic manufacturing labs. She also embraces EVF’s mission of eliminating poor vision and its lifelong consequences. Classic Optical provides approximately 90,000 pairs of glasses annually for programs and non-profits supported by EVF.

“EVF is committed to giving children a brighter future by helping them see the world more clearly, and that’s something I truly take to heart,” Friedkin stated. “With one in four schoolchildren in need of vision correction, Classic Optical is proud to do our part in solving the vision care crisis in the U.S. by providing glasses to students in need. Through our partnership with EVF, we know we’re helping kids reach their full potential in school and in life.”

In 2017, Friedkin received EVF’s Hero Award in recognition of her outstanding commitment to the cause of vision, and for going above and beyond to support EVF. “Dawn has been instrumental in helping us expand our reach,” said Andrea Haymore, EVF director of partnerships. “She has streamlined lab solutions for some of our largest partners including Chicago Public Schools, United Way, Helen Keller International/ChildSight and Vision To Learn, bringing essential vision care to even more children.”

Friedkin also was instrumental in EVF’s recent crisis response effort that provided more than 100,000 pieces of personal protective equipment to hospitals and first responders in Dallas, Columbus and Youngstown, Ohio, among others. She helped coordinate all Ohio distribution, including working through the Ohio governor's office. “Dawn’s ongoing commitment to the vision industry and to giving back to the community makes her an outstanding example of how industry leaders can truly make a difference,” Palm added. Friedkin’s two-year term began in January.