David Rips
TEMECULA, Calif.—David Rips, president of Younger Optics, was honored by COLA (California Optical Laboratories Association) this past weekend, when members of the organization presented him with their Goodfellow Award at their annual meeting here. The award is given to a lab executive or business leader who actively contributes to the advancement of the optical industry. A 2013 inductee into the OLA Hall of Fame, Rips started at Younger, the family business, in 1959. In the ensuing years, he famously balanced two part-time careers—one, in the optical industry and, the other, as a professional poker player.

He was uniquely successful in both. Under his leadership, Younger received 12 OLA Director’s Choice Awards for a number of product innovations. In accepting the award, Rips said, “Since the 13th century, people who sell and make eyeglasses have been among the most important people in society. What industry would I rather be in?”

In addition to continuing his leadership role at Younger, Rips told the audience of lab executives and vendors that he plans to use social media to “teach the world about how great the optical industry is,” with a particular focus on the important innovations that give eyeglass wearers the “gift of sight.”

Steve Sutherlin, lab division liaison for The Vision Council, COLA’s parent organization, remarked, “I can’t think of an individual more deserving of the Goodfellow honor than David. He is a true innovator and entrepreneur. His contribution to, and his passion for, our industry is unmatched. I marvel at what he has accomplished in his career, and am honored to call him my friend and colleague.”