Martin L.  Bassett (l) and Brent L. Saunders.

NEW YORK—The Optometric Center of New York, the affiliated foundation of the SUNY College of Optometry is honoring two dynamic industry leaders at its 13th Annual “Eyes on New York” gala at The Plaza Hotel here on Friday, April 15. Tickets are still available and the event’s salutary journal ad deadlines are approaching at the end of this month.

Brent L. Saunders, the CEO and president of Allergan (NYSE:AGN) and Martin L. Bassett, the president and CEO representing the employees of Walman, will be honored at the annual “Eyes on New York” gala, which coincides with Vision Expo East. Jerry Warner, president of CooperVision for North America, will serve as corporate chair.

Saunders heads Allergan, a unique, global pharmaceutical company focused on developing, manufacturing and commercializing innovative pharmaceuticals, including a leading portfolio of eyecare products, for patients around the world. Prior to joining Allergan, he served as CEO and president of Forest Laboratories. He also served as chief executive officer of Bausch + Lomb, a leading global eye health company.

Saunders has also held several leadership positions at Schering-Plough, including president of Global Consumer Health Care. He began his career as chief compliance officer for the Thomas Jefferson University Health System.

Bassett oversees Walman, a diversified national wholesale optical firm providing products and services to independent optometric practices, insurance plans, retail eyecare centers and ophthalmic manufacturers. With 1,000 employees, Walman serves nearly 10,000 customers from 39 offices throughout the U.S. and the company is marking its centennial this year. Bassett assumed the duties as CEO in 2001 after serving the company in the areas of finance and operations.

Over the past 15 years, Walman has grown from a regional optical laboratory business into the largest independent wholesale optical company in the U.S. Walman is recognized as one of America’s 100 largest employee-owned companies. Bassett currently serves as the chairman of The Vision Council.

Since its inception, the OCNY has had an ongoing commitment to supporting vision care for the poor and underserved, awarding scholarships to optometry students who are academically outstanding and financially deserving and supporting research that will advance eye and vision care. Its annual gala is the OCNY’s most important fund-raising event and a perennial highlight surrounding the events of Vision Expo East.

More details are posted here, where there is also a link to detail about the Gala. Additional information is also available from SUNY Optometry’s Ann Warwick at or (212) 938-5600.