Andrew Karp.

NEWARK, N.J.—Jobson Optical Group announces the retirement of Andrew Karp, the group’s lenses and technology editor, effective June 28. Throughout his 37 years with Jobson, Karp has raised awareness of technology’s impact on eyewear and eyecare by spotlighting the creative contributions of scientists, engineers and others involved in research and development whom he has called “artists of the lens.” Karp joined Jobson in 1987, during Vision Monday’s first year of publication, initially serving as a general assignment reporter for VM and as a feature writer for 20/20 magazine, drawing on his background in journalism and advertising.

Leaders of the Jobson team reflected on his tenure with the company, and wished him well as he moves on to the next chapter of his career.

“Andy has been a valued and trusted team member, providing astute insight and expertise across publications, as well as at our annual leadership summit,” said Anne Cooper, editorial director of Vision Monday and 20/20. “Although we have only worked together a short time, it is easy to see the influence he has had on our team and on the industry as a whole. Throughout his tenure, he has generously shared his knowledge and insights around lenses and technology, not just with our team at Jobson, but with readers too. He will be missed.”

“Andy Karp's coverage of the lenses and technology landscape has been a pillar of strength for our publications for over 37 years now,” added James DeMatteis, publisher of Vision Monday and 20/20. “His influence and industry knowledge is a major part of the success of many facets of our business, including 20/20 magazine, Vision Monday and the Vision Monday Leadership Summit, and his presence will definitely be missed. I wish him all the best in his future endeavors and cannot thank him enough for his years of dedicated service.”

Not long after joining Jobson, Karp turned his attention to spectacle lens manufacturers and optical laboratories, a vital sector of the optical industry that had nevertheless been under-represented in the optical trade press. His in-depth reporting on the growth of the progressive addition lens category, anti-reflection coating technology, the introduction of high-index plastics, free-form surfacing and digital lens design as well as other landmark developments in “lenses and technology” became an integral part of VM’s and 20/20’s editorial coverage and helped set the publications apart from competitors. As Jobson’s lens and tech editor, he directed the coverage of key market segments including ophthalmic dispensing, diagnostics, remote eyecare, assistive technology, smart glasses and artificial intelligence.

In 1992, VM inaugurated its annual Top Labs Report, which ranked the largest U.S. wholesale labs based on their estimated net sales and Rx volume. Researched and written by Karp, the Top Labs Report chronicled a two-decade period of consolidation that reshaped both the optical lab sector and the optical industry itself. It became one of VM’s signature research reports. The survey, which ended in 2017, remains the only detailed report about the largest, most influential U.S. supplier-owned and independent labs.

In recognition of his achievements, the Optical Laboratories Association honored Karp with its Director’s Choice Award of Excellence in 1999. In 2013, The Vision Council’s Optical Lab Division inducted him into the Optical Pioneers Hall of Fame for his outstanding contributions to the wholesale laboratory industry.

Karp also writes well-read columns for 20/20 and Vision Monday. In his long-running “Through My Lens” column in 20/20, he analyzes and comments on emerging trends and offers observations about new technologies and their potential impact on eyecare professionals. He currently hosts LTV, a monthly video journal from 20/20 in which he discusses the latest L&T articles, interviews tech experts and introduces new products.

Since 2012, Karp has served as a co-producer of the Vision Monday Leadership Summit, an influential annual event at which innovative thinkers in business, technology and health care share insights about major trends that are impacting the optical industry. He has also spoken at many optical industry conferences and events including Vision Expo, the Optical Laboratories Association (OLA) meeting and various regional meetings for opticians and labs. At Vision Expo, he produced a unique exhibit called The Eye2 Zone that introduced to an optical audience new vision technologies featured at CES, the annual consumer electronics show.

Apart from his editorial work, Karp has supported optical non-profit organizations that provide eyeglasses and vision care to those in need. In the early 2000s, he and a group of optical industry musicians founded a rock band now known as Rock4Sight. Over the past 16 years, the group has performed annual fund-raising concerts for several non-profits that have generated more than $3 million in revenue.

In retirement, Karp plans to play music, read and consult on technology projects.