ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The Vision Council and RX, organizers of Vision Expo, have announced that submissions are now being accepted for the 5th Annual OPTImum Retail Award scheduled to be presented at Vision Expo East on Friday, March 17 in New York City. Businesses in the independent optical retail market are encouraged to submit their stories for consideration by February 8, 2023. Launched in 2018, the OPTImum Retail Award was designed to celebrate the importance of independent boutique retailers in the optical industry.

“This award shines a spotlight on those enterprising and dynamic privately held retailers who strive to bring consumers nationwide the very best in eyewear,” said Fran Pennella, vice president, Vision Expo at RX.

Since its inception, the OPTImum Retail Award has been awarded to Todd Rogers of Todd Rogers Eyewear (2018); Edward Beiner of Edward Beiner Eyes Forward (2019); Julia Gogosha of Gogosha Optique (2021); and Gary Black of Black Optical (2022).

Applicants for the 2023 award will be judged based on the categories detailed below. Applicants must address all categories in their submission. Categories include:

  • Uniqueness: What is the secret to making your optical store unique?

  • Community: Describe how you engage with your local community to create meaningful relationships.

  • Industry: What is a problem you’ve noticed in the industry and how are you solving it?

  • Aesthetics: Submit photos of your retail environment.
To determine the top three finalists, a committee of industry leaders will deliberate and vote based on the categories listed. This year’s committee members include James Spina, editor-in-chief and senior vice president at 20/20 Magazine; Dr. Adam Ramsey of Socialite Vision; and Dr. Jennifer Tsai, founder of LINE OF SIGHT, Creator of @drjenandjuice.

The three finalists will be revealed on February 22, and then reviewed via popular vote on Vision Expo social media channels until March 3. Social media votes will then be factored into the judges’ final scores.

The OPTImum Retail Award winner will be announced at Vision Expo East 2023 during an award ceremony hosted by Suzanne Kraus of Vision Expo and James Spina of 20/20 Magazine on Friday, March 17 at 3:45 p.m. on The Bridge. Additionally, the winner will be featured in an article in 20/20 Magazine. The three finalists will receive a stipend of $500 (domestic) and $750 (international) to attend Vision Expo East 2023 and the announcement celebration.

Retailers who are interested in applying for the 5th Annual OPTImum Award should click here.

Vision Expo East 2023 will take place March 16–19 at the Javits Center in New York City. The show’s educational program together with OptiCon@Vision Expo will open Thursday, March 16, and the Exhibit Hall will open Friday, March 17, 2023. Registration is available here.

If you are interested in exhibiting, contact Cedric Fellows, sales, at Vision Expo East at