The optical industry was built by many families who started out as small dispensaries or labs and grew into globally respected leaders in optics. Today, many of these pioneering companies have been passed onto second, third and even fourth generations. With the passing of the torch comes advice on how to keep the business going and keep the family legacy alive.

My own father grew up on a farm with traditions that had been passed down through the generations. You could easily describe him as salt of the earth, easy to get along with, and of course, a die-hard Toronto Maple Leafs fan.

Though he has always been a quiet person, he has provided my sister and I with some practical advice over the years about living a good life, working hard and most importantly, always knowing two different ways to get home if the roads are closed. A wise piece of advice when you live in an area of Canada where snowstorms can quickly send you down unknown detours.

In today’s edition of Today’s Read, we are pleased to share with you the advice that a few industry leaders and colleagues have received from their own fathers, many of whom started the businesses that have become iconic in the optical world.

Ken Weissman
President and CEO
Modern Optical International

My father, Yale Weissman, who started Modern almost 50 years ago, gave me three pieces of advice: "Prioritize charity, as making the world a better place is the ultimate goal. Growing old with your employees is one of life's greatest joys. Always celebrate the people in your world!"

 Michael Suliteanu

Always pay your vendors as per your agreement, and you will be able to walk a trade show in a straight line with your head held high instead of making multiple turns to avoid them.

Beverly Suliteanu
Vice President Product Development

Always be willing to take risks in order to evolve and move your company forward, but never bet the house on one decision.

 Kristie Nguyen
Dr. Kristie Nguyen PLLC

Everything you have in life is given to you by God. Remember Him always.

Lorne Kashin
Education Coordinator
Ontario Opticians Association

Use your head and save your feet.

 Kyle Crawford
Vice President of Sales

Own your own mistakes and learn from each of them.

Mitch Hirsch
MH Optical Lab

You never fail at anything unless you stop trying to succeed.

 Jason Sharpe
Eye-Kraft Optical, Inc.

My dad wasn't really the advice-giving kind of guy. He was an example setter. He was self-employed and did heavy physical labor his entire working life. He always met his commitments, but he always reserved time with his family. He worked to live, not the other way around, and I think this was great advice.