Dee Berghuys

Vice President Operations

Charmant USA
Morris Plains, New Jersey


CHOSEN BECAUSE… “Dee is a strong, reliable, hardworking professional who is organized, determined, and a motivating force to all those that work with her. Dee has been in the optical industry for more than 40 years and has held several significant roles in each organization. She came to Charmant USA 23 years ago. During her tenure at Charmant she has hired and worked with many women, all of whom have continued to develop under her guidance.”





Dee Berghuys began her optical career 38 years ago at Optyl Corporation, and has grown continuously since then. At Charmant, she helps to steer the direction of the company in all of its operations, product and marketing efforts. Along the way, she has seen how her own career has grown alongside the optical industry. “It’s amazing how the optical industry has grown over the years and it’s exciting to see how new materials are developed and what new technology can be integrated into the eyewear.”

At Charmant, Berghuys helped launch an initiative for breast cancer awareness, as well as one to support the American Heart Association. The Charmant USA team has always had a “team spirit” atmosphere, Berghuys said, something the pandemic has only made even more apparent.

“While most of us were working remote for a few months, everyone stayed connected and worked together to support each other and ensure what needed to get done for our customers and sales consultants was accomplished. It made us think outside the box and be creative in what we were doing.”

SHE SAYS… “Remain curious, take inspiration from those around you and maintain a positive outlook. It’s a great industry with a lot of talented people.”



Bethany Fishbein, OD

Chief Executive Officer

The Power Practice
North Brunswick, New Jersey


CHOSEN BECAUSE… “She is in charge of several hundred offices’ consulting services, and has an amazing sense of ‘the right thing to do,’ and she is extremely intuitive.”





Bethany Fishbein, OD, was inspired to become an optometrist by working at Camp Marcella, a camp for blind and visually impaired children. She wears several hats now, including CEO of The Power Practice, which she joined in 2001 as a consultant. She founded with her husband, Jonathan Fishbein, Somerset Eye Care in North Brunswick, New Jersey, and is the host of “The Power Hour,” an optometry podcast.

“I work with my amazing team of optometrists and business coaches to help our clients achieve their goals in their practices and find joy and profit in independent optometry,” Fishbein said. “A practice management consultant was instrumental in helping us succeed, and I was inspired to help others in the same way.”

Fishbein took on the role of CEO of The Power Practice in 2021 while continuing her practice at Somerset. She was chosen for the position, in part, because of intuition and ability to “know how to do the right thing.”

“I’m always inspired by how deeply our work affects others,” she said. “It’s not uncommon for a client to tell us that learning about managing their practice has also helped them in other areas of their life. When we coach someone in leadership, the effects ripple out to their staff, patients, and families.”

SHE SAYS… “Find people who ‘get you’—professionally and personally. It’s really helpful to have friends who know what you’re going through. I have an incredible group of optometry friends, most of whom are practice owners, from around the globe who are always there to provide support or listen.”



Katy Hanson

Chief Marketing Officer

Eyemart Express
Farmers Branch, Texas


CHOSEN BECAUSE… “Under Katy Hanson’s leadership, the Eyemart Express brand has deepened connections with customers as the company has evolved from an established family-led business to a rapidly growing organization. Her strategic thinking and open-minded approach instilled a ‘test and learn’ culture in the marketing department, empowering her team and positively resonating with customers nationwide.”





For Katy Hanson, the role of chief marketing officer at Eyemart Express in Farmers Branch, Texas, has evolved beyond traditional marketing concepts. The core of her responsibilities is focused on partnering with teams across the organization to create strategic plans that drive the company’s growth and profits.

At Eyemart Express, Hanson has worked to implement new interactive strategies that enable team members across all levels to see immediate results, which then often spark new ideas and foster growth. She credits her involvement with two key industry organizations—the Optical Women’s Association and The Vision Council, where she serves on the marketing committee— with helping her to quickly become immersed in the industry after starting her career in non-optical retail roles.

Hanson spent the beginning of her career expanding her knowledge and skillsets in various retail marketing roles, including with Blockbuster, where she worked her way up to become director of implementation and communications. She also spent nine years at Michaels Stores, where she was promoted to vice president of marketing.

“My experiences and the people I had the opportunity to work with have shaped my leadership skills and contributions at Eyemart Express,” Hanson said.

Hanson leads marketing operations and spearheads company-wide initiatives that impact everything from merchandise to customer experience, both in-store and online. Technology and real-time analytics allow her to have a hands-on approach and to optimize results.

SHE SAYS… “Don’t be afraid to ask questions or share new ideas. Curiosity is the foundation of innovation. Your experiences and perspectives are unique and could result in a new ‘pathway to yes’ that drives incredible results or makes processes more efficient.”


Elizabeth Klunk

Senior Vice President

Versant Health
Linthicum, Maryland


CHOSEN BECAUSE… “Liz has a passion for ensuring that individuals are educated about their health and understand how to access and receive care. For the past three years, Liz has been on the executive leadership team board of the American Heart Association.”





Elizabeth Klunk has been in the optical industry for five years, quickly developing her role within the company. She is responsible for developing strategic solutions, nurturing partnerships, and delivering value to health plan clients and their memberships.

She has always had a passion for health care and has made it one of her outside office roles too. For the past three years, she has served on the executive leadership team board of the American Heart Association, Go Red for Women Campaign, Greater Maryland Chapter. She is also involved in mentoring up-and-coming female executive leaders as a founding member of Chief, Washington, DC.

She has received many honors for her work including two Stevie Awards for Women in Business.

Her background as a professional registered nurse has been a significant inspiration during her time in health care, noting it has become her personal North Star that allows her to influence change and take steps to ensure her clients enjoy the wonders of sight.

SHE SAYS… “I feel I have been a champion of the importance of eye health and wellness. Vision care is not and should not be viewed as a commodity or a supplemental benefit. It is my professional goal to bring together the disparity between vision and eyecare, and overall medical and health care.”


Traci Logan

Executive VP/CFO/COO

New England College of Optometry
Boston, Massachusetts


CHOSEN BECAUSE… “Traci has reset the bar when it comes to financial success and growth in optometric education. Her creative thinking, focus on cost and optimization of operations has changed the short and long-term picture for NECO and its community.”





Traci Logan’s diverse and varied career has made her a leading figure in the optical industry. She has served as a consultant to Brandeis University, the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, and the New England School of Acupuncture. She was also a member of the board of trustees for the Cambridge Health Alliance, a health care provider in Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston’s metro-north communities in Massachusetts. Today, she is a member of the board of trustees for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals-Angell Animal Medical Center.

Logan said her inspiration comes from the people she works with including the students, patients, and the NECO mission: To Change the Way People See the World. She said sight is both a gift and a miracle, a key sense that drives our view of ourselves, each other, and the world we share. To be in a profession dedicated to vision and health is an honor, she said.

She believes in the importance of mentoring the next generation of leaders, adding that her success has been inextricably linked to the opportunities provided to her by other people.

SHE SAYS… “Everyone is part of a team, and success is a function of talent and luck—being at the right place at the right time, with the right idea, and the right people to support you is as necessary for your success as your talent, experience and skills. Recognize the importance of innovation, collaboration, and strategy. Grace under pressure will get you everywhere.”


Kathy Melita

Vice President – Corporate Controller

Marchon Eyewear
Melville, New York


CHOSEN BECAUSE… “Kathy works closely with Marchon’s president and his direct reports to guide global financial planning, forecasting, cost and profit management, accounting as well as strategy development. Under her stewardship, Marchon navigated through a most challenging 2020 and reemerged in 2021 as one of the fastest-growing leaders in the industry.”





Kathy Melita has been in the optical industry for 18 years. She began as the corporate controller of Marchon and was promoted to vice president – corporate controller in 2015. Today, she leads a team of 80 including Marchon’s global financial reporting, planning, and forecasting, overseeing the finance teams in Europe and Asia, providing M&A support, and assisting Marchon’s management with planning and the implementation of strategic initiatives.

Her inspiration comes from working with a purpose-driven company such as Marchon’s parent company, VSP Vision, which provides its employees with countless opportunities to give back including through the VSP Eyes of Hope mobile eyecare clinics. She said programs like that have helped her learn the importance of eyecare and that the stories she has heard from VSP members who have identified serious health issues through a routine eye exam reinforce the importance of the optical business.

She has always worked to create a positive work environment for her team while being transparent in communicating and interpreting results and forecasts. “I retained finance staff with training, development and teamwork, which were pivotal during the pandemic.”

SHE SAYS… “As the optical business continues to evolve, be flexible and look for opportunities to add new skills to your professional tool belt. It is important to continue to grow, stay fresh, and be nimble so that you are equipped to deal with the level of change in the industry.”


Pelin Munis, PhD

Executive Director

RestoringVision
San Francisco, California


CHOSEN BECAUSE… “Pelin recently accomplished reaching more than 20 million people globally with RestoringVision’s vision programs and eyeglass delivery since the organization’s inception in 2003. Under her leadership, RestoringVision has built an unparalleled network of more than 2,500 NGO partners and government social service agencies who have added vision programming to their work.”





Pelin Munis joined RestoringVision as executive director in January 2015. Her background and experience as a professional, applied psychologist and entrepreneur brought to the position more than 20 years of executive planning, administration, communications and marketing experience in non-profit sectors.

In her role with RestoringVision, her team has reached more than 20 million people globally with vision programs and eyeglass delivery since 2003. She has helped build a network of 2,500 NGO and government agency partners who have added vision programs to their organizations. Through these strategic partnerships, RestoringVision has expanded its vision programs from 70 countries to 144 countries since Munis joined the organization.

Her own experience of dealing with a family member with vision loss has had a tremendous impact on her work within the optical industry and she feels that bearing witness to her father’s journey left an imprint and deep desire to help others.

SHE SAYS… “Go forward with confidence and leverage the many talented women and men in our sector whom I have found to be eager and excited to support one another. As you develop your career, seek out new experiences, engage and immerse yourself in both the for-profit and nonprofit aspects of our great industry. You will not only grow professionally, but you will also grow personally.”


Patricia Negaard

President

Eye-Kraft Optical
St Cloud, Minnesota


CHOSEN BECAUSE… “Her story and the wonderful history behind Eye-Kraft are important examples of the strength women displayed in the roles they typically filled in the late part of the last century and how those roles evolved into the industry-leading innovation, productivity, creativity and power women have in today’s business world. Pat is a bridge between these two worlds.”





Patricia Negaard began her career in the optical industry more than 68 years ago working as a secretary in a Benson optical lab in Billings, Montana. This is where she would meet her future husband Jim, and the rest as they say is history. The couple began Eye-Kraft with a couple of used machines in Jim’s parent’s basement and over time the company expanded to become one of the largest independent optical labs in the U.S.

Upon her husband’s passing in 2006, Patricia took the helm and began to expand their client base after years of focusing on state-managed care optical work. She grew her leadership team and brought in additional capacity to grow production output.

She believes vision is one of the most important tools, and that labs like hers have a tremendous impact on the lives of others. Her strong faith and relationship with God have been one of her greatest supports throughout her time running Eye-Kraft Optical.

SHE SAYS… “Women (and men) shouldn’t discount the strength, resourcefulness, perseverance and dedication it requires to raise and support a family. Many of these skills translate into the business world quite easily, and the character traits required of both men and women with this experience give them a solid foundation in the workplace. See this experience as a strength, treat people like family, and you’ll see positive growth and returns.”


Shondra Pistone

Senior Vice President, Operations

Keplr Vision
Bloomington, Illinois






CHOSEN BECAUSE… “Shondra Pistone is the quintessential servant leader. Her selfless investment in others’ success inspires teammates to push well beyond their own perceived capabilities. Keplr Vision’s rapid growth over the past three years would not have been possible without Shondra’s consistent, authentic and accountable leadership style.”

Shondra Pistone began her career in optical/optometry in 1997 as a patient coordinator and quickly moved into optician, optometric technician and leadership roles in retail and private practices. She also spent time as a financial analyst in the casino industry before her love of the optical industry pulled her back in as a FP&A and strategy manager with a PE-backed optometry and ophthalmology group. (She has a black belt in Lean Management.)

After another career stop, Pistone took on an operations role with Visionary Eye Partners, which later joined forces with Total EyeCare Partners to become what is now Keplr Vision today.

Today, as SVP of operations, she is responsible for the overall operations of 286 practices in 35 states. Her team provides operational leadership, support and mentoring to teammates in the practices. This includes operational leadership in the form of process implementation, practice growth, patient experience excellence and teammate experience.

“The people who I serve as a leader and the patients that they serve are what drive me to do what I do each day,” she said. “The optical industry not only allows me to make a difference in the lives of our patients, but our teammates as well. Being in an industry that enhances a patients eye health as well as enhances their lives by providing them with fashionable eyewear drives me to be my best. Leading our teams through adversity and in success push me as a leader and keeps me focused. I could not imagine doing anything else.”

SHE SAYS… “I am a firm believer that you learn from every single person you encounter. As a woman in this industry, you can make a huge difference by learning both what to do and what not to do from leaders you encounter. Build your toolbelt with all of your learnings and push yourself at each step along the way. It won’t always be easy but it will be worth it.”


Christine Schneider

Executive Vice President, Co-Founder

RevCycle Partners
Glen Ellyn, Illinois


CHOSEN BECAUSE… “Christine has built one of the leading stand-alone revenue cycle management firms focused solely on the eyecare market. Under her leadership, it has gone from startup to a multimillion-dollar RCM business, delivering services to eyecare practices in all 50 states.”





With 15 years of experience, Christine Schneider knows that insurance is complex, and many practices need the support of a strong billing partner.

After starting her career by answering an ad for a biller position, Schneider built her expertise in optometry-related business and insurance best practices—dedicating much of her time sharing these best practices to help partners succeed.

In 2013, in her customer service role at RevolutionEHR, she launched RevCycle as an add-on service to customers. Five years later, she and a partner purchased the service and founded RevCycle Partners, a unique billing, credentialing and verification service supporting most major PMS/EHR platforms within the industry.

Today, Schneider is responsible for the growth and development of this best-in-class company, and has already created more than 100 jobs. As a member of RevCycle’s board of directors, she continues to play a critical role in the company’s development and success.

“I have built a team of experts that evolve and grow as this industry does; and because of that, practices we have partnered with achieve greater success,” she said.

Her dedication to helping others grow, build cohesive teams and learn from mistakes are all part of what makes Schneider an inspiring leader. She believes that making a difference begins with following your passion and investing in yourself—then offering your expertise to others.

SHE SAYS… “I feel I’ve made a difference because I took the time to listen and learn.”



Tommasina Pasqua Sideris, OD

Owner/Operator

Eyes on Litchfield
Litchfield, Connecticut


CHOSEN BECAUSE… “Because of her entrepreneurial spirit, love of eyewear fashion and support for independent artists, she’s proven that you can have the practice of your dreams.”





After working for a year at a commercial establishment and an ophthalmology practice, Tommasina Sideris took a chance and followed her dream. She started her first practice from scratch in 1999 in Northern Michigan. Nine years later, she purchased six established optical practices with the goal of turning them around.

During this time, she was also nurturing a secret passion: eyewear design.

“I had the fun experience of having eyewear prototypes manufactured from my sketchbook,” she said. “Seeing the finished product created from a sketch has been one of the highlights of my career.”

In 2013, she found love, got married and relocated with her son to Connecticut. Too young to retire—and missing the excitement of being a business owner—she started Eyes on Litchfield from scratch in 2016. It’s a high-end optical boutique with beautiful eyewear fashion from all over the world, and it’s been steadily growing.

“We strive to make each patient interaction a stellar one, and we love it when we hear, ‘This isn’t your typical doctor’s office,’” she said.

Sideris is also passionate about helping others. Not only does she dominate social media as an eye doctor, other business owners often come to her to collaborate and learn tips for social media success. In addition, she runs weekly meetings to help other entrepreneurs with business management technology to improve their business.

SHE SAYS… “Doing something to improve another’s life in some way is what inspires me.”



Melissa Sorenson

Chief Strategy Officer

VSP Vision
Victoria, Minnesota


CHOSEN BECAUSE… “Melissa’s work has enabled VSP Vision to develop the framework to make well-founded decisions and is a main reason why VSP Vision has been named one of the Best Managed Companies for consecutive years.”





Within months of joining VSP Vision in 2019, Melissa Sorenson had achieved an enormous feat—development of the first enterprise strategy in the history of the company. In 2020, the board of directors listed the strategy as the top management accomplishment of the year.

This was just one major achievement for Sorenson, who in 2021, further developed the strategic process to include strategies at each line of business.

Another major accomplishment was the success of a significant communications campaign to ensure the entire employee base understands the company strategy, in relatable and relevant terms. An internal survey revealed that 87 percent of employees say they “have a good understanding of VSP’s strategy and goals,” which is critical to the company’s long-term success.

In light of her work, it’s no surprise that VSP Vision has been named as U.S. Best Managed Company by Deloitte and The Wall Street Journal for two consecutive years—an accomplishment that’s proudly shared by employees across the company.

“I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to partner with the leadership at VSP Vision to continue to stretch our thinking about the role we play in the industry, and how we can lead the industry forward as the landscape changes around us,” she said.

SHE SAYS… “I always love to tell professionals to be someone that people want at the table. Show up well informed and with good intent, embrace transparency and empathy, and drive for results in a way that helps others achieve their goals, too.”


Kellie Spector

Regional Vice President

AEG Vision
Dallas, Texas


CHOSEN BECAUSE… “She does an amazing job of creating a positive, people-centric environment that enables her teams to thrive.”





Celebrating 25 years in the optical industry, Kellie Spector knows that creating a positive culture results in teams that make a difference. Early in her career, she grew Crown Vision Center from seven locations to 28 locations before it was acquired by AEG Vision in 2017.

Now, as AEG Vision’s regional vice president for the Midwest, she oversees optical operations in six states, manages 75 optometry practices with 600 doctors and associates, and ensures consistent operating procedures across many different business models.

Spector has a keen eye for talent and a proven track record of hiring strong teams. She empowers them with vision and tools for success, generating long-term sustainable results. As a result, patient satisfaction scores at Spector’s practices average 85 percent—considered world-class.

To build high-performing teams, she is first inspired by the patients. She then removes any obstacles that may prevent her teams from providing excellent vision care. She offers outstanding support by aligning teams’ common goals, providing tools and resources, and always encouraging professional growth and mental well-being.

Colleagues describe Spector as someone who “walks the walk” and sets a great example by personally visiting practices, modeling behaviors, providing mentorship and training.

“Changing the life of someone by promotion is the ‘why’ behind what I do,” she said.

With all her leadership successes, Spector believes in giving back to the community. As founding board member of Kids Vision for Life, her teams provide free, mobile eye exams and eyeglasses to over 10,000 underprivileged children in the St. Louis area each year.

SHE SAYS… “Never stop learning, even in an executive role.”


Kathleen Steele

Senior Vice President & General Manager

Pearle Vision
New York, New York


CHOSEN BECAUSE… “She’s a strong leader and is incredibly smart and strategic. She’s built the skills to understand a market need and build a cohesive plan to address it.”





During the first decade of her career in higher education, Kathleen Steele identified her passion for developing product and category strategy to address market gaps. In 2011, she transitioned to the optical industry and joined Luxottica to lead contact lens strategy for LensCrafters.

After one year, Steele’s focus shifted to lab innovation and eventually eye-care, before joining Pearle Vision in 2016. As her scope expanded to VP of brand operations, she was responsible for operations services, as well as communications, business analytics and stores. In that role, she helped launch a managed supply chain for franchisees, which included the development of a complex infrastructure and significant change management.

“This launch was a transformative initiative, and with five years of results, a resounding success,” she said. “Building and leading the team that developed the infrastructure and defined the category strategy was one of the most challenging and rewarding moments in my career.”

In May 2022, she was elevated to general manager of Pearle Vision, overseeing the brand’s 500 locations across North America.

At Pearle Vision, she has advanced the doctor-focused franchising model that makes Pearle unique and has built strong relationships with franchisees. Steele and her team have helped Pearle earn the contract to operate North American optical sites for the Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM), plus top honors including the #1 Eyecare Franchise on Entrepreneur magazine’s prestigious Franchise 500 list, and a Women’s Choice Award for customer satisfaction among women.

SHE SAYS… “Knowing that our business success improves the lives of others is incredibly rewarding.”



Jennifer Tabiza, OD

Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer

Westchester Eyecare Center, Dr. Contact Lens, Techifeye
Los Angeles, California


CHOSEN BECAUSE… “Jennifer is a visionary in the space of optometry. She understands what you need before you do, and is not scared to roll up her sleeves and make it happen.”





Dr. Jennifer Tabiza has always had a curious fascination with eyes. As a child, she’d flip through her mom’s magazines and make collages using only the eyes. “I knew early on that somehow eyes would be part of my mission in life,” she said. Finally, someone suggested a career in optometry, and Dr. Tabiza’s career has surpassed her imagination.

Not counting her interest as a young child, Dr. Tabiza has worked in the industry for 13 years. After six years of subleasing a space in a local Walmart, she purchased a private practice in Los Angeles, where she overhauled the business and implemented all new technology and services. As she expanded and updated technologies for her practice, she also heard the cry of many ODs who were struggling to run a successful private practice. Thus, a new passion was piqued.

Responding to the need, Dr. Tabiza co-founded Dr. Contact Lens with a colleague in 2016—and the journey of building a tech company began.

“Our passion for consulting and empowering ODs in business led to the development of a technology alliance we founded in 2021 called Techifeye—a toolbox of technologies that streamline practices while generating more revenue,” she said.

Dr. Tabiza currently runs operations and marketing at Dr. Contact Lens and Techifeye, while also seeing patients in her private practice, as well.

SHE SAYS… “My greatest passion is empowerment. I love helping other business owners find ways to run their practice with more efficiency, ease and confidence.”


Kristen Tischler

Vice President, Global Marketing

Advancing Eyecare
Jacksonville, Florida


CHOSEN BECAUSE… “Kristen is an amazing problem solver and innovator, consistently developing programs that improve and enhance the business of Advancing Eyecare.”





From professional volleyball and advertising/PR to a nationally recognized wealth management company, Kristen Tischler’s career path to the optical industry has been anything but conventional. But when presented with the opportunity to join Advancing Eyecare in 2017, she jumped at the chance—immediately drawn to the tight-knit vision care community.

Today in her role on the executive leadership team, Tischler leads global marketing efforts for all of the Advancing Eyecare companies. Her responsibilities include digital innovation, branding, strategy and insights, product marketing, corporate communications, creative development and partnership programs.

“I wear a lot of hats, but I’m laser focused on our primary mission of advancing eyecare—ensuring everything we do is geared toward fulfilling the evolving needs of our doctors and the patients they serve.”

Supporting that mission, she fosters a culture of high-performance, collaboration, continuous improvement, accountability and trust. She strives to remain agile and constantly growing, and said no two days are the same.

“In today’s digital world, consumer expectations have rapidly evolved,” she said. “In my position, I have the privilege of being able to connect with leading industry innovators, and I’ve really enjoyed bringing talented people with diverse backgrounds and experiences together to solve problems and add value. Together, we’ve been able to adapt what and how we communicate to meet the ever-changing needs of eyecare providers.”

SHE SAYS… “Surround yourself with people who inspire you. Be curious. Ask questions. Say ‘yes’ to opportunities, even if it’s uncomfortable.”