Sue Barry

Regional Vice President

Walman Optical
Minneapolis, Minnesota

CHOSEN BECAUSE… “Sue goes above and beyond working with her team and the lab network to coach and educate the staff to become better in their roles to deliver the Walman standards out to the ECPs and their patients. She truly invests in her team to boost their professional knowledge to reach their career goals.”

Sue Barry started her career in the travel industry, where she spent 17 years negotiating contracts for the airlines and wholesale tour operators. After 9/11, she transitioned into the optical industry working for Soderberg Optical shortly before the merger with Walman Optical, where she has spent the last 21 years. Today, Barry oversees the sales and lab operations for Walman Optical’s Central Region, including Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.

“I keep my branch and account managers focused on our regional and divisional goals by working side-by-side in the field with them every week so that I can fully understand their needs,” she said.

“This industry is unique because we mass produce a custom-made product. The products, state-of-the-art technology and processing advancements continue to improve, but it is still a personalized service industry that is about taking good care of people which includes our employees, our customers and their patients,” Barry said.

For a lot of people, the pandemic forced people to redefine their daily business routines. “We discovered how much could be accomplished virtually, how critical cross-training is and how important it was to connect daily and get to know one another in a much different capacity.”

SHE SAYS… “The optical industry has been life changing for me. I’ve found you need to be willing to learn, to work on the front line and develop new skills, take management/business courses and be open to stepping outside of your comfort zone to try new things.”

Ali Binetti

Senior Director, Key Accounts

New York, New York

CHOSEN BECAUSE… “Ali has had an amazing career in the eyewear industry with roles at Modo and with other organizations. She brings a wealth of knowledge to the table that helps push our organization to higher levels. On a one on one level, she guides a small team and offers great professional development to those on her team whether it be industry related with eyewear or trends or whether it is guiding her team through the sales process, from brand development to prospecting and working through a sale from start to finish. Ali’s an amazing ambassador for the Modo organization.”

About 15 years ago, Ali Binetti “fell into” the optical industry after a friend suggested she look into an interview with Luxottica. Binetti started her career there, eventually moving to Safilo, where she was the recipient of the Account Penetration Achievement Award (2013, 2014) and Projection Achievement Award (2011). Now at Modo, Binetti develops Modo’s national and regional accounts and works to diversify and expand Modo’s product offering and grow its business.

Throughout the pandemic, Binetti continued to gain new customer acquisitions through new revenue streams, while adjusting alongside her team to a constantly changing world. “For me, undoubtedly the most positive development, in light of the pandemic, is that it has given me an entrepreneurial mindset as I now approach my business,” she said.

Binetti is inspired by the way the optical industry pushes her to think outside the box and grow, as well as the relationships she’s built throughout the years. Her husband also works in the optical industry—he “has always been my biggest supporter and mentor,” Binetti said.

SHE SAYS… “Be yourself, continue to learn and be open to opportunities.”

Summer Bouchedid

Vice President, Business Development West

Carl Zeiss Vision Inc.
Hebron, Kentucky

CHOSEN BECAUSE…“Summer is one of the rare individuals in our profession who ALWAYS does the right thing for her company and customer/clients, no matter what. She has influenced numerous people within the organization and the industry as a whole throughout her distinguished 20+ year career. Carl Zeiss Vision and the industry is better because of women in leadership positions like Summer.”

Summer Bouchedid came to Zeiss 19 years ago from Royal White Cement where she was the VP of Sales. At Zeiss, she started as the sales rep for Houston and then went on to become regional manager and then director of dispensing tools and instruments.

Today, as vice president of business development for the West region, she leads a large team of business development representatives, manages relationships with strategic partners and participates in key company projects both locally and globally. She has developed programs that “have fulfilled the needs of our customers; those programs have been plug-and-play, highly scalable, and have allowed us to make customer conversions both organized and easy,” she said.

“I am very proud to work for Zeiss, a foundation-owned company that has been in business over 175 years and is a leader in innovation and technology. I am especially proud of our culture and mission—‘as the pioneer of scientific optics, we continue to challenge the limits of human imagination.’”

SHE SAYS… “Success requires positive outlook, focus, determination, creativity, persistence and massive action. Know what you want, reach for the stars, create a roadmap, evaluate and make constant and never-ending improvements and enjoy the journey. Above all, be yourself and remember to work and live with passion.”

Reagan Colpitts

Business Development Manager, Independent

Channel, North America

Montreal, Canada

CHOSEN BECAUSE… “She uses a modern, out-of-the-box approach to sales. Leading and demonstrating with respect, she actively listens to challenges and coaches her people to a better zone of performance.”

Reagan Colpitts manages the sales team for Western Canada. With over eight years’ experience in optical, on both the frame side and contact lens sides, she is known as a strong sales coach. Colpitts inspires her team with her keen business perspective, positivity and enthusiasm. “Seeing my team grow and develop is always inspiring, and so is hearing the passion in their voice related to their achievements,” she noted. “I also love sharing in their success and seeing their development over the years.”

Colpitts brings fresh ideas from outside the optical world, borrowing from her five years as a regional sales manager in the skin care field. During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, when offices were closed, she helped create a personalized sales newsletter that was implemented by Safilo sales teams in the U.S. and Canada. Using her social media savvy, she established Instagram accounts dedicated to educating and informing her region’s customers about the company’s various eyewear collections and brand news.

As a member of OWA’s digital marketing committee she brainstorms, creates content and pre-schedules posts on the OWA’s various social channels. She is the founder of Pink Tank, a global digital think tank designed to create and shine a light on women in business with the goal to connect, inspire and motivate others.

SHE SAYS… “The sales rep’s role has evolved. It’s no longer about showing up and showing your product. It’s about how you will help your account with their business goals and ensure the product will sell. This involves education, marketing and social media support as well as merchandising.”

Linda Conlin

Pro to Pro Managing Editor

20/20 Magazine
New York, New York

CHOSEN BECAUSE… “She is influential as a writer, a mentor to writers and an industry spokesperson and ambassador. Her articles and columns in 20/20 magazine are among the most read.”

Over the course of her multifaceted, four-decade optical career, Linda Conlin has been recognized as an ace optician, ophthalmic optics expert, talented educator, and most, recently, insightful writer and editor. “I came out of college at a time of high unemployment, and a position as an optometric assistant was the first job I could get. (I like to say I got into the field for my health—I was starving!) Vision care was the perfect blend of science and helping people, and I was hooked.”

After achieving ABO and NCLE certification, Conlin earned her optician license in 1984. Her experience includes working as an optician, manager and district manager at various optical practices. She served as an adjunct instructor for the Goodwin University ophthalmic sciences program and as a member of their advisory board.

In 1999, she began writing and presenting continuing education courses and seminars as an accredited independent lecturer, presenting courses on the national level.

Conlin has served as chair of the Connecticut board of examiners for opticians and as past president of the Connecticut Opticians Association, which honored her with its Optician of the Year award in 1992. She won the National Academy of Opticianry’s Ambassador of the Year Award twice.

SHE SAYS… “Helping people with the gift of vision to improve their quality of life is an incredible experience. Constant new developments in this field offer more opportunities to achieve that goal.”

Kelly Connor

Vice President, Financial Planning & Analysis

Norwalk, Connecticut

CHOSEN BECAUSE… “Kelly is the consummate mentor, giving selflessly of her time as IDOC has doubled its workforce in the past 18 months and added to the range of its offerings. As VP, she is responsible for all aspects of finance at IDOC and its data insights group. She also finds time to coach and teach veterans and new “IDOC-ers” on the ins-and-outs of the organization’s programs.”

Kelly Connor, vice president, financial planning and analysis at IDOC, is relatively new to optical. She joined the group in 2017 after more than 14 years at General Electric. She has expertise in financial planning, financial systems, auditing, M&A, daily operations and process improvement. At GE, she developed an extensive background in data analysis, project management and people management.

Connors held various positions at GE, including Lean Six Sigma to controllership, and she developed an extensive background in data analysis. She’s also a member of Chief, a private network designed for women in executive leadership to strengthen their leadership skills.

In finance and accounting, she noted, success is built around two fundamentals: being on time with closing the books and being accurate. “The excitement comes when you get creative within the space,” Connor said. “When IDOC went remote in 2020, we had to get innovative. I love it when my team gets creative outside of the mechanical monthly closing cycle.”

SHE SAYS… “Don’t be afraid to speak up. There will be uncomfortable conversations you’re going to have to work through. The leadership muscle is strengthened when you embrace fear and work through it. I encourage people to get comfortable being uncomfortable. Change is going to start with your voice.”

Krista Davis

ABO-Certified Speaker, Corporate Trainer

Quantum Innovations
Central Point, Ore.

CHOSEN BECAUSE… “Krista is thought of as an expert in the area of producing exceptional anti-reflective coatings. Her influence is felt in many labs, both small and mega in size.”

Krista Davis, an American Board of Opticianry-certified speaker and corporate trainer at Quantum Innovations in Central Point, Oregon, said there is little more satisfying than sharing her knowledge and love for eyecare with someone and “seeing the fire of intrigue ignite inside of them like it did in me.”

Davis worked as an optician, then decided she wanted to become an OD. She accepted a position as a frame sales representative so she would have more flexibility to focus on school. “As I lived life on the road, I found that I really enjoyed the travel and being in a new place every day, so I decided to not go back to school so I could focus on building lasting relationships with the opticians and doctors in the Pacific Northwest.”

After taking a break, during which time she had twin girls, Davis went back to work as a lab representative for Hoya, where she discovered her love for training opticians. Around this time, she co-founded Artistry in Optics, which provides event-style training for opticians and those interested in entering the field.

Her experience in training and knowledge-sharing eventually led her to Quantum Innovations, which wanted to improve its reach to ECPs. At Quantum, Davis coordinates and delivers training to labs and offers ABO training to opticians.

SHE SAYS… “Find people you can trust to come alongside you and lift you up so you can reach your full potential. If you find what you are passionate about in the industry, seek it out. Make that your number one goal and make it known.”

Beatriz Elizabeth Gómez Serna, OD

Universidad Autónoma de la Laguna, Torreón Coahuila México

Torreón Coahuila, México

CHOSEN BECAUSE… “There are a few optometrists whose impact on optometry and eyecare goes above and beyond. Ms. Gomez is one of them. When UAL decided to reopen the optometry program, it asked Gomez to take the lead. She took charge, ensuring the academic program was right and she made mentoring of her students a priority.”

Beatriz Elizabeth Gómez Serna, OD, is the academic coordinator for the optometry program at Universidad Autónoma de la Laguna, where she reactivated the optometry clinic and oversees the academic program for specialties. “This is my alma mater and it is a great honor to be inspiring new optometrists to follow this wonderful profession,” she said.

Dr. Gómez Serna is inspired to see how the students develop into the future optometrists they will become. She helps her students discover the area of expertise they want to develop and walks with them in this path.

At the age of 15, Gómez Serna had her first eye exam. Her parents took her to Dr. De la O, who is related to her mom. He was the first one who mentioned optometry, which she had in the back of her mind. When she graduated from high school, her campus offered optometry and the president, Don Pedro Rivas, awarded her a scholarship. In return, she had to work at the community clinic assisting her fellow students. That’s where her love of optometry and the optical field blossomed.

SHE SAYS… “Love what you do, because your patients will know. Keep yourself always educated and never waste your time. Enjoy the process you are going through and visualize yourself where you want to be. Remember that you are an inspiration to someone.”

Pamela Jackson

Senior Director, Global Communications & Digital Marketing

San Ramon, California

CHOSEN BECAUSE… “Why do ECPs choose to prescribe a particular contact lens from the myriad choices offered not only in the U.S., but worldwide? Pamela Jackson understands this continually changing dynamic, and converts that knowledge into action, ensuring that ECPs have the tools necessary to make the best possible decision for their patients.”

Pamela Jackson has been in the optical industry for nearly a decade—the entire time spent with CooperVision. “I have spent most of my career in roles that have allowed me to be customer-centric and bring customer-first thinking to the organization and every aspect of my job,” she said. “That has translated to influencing innovation and contributing to product development strategies, brand management, and various functions within the commercial marketing mix.”

Today, Jackson oversees multiple global marketing functions, including marketing communications, digital marketing, public relations, and master brand marketing for CooperVision.

“I have also taken on some passion projects that didn’t necessarily fit within my scope of responsibility,” she noted. “Sustainability is something that I have a passion for, and CooperVision was making some great but largely unrecognized strides in various parts of the world. As a ‘night job,’ I took the lead to learn as much as possible about our work to operate more sustainably, minimize our environmental impact, and develop the messaging strategy and content to share that story with our employees and customers.”

SHE SAYS… “I would encourage women to ask themselves what aspects of the industry excite them. Don’t limit your work to what is scoped in your job description. If there are areas of interest or passion, figure out how to carve out time to explore. It might be your night job for a while, but it might very well become your day job in the future.”

Lauretta Justin, OD

CEO and Founder of Optometry Divas

Millennium Eye Center
Orlando, Fla.

CHOSEN BECAUSE… “Dr. Lauretta Justin’s motto is ‘Mentor, Empower and Care,’ and she offers eye exams in an underserved community and provides three annual scholarships to seniors. At Optometry Divas, Dr. Justin focuses on empowering women to succeed in personal and professional life, connecting female optometrists to foster sisterhood and promote each other positively.”

As the executive optometrist at Millennium Eye Center, Dr. Lauretta Justin provides holistic eyecare to patients. As CEO and founder of Optometry Divas, she leads ambassadors as they manage their respective chapters.

Dr. Justin has been in the optical industry for 20 years, after graduating from the New England College of Optometry in 2002. Two years after graduation, she founded Millennium Eye Center—a primary care optometry practice in Orlando, Fla.

During the pandemic, Dr. Justin reduced the number of patient visits per day, and reduced the number of doctor hours per day. As a result, she provided better quality care while working less.

“My husband is legally blind from Best’s Disease. Seeing his daily challenges fuels me to help my patients see 20/20,” she said. “At Optometry Divas, I’m inspired by the dedication, integrity, vibrancy, assertiveness and self-awareness of all the divas. They inspire me every day.”

In 2015, she launched the Optometry Divas organization, which has been a great success. “I decided to create a place where women ODs can empower, connect, and promote each other’s success,” she noted.

SHE SAYS… “Before you can be great, you have to be good and before you can be good, you have to start. If you’re waiting until you have everything figured out, you may never start.”

Abby Kinder

VP, ECP Sales

Dayton, Ohio

CHOSEN BECAUSE… Abby works with ECPs on ways to improve their profitability and revenue by identifying areas of opportunity and growth within their practices. Abby is a leader of her team as well as a leader among her peers. She is seen as a resource and supporter for those inside and outside of the EssilorLuxottica organization.”

Abby Kinder has been in the optical industry for 12 years, joining Essilor of America in 2011 as an inside sales rep. She said she immediately fell in love with the industry because of the purpose and the people. Kinder said she is privileged to lead the Southeast commercial sales team to shape and deliver exceptional service, programs, and products paired with giving patients the best products.

Kinder ensures that the interests of the industry and those it serves are at the heart of what she does. She supports emerging leaders in the sales organization to strengthen their development. She also mentors new-to-the-industry sales professionals and encourages women to engage in commercial leadership tracks.

She said, “I am greatly inspired by our company mission and on a daily basis I am reminded of how deeply important our mission is to how we approach our work each day.”

Kinder is a three-time recipient of the President’s Club Award but feels her biggest accomplishment is delivering superior results in her job.

SHE SAYS… “I am inspired daily by our customers and my team. Everyone is united in purpose to help the world see. I am surrounded by a group of incredibly talented people, not only within my organization but also across the industry, all working in their respective ways to impact our customers and ultimately the patients who benefit most from our innovation in products, programs, and services.”

Tracey Norte

Senior Product Manager

Eyewear By ROI
Phoenix, Arizona

CHOSEN BECAUSE… “For 33 years, Tracey has been the liaison between our company and our factory partners serving as senior product director. She has been the inside person known by our customers worldwide as the one responsible for keeping them in stock. Tracey is recognized as a team builder, who treats her fellow associates, our customers and factory personnel with respect. She is as kind as she is humble.”

Tracey Norte entered the optical industry by chance. After the tour bus company she had been working with had closed, she was introduced to Eyewear By ROI through an agency. She began learning the business from the ground up, first working in customer service and then quickly making her way up through the company to the role of senior product manager.

Her inspiration comes from the many challenges her role presents. She also finds support and guidance through her fellow team members and the company’s founder and CEO John Alofs and former EVP Carl Clingman, who acted as an open and caring sounding board.

Creating a strict set of standards, based on those learned from factories, vendors, and customers, paired with the need to adapt to change has been one of her greatest successes at Eyewear By ROI. This has allowed for clearer communication of expectations while improving open-mindedness and driving company success.

SHE SAYS… “Do whatever it takes to do the job well. Don’t complain, instead find a solution that makes everyone happy. Think of each person that you deal with as the customer to be satisfied and remember that kindness works both ways.”

Bridgette O’Brien

Director of Marketing

Norwalk, Connecticut

CHOSEN BECAUSE… “Bridgette is a strong mentor at IDOC, both working closely with her peers in senior leadership roles and with our newly expanding marketing department. Over the past year, we have expanded our small team of three to a team of 10. In our twice-weekly Zoom “all-hands” meetings, we open by allowing IDOC employees to provide “shout-outs” to others—almost every time, Bridgette and her team are “shouted out” for something great they have done.”

Bridgette O’Brien has been working in the optical industry for six years. She quickly began collecting accolades including receiving the Dennis Bassett Legacy Award for exemplifying company culture and positivity from Bausch + Lomb. She also received the IDOC Leadership Award for building a high-performing marketing team.

O’Brien has made learning a lifelong passion and strives to use her knowledge to help ODs build their dream practice and bring new solutions to the market to help them run their businesses. Ever-changing optical innovations are something that continues to drive her forward professionally, relishing the bright future in independent optometry.

Her own experience as a contact lens wearer has also propelled her to continue to help patients find the best vision solutions. She comes to work every day wanting to make a difference and create new ways to reach doctors and help them grow their business professionally and through self-development.

SHE SAYS… “Be your own advocate and your authentic self. Set personal boundaries. Take time for YOU. Use your voice, get your ideas heard and take risks—don’t be afraid of failure. Hard work pays off.”

Maria Petruccelli

Senior Director, U.S. and Canada

Hoya Vision Care
Lewisville, Texas

CHOSEN BECAUSE… “Maria is influential as a leader and a mentor. She is a Canadian licensed optician and has been in the industry for over 20 years. As a member of OWA, she is a strong advocate for women in optical and has been an amazing mentor for many women working at Hoya and in the industry. In the past six months, Maria also launched online optical training courses to facilitate growth in the industry.”

Maria Petruccelli started in the optical industry more than 30 years ago as an optician. In 2003, she joined the team at Hoya Vision Care taking roles in training and education. During this time she has served on the lab committee with The Vision Council and served as a mentor in the organization’s Emerging Optical Leadership program. She also serves as an ambassador with the Optical Women’s Association.

Her mission to help people see better and longer is one of the things that drew Petruccelli to the optical field. She continues to find the challenges and opportunities to learn one of the most intriguing parts of working within the optical industry. She understands that the power of mentorship can have a profound effect on skills development and empowering others.

SHE SAYS… “I would give this advice to anyone; focus on the skills you have and don’t worry about what you think is missing. Always get involved and actively contribute. The accumulation of your experiences from getting involved, working with others, making mistakes and scoring some successes will always be a foundation you can draw upon.”