LAS VEGAS—Vision Monday celebrated its 2023 “class” of Most Influential Women in Optical at a gala luncheon here on Friday, Sept. 29 during Vision Expo West. Many of this year’s honorees were joined by dozens of prior honorees, adding resonance to the special event. This year’s group of MIWs (Most Influential Women) is made up of executives, sales and marketing professionals, designers, ECPs, lab experts, social media mavens, administrators, researchers and teachers. They oversee companies, head up marketing and design teams, and run universities and optical practices.

This eclectic mix is emblematic of the broad reach of women in our industry and indicative of how deeply they are embedded in its fabric. For this year’s Annual Report, VM considered women who are making a difference in the following five categories: Executive Suite, Mentors, Rising Stars, Innovators and Above & Beyond.

Visionary Sponsors of the VM 2023 Most Influential Women in Optical luncheon event and program included Alcon, EssilorLuxottica and Johnson & Johnson Vision. Partner Sponsors included The Vision Council, Vision Expo, VSP Vision and Walmart. Supporting Sponsors included Advancing EyeCare, EyeMed, Hoya Vision Care, Marcolin, Modo, the Optical Women’s Association (OWA), Safilo, Vision Source and Zeiss.

James DeMatteis, publisher of Vision Monday and 20/20 Magazine, and Marge Axelrad, SVP and editorial director of Vision Monday, raised a champagne toast to this year’s honorees. After lunch, Axelrad welcomed the capacity audience at the Venetian Hotel, including many industry executives.

She then introduced the keynote speaker, Dr. Simone Ahuja, a best-selling author, Harvard Business Review contributor and business school advisor who spoke about innovation and “intrepreneurship.” In a talk titled, “How Intrapreneurs Navigate Uncertainly and Design the Future,” she advised the audience how to solve problems and innovate using whatever tools and materials are at hand. “Innovation is a new way to create value,” Dr. Ahuja said.

1. Many members of the 2023 “class” of Vision Monday’s Most Influential Women in Optical posed for a group photo at the gala luncheon held at Vision Expo West.

2. Keynote speaker, Dr. Simone Ahuja, advised how to solve problems and innovate using whatever tools are at hand.

1. Vision Monday celebrated its 2023 “class” of Most Influential Women in Optical at a gala luncheon here on September 29th. (L to R) In attendance were some of this year’s honorees including, NECO’s Dr. Aurora Denial, Safilo’s Mikki Collins, EyeMed’s Rhonda Sizemore, Bruder’s Sharon Burkart, Walmart’s Heather Oliveri, Vision Monday’s Marge Axelrad, Prevent Blindness’ Kira Baldonado and Zyloware’s Gilda Mehraban.

2. Whitley Handy (l), Johnson & Johnson Vision and Kristen Brotherson.

3. (L to R) The Optical Women’s Association’s Carol Wilbur, with EssilorLuxottica’s Tamara Sanders and VSP Vision’s Erika Plank.

4. Walmart’s Heather Oliveri (l) and IOT’s Carolyn Gago.

5. Lynn DiMarco, Silhouette Optical.

6. (L to R) Dr. Contact Lens’ Brianna Rhue, OD, with Stephanie Woo, OD, and Johnson & Johnson Vision’s Lisa McAllister.

7. EssilorLuxottica’s Judy Lew (l) with Vision to Learn’s Tyjia Sherman.

1. (L to R) Attending the Most Influential Women in Optical luncheon were Jessica Barker, Europa Eyewear; Victoria Hallberg, DigitalOptometrics; Francesco Ceroni Rinaldi, Safilo; and Maria Matassa, CHR Group.

2. (L to R) Alcon’s Ryan Nelson with Jobson’s Bill Scott, Carolina Kunnen of Alcon and Jobson’s Marc Ferrara.

3. (L to R) Red Havas’ Leslie Sillaman and Courtney Myers, and Jobson’s Al Greco.

4. DigitalOptometrics’ Victoria Hallberg (l) and National Vision’s Megan Molony.

5. Johnson & Johnson Vision’s Charissa Lee, OD, addressed the audience.

6. (L to R) Warby Parker’s Celeste Ulmer-Brown, Megan Nance and Adam Bentley, OAA’s past president, Dibby Bartlett and current OAA president, Johnna Dukes.

7. (L to R) Zyloware’s Janna Neal, Gilda Mehraban and Jamie Shyer.

1. (L to R) Walmart’s Dr. Solomon Gould, Roger Schultheis, Heather Oliveri and Carla Landon.

2. Hoya’s Eduardo Martins (l) and honoree Simone Meskelis.

3. (L to R) Lydia Le, Advancing Eyecare; Maureen Cavanagh, Safilo USA; Kristen Tischler and Jodi Weiner of Advancing Eyecare.

4. (L to R) Alcon’s Ryan Nelson, Carolina Kunnen, Dr. Kristin Anderson, Jobson’s Samantha Armstrong, Alcon’s Kinsey Fabio and Women In Optometry’s Marjolijn Bijlefeld.

5. (L to R) EyeMed’s Trish Hrina, Jessica Connor, Matthew MacDonald and Rhonda Sizemore.  

6. The Hoya Vision team turned out in force.

7. Some of EssilorLuxottica’s past and present MIW honorees were on hand for the event and they were joined by the company’s CMO Sherianne James and SVP Jessica Kozak who spoke at the luncheon program. (L to R) Pascale Desroches, Judy Lew, Rose Harris, Tara Koch, Sherianne James, Jessica Kozak, Tamara Sanders and PERC and OptiPort’s Cristin Sullivan.

1. VM’s publisher James Dematteis, and editorial director Marge Axelrad, at right, led a pre-event champagne toast for the 2023 MIW honorees in attendance at the event.

2. Alcon’s Kristin  K. Anderson, OD, spoke to the audience.

3. (L to R) Enjoying the VM event were EssilorLuxottica’s Dr. Millicent Knight with Women In Optometry’s Marjolijn Bijlefeld, Zyloware’s Jamie Shyer, Jobson’s Marc Ferrara and Bill Scott, MyEyeDr.’s Sue Downes and Christina Perraud.

4. (L to R) Among those attending from the EssilorLuxottica team were  Averis Papastefani, Pasquale Levato, Fabrizio Uguzzoni, Jessica Kosak, Sherianne James and Ludo Ladreyt.