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Vision Council Announces Directors’ Choice Award Recipient and Lab Division HOF Inductees

By Staff
Monday, August 6, 2018 12:30 AM

Dave Cole.

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The Lab Division of The Vision Council announced the industry veterans who will be recognized during the Directors’ Choice Award and 19th Annual Lab Division Hall of Fame celebration on Wednesday, September 26 in conjunction with the Lab Division Meeting and International Vision Expo West. The Division has named Dave Cole, former president of Transitions Optical, as the 2018 recipient of the Directors’ Choice Award honoring his more than 26 years in the optical industry, as “a champion for game-changing technology, and as a terrific partner to optical labs.”

Established in 1987 under the Optical Laboratories Association, now the Lab Division of The Vision Council, this award honors individuals and companies that have made outstanding contributions to the ophthalmic industry. Now in its 32nd year, the award is still recognized as one of the most prestigious in the industry.

The Vision Council also named eight influential figures in the optical lab business sector who, along with Cole, will be inducted into the Vision Council’s Lab Division Hall of Fame.

Ronald F. Cooke, OD,Diversified Ophthalmics, Inc.
Dr. Cooke created a large and successful network of laboratories, started one of the first true buying groups and soft lens distribution centers and ultimately combined the first "one stop shop" organization in the wholesale optical market.
Ralph G. Kent Jr., Luzerne Optical Laboratories
Kent is recognized for his long history of accomplishments in the industry from his time at Bausch & Lomb and Multi-Optics (later Varilux) to SOLA Optical, Younger Optics and Luzerne Optical.
Daniel C. Lundberg, Digital Vision, Inc.
Lundberg has spent the past 29 years working with the Digital Vision, Inc. (DVI) - selling, installing, supporting, and designing software for optical laboratories.
Mike Nathe, Essilor of America
With 35 years of industry experience, Nathe is recognized for his work with Midwest Vision Centers, Custom Eyes, Optical Resources and ultimately Essilor with Signet Armorlite.
Richard C. Palmer, Practical Engineering, Inc./Walman
Palmer is recognized for his 45-year career in the industry, most notably with Walman Optical.
Mike Sutherlin, Sutherlin Optical
As vice president of Sutherlin Optical, Sutherlin helped lead them to being one of the largest independent labs in the country, and later an Essilor Partner Lab.
Michael Walach, Quest Optical Specialty Lab
Walach is recognized for his 45-year career in the industry, most notably his multiple patents for progressive lens technology, and for specialty lenses.
Dana Weeks, Optical Services International
Weeks is a 28-year veteran of the optical industry, serving as president of Optical Services International for 23 years.

Nominations for candidates for the Hall of Fame are submitted by members of The Vision Council. The selection of the individuals for the Lab Division Hall of Fame is made by an anonymous committee of industry veterans. Consideration is given for contributions to the optical laboratory industry, Lab Division of The Vision Council, the candidate’s individual accomplishments, personal character, reputation, and length of time active in the industry.

All members of the vision community are invited to attend the Hall of Fame events, recognizing those who have contributed to the establishment of the wholesale optical industry. Tickets for the Lab Division Hall of Fame and Directors Choice Dinner can be purchased here.

To register for the Lab Division Meeting, visit www.thevisioncouncil.org/labmeeting.
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