DALLAS—The Optical Women’s Association (OWA) has announced the 2021 Leadership Scholarship awardees. The Leadership Scholarship Award recognizes OWA members who have served the OWA with their dedicated committee work, service, and commitment to growing leadership roles for women in the optical industry. The grants, valued at up to $2,000 each, will be used to provide professional mentoring opportunities to each recipient, while continuing to promote OWA's founding principles of connecting, inspiring, and leading women in the optical industry.

The two women selected from the nominations put forth in October 2021 are:
  • Dr. Beverly Bianes, OWA Events and Connection/Enrichment Committees, Pack & Bianes Vision Care
  • Rachel Meyer, OWA Connection/Enrichment Committee, Eyefinity
An additional eight scholarships will be awarded as the result of a newly added benefit for the OWA’s Platinum Sponsors: each company was asked to choose an exceptional female employee who shows promise, dedication, and drive to also receive this professional opportunity.
The eight women recognized by their companies to be OWA scholarship recipients are:
  • Dawn Alcorn, VP of Marketing & Development/Essilor Vision Foundation (Essilor)

  • Marilyn Bautista, Global Sales Operations & Logistics Manager (Zyloware)

  • Marie-Claude Boutin, National Sales & Marketing Director/Axis Medical in Canada (Essilor Instruments)

  • Carissa Enea, Sales Manager (Safilo)

  • Emilia Flamini, CFO Luxottica North America (Luxottica)

  • Melissa Gomez, Regional VP, Pacific Central (VSP)

  • Staci Johnson, Customer Success Coordinator (GPN Technologies)

  • Monica Wheelock, Senior Manager, Visual Merchandising (National Vision)
“We continue to invest in our membership, alongside our Individual Contributors and Platinum Sponsors, by announcing the 2021 Leadership Scholarship Award winners,” OWA president Deb Bulken and regional vice president, eastern region for Luxottica, said in the announcement. “It’s another impressive lineup. The talent in the optical industry is outstanding, and we are honored to support our deserving colleagues as they reach new heights of leadership excellence in their chosen ways.”
The Optical Women’s Association is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2022. The association was founded in 1997 as a nonprofit, and is committed to supporting and promoting the professional development of women involved in all facets of the optical industry.