DALLAS—The Optical Women’s Association (OWA) has announced the 2023 Leadership Scholarship awardees. Recipients of the scholarship are recognized as OWA members who have served the organization 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. This program is funded thanks to the OWA’s individual contributors.

Three women, selected from the nominations put forth in October 2023, will receive special leadership training. They are:

Katherine Cruz, OWA Connection & Enrichment Committee (Silhouette)

Mary Lanning Jones, OWA Connection & Enrichment Committee (Zyloware)

Shelley Logan, OWA Membership Committee (WestGroupe)

In addition, 12 more scholarships will awarded as the result of a recently-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 12 women recognized by their companies to be OWA scholarship recipients are:

Heather Bethel, manager, lens and accessories merchandising (National Vision)

Monica Chopra, senior business data analyst (VSP Vision)

Reagan Colpitts, senior business development manager, N.A. Independent Channel (Safilo)

Liz Friedfeld, head of business development (ClearVision)

Lila Hanish, marketing associate (Thelios)

April Hatten, operations manager/Eye Care Alliance (Essilor Instruments)

Kristen Lukacs, creative manager (Zyloware)

Carly Meyerson, strategic business manager, U.S. Vision Care (Bausch + Lomb)

Stephanie McCoy, senior manager, EyeMed Provider Experience (EssilorLuxottica)

Tracy Neal, director of customer support (GPN Technologies)

Chrissie Pattison, marketing events manager (Advancing Eyecare)

Lindsay Romah, business development lead (EssilorLuxottica)

OWA president Lorie Lippiatt, OD, said, “2023 has been another landmark year for both the OWA and women throughout the optical industry. Because our Individual Contributors and Sponsors continue to demonstrate their belief in our mission, the OWA, through the Leadership Scholarship Award program, is proud to provide avenues which prepare women for leadership roles at the highest levels.

"The diverse roles and responsibilities held by our talented list of achievers is another shining example of how the OWA supports all women in the industry who are passionate about furthering their professional and personal development. On behalf of the Optical Women’s Association, congratulations to the 2023 Leadership Scholarship Award winners. We are proud of your achievements and look forward to seeing you prosper for years to come.”