Growing at the Speed of Automation—How One Lab Reinvented Itself

By Julie Bos / Contributing Editor
Friday, January 27, 2023 8:30 AM Every company’s growth journey is unique, but for Superior Optical Lab in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, it’s an impressive story marked by Service-Disabled Veterans support, 400 percent revenue growth in the past five years, and a recent expansion effort that has quadrupled capacity through state-of-the-art automation. Fortunately, two local financial partners saw great potential for the lab’s future—and had the right mindset and qualifications to make it happen. Today, Superior Optical Lab is on the forefront of the industry—fueled by focused leadership, a strong presence within the Veterans Administration (VA) and ECP communities, and the powerful, behind-the-scenes Schneider Modulo One technology.

To View or Not to View…Is There Anything Good to Watch?

By Daniel Breeman
Friday, January 20, 2023 8:30 AM To view or not to view…is there anything good to watch on television these days? It first hit me during the recent holiday break, when even the average television viewer tends to watch the “boob tube” more than usual once the initial festivities with family and friends subsides. So many channels, movies and television shows to watch on cable, Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video and the like, yet nothing to capture my interest. Is it possible to have too many choices when it comes to leisure entertainment? Or perhaps it was fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic when we were all shut in our homes with nothing to do but watch television? The very thought of this concerned me greatly.

What’s on the Horizon for Glaucoma Treatment and Detection?

By Mary Kane
Friday, January 13, 2023 8:30 AM According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about three million Americans have glaucoma and the disease is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide. January is officially National Glaucoma Awareness month and during this time, it’s important to spread the word about this group of diseases that affects many Americans every year. VMAIL Weekend recently sat down with Ashish Singh, MD, who specializes in cataract and refractive surgery at Kleiman Evangelista Eye Centers. Here’s what he had to say about the early signs of glaucoma, encouraging high-risk patients to get screened on a regular basis and new glaucoma treatments.

A Year for Keeping Resolutions

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, January 6, 2023 8:30 AM NEW YORK—With the new year comes hope, excitement and, for many, resolutions. Most resolutions come from a good place, one of commitment and energy, but many resolution-makers find their willpower petering out in the dark days of January and February. Of course, that’s okay—not everything is meant to be changed—but for those committed to making a lasting change, there are a few steps that may just help.

How a New Coating Triggered My Writer’s Fog

By Andrew Karp
Thursday, December 29, 2022 9:30 AM Researchers from ETH Zurich have developed an ultrathin, gold-based transparent coating that is able to convert sunlight into heat. It can be applied to glass and other surfaces to prevent them from fogging. Applications for the new coating include eyewear. Yet this remarkable new coating triggered a case of writer’s fog for VM’s Andrew Karp. How did that happen?

Giving for Good

By Staff
Thursday, December 22, 2022 8:30 AM NEW YORK—The crescendo of a global pandemic’s impact on health care, geopolitical upheaval, rising racial, diversity and inclusion awareness, climate change and fundamental economic challenges have escalated many things, one of which is a mindset among many that a company can and needs to more clearly spell out its values, priorities and support on a range of issues and worthy causes. In the eyecare and eyewear field, there continues to be a growing roster of examples of ECPs, executives, companies and brands, that are more consistently speaking about such diverse social causes as racial and social inequities, access to regular quality eyecare and eyewear, environmental causes, sustainability practices and more.

Setting the Tone With Color

By Mary Kane
Friday, December 16, 2022 8:30 AM For anyone in the fashion or design industry, color can be a beautiful thing. But it can also be a very valuable tool on any designer’s palette. Color has the power to (pardon the pun) set the tone for just about everything—from sneakers to smartphones to packaging and the color of a room. The folks at the Pantone Color Institute know a thing or two about color and the effect it can have on creating just the right mood or atmosphere. Viva Magenta 18-1750, which Pantone describes as a color that “vibrates with vim and vigor” has been named the Pantone color of the year for 2023. Pantone describes the color as “brave and fearless … a pulsating color whose exuberance promotes a joyous and optimistic celebration, writing a new narrative.”

What Does Gen-Z Think Will Trend in 2023?

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, December 9, 2022 8:30 AM NEW YORK—For years now, a huge swath of pop culture has been influenced and even created by Gen Z. And as the generation, who USA Today defines as being born between 1997 and 2012, grows into adulthood, that influence becomes stronger. We now have Gen Z lawmakers and Gen Z parents, and some of our most famous celebrities are Gen Zers, too. To overlook their impact on culture would be a mistake. Each year, Instagram takes a deep look at its Gen Z user base to determine what’s trending now, and what might trend in the future, to create its annual Trend Report, which shows what’s important to Gen Z now—and thus, what will likely be important to the broader culture next year. From sustainability in fashion to web3, the 2023 Trend Report is a sweeping look at our future.

How Two Cutting Edge Machines Changed Optical History

By Andrew Karp
Friday, December 2, 2022 8:30 AM In discussions of optical industry history, Arthur Lemay’s name doesn’t often come up. Unlike celebrated figures like Bernard Maitenaz, who invented the Varilux lens, or Noel Roscrow, Robert Graham and Rene Grandperret, who played key roles in the development of plastic lenses, or O.W. Coburn, who helped commercialize automated surface generators, Arthur Lemay is relatively unknown. Joe Santinelli has made it his mission to change that. For the past 30 years Joe, the founder of lens finishing equipment maker, Santinelli International, has been waging a one-man campaign to get Arthur Lemay the belated recognition he fervently believes Lemay deserves.

The Dangers of Diabetes to Our Vision

By Mary Kane
Tuesday, November 22, 2022 9:30 AM According to the 2022 National Diabetes Statistics Report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 11 percent of the U.S. population (approximately 37.3 million people) have diabetes. Alarmingly, 96 million people aged 18 years or older have prediabetes, which is 38 percent of the adult U.S. population. And, diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults aged 18–64 years. VMAIL Weekend sat down with Kristen Nwanyanwu, MD, MBA, MHS, associate professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Yale School of Medicine. Here’s what she had to say about how ECPs can improve the lines of communication with Primary Care Physicians and why it’s so important for diabetes patients to have a care plan.

New Study Shows AMD Can Be a Signal of Cardiovascular Disease

By Mary Kane
Friday, November 18, 2022 8:30 AM It is said that the eyes are a window to the soul, but in some instances the eyes are also a window to the heart. According to a new study from New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai, patients with a specific form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), are also highly likely to have either underlying heart damage from heart failure and heart attacks, or advanced heart valve disease, or carotid artery disease associated with certain types of strokes. The research, published this month, is the first to identify which types of high-risk cardiovascular and carotid artery disease are linked to the eye disorder.

Fresh Frames and Fast Cars: When a Day Job and a Passion Intersect

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, November 11, 2022 8:30 AM The list of things I love is pretty typical, I think: my friends and family, my dog, reading and writing, baking and good food, travel and fashion, learning Italian, watching documentaries, supporting the New York Islanders. Then there’s Formula 1. I was raised a sports fan, one of those kids whose parents put her in an Islanders onesie before she could walk or talk, but my family was never into motorsport. There's something about the sport is just irresistible to me: the high intensity and high speed nature of it all, the mayhem of the media circus surrounding it and the beauty of the tracks all around the globe. I love going to live sports whenever I can—so, naturally, this year I decided it would be fun to attend my first-ever Formula 1 Grand Prix.

Shining a Spotlight on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

By Gwendolyn Plummer and Marge Axelrad
Friday, November 4, 2022 11:30 AM NEW YORK—Long term societal issues, like those of diversity, equity & inclusion, have been fighting the hard fight for many years. With the escalation of the disruption unleashed by the global pandemic, the brighter spotlight on the topic from media, and a groundswell among individuals and organizations that more vocal and active commitment was needed, DE&I initiatives continue to expand. Voices from within health care, business, family, politics and culture are starting to join with those in structured organizations along with more assertive storytelling from groups victimized or impacted by the lack of inclusion in hiring, in receiving or accessing fair and equitable business or health care services and more. Individuals, groups and organizations across the optical industry and vision care profession, are stepping up to support these as part of an expanding commitment.

The Birth of the U.S. Military’s ‘Birth Control Glasses’

By Andrew Karp
Friday, October 28, 2022 8:30 AM Like many magazine editors, I’m also magazine fan. I read some of them online, but I still enjoy reading, and feeling, the print edition of the New Yorker, Guitar Player and a few other favorites. Honestly, I can’t wait to get my hands on it. When a new issue arrives, I start thumbing through it as I walk from the mailbox to my house. Last month, I discovered a magazine I hadn’t seen before, despite the fact that it’s been published for ages. It’s the Marine Corps Times, which bills itself as “the oldest and most trusted source for news and information about U.S. Marines, the military and the DoD.” One of the magazine’s article featured a headline that grabbed my attention: “How the U.S. Military Adopted its Famous ‘Birth Control Glasses.”

Looking at the 2022 Holiday Retail Landscape

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, October 21, 2022 8:30 AM NEW YORK—There’s just over a week until Halloween, and Americans are probably preoccupied with thoughts about exactly that: how much candy will this year’s trick or treaters need? Are the kids’ costumes ready to go? What scary movie should we queue up for the 31st, to watch in between doorbell rings? The scariest night of the year is looming. But something else, something that might be equally as scary, is fast approaching too: the holiday retail season.