AP Photo/Ron Brown Awards, John Harrington, HO

Follow the Leader
Secretary of Commerce Donald L. Evans, left, presents the Ron Brown Award for Corporate Leadership to Kerry Bradley, COO of Luxottica Retail, for Luxottica’s Give the Gift of Sight foundation. The ceremony was held at the White House in Washington, D.C. in November. Give the Gift of Sight is a program that has provided free eyecare to more than three million people in local communities and developing countries. Fully funded by the private sector, the Ron Brown Award is the only presidential award that honors companies for outstanding corporate citizenship and was established by President Bill Clinton in honor of the late U.S. Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown. Luxottica Retail was honored alongside JP Morgan Chase and KeySpan Corporation.  —Jackie Micucci

Size Matters
For the Sàfilo Group bigger is better… especially when it comes to its Padua, Italy headquarters. The company has expanded its logistics center. The new state-of-the-art warehouse now processes some 28,000 parts and 8,000 shipments per day. Revamped technology has made it possible to add product lines such as Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani as well as to slim down operations for smaller orders.

The distribution center has been overhauled, the aim being to make it totally innovative and responsive to growing market demands in terms of efficiency and quality. The first wing, which was up and running in summer 2000, has 40-foot ceilings and covers a surface of 100,000 square feet and is where finished products arrive to be subsequently shipped to European opticians.
The logistics operation also included in the construction is situated on the second wing covering a further 100,000 square feet with 49-foot ceilings. This area became fully functional in March 2004 and is scheduled to be working to its full potential in 2005, once the natural start-up phase of the plant is completed.

Always striving to improve, Sàfilo is currently testing new systems for coding items, handling goods and management of shipments.  —JM

Major League
Smilen Eyewear hit one out of the park recently. The company donated its Little League Sunwear to raise money for the ALS Association at a golf outing in Philadelphia. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s disease” as it is the illness that the New York Yankees legend eventually succumbed to, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease affecting nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. All sales of the eyewear went completely to ALS research. At the outing are Smilen’s president Scott Smilen with Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling who is wearing style Blue Diamond #1.  —JM

Desperately seeking. 1. Marcia Cross, one of the stars of the ABC mega hit “Desperate Housewives,” wears Miyagi Eyewear style 2433. The actress wore the sunglasses in a recent episode of the show… Hook and ladder. “Rescue Me” star, 2. Dennis Leary wears Izod 721 from ClearVision while appearing on the “Tonight Show.” In addition to acting, the comic is active in raising money for The Leary Firefighters Foundation, which raises funds to pay for improving training facilities and equipment for the Worcester area Fire Departments in Massachusetts… Into the woods. Rapper/actress 3. Eve in the Kate Spade Clarissa from Sàfilo. Eve is currently featured in the new movie “The Woodsman” as well as her self-titled show on UPN… Profile in courage. Teen surfer 4. Bethany Hamilton wears Op shades from ClearVision at a Long Island signing of her book “Soul Surfer.” Bethany lost her left arm last year after a brutal shark attack while surfing in her hometown of Kauai, Hawaii. Less than a year after the accident, she was back surfing competitively and took fifth place at the 2004 National Scholastic Surfing Association National Championships. After hearing that the teenager was a fan of Op, ClearVision gave Bethany an Op tote bag with three sun styles, three zip-up sweatshirts and a fragrance kit of Op JUICE… Hide and seek. Model 5. Amber Valetta sports the Hide from the Visionnaires collection by Sama Eyewear… Magazine rack. Celebrities spotted on the pages of the glossies wearing Oliver Peoples are: 6. Jennifer Lopez in Athena, 7. Brad Pitt in Victory and 8. Jessica Simpson in Vanadis… Terminally hip. 9. Heather Locklear, star of NBC’s “LAX,” wears Miyagi Eyewear style 2436.

Sunny Interlude
Revolution Eyewear was back stage at the 32nd annual American Music Awards outfitting musicians and other celebrities in some of their shady offerings. Sporting their “revolutionary” new sunwear are R&B phenom Alicia Keys (left) in BBL001; singer/song writer Brian McKnight (right) in RES804; Clockwise: rapper Big Boi of OutKast in RES820; R&B singer Ashanti in BBL003s; Jon Bon Jovi and band mate Richie Sambora both in RES822; “Desperate Housewives” star Eva Longoria in BBL003; and American Idol Kelly Clarkson in BBL004. —JM

Hampton Retreat
Sunglasses and the film industry; the two go hand-in-hand. And that very coupling occurred recently when Ray-Ban was a supporting sponsor of the 2004 International Hamptons Film Festival in East Hampton, N.Y. The Luxottica brand participated in the sponsor tent with FHM magazine during the five-day independent film fest and was also the sponsor of the Student Film Awards, which honored eight student filmmakers (below) for their excellence in short filmmaking. Each student received a $1,000 prize and selected frames from Ray-Ban. More than 30 filmmakers, actors, directors and students stopped by the table to be custom fit with 2004 Ray-Ban  styles.  —JM

With Visions of Sugarplums Dancing through Their Heads… And visions of 20/20 What’s Brand New cookies. Imagine our delight when what to our wondering eyes should appear on our desks but a holiday gift bag filled with cookies from Elite Eyewear. Printed on the front of each cookie—an editorial page from 20/20’s What’s Brand New September 15, 2004 issue featuring Elite’s SmartFlip Convertibles with Polaroid Lenses.

“The cookies were sent to Elite’s key customers to get their attention and let them see the coverage we are receiving. We also have made some for the customers and vendors that have appeared in our SmartFlip ads to give to their patients,” says Elite’s Phil Langley. The cookies were sweet and the message is timely. A happy New Year to all.  —Gloria Nicola

The “Next” Big Thing — Transitions Optical is introducing Transitions V Lenses with ESP (Enhanced Scientific Performance), a next-generation technology for premium materials. Transitions V lenses with ESP in February. Available in 12 semi-finished single-vision and 27 progressive lens designs in either polycarbonate, Trivex or 1.60 and 1.67 high-index materials, the lenses are faster to activate and deactivate, and darker outdoors than previous Transitions technology while remaining virtually as clear as a regular clear lens indoors, according to Transitions.
Transitions Optical is launching a marketing program, “The Transitions Challenge,” designed to encourage eyecare professionals to wear the new lenses and then recommend them to patients. The program rolls out in a satisfaction study that invites ECPs to be among the first to wear Transitions V Lenses with ESP, new demonstration tools and rewards for demonstrating the lenses to patients.

Visionary Art
— Essilor of America recently hosted a party for a group of North Texas eyecare professionals to celebrate an exhibition of 19th century French art that Essilor is sponsoring at the Dallas Art Museum. The show, “Bonjour, Monsieur Courbet! The Bruyas Collection of the Musee Fabre, Montpellier,” features 70 iconic works by French masters, notably Gustave Courbet and Eugene Delacroix.

It is on display through this month. “Essilor takes great pride in being a part of this magnificent artwork,” says Essilor of America president Hubert Sagnières. “The viewing of the paintings, drawings and sculptures from this beautiful period is a subtle reminder as to why our company’s mission is all about vision.”
Pictured left to right are: John Carrier, president of Essilor Laboratories of America, who welcomed guests; Francois Mellon, general manager for Essilor’s Avisia lab and Padma Cole, vice president; and John Keefe and Florence Walton, an optician from Paris who is a longtime U.S. resident.
ReflectiveX2 — Interstate Optical now offers two levels of ARx anti-reflective coating with ARx and ARxHP (High Performance).
ARxHP is an advanced AR process representing the latest in technology from Satis Vacuum.

The ARxHP process required installation of new machinery, new computer software and incorporates an entirely new “AR stack,” which results in a premium anti-reflective process.

ARxHP lenses actually repel dirt and dust with a revolutionary new anti-static conductive layer, allowing them to stay cleaner longer. ARxHP lenses also have a new superhydrophic topcoat that creates a super-slick surface, which resists water and oil, allowing lenses to stay clean longer and wipe off easier.
Bayer Test results show ARxHP scratch resistance is increased up to three times over that of traditional AR.

Getting It Together
Plano Sunwear and CLs Go Hand in Hand
T.R. is a 44-year-old highway worker who presented to our office complaining of a burning and scratchy feeling in his right eye. He has long noticed a “grayish spot” on the eye but with no discomfort. T.R has a 15 year history of daily wear soft contact lens wear but admits to not being to an eyecare professional for “several years.” He also says he has never worn sunglasses. The examination reveals a pterygium, with inflammation, at the temporal limbus of the right eye with 3 to 4mm of corneal encroachment. Due to the advanced nature of the pterygium, the patient is referred for surgical excision. Though this is an extreme case, it demonstrates the need for eyecare providers to stress the importance of quality sunwear to all our patients who spend time outdoors.

From top: BOOTH
AND BRUCE 309 from L’Unique Optique;
KATA Torque 3 from Legacie Eyewear/
Luxury House of B. Robinson Optical;
ALAIN MIKLI AO101 from Alain Mikli;
from Live Eyewear

Each year consumers spend millions of dollars on the purchase of products to protect their skin from the harmful effects of the sun. The sunscreen industry, along with the medical community, has done an excellent job of consumer education over the past several years. Much less effective, however, has been the ability to convince consumers of the benefits of quality sunwear in protecting their eyes from the sun’s harmful rays.

A tremendous opportunity exists for eyecare professionals among contact lens wearers. There are currently about 35 million Americans who where contact lenses and many do not wear quality sunwear when outdoors. This is often due to a lack of understanding because they have never been properly educated on the importance of protecting their eyes. The initial contact lens fitting is the perfect time to make patients aware of the concerns of ultraviolet light relative to the development of cataracts and macular degeneration. Most importantly, the patient should be educated that, even in the case of UV blocking contact lenses, the most common ocular effects of sun exposure persist. These include the development of pingueculae, pterygia and benign and malignant skin cancers of the lids.

Proper patient education can be done in many ways. Of course the most effective is the one-on-one counseling that should occur with every patient. Other useful tools are in-office printed materials and videos. Some offices have even had success with “test drive” programs. New patients are given a pair of quality sunglasses to wear as they adapt to their new contact lenses. At the one week follow-up appointment the glasses are returned, but hopefully a sale has been made. So, the next time a contact lens wearer enters your office or dispensary, don’t miss the opportunity to educate them on the importance of having quality sunwear. This can be very beneficial for the patient and a very healthy adjunct to your optical dispensary.  —Carmen F. Castellano, OD, F.A.A.O.

Carmen Castellano is in a private group practice in St. Louis, Mo. specializing in contact lens care. He is a diplomate in the Cornea and Contact Lens Section of the American Academy of Optometry, a past president of the Heart of America Contact Lens Society and immediate past-chair of the American Optometric Association Contact Lens and Cornea Section.