I am always impressed when I meet people in our industry who have worked for one company or held the same job for many years. I suppose it’s because in our attention deficited, speed-obsessed society, in which we consume emails and info-bites like Starbucks double-lattes, the idea that anyone can focus on a task for more than a few minutes at a time seems remarkable.

That’s especially true in today’s workforce, where employee turnover is high, job security is an oxymoron and the concept of loyalty is positively anachonistic.

Yet loyalties still exist in the optical industry. I was reminded of this on recent visit to Omaha to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Rite-Style Optical, one of the country’s oldest and most successful wholesale labs. The event was a tribute to George Lee, the man who, along with his partner Harold Thompson, co-founded the lab in 1948. George, who is now in his eighties but looks younger, still runs the show. That’s quite an accomplishment. Not only that, but 37 of Rite-Style’s 100-member staff have worked at the lab for over 20 years and 10 have been there longer than 30 years. One staffer, Dick Peterson, has been with Rite-Style
practically from day one.

The reason for Rite-Style’s longevity is simple: It consistently delivers top-quality products and service. That’s something every company strives for, but few actually achieve. Even fewer can do it for six decades. So hats off to George Lee and his team. They’re an inspiration to us all.

—Andrew Karp