Rising Stars

By
 


 


Rebecca Chippior, OD

OWNER
St. Lawrence Optometry
Kingston, Ontario, Canada

CHOSEN BECAUSE… “She is taking the practice from the past and into a new millennium of eyecare.”

 
Rebecca Chippior, OD, has only been an OD for four years, and took the step four years ago to buy a busy group practice. While in optometry school, she started out as an optometric assistant. She also worked in optical retail. “I have seen the business from many different angles,” she said. “I have a great perspective unlike other optometrists… I have been in a staff member’s shoes.”

Chippior believes that “if you give patients the best advice for their needs, they will be your patient for life.” She also noted, “I excel at what I do because I am so passionate about eye health and eyecare that it shows. I treat patients as if they were my own family members.” She also said that optical is a great industry where there is constant change, and “you have to evolve with it.” Her biggest challenge has been learning to run a business without having any previous experience or education in that area.

Chippior is a member of the Ontario Association of Optometrists. She was her class valedictorian at the University of Waterloo, and upon graduating she received the Canadian Association of Optometrists Award of Merit.

SHE SAYS… “Women were often seen as ‘part-time ODs’ but optometry schools enroll almost twice as many women as men annually. I believe women will start buying into or starting their own offices to protect and guarantee their own destinies.”


Hillary Cribben

GRAPHIC DESIGNER
Zeal Optics
Boulder, Colorado

CHOSEN BECAUSE… “She is a young talent, who is applying her incredible skill to the optical space. Confident, creative and thoughtful. The optical industry needs more of these types of people.”

 
“My eyes are my livelihood, so I’ve always had an interest in optics and been aware of the concerns surrounding eye health,” said Hillary Cribben. That’s certainly a compelling reason to develop an interest in the optical industry when perhaps “sexier” industries are available to a young and talented designer.

“I don’t have a background in optical, so it’s been really exciting to learn a plethora of new information. But it’s up to me to translate and communicate that into digestible material,” she added. “There have definitely been some bumps along the way, but they make the successes way more gratifying.”

She is currently responsible for the design of all of Zeal’s printed material, from accounts’ custom window displays to an event flyer to their catalogs. She is also heavily involved in the art direction of the company’s campaigns and the creative direction for its photo shoots.

Additionally, she helps the product team trend forecast and conceptualize Zeal’s goggles on a cosmetic level. “My hand touches it all,” she confirmed. “In a nutshell, I like to think I curate the cool. And I tell the best jokes.”

“Zeal is in over 26 countries but everything is done in house and my opinions matter. I create something new and wonderful every day and I have a pretty good time while doing it.”


SHE SAYS… “Be smart and ask questions. Know your market and then challenge yourself to expand it. The industry could use a few more risk takers and rule breakers.”


Christine A. Fraser

DIRECTOR OF CUSTOMER SUCCESS
Adlens Ltd.
Oxford, United Kingdom

CHOSEN BECAUSE… “She has the passion and drive to push Adlens and its people forward, and is able to convey information in a way that is interesting and relevant.”

 
Christine Fraser brings a unique mix of right brain and left brain thinking to her job as director of customer success for Adlens, the U.K.-based company that develops and markets variable focus eyewear.

“I attended both the University of Glasgow to study for a mechanical engineering degree, and Glasgow School of Art to study product design,” explained Fraser, who also holds an MBA. “This gave me a fantastic foundation into how to develop new products. Although products need to operate technically, true greatness will only be achieved if they are designed and marketed with an understanding of the customer.”

Fraser’s passion for great design and great products allows her to focus on both the right strategy as well as the out-of-the-box experience. “Due to my mix of technical, design and business backgrounds I can talk the language of different functions and bring a fresh perspective to key decisions,” she said.

At Adlens, Fraser oversees the product management, marketing and customer services departments. She is also responsible for managing the relationships with key distributors and the company’s Boston office. Since joining Adlens in 2012, she has helped the company secure its first license brand and launch its John Lennon collection, define and bring to market its next generation Alvarez product while increasing awareness of Adlens as a global player.

SHE SAYS… “I believe we should empower those around us and encourage them to excel. Only by trusting those around us will we truly reach our potential.”


Lisa McCauley

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY PROJECTS MANAGER
Classic Optical Laboratories
Youngstown, Ohio

CHOSEN BECAUSE… “She has a unique understanding of the interplay among lab operations, lens manufacturing and the design of software systems that handle third-party eligibility and billing.”

 
An integral member of Classic Optical Laboratories’ Information Technology team, McCauley serves as the point of contact for all IT-related projects. Whether it’s building an interface to a piece of machinery, managing the lens manufacturing software system (LMS) and database or developing a new system to interface and manage the benefits of a managed care or state health plan, McCauley is the lab’s go-to person. Yet McCauley is not just sought out by her colleagues at Classic Optical. When Essilor set out to redesign its LMS, the company called for her to join its team as an advisor.

McCauley developed her extensive knowledge of lab operations while working at Classic Optical for the past 27 years. “They hired me right out of high school,” she recalled. “I started in the stock room, pulling lenses.”

McCauley has served in many different positions in the lab, including customer service, accounting and most recently, information technology. She noted that the increase in technology in the optical industry over the last 10 years has enabled her and other women in IT to play a more prominent role in the optical industry.

McCauley credits Classic Optical’s chief operating officer, Dawn Friedkin, for creating a corporate culture that has allowed her and other female employees to thrive. “She opens the door for us and gives us the opportunity to make suggestions,” said McCauley.


SHE SAYS… “Women have a can-do attitude, love a challenge and know there has to be a better way!”


Jill Novelo

CORPORATE PUBLIC RELATIONS SUPERVISOR
VSP Global
Rancho Cordova, California

CHOSEN BECAUSE… “Jill has a significant role in the direction and implementation of VSP Global’s charity strategy and mission. She is also involved in getting current topics in eyecare to media channels for national and international release.”

 
Familiar with the medical and charitable sides of optical through an uncle who is an ophthalmologist and a grandfather who funded a mobile eye clinic in Thailand, Jill Novelo had her professional introduction to the field when she joined VSP five years ago.

Most recently promoted to supervisor of the VSP Global corporate public relations team, she’s involved in developing and executing national/international public and community relations strategies that support brand awareness, sales growth and retention, as well as providing support for VSP Global companies’ programs and initiatives. She has a role in leading and developing VSP Global’s charity platform, Eyes of Hope, which formally launched earlier this year and included reorganizing and adding to existing charity programs.

She views her role at VSP as continuing a tradition of women at the company. “Working at VSP, the role women have played within the company has always been an area of pride,” she said. “VSP is truly a progressive company in the fact that our female executive leaders have played a vital role in making VSP an industry leader of today. VSP is devoted to providing leadership, guidance and education to our employees, which results in many opportunities for women to achieve their career goals.”


SHE SAYS… “From a philanthropic standpoint, I’m extremely proud of being able to have a voice and the opportunity to increase access to care to those in need around the world.”


Janelle Routhier, OD, FAAO, FBCLA

MANAGER, GLOBAL STRATEGIC MEDICAL AFFAIRS
Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.
Jacksonville, Florida

CHOSEN BECAUSE… “Dr. Routhier is a true innovator. She is among the first to become a Diplomate in the American Board of Optometry.”

 
You could say vision care is in Janelle Routhier’s blood. “My grandfather and his two sons (my uncles) were optometrists so I grew up knowing about the profession.” Her background in contact lenses has been key to her journey which landed her a major role at J&J, first as a cornea and contact lens resident at the Michigan College of Optometry in 2008 and then as a member of the college’s CL clinical faculty in 2009.

In her current role at J&J, Routhier is responsible for elevating the Acuvue brand with scientific information. “In a nutshell, I work as the bridge between marketing and research & development, helping to translate the science R&D produces into something marketing can use in their messaging.”

She considers it a major accomplishment that she left private practice and academia to make the jump into the corporate world. “Since starting at Johnson & Johnson Vision Care 2.5 years ago, I have obtained my Florida Optometry License, American Board of Optometry Diplomate status, Fellowship in the British Contact Lens Association and have presented scientific information at four global conferences.”


SHE SAYS… “People who are blessed with the gift of sight deserve to have the best vision possible, and that’s why it’s so important for companies to continue to research, innovate and develop new products to continue to make vision better, healthier and affordable for everyone.”


Alyssa Voorheis

DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS OPERATIONS
MyEyeDr
Vienna, Virginia


CHOSEN BECAUSE… “Alyssa and her team rolled out the Acuity POS, the backbone of our operations, which was a huge undertaking. She and her team are the glue that keeps the business running.”

 
Alyssa Voorheis started off in the industry answering phones at an optical shop near her hometown in Michigan. Eight years later, she is thriving in the Washington, D.C. area as one of the leading implementers of Acuity, a point of sale system central to MyEyeDr’s brand.

“My proudest accomplishment is the implementation of our software system. Two years ago, we were barely on paper,” said Voorheis, referring to Acuity Logic, now used at 50 optometric locations. Her leadership at MyEyeDr also includes overseeing the managed care and operations support teams, as well as the company’s distribution and inventory.

Voorheis believes being patient focused is the best route to success in the optical business, no matter what area of the industry one serves.

“If we focus on the patient when we make a decision as a business, and make the decision as an individual person working in that practice, we will be successful,” Voorheis said. “All of it ties together. It’s been great to be so involved and to learn about every part of the business.”


SHE SAYS… “My biggest challenge has been overcoming peoples’ perceptions of what they expect me to be. You’re in control of your life. Take that opportunity, take that chance. Raise your hand. Don’t be afraid of failing.”