BUSINESS: dba Transitions’ Innovation Awards Presented to Costco, Greiche & Scaff as Retailers of the Year By dba Staff Wednesday, February 21, 2018 10:15 AM The U.S. team of Costco Optical accepted the TransitionsInnovation Award as U.S. Retailer of the Year at theTransitions Academy meeting. They are (L to R): Cory Lawson,Transitions account manager; Art Salas, vice president of CostcoOptical; Cary Carlson, Costco’s merchandising manager,Denise Mogil, director of professional services, and VitoRomano, director of operations.ORLANDO—Transitions Optical wrapped up its 2018 Academy meeting here earlier this month with the presentation of its Transitions Innovation Awards to leading optical retailers, ECPs and optical networks. Among the award-winners, Costco Optical received the Innovation Award as the 2017 U.S. Retailer of the Year, while Greiche & Scaff was honored with the award for Canadian Retailer of the Year. The awards were presented during a recognition event on Feb. 13. "Costco Optical is a long-time supporter of the Transitions family of products, and the company certainly put its best foot forward this year in terms of training employees and identifying opportunities for growth," Transitions' Drew Smith, director, North America Channels, said in a statement. “By utilizing all the tools at their disposal, including education on Transitions lenses and harmful blue light protection, lens demonstrators and training programs, they are creating excitement and interest in the Transitions brand within their stores and communities.”Art Salas, a Costco Optical vice president, accepted the award on behalf of Costco. Vito Romano, director of U.S. Optical Operations at Costco Optical, said the retailer "believes in the Transitions brand and believe that every one of our members can benefit from the lens technology as well." He also noted that Costco Optical and Transitions "work together to identify the best training, product choices and point-of-sale for our stores. Ultimately we want to keep our members happy, and offering the Transitions brand allows us to achieve this every day."Accepting the Innovations Award from Greiche & Scaff are(l to r): Nicolas Abi-Mrad, regional director; Dr. André Aoun,director of professional services; Rachid Fakhoury,operations director; Pierre Skaff, senior director marketingand merchandising; Pierre Freiji, general manager; EmileTaraboulsi, regional director; Richard Langlois, regional director; Mario Pageau, executive vice president, Opticiansdivision of New Look Vision Group; and Isabelle Tremblayand Kay Jensen, both of Transitions Optical. Greiche & Scaff, a division of Canada’s New Look Vision, was honored for its efforts to grow its Transitions business among single-vision wearers, according to the announcement "They took many steps to achieve this goal," Smith said. "From secret shopper programs to specialized training, Greiche & Scaff pushed themselves to think innovatively."Pierre Freiji, general manager, and Pierre Skaff, senior director of marketing and merchandising at Greiche & Scaff, accepted the award on behalf of the retailer. "We work on our goals until we achieve them," Skaff said. "One way we did this was to train our staff to look to the needs of the customers from different angles and this included thinking about which of our customers can benefit from wearing Transitions lenses. We are really proud of where we’ve started and where we are with our Transitions penetration today."In addition, Dr. Jennifer Lyerly of Triangle Visions Optometry in Raleigh, N.C., received the Transitions Brand Ambassador award for 2017, and Pacific EyeCare of Port Orchard, Wash., received the 2017 Eyecare Practice of the Year title. Opto-Réseau, a Canadian network of optical practices, received the Best in Marketing title for 2017, while the Best in Training award was presented to 20/20 Visions of Plymouth, Wis.