Sue Downes.

HIGH POINT, N.C.—High Point University (HPU) is adding another global leader to its Access to Innovators Program and has welcomed MyEyeDr. CEO and co-founder Sue Downes as HPU’s Health Care Expert in Residence. Downes is also the vice chairwoman of HPU’s Strickland Women’s Leadership Council. “HPU is grateful to have Sue mentoring our students through different programs on campus as a female leader and now as our Health Care Expert in Residence,” said HPU president Dr. Nido Qubein.

“Her commitment to the growth of our students, her business expertise as a CEO and her support of The Premier Life Skills University will be beneficial for all our students.” Dr. Qubein said.

HPU’s Access to Innovators Program connects students with global leaders for networking, mentorship and experiential learning opportunities. Downes joins Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, HPU’s Innovator in Residence; Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph, HPU’s Entrepreneur in Residence; Dallas Mavericks CEO Cynt Marshall, HPU’s Sports Executive in Residence; Domino’s CEO Russell Weiner, HPU’s Corporate Executive in Residence; Former U.S. Ambassador and FCC chairman William “Bill” Kennard, HPU’s Global Leader in Residence; ABC News’ “Nightline” anchor Byron Pitts, HPU’s Journalist in Residence; American actor, producer and television presenter Dean Cain, HPU’s Actor in Residence; and many others.

 Downes at the HPU’s Strickland Women’s Leadership Summit. 
“Working with HPU’s students is a joy and honor as the Health Care Expert in Residence,” said Downes. “I know firsthand how remarkable, hardworking and caring High Point University students are given my experience on the Strickland Women's Leadership Council and from mentoring students as part of the L.I.F.T. Fellowship Program.”

Downes had an extensive career in the eyecare industry prior to starting the company, and has worked in almost every area of the eyecare field for more than 30 years. From one office in 2001, she has led the MyEyeDr. brand to add over 800 locations across 27 states and the District of Columbia.

In addition to her work leading the MyEyeDr. team, she is the recipient of several prestigious honors, including the Montgomery County Chamber’s “Spirit of Free Enterprise” award, the 2011 Most Influential Woman award from Vision Monday, the 2012 Smart CEO award for Entrepreneurial Spirit, the 2015 ACG Corporate Growth Award, and she was named the Optical Women’s Association 2016 winner of the Pleiades Award. In 2018, Downes was named the Person of Vision by Prevent Blindness.

Downes has been an active volunteer working with Prevent Blindness, and she provides volunteer support to various organizations, including the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind, Foundation Fighting Blindness and the Alzheimer’s Association.

High Point University, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with 5,850 undergraduate and graduate students. It is ranked No. 1 by U.S. News and World Report for Best Regional Colleges in the South and No. 1 for Most Innovative Regional Colleges in the South. For 12 years in a row, HPU has been named a College of Distinction with special recognition for career development, business and education programs. The university has 64 undergraduate majors, 66 undergraduate minors and 17 graduate degree programs.