Debra Bulken, OWA president.
DALLAS—The Optical Women’s Association (OWA) has announced its new president and three additional board members. Deb Bulken, vice president of sales, Eastern Region, for Luxottica and previously vice president of the OWA, has assumed the president position, effective immediately. She succeeds VSP's Robyn Crimmins, who has held the role and will now serve as immediate past-president. In addition, Trudi Charest, co-founder of Marketing4ECPs, Courtney Myers, senior vice president of Red Havas, and Janna Neal, vice president of operations for Zyloware, will join the OWA board of directors. “The unique talent and perspective that Courtney, Janna and Trudi bring to the board further amplifies our commitment to representing and developing the leadership potential of ALL women in the optical industry,” said Bulken.

The OWA said it would like to give special thanks to departing board members Tiara Claxton, Southwest regional sales manager for Thelios, and Pamela Capaldi, myopia management specialist for CooperVision. "We would also like to thank our outgoing president, Robyn Crimmins, division vice president, commercial markets West for VSP, who has provided leadership and direction to our association for the past two years. Crimmins navigated the OWA through the uncharted waters of the pandemic, ensuring that OWA members had access to additional professional and personal resources designed to help them meet these new challenges.

"During her term, successful new programs were created to further OWA’s purpose of supporting and inspiring women in the optical industry—the OWA Advisory Groups, the OWA Talks podcasts, the Food for Thought program, and the OWA Reads book discussion group—and traditional in-person events were successfully converted to a virtual format. The Leadership Scholarship program was expanded and an OWA Finance Committee was formed. Crimmins will remain on the OWA for two years and co-chair the OWA nominating committee," Claxton said.

(L to R) Janna Neal, Courtney Myers and Trudi Charest will join the OWA board.
Bulken noted, “Robyn’s impact on the OWA and its mission has been extraordinary. Leading through the unusual and challenging past two years she has shown great agility and conviction. Her commitment to growing the OWA and delivering on the promise to our valued sponsors and members has been inspiring. As a board, we have all grown and invested deeply in seeing all women in the optical industry achieve their leadership potential. It is a journey I am proud to be a part of and I look forward to building on Robyn’s great legacy.”