Innovators

By



Leigh Berberian

Director of Marketing
Todd Rogers Eyewear
Andover, Massachusetts


CHOSEN BECAUSE… “The eyewear industry often forgets that we as humans have not two, but three eyes. Leigh has been an innovator in using that ‘3rd eye’ human connection in marketing the Todd Rogers brand through storytelling.”


When her sons Jackson (age 9) and Wade (age 5) ask their mom about work, Leigh Berberian tells them, “mom is a storyteller.” As director of marketing for Todd Rogers, Berberian creates the story, look, feel and “general good vibes” of all things Todd Rogers, from its physical space to its company presentation. Alongside Todd Rogers—her husband—Berberian has helped grow the namesake brand from the ground up.

She explains, “I believe I have the talent of questioning ‘why ...?’ Why would I or anyone else care to listen to a story being told? Why would I remember it? That’s the real challenge of marketing—to create something people want to hear, or look at, or experience in the first place, and then finding that part of the story that travels with them.”

To do that, Berberian makes a point of listening to customers in the store and watching how they interact. Plus, by injecting a dose of personal authenticity, humor, optimism, gratitude and style into her work, Berberian has helped build a business that she loves deeply. She said, “I’m in awe of the brand we continue to build together and that Todd Rogers has a heartbeat so much louder than its size would suggest.”

SHE SAYS… “Tune out the noise. Don’t compare yourself. The only measuring stick to what others are doing professionally is in your head. There is plenty of room out there for success stories, so go be one of them in your own authentic way. Be the president of your own fan club. If you aren’t—why ask someone else to be?”


Colleen Galanti

Creator of Opticians on Facebook
Optical Manager and Optician
Pascaralla Eye Care & Contact Lenses
Yardley and Newtown, Pennsylvania


CHOSEN BECAUSE… “[Colleen]started Opticians on Facebook with just a few dozen members and the group has grown to 23,500+ members over the last several years due to her leadership and guidance.”


Opticians on Facebook was born because Colleen Galanti couldn’t find what she needed—an active Facebook group for opticians to share. “Covering every aspect of the job… the good, the bad and the ugly without the opinions of ODs,” she said. Now, OOF has nearly 25,000 members, and is far and away the largest and most popular Facebook group for opticians—all under Galanti’s leadership.

“I wish I had something like this when I started out in 1986. People enjoy having a place to go to. There have been many friendships made that will last a lifetime, including some romantic relationships that have started from meeting in the group. I am so happy to have made a difference in so many lives.”

To run a popular Facebook group, Galanti has to do it all. She keeps up with all the posts, accepts new members, diffuses arguments when they happen, encourages new members to get involved, and keeps the rules in place. It’s a full-time second job, she said.

In addition, she works her day job at Pascarella Eye Care, where she’s the optician and optical manager—that involves frame buying, training and lab work. Balancing it all is tough—but Galanti considers patience key. She said, “I work hard to exceed my goals. When it comes to Opticians on Facebook, I excel at engaging conversation. I know how to keep people interested. I post what people want to talk about. I diffuse arguments diplomatically.”

SHE SAYS… “Find a mentor, listen and let her guide you. A woman should never allow a door to close in her face. Be confident, feel confident and that will make you soar.”


Jessica Klein

Senior Director, Marketing
EyeCare Partners, LLC
St. Louis, Missouri


CHOSEN BECAUSE… “Jessica has instituted innovative digital and print marketing projects and processes that resulted in the significant growth of new patients. Her #1 priority is the patient, and it shows in everyone she comes into contact with and everything she creates.”


Jessica Klein heads up the marketing department in a very fast paced, PE backed, optometry/ophthalmology group. Klein has been with EyeCare Partners for 10 years. She began with the company as an optician at a newly opened office in downtown St. Louis, and believes, “that experience of working in an office still influences how I view promotional planning, creative development, patient journey optimizations and company communications. When I began at the corporate office I had no experience specific to marketing.”

Today, her specific responsibilities include media buying, CRM, branding, reputation management, digital media strategy and buying, internal and external company communications and direct mail programs.

Klein built the marketing department from a team of one into a consistently praised group of professionals that support the marketing and brand strategy of 500+ offices and 20+ brands in 31 markets. She also led a multi-departmental collaboration to develop and communicate, to both employees and patients, an ECP’s new pre-appoint program for optometry practices, resulting in an 8 percent year over year same store increase in returning patients in 2019.

Through her efforts, EyeCare Partners has successfully integrated more than 300 independent practices into the ECP support system, using their data-driven strategy to increase retention and attract new patients.

SHE SAYS… “I believe effectively leading a team requires a high level of empathy and consistent, open communication. I encourage everyone on my team to come to me so we can identify solutions together. There is always a way forward.”


Melanie J. Poon

Manager of Strategic Projects
Vision Essentials By Kaiser Permanente
Los Angeles, California


CHOSEN BECAUSE… “She is one of the key change agents in Kaiser Permanente’s Vision Essentials department.”


Poon began her optical career 10 years ago when she went to work for Kaiser Permanente, following 15 years in pharmaceutical sales with Abbott Laboratories. But long before that she had come to understand and appreciate the essential role optometrists play in eye health and the importance of regular eye exams, having worn eyeglasses since age 12, and later, contact lenses.

“When I entered the industry, I knew very little about vision’s dual role in preventative health and retail sales,” she recalled. “I was so fortunate to be able to work for Dr. Susy Yu at Vision Essentials, who created this ideal, collaborative platform that allowed me to learn and explore the world of vision yet infuse my experience and perspective into my work projects. This gave me the opportunity to create tools that our members can use to access vision care or learn more about their vision.”

Poon’s current responsibilities include project management for key strategic projects for Vision Essentials, Southern California region and collaborating with Kaiser Permanente sales and account managers to sell the vision hardware rider to employer groups. She has collaborated on a vision module of the Kaiser Permanente online Personal Action Plan which includes patient recall, eyewear order status, and vision education that is open to all Southern California members.

SHE SAYS… “I hope our work encourages people to have an eye exam every two years and acknowledge that the small 20- to 30-minute commitment required can help detect problems early that may save their vision.”