As a “newbie” in the optical industry, it has been a year of many “firsts,” including this, my first column as Editor of OLP. I attended my first Vision Expo (last spring in New York), where I actually saw for the first time the equipment and products I write about, as well as my first Lab Division Hall of Fame this past September at Vision Expo West. I traveled to Dallas in November for Satisloh’s SLUGFest (witnessing the first automated AR loader was impressive) and to Orlando last month to attend Transitions Academy, at which the company debuted it’s new marketing strategy (including the introduction of additional lens colors and flash mirrors). Through both lab tours and reporting for articles on customer service and environmentally conscious labs, I spoke to many lab owners and employees who taught me about surfacing and finishing, lab management systems and coating processes. I’ve heard funny words such as “swarf” and learned that a “puck” doesn’t only relate to hockey. Many of you, along with my colleagues John Sailer and Jim Grootegoed, have so patiently explained to me the process of lens manufacturing and equipment functionality, and for that I thank you.
In this issue, we share the stories of OLP’s Lab Leaders, four people who are shaking up the business through innovative uses of technology, by mentoring peers and employees, or by facilitating connections among those in the lab business.
My hope is that you read their stories and recognize the independent lab industry as one composed of many who are truly invested in this business and to ultimately giving end-customers the gift of vision.
My other hope is to meet many more of you at Vision Expo East this month and if not, that you keep in mind I’m only a phone call, e-mail or Facebook message away. I want to hear from you what’s news: whether it be a lab trend, a new way of using a machine or technology, a new product that has helped your business, or an invaluable employee or peer you respect. I’ve always believed that readers want to hear from peers and colleagues, and I want OLP to tell you these stories.
Cara Huzinec is Editor of OLP. CHuzinec@fvmg.com.