People In The News – May 1, 2023

People In The News - The Optical Journal

Marshall B. Ketchum University (MBKU), an independent, private, non-profit, accredited educational institution in Fullerton, California will inaugurate Julie A. Schornack, OD, MEd as the next president to helm the university. Not only is Dr. Schornack the university’s second president since its expansion and name change in 2013, but she is also its first female president.

Optometry Giving Sight (OGS) announced the appointment of Nikki Earich to Development Director, North America. In her new role, Earich is responsible for developing and managing the organization’s fundraising initiatives, while building and strengthening partnerships with optometric practices, eye care professionals, and other key industry stakeholders.


After beginning her career in eye care working as an assistant at her father’s optometry practice, Earich partnered with her mother in 1995 to open the Eyeland of St. John’s, an optical shop in Highland Park, Ill. Soon after, Earich’s brother joined the family business and less than a year later, they opened a second location. In the following years, the company was acquired and came to be known as Spex, where Earich was responsible for all training operations as it expanded to 24 locations across Chicagoland. Since 2016, Earich has served as a staff development consultant for independent eye care professionals and other retail optical shops.


Prevent Blindness announced that Dean A. VanNasdale, Jr., OD, PhD, Associate Professor at The Ohio State University (OSU) College of Optometry, has been named the recipient of the 2023 Prevent Blindness Jenny Pomeroy Award for Excellence in Vision and Public Health!

The Jenny Pomeroy Award for Excellence in Vision and Public Health is presented annually to an individual, team, or organization that has made significant contributions to the advancement of public health related to vision and eye health at the community, state, national, and/or international level.

This year saw the baton of the presidency of the International Opticians Association (IOA) handed from Fiona Anderson to Donald Crichton BSc (Hons) FBDO. The association’s new president took the opportunity to address members at the SILMO Academy by IOA, which was held in Singapore from 12 to 14 April.

Donald Crichton says, “The IOA has strong relationships with well-established associations and is able to assist with the growth of new professional groups in places not traditionally serviced by a formal board representing dispensing opticians. I look forward to assisting in these areas. With so many opportunities to engage and work with our membership, it is an exciting time to work collaboratively and grow the association.”

ClearVision Optical has formed a new core leadership team comprised of six long-term executives. ClearVision’s leadership will come together as an empowered team to make informed decisions, steer the company, identify priorities, and maximize existing opportunities while creating new ones. As a cohesive unit, these leaders are embracing their enhanced responsibilities to ensure ClearVision embodies its mission to make each day better for someone else. The executive team and their ongoing or new responsibilities are as follows:  

  • Barbara Lax and Jennifer Trakhtenberg are assuming expanded leadership roles as co-chief operating officers, maintaining many of the responsibilities they’ve taken on in recent years. Additionally, Barbara will still oversee accounting and analysis, and manage the supply chain, while Jen will stay committed to building the ClearVision team through talent scouting, coaching, and investment in training. Customer Care, Key Accounts, and the Distribution Center will report to both. 
  • Jennifer Kearney and Theresa Sciarrone are being promoted to co-directors of sales operations and will continue overseeing sales communication, training, and support. ClearVision’s regional sales director team, which includes Pam Benson, Charlie Fegreus, Steve Epstein, Jill Eldridge, and Lesley Claveria (who is also leading ClearVision’s export and international business expansion), will report to them. 
  • Seth Levenberg, head of digital solutions and information technology, will push forward the development of leading-edge tools and reporting that helps ClearVision grow through automation, artificial intelligence, and app development. 
  • Steve Tripi will continue leading ClearVision’s marketing efforts as head of marketing and creative services. He directs storytelling, product stories, and brand development by creating and leveraging digital communications and tools, events, and content designed to further customer relationships. 

Johnson & Johnson Vision, a global leader in eye health and part of Johnson & Johnson MedTech**, today announced that it has named Lori Tierney, President, of Americas, Jacqueline Henderson President, EMEA, and Christoph Vonwiller, President of Asia Pacific.

In these new positions, Tierney, Henderson, and Vonwiller now lead the end-to-end Vision business in their respective regions, driving strategy, commercial excellence, and organizational alignment across both our Vision Care and Surgical Vision businesses. Tierney previously served as the President of Americas for the Vision Care business, Henderson was the Area Vice President, EMEA for Vision Care, and Vonwiller was Regional Vice President, APAC for Surgical Vision.

NW77th Eyewear - The Optical Journal