The Vision Council Announces Directors’s Choice Awards

The Optical Journal - Optical News With Independent Views

Alexandria, VA (July, 2017) – The Lab Division of The Vision Council announced today the industry veterans who will be recognized during the Directors’ Choice Award and 18th Annual Lab Division Hall of Fame celebration on Wednesday, September 13 in conjunction with the Lab Division Meeting and International Vision Expo West.

The Division has named Marty Bassett, President & CEO of Walman Optical Company, as the 2017 recipient of the Directors’ Choice Award.

Established in 1987 under the Optical Laboratories Association, now the Lab Division of The Vision Council, this award honors individuals and companies that have made outstanding contributions to the ophthalmic industry. Now in its 31st year, the award is still recognized as one of the most prestigious in the industry.

“Marty’s achievements go well beyond his role as CEO of Walman,” said Drake McLean, Lab Division Chair. “His passion for giving back to the industry led him to be the first Chairman of The Vision Council to come from the Lab Division. In addition to his professional and industry efforts, Marty gives back through service on the Board of Children’s Healthcare, and was inducted into the Lab Division Hall of Fame in 2012. He represents all of the qualities we hope to see in recipients of the Directors’ Choice Award, and we are honored to have him as the 2017 recipient.”

Marty Bassett will be recognized alongside this year’s Lab Division Hall of Fame inductees at the Hall of Fame banquet, held during The Vision Council’s Lab Division meeting at International Vision Expo West.

“The rich history of the optical industry is celebrated through the annual induction of individuals into the Lab Division Hall of Fame,” said Ashley Mills, CEO of The Vision Council. “Individuals selected for membership to the Hall of Fame are those who have influenced or contributed to the advancement of the optical laboratory industry, and on behalf of The Vision Council, it is my sincere pleasure to honor the 2017 inductees who have had a direct hand in helping to move our industry forward.”

2017 Lab Division Hall of Fame Inductees

  • John Art, Interstate Optical
  • Lorinda Fraboni, Walman Optical
  • James Goerges, Precision Tool Technologies, Inc.
  • William H. Heffner, III, FEA Industries, Inc.
  • Lawrence Lahr, Eye-Kraft Optical, Inc.
  • Mark Mattison-Shupnick, Sola, Jobson, MMS Consulting
  • Drake McLean, Dietz-McLean Optical
  • Joe Vitale, Essilor of America, Inc.

Nominations for candidates for the Hall of Fame are submitted by members of The Vision Council. The selection of the individuals for the Lab Division Hall of Fame is made by an anonymous committee of industry veterans. Consideration is given for contributions to the optical laboratory industry, Lab Division of The Vision Council, the candidate’s individual accomplishments, personal character, reputation, and length of time active in the industry.

All members of the vision community are invited to attend the Hall of Fame events, recognizing those who have contributed to the establishment of the wholesale optical industry. Tickets for the Lab Division Hall of Fame and Directors Choice Dinner can be purchased here. To learn more about or register for the Lab Division Meeting visit

Editor’s Note: Honoree photos are available upon request.


Championing better vision for better lives, The Vision Council positions its members for success by promoting growth in the vision care industry through education, advocacy, research, consumer outreach, strategic relationship building and industry forums. By sharing the latest in eyewear trends, advances in technology and advice from eyewear experts, The Vision Council serves as a resource to the public looking to learn more about options in eyeglasses and sunglasses. For more information, visit

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