Spotlight on... VCA Lab Division Holds Hall of Fame Induction Dinner

By Brian P. Dunleavy

LAS VEGAS—The Vision Council’s Lab Division honored its own here September 13th during its 18th annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony and banquet at the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino.

This year, Marty Bassett, President and CEO of Walman Optical received the Directors’ Choice Award, while John Art, President, Interstate Optical; Lorinda Fraboni, IS Development and Operations Manager, Walman Optical; Jim Goerges, President/Owner, Precision Tool Technologies; William H. Heffner, III, President/CEO/Founder, FEA Industries; Lawrence L. Lahr, Vice President Emeritus, Eye-Kraft Optical; Mark Mattison-Shupnick, Director-Education, Jobson Medical Information (and LABTALK’s esteemed colleague); Drake McLean, President, Dietz-McLean Optical; and Joe Vitale, Technical Support Manager, Essilor, were each inducted into the division Hall of Fame.

In presenting the Directors’ Choice, McLean noted that the Bassett’s “achievements go beyond his role as [leader] at Walman. Indeed, Bassett has also served in numerous leadership positions with in the Vision Council, and was instrumental in the growth and expansion of its “Think About Your Eyes” campaign. In addition, Bassett has been involved in numerous charitable activities in his local community, including work as a volunteer ski instructor with the Courage/Kinney Institute, which assists students with disabilities.

Meanwhile, during the Hall of Fame ceremony Lawrence L. Lahr’s son Jeff made the acceptance speech on behalf of his father, who was unable to travel to Las Vegas due to health issues. He said that his father was “thrilled” to be an inductee, and that the honor had “brightened his spirits.” He added that, when his health permits, his father still comes into the lab every morning, and that in February he will be celebrating his 60th anniversary with the company.

John Art was introduced by his brother, and business associate, Rob, while Yvette Carranza, of Digital Vision, Inc. (DVI) inducted her long-time friend and fellow Optical Women’s Association (OWA) member and leader Fraboni. Fraboni plans to retire in 2018, but her legacy in the optical industry includes her work to create more leadership opportunities for women within the field. In fact, Carranza credited Fraboni with helping dozens of women into leadership positions through her work with the OWA.

Jared Goerges inducted his father Jim into the Hall of Fame. Jim noted that his underlying philosophy with Precision Tool Technologies was to “try to make our customers’ lives better with [everything] we do.” Rick Norwood, of Norwood Vision, introduced Hefner, who told the audience that “there is nothing better than being [an] independent” lab.

Mattison-Shupnick, who was inducted by Leslie Gardner, President, Advanced Digital Eyewear and his former colleague at Sola Optical, credited the optical industry with “changing his life,” and urged the audience to celebrate the industry. “This industry allows us to grow with others and take our own path,” he noted.

Zach McLean introduced his father Drake, who lauded the optical industry for its culture of “inclusion” and for a sense of “camaraderie that goes over and above competition. Michael Vitale inducted his brother Joe into the Hall of Fame to close out the evening. Both brothers have, of course, been involved in the industry, in various roles, for decades.

Among the many Lab Division initiatives discussed earlier in the day, during the Division Meeting at the Sands Exposition Center across the Strip from Treasure Island, the marketing and communications consulting services member benefit was highlighted. Tailored specifically to optical labs with Dan Bailey, of, Lab Division members can participate at a discounted rate and learn about marketing strategy, website assistance, logo creation and social media planning. To learn more, visit: ■


Labtalk November/December 2018