2018 Lab Division Hall of Fame


The 2018 Lab Division meeting was held in conjunction with Vision Expo West in Las Vegas in September.

With components thoughtfully designed to help lab professionals grow and succeed through education, exclusive receptions and events, including The Vision Council Lab Division Hall of Fame, the annual Lab Division Meeting is the complete lab event. The education program featured thought-leaders, specialized experts and panelists tackling trending industry topics of importance to labs, and included hours of dedicated networking time.

And the 19th annual Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, held at Treasure Island on September 26th, marked the highlight of the lab industry calendar.

This year, the Lab Division recognized Dave Cole, former President of Transitions Optical, as the 2018 recipient of its Directors’ Choice Award, honoring his more than 25 years of experience in the optical industry, as both a champion for a game-changing technology and as a terrific partner to optical labs.

Established in 1987 under the Optical Laboratories Association, now the Lab Division of The Vision Council, the Directors’ Choice Award honors individuals and companies that have made outstanding contributions to the ophthalmic industry. Now in its 32nd year, the award is still recognized as one of the most prestigious in the industry.

Cole was recognized alongside this year’s Lab Division Hall of Fame inductees:

Ronald F. Cooke, OD, Diversified Ophthalmics, Inc.:
Dr. Cooke created a large and successful network of laboratories, started one of the first true buying groups and soft lens distribution centers, and ultimately combined the first “one-stop shop” organization in the wholesale optical market.
Ralph G. Kent Jr., Luzerne Optical Laboratories: Kent was recognized for his long history of accomplishments in the industry, from his time at Bausch & Lomb and Multi-Optics (later Varilux), to SOLA Optical, Younger Optics, and Luzerne Optical. 
Daniel C. Lundberg, Digital Vision, Inc.: Lundberg has spent the past 29 years working with the Digital Vision, Inc. (DVI)—selling, installing, supporting, and designing software for optical laboratories. 
Mike Nathe, Essilor of America: With 35 years of industry experience, Nathe was recognized for his work with Midwest Vision Centers, Custom Eyes, Optical Resources and ultimately Essilor with Signet Armorlite. 
Richard C. Palmer, Practical Engineering, Inc./Walman Optical: Palmer was recognized for his 45-year career in the industry—most notably with Walman Optical.
Mike Sutherlin, Sutherlin Optical: Sutherlin was Vice President of Sutherlin Optical, helping lead them to become one of the largest independent labs in the country, and later an Essilor Partner Lab.
Michael Walach, Quest Optical Specialty Lab: Walach was recognized for his 45-year career in the industry—most notably his multiple patents for progressive lens technology, and for specialty lenses.
Dana Weeks, Optical Services International: Weeks is a 28-year veteran of the optical industry, serving as President of Optical Services International for 23 years.