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Essilor, during its national sales meeting last month, presented awards to the lab members of its Independent Distributor Division (IDD). Very Important Partner (VIP) Awards were presented to Spectera and New York City wholesale lab Perfect Optical. Cherry Optical, Inc. of Green Bay, WI, won the VIP Award for national lab as well as the Varilux Award of Excellence and the overall Independent Lab of the Year Award. "We'd like to acknowledge our peers for their successes as well as give thanks to those who supported us," said Cherry Optical, Inc. "Congratulations, everyone! Without our partners and amazing eyecare professionals, we wouldn't have made it this far, thank you!"

The Xperio UV Award of Excellence went to Walman Optical of Minneapolis, MN, the Transitions Award of Excellence to Luzerne Optical Labs of Wilkes-Barre, PA, the X-Cel Outstanding Achievement Award to Korrect Optical of Louisville, KY, and the Crizal Award of Excellence to startup Green Optics in Auburn Hills, MI, for 240% growth. VSP Optics Group won Managed Care Lab of the Year. The Essilor Vision Foundation presented the Lab Excellence Award to Elite Optical of Rancho Dominguez, CA.

Also during the awards presentation, surprise guest Michael Daley, recently retired from Essilor, honored Bob Colucci upon his retirement from the company after nearly 30 years in various management and lab liaison positions, most recently as president of IDD since 2004. Colucci began his career with Essilor in 1989 as director of sales for Varilux Corp.

Luxexcel, the Belgian developer of technology to produce 3D-printed prescription lenses for ophthalmic and augmented reality applications, has opened its U.S. headquarters in Alpharetta, GA. Chief commercial officer Guido Groet has relocated to Alpharetta to lead the company's operations there and manage his global commercial responsibilities for Luxexcel. This follows Luxexcel's first installation of 3D lens printing technology at IFB Solutions in Winston-Salem, NC, in November 2017 and its second installation in Quest Vision Care Specialty Lab of Largo, FL, this year.

The Luxexcel technology combines hardware, consumables and design-software in one 3D printing solution called the Luxexcel VisionPlatform. Ophthalmic labs receive the complete platform, which includes a printer (VisionEngine), resins (VisionClear), support and software solutions (VisionMaster), in return for a click fee.

"We are building our U.S. team in all front-end areas, sales/marketing, business development and service alike," said Groet. "Luxexcel has a tradition of hiring employees with the attitude of making the impossible, possible. We have installed our first VisionPlatforms in the U.S., and follow-up ambitions are high. The U.S. market is a market that is open for innovation and opportunity, and this goes hand in hand with our mission to revolutionize the eyewear industry and offer smart eyewear to the world."

FEA Industries has named Kurt Gardner vice president of sales, effective Feb. 1. He recently served as director of business development for IOT America. "Kurt brings a wealth of knowledge of the industry, digital design and processing, and sales," said Bill Heffner, president and owner of FEA.

Gardner said, "I'm excited to get involved in a business that can be a driver for independent ECPs to get away from commodity brand products and showcase their individual practice needs by offering unique solutions, not the same ones offered at the big box store down the street."

Optical laboratories are now offering Younger Optics' NuPolar Infinite Gray polarized sunwear lens in polycarbonate. "The number one complaint I hear about polarized lenses is that they're too dark," said president and CEO David Rips. "The second most common is that they're too light! Younger Optics is now introducing a polarized sunwear lens that is very light gray when it needs to be and very dark gray when the wearer needs it most." The darkness of the lens is controlled with a new UV-responsive photochromic technology that offers the widest range of light absorption of any polarized photochromic lens, according to the company. The transmission range is from approximately 35% transmittance in low-UV surroundings to about 9% in very bright, reflective environments. Currently available in gray, single-vision polycarbonate, NuPolar Infinite Gray will soon be available in single-vision hard resin. Click here to see a video about NuPolar Infinite Gray. For more information, contact Younger Optics at 800.366.5367 or

Packed for custom designed crates made specifically for the U.S. military, Super Optical International's FastGrind in-office lens-surfacing system is used throughout the world to produce eyewear for foreign-based troops as well as for humanitarian purposes. The system and all its accessories are packed in custom designed crates for shipment as well as for simple portability, allowing them to move from location to location with ease. Super Optical also designed a water recirculation system to enable FastGrind to be used in remote locations when tap water may not be readily available. For more information, contact Super Optical International/FastGrind at 800.543.7376 or

Ocuco will hold its Innovations and Labzilla lab management system users group meeting May 4-5 at the Sheraton Sand Key in Clearwater, FL. In the recently remodeled hotel, the event will include a first look at new products, training workshops, one-on-one assistance and networking opportunities with other Innovations and Labzilla users. "The Innovations product family has had many changes over the last year, each release rich in new features and functionality," according to Ocuco. "We will provide you with product updates, share our roadmap and enable you to see what we have accomplished thus far with our new Innovations ULS software. We also take this opportunity to get feedback and ideas from you, our customers." For more information, contact Ocuco Inc. at 800.708.1610 or

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