Essilor News

Essilor of America Appoints Dr. Millicent Knight to Lead Customer Development Group


Essilor of America announces that Millicent “Millie” Knight, OD, FAAO, FAARM, will be joining the company as Senior Vice President, Customer Development Group and member of the leadership team, reporting to Rick Gadd, incoming President, Essilor of America. In this role, Dr. Knight will be responsible for Essilor of America’s professional relations, communications and eye care professional and sales training efforts.

“Dr. Knight has a diverse and extensive background in the optical industry, including experience in a hospital-based ophthalmology/optometry practice, two optometric practices and a former member of Vision Source,” Gadd says. “Her rich industry knowledge and deep connections to eye care professionals ensures that our customers will continue to have a voice at the highest level of the company.”

Prior to Essilor, Dr. Knight was Vice President of Professional Affairs, North America at Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. While there, she served on the North American Leadership Team where she developed and deployed a competitively differentiated eye care professional strategy, establishing connections between the company’s strategy and eye care professionals and industry leaders by building industry affiliations, education platforms and advocacy.

Dr. Knight has consulted for eye care and health and wellness companies, conducted contact lens and solutions office clinical trials, and lectured on a wide variety of topics including contact lenses, leadership, cultural sensitivity, eye and systemic health, and business and entrepreneurship. She has published numerous articles, and has received wide-ranging industry and academic recognition including “Optometrist of the Year” by both the National and Illinois Optometric Associations, Vision Monday’s Most Influential Women in Optical, and a Women in Optometry Theia Award for Leadership.

Dr. Knight received her Doctor of Optometry degree and a Bachelor of Science, Visual Science degree from the Illinois College of Optometry. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Augustana College. She served on the board of trustees of both alma maters and has received leadership awards from both institutions.


Essilor Optometry Student Bowl Celebrates 27th Annual Competition
Northeastern State University College of Optometry took home top honors in front of more than 700 students and practitioners

The Essilor Optometry Student Bowl™ (OSB) is always a popular part of Optometry’s Meeting, and this year was no exception. Essilor of America, the nation’s leading manufacturer of optical lenses, once again pulled out all the stops to celebrate the 27th annual OSB held at Optometry’s Meeting in Denver, CO. More than 700 attendees gathered to watch the contestants — students from all schools and colleges of optometry, answer optometry-related questions while their fellow classmates energetically cheered them on wearing war paint, school colors and displaying brightly colored banners. This year, the OSB also welcomed the Chicago College of Optometry as a first-time participant.

“Essilor is committed to creating value for our students and investing in the future of our industry. We are honored to host the Optometry Student Bowl again this year, which continues to be a highlight of the conference,” says Dr. Ryan Parker, Director of Professional Relations at Essilor of America. “The passion and excitement created was contagious and we always appreciate seeing the creativity, innovation and team spirit that is fostered through this fun and competitive setting.”

In addition to bragging rights, the winning school, Northeastern State University College of Optometry, took home $1,000 and will house the coveted crystal trophy until next year’s meeting in St. Louis, MO. The winning question below, was answered by David Hurd, class of 2019.

“What toric soft contact lens axis would you order based upon the data below?” Spectacle Rx OS: -1.00 -1.75 x 080; Diagnostic CL OS: -1.00 -1.75 x 070; Rotation: 10° nasal (Answer 90°)  

Second-place winner, Steve McArty, from the Illinois College of Optometry, received $750 and third-place winner, Jimmy Nguyen from the New England College of Optometry received $500.

As in previous years, each OSB contestant was presented with a Volk® Pan Retinal® 2.2 blue ringed lens, generously donated by Volk Optical President Dr. Jyoti Gupta. In addition, the first place winner was presented with a suite of 6 Volk diagnostic lenses.

Additional Awards

  • The Spirit Award went to Southern California College of Optometry, who will create next year’s “rules video” that is played at the beginning of the event.
  • The social media-based Virtual Spirit Award was given to four schools: Kentucky College of Optometry, Northeastern State University at Oklahoma, Southern California College of Optometry and University of Houston College of Optometry.
  • AOSA T-shirt design competition winner was Southern California College of Optometry.

This year’s prestigious panel of judges included:

  • Lead Judge – Dr. Linda Casser, professor, Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University; author, educator, clinician, and 1997 American Optometric Association (AOA) Optometrist of the Year.
  • Dr. Diane Adamczyk, author, lecturer and professor at State University of New York College of Optometry and 2016 PCO Alumna of the Year.
  • Dr. Jeffery Walline, representing the American Academy of Optometry, is Associate Dean of Research at the Ohio State University and was a two time OSB student contestant in the 90’s.
  • Dr. Barbara Horn, 2006 AOA Young OD of the Year and VP of the American Optometric Association
  • Dr. Karla Zadnik, past president, AAO, Dean at the Ohio State University College of Optometry, 2014 National Optometry Hall of Fame Inductee and past president of ASCO.

For more information and to see some of the excitement from this year’s Essilor Optometry Student Bowl, visit


Essilor of America Brings Back Wildly Successful Promotion
The Ultimate Offer proves to be game-changing program for eyecare practices while providing patients with their best possible vision


Due to popular demand, Essilor of America is bringing back the Ultimate Offer, a consumer promotion supporting the “Essilor Ultimate Lens Package” that has increased practice revenue and profit, by driving new patients into the practice and increasing premium lens sales like no other promotion Essilor has offered. Available only to independent eyecare professionals, this offer is available from until December 31, 2018 and will be supported by national television and digital consumer advertising.

“At Essilor of America, we are focused on helping independent eyecare professionals thrive in today’s competitive landscape,” says Chief Marketing Officer Sherianne James. “Customers who have actively engaged in selling the Ultimate Lens Package and participating in the Ultimate Offer have seen unprecedented returns. Engaged customers realized an average sales price growth that is two times faster, and an increase in second pair sales of more than three times. This program has fundamentally transformed how their patients buy premium lenses.”

“By participating in the Ultimate Offer my daily practice revenue grew by more than 30% and we saw our multi-pair sales grow quadruple,” says Dr. Dave Ziegler OD, Ziegler-Leffingwell Eyecare. “I’ve tried many things to drive second pair sales and this has been the best by far. It has created happier patients and has made our staff confident knowing that they’re recommending the best lens to meet patients’ needs.

Continued success of Varilux® X Series™

Eyecare professionals will be able to continue to build momentum with the Ultimate Lens Package for progressive lens wearers featuring the best-in-class Varilux® X Series™ lenses with Xtend™ Technology, which allows the wearer to see multiple distances through a single point in the lens.

A stylish addition to the Ultimate Offer

And now the Ultimate Offer is more stylish than ever to attract single vision patients. Single vision patients will continue to get their ultimate in vision with Eyezen™+ lenses, and can now get the ultimate style by pairing them with the new Transitions® Signature® Style Colors and Transitions® XTRActive® Style Mirrors. These trend-setting offerings open the door to a new, fashion-conscious wearer who wants to create a unique, personalized look with their lenses and frames and protect their eyes from harmful light. The Transitions Signature Style Colors will be available as an option for the single vision Ultimate Lens Package with Transitions® Signature® VII. Transitions Style Mirrors and Style Colors will both be available as an option for the second free pair of lenses offered to consumers through the Ultimate Offer.

Offer Details

Consumers can double their lenses by purchasing the Essilor Ultimate Lens Package, benefitting from three innovative technologies in one lens, and getting a second pair of qualifying lenses that is of equal or lesser value at no cost with frame purchase through independent eyecare professionals who enroll in the offer. The offer applies to both the progressive and single vision Ultimate Lens Packages.

“We believe every patient deserves the best sight possible, and we know that once patients try a premium product and experience the difference, they don’t go back,” James says. “The Ultimate Offer is a way for independent eyecare professionals to upgrade their patients to Essilor’s best visual solution.”

Visit to learn more.