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Essilor News From 110th Annual Aoa Congress And 37th Annual Aosa Conference: Optometrys Meeting

By Essilor News


DALLAS – (August 3, 2007) – From the beginning Essilor had exciting happenings at this year’s 110th Annual American Optometric Association (AOA) Congress and 37th Annual American Optometric Student Association (AOSA) in Boston, Mass. Pierre Le Fahler was honored with the prestigious Apollo Award from the AOA at the Opening Session. At the Varilux Optometry Super Bowl, Hanish Patel of the State University of New York took home the prized crystal Super Bowl trophy and $1,000 in prize money.


To recognize Essilor's long history of supporting independent optometry, Pierre Le Fahler was awarded the Apollo Award at the Opening Session. The Apollo Award honors persons or organizations for distinguished service to the visual welfare of the public. Previous Apollo Award recipients include the Surgeon General of the US and President Jimmy Carter. As Mr. LeFahler was unable to travel, his daughters accepted the award on his behalf.

“The decision by Essilor to heavily market Varilux through the independent O.D. channel was a factor in the successful launch of progressive addition lenses (PALs) in the United States,” said Mike Daley, president, Lens Group, Essilor of America, Inc. “Mr. LeFahler’s commitment contributed significantly to the culture, image, and product loyalty that Varilux and Essilor still benefit from today.”


Additionally, this year’s highly anticipated Varilux Optometry Super Bowl drew over 1,000 students, practitioners and staff. Hanish Patel of the State University of New York took home the trophy for his school by answering this winning question correctly: Question: Your single vision lens power is +3.00 +2.25 X30. If the lens has a base curve of +6.00 D, what are the remaining 2 curves? Answer: -0.75 D and -3.00 D

Students from all nineteen optometry schools in North America, Canada and Puerto Rico, traveled to compete in this annual event which showcases students’ knowledge and builds camaraderie and friendly competition between the schools. The crystal Super Bowl trophy will go to Hanish Patel’s school where it will be held until next year's event. Second place and $750 went to Aarlan Aceto, of the New England College of Optometry. Third place resulted in a three-way tie between Tim Cundiff of Indiana University, Tawny Kaeochinda of Southern California College of Optometry and Nick Doyle of the Illinois College of Optometry. All three third place winners were awarded $500.

“It’s an honor to be among the ranks of the most talented optometry students in the country and compete in this event,” said Hanish Patel, this year’s Varilux Optometry Super Bowl champion. “This competition has proven to be one of the highlights of my education.”

“The Varilux Optometry Super Bowl gives optometry students the chance to increase their understanding of the field as well as network with their peers,” said Rod Tahran, O.D., F.A.A.O., vice president of professional relations and clinical affairs for Essilor of America. “These students are the future of optometry.”

This year’s panel of judges included:

  • Linda Casser, O.D., director of clinical examinations for the National Board of Examiners and the 1997 AOA “Optometrist of the Year.”
  • Pete Kehoe, O.D., Vice-President of the Board of Trustees of the American Optometric Association, where he was heavily involved in the development of InfantSEE®. A 1984 graduate of ICO, currently practices in a multi-location group based in Galesburg, IL.
  • Rick Weisbarth , O.D., VP Professional Development and Partnerships for Ciba Vision and current President of the American Academy of Optometry
  • Jim Thimons, O.D., medical director of Ophthalmic Consultants in Connecticut and clinical professor at Pennsylvanian College of Optometry and New England College of Optometry
  • Irv Borish, O.D., author, inventor, scientist, often called the "Father of Modern Optometry"

The Varilux Optometry Super Bowl is coordinated by Danne Ventura, director, professional relations, Essilor of America, and for the sixth consecutive year, the event was hosted by David Seibel, O.D., a private practitioner, with a practice in St. Louis, and chair, Cornea and Contact Lens Section of AOA.


Essilor is the leading manufacturer of optical lenses in the United States and is the market leader in progressive, high-index and anti-reflective coated lenses. A pioneer in the development and production of ophthalmic lenses, Essilor employs more than 8,500 people throughout North America. Essilor manufactures optical lenses under the Varilux®, Crizal®, Thin&Lite®, DEFINITY™ and other Essilor brand names. Essilor Laboratories of America (ELOA) is the largest, and most trusted, optical lab network in the U.S. and offers a wide choice of services and lens brands, including Essilor premium lenses, to eye care professionals across the nation. Essilor of America, Inc. (Essilor) is a subsidiary of Paris-based Essilor International, S.A., a publicly held company traded on the Euronext Paris stock exchange (Reuters: ESSI.PA).

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Varilux and Crizal are registered trademarks and DEFINITY is a trademark of Essilor International, S.A. Thin&Lite is a registered trademark of Essilor of America, Inc.