By Denis Langlois


A Canadian eye care professional is in the running for a top award at the upcoming Transitions Innovation Awards.

Optician Rachel Hill, owner of Personal Optical and Personal Eyez in St. Catharines, Ont., is a finalist for the 2020 Transitions Brand Ambassador honour.

Two California-based ECPs are also finalists for the award, which “celebrates an individual who best showcases their dedication to be an influential advocate of the Transitions brand.”

Along with promoting Transitions lenses at her two eyewear shops, Hill is also part of the company’s Canadian Pro-Forum, which provides insights to the company on a variety of industry topics, issues and trends as well as feedback on product recommendations, advertising, patient communication, demonstration tools and trade programs to meet patient needs.

The Transitions Innovation Awards are to be handed out at Transitions Academy, set for Jan. 16-19 in Orlando, Fla.

Recently, Optical Prism spoke with Hill about her nomination, passion for Transitions lenses and how her business endured during the pandemic.


  1. What are your thoughts on being named a finalist for the Transitions brand ambassador award?
  2. I am naturally very excited and proud to be considered for this award. Not to mention being the only Canadian in this category. I have two amazing nominees against me and it is an honour to share this opportunity alongside them. 


  1. What fuels your passion for advocating for Transitions lenses?
  2. I believe in their product, I have for years. I am passionate about healthy vision, which includes protecting your eyes in between regular eye exams. That means making certain that they are protected from UV and blue light at all times.  Transitions lenses offer this protection and it is something I don’t need to worry about on my busy day.


  1. What are some of the ways that you promote Transitions within your store and to customers?
  2. I wear them everyday. That is the best example. By wearing my Transitions lenses in (and out of) the office, it shows my patients that I truly believe in the product. When we discuss lens options and I mention Transitions, most people comment about the indoor tint. Some are so skeptical that I need to place my lenses into the Transitions lens changer to prove it. 


  1. What do you enjoy about Transitions Academy?
  2. Academy is such a privilege to attend. The ability to connect with other colleagues from the US and Canada is a great experience. We truly learn from each other as well as the education sessions that Transitions Academy provides. I am always interested in the new product launches and marketing, which allows me to share information with my patients. 


  1. This has been a tough year-and-a-half for Canadian ECPs. How have you been able to weather the COVID-19 pandemic?
  2. I was very scared when Covid first hit and how this would affect myself and my business. I am a very passionate optician and it personally hit me hard to be told not to work. Thankfully, we were able to see patients for emergencies only which did help my mental health. But I turned to online learning and social media marketing to update my patients on our office updates.

When we returned to work, we were swamped with patient care. Many people were on budgets and offering Transitions lenses to give them both clear and sun lenses in one package was a great answer for their eye care needs.