The Lab Division of The Vision Council announced today the industry veterans who will be recognized during the Directors’ Choice Award and 17th Annual Lab Division Hall of Fame celebration on Wednesday, September 14 in conjunction with the Lab Division Meeting and International Vision Expo West.

The Division has named James C. “Jim” Tooke, Regional Account Manager for Zyloware Eyewear, as the 2016 recipient of the Directors’ Choice Award. Established in 1987 under the Optical Laboratories Association, now the Lab Division of The Vision Council, this award honors individuals and companies that have made outstanding contributions to the ophthalmic industry. Now in its 30th year, the award is still recognized as one of the most prestigious in the industry.

“Jim has represented optical manufacturers for almost 45 years.  Selling every product imaginable from lenses, frames and cases to optical equipment and consumables, Jim partnered with his customers to build better business for not only the companies he represented but also the customers he served,” said Drake McLean, Lab Division Chair. “Always one to support lab associations and informal gatherings of optical folks, not only is Jim a friend to many but a mentor as well.  His dedication to the optical business and the individuals within make him deserving of the Director’s Choice Award.”

Tooke will be recognized alongside this year’s Lab Division Hall of Fame inductees.

“The Lab Division Hall of Fame continues to celebrate the rich heritage of the optical lab industry and the individuals who have contributed to its success,” said Mike Daley, CEO of The Vision Council. “It is my pleasure to announce the names of the individuals who have had a direct hand in helping to move our industry forward.”

2016 Lab Division Hall of Fame Inductees

  • Craig Giles, Walman Optical
  • Michael Vitale, The Vision Council
  • Christie Walker, Lab Talk Magazine
  • Dick Whitney, Carl Zeiss Vision
  • John Young, Colts Laboratories

Nominations for candidates for the Hall of Fame are submitted by members of The Vision Council. The selection of the individuals for the Lab Division Hall of Fame is made by an anonymous committee of industry veterans.  Consideration is given for contributions to the optical laboratory industry, Lab Division of The Vision Council, the candidate’s individual accomplishments, personal character, reputation, and length of time active in the industry.

All members of the vision community are invited to attend the Hall of Fame events, recognizing those who have contributed to the establishment of the wholesale optical industry. To learn more about the Lab Division Meeting and the Hall of Fame, or to purchase tickets, visit