By Denis Langlois

More than 915 industry professionals from 31 countries in North and South America participated in the 23nd annual Transitions Academy.

The invitation-only event, themed “Light Years Ahead,” took place Feb. 4 to 5 at the J.W. Marriott Grande Lakes in Orlando, Florida.

One of the highlights of this year’s event was the announcement by Chrystel Barranger, president of Essilor Photochromics and Transitions Optical, on how the brand will be innovating to bring light management solutions to even more wearers in 2019.

It will achieve that goal by launching in the first half of this year the new ACUVUE OASYS with Transitions contact lenses, which have been named by TIME magazine as one of the best inventions of 2018. That launch will be followed in the fall by the release in Canada of Transitions Signature Gen 8 lenses.

This year’s Academy also included various workshops, general sessions and presentations, along with a keynote presentation, called The Five Second Rule, by Mel Robbins on how ECPs can increase productivity, collaboration and engagement.

The event wrapped up with the 2018 Transitions Innovation Awards and Celebration at Mango’s Tropical Cafe.

Canadian optician Sheena Taff of Roberts & Brown Opticians in Vancouver, B.C., won the best in marketing award, while Costco Optical received the Canadian Retailer of the Year honour.

Other winners were: Weaver Eye Associates of York, Pa., Eyecare Practice of the Year; Dr. Amanda Rights of Blue Ridge Vision in Boone, N.C., 2018 Transitions Brand Ambassador; National Vision Inc., U.S. Retailer of the Year; and Professional Eye Care Associates of America, Best in Training.