By Suzanne Sendel
It is with great honour that I have been invited to do a feature on some of the most relevant and visionary women in our Canadian optical industry.
Through my previous seven years serving as an eyewear distributor, I have met many women who have fascinated me by their drive, creative edge and commitment to excellence.
So many have led by example, their pursuit of innovation and in how they apply their personalized craft, while maintaining their heart-centered mission.
It is an honour to be active in an industry that is constantly evolving and most colourful. I am inspired to support my sisters and watch them continue to flourish and achieve their goals, with style, class and determination.
Along my travels, I have met many women who have shared their stories. Inspired by their own personal experiences, never forgetting their roots and the significance of supporting others, I am in awe of many.
To me, this is what makes our lives richer, our professions more appealing and our existence most fulfilling.
To new beginnings, a bright new spin on what we can achieve together, in our daily lives and unified sisterhood.
A bit about me. I switched gears at the age of 52, becoming a Canadian optical distributor after falling in love with a pair of glasses. In leaving behind a national sales management position in the field of architecture, I found my new calling and have never looked back.
Always driven by style, fashion and inclusion, my goal is to support others in achieving their success.
To date, our agency distributes six brands of relevant, noteworthy collections, from designers across the globe.
A year ago, we launched our theoriginalftg.com and have solved an old problem, while gaining great visibility.
My purpose in designing our optical pouch was to solve a problem and to support our eyecare professionals in multiple frame sales.
Our custom-branding feature has inspired many to join us as we hope to travel the world.
I also realized that our optical accessory category was limited and needed inspiration.
As a young adult, I dreamed about becoming an investigative reporter and writer. I never did take that route and am grateful for my journey, in leading me here today.
Thanks to the Optical Prism team for this exciting opportunity.
Please welcome our three mentions of exceptional leadership.
Director of business development, Transitions
Driven by passion and a purposeful life, Isabelle Tremblay was recruited by Transitions Optical to join their marketing team 20 years ago. Prior to joining Transitions, Isabelle held a sales and marketing position for both Sunquest Vacations and Air Canada.
In joining the optical industry, Isabelle was influenced and motivated by a general manager who she now refers to as her “hero.” He has inspired her to always seek out the best in their employees and focus on their strengths.
Isabelle has always put others first and builds her teams with strong purpose and meaning. She speaks of her products as “mind-blowing” technology and has her heart in the right place. Earlier on in her career, Isabelle’s mother suffered from macular degeneration disease for over 10 years.
Isabelle has held an eight-year tenure on the executive board of directors of the Eye Disease Foundation and is constantly seeking ways to best educate and dedicate herself in personal growth and vision. Always thinking of ways to elevate others, Isabelle focuses on developing the strength of her teams and championing them.
Isabelle inspires many by her role as an innovative leader and continues to flourish as she builds the Transitions brand by passion and virtue.
A mother of two daughters, a great circle of friends, Isabelle believes that women make strong leaders as they have a high EQ, are great listeners and work well within life’s balance.
Director of operations, The Optical Group
Ruth joined the Optical Group 13 years ago and with her, she brought her expertise in accounting, customer service and business management.
Ruth has worked in various industries in developing her craft. To date, The Optical Group caters to 600 eye care professionals across Canada. As Ruth travels our country, she makes everyone feel as though they are her number one priority. Ruth’s members appreciate her determination, dedication and loyalty.
Ruth has masterfully created a business scholarship to help educate and finance students in opticianry in tandem with both Seneca and Douglas colleges.
The Optical Group has also created a business and enrichment program, which inspires many young professionals to join the optical industry.
Ruth has recently been nominated for “Alumni of Distinction” from her former college and continues to inspire many by her leadership.
During the pandemic, many of Ruth’s members had financial challenges and through her guidance, Ruth managed to help support all through her relationships with her suppliers and applying creative accounting. With so many unforeseen variables, The Optical Group members continue to thrive.
Although shy at times, Ruth has captured the attention and admiration of many for her stellar work ethic, compassion and for always being available to her industry.
You can often find Ruth on the soccer fields, cheering on her grandkids.
ANNE MARIE QUENNEVILLE
Vice-president of sales and brand management, I-Med
Anne Marie can only be described as a powerhouse, whose engaging and energetic personality drives her teams towards eminent success. A seasoned veteran in the field of sales with over 20 years of experience, Anne Marie has dedicated close to nine of those years to the I-Med team.
As a born leader, Anne Marie has created a great online presence with her “fun facts” and in celebrating her customers and sales force.
Always engaging in her sharing information and getting the word out, I-Med has exceeded its sales targets across the country.
Being relatable, inspirational and confident, Anne Marie has led the way with her spirit and perseverance. No matter where she is, she takes time to share her experiences with her followers on social media.
During the onset of the pandemic, when others had cut back on promotional gifting to their customers, Anne Marie encouraged I-Med to share their appreciation with product gifting packages and custom branded accessories.