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March 26, 2013

Optometric Center of New York Has its Most Successful ‘Eyes on New York’ Gala

“It just keeps getting better every year.”

That is how Dr. David A. Heath, president of the SUNY College of Optometry, described the 10th Annual ‘Eyes on New York’ gala on March 15 at Cipriani 42nd Street in midtown Manhattan. It was the largest gathering that the Optometric Center of New York (OCNY), the philanthropic arm of the College, has ever had in its decade-long history of doing the marquee fundraiser.

This year’s honorees, John Carrier, president and CEO of Essilor of America, and Jim Murphy, vice president and general manager of US Vision Care at Alcon Laboratories, elicited a particularly strong presence from the ophthalmic community which had descended on New York for the annual Vision Expo East, an international meeting and exposition.

The camaraderie was particularly evident during the gracious, yet humorous, introductions of each honoree by each event co-chair. When Marc Ferrara, CEO of the Information Services Division of Jobson introduced John Carrier, Ferrara noted Carrier’s love of the outdoors and an active lifestyle, he then joked that he must have a body-double who actually spends time at the Dallas headquarters of Essilor given his ability to accomplish so much in both his career and with his family. Meanwhile, co-chair David Plogmann, senior vice president at Luxottica Retail, offered teasing remarks about what a revelation it was for honoree Jim Murphy to get his first contact lens in high school. The playful banter had the gathered crowd chuckling but there was clearly a deep respect for both of these distinguished professionals.

Both honorees focused their remarks on the ophthalmic industry’s ultimately altruistic purpose. “We have so much more opportunity to help people,” Carrier said during his acceptance speech, noting that everyone in the room that evening plays some unique role to help achieve that goal.

Referring to a six-minute video—produced by OCNY and shown at the gala—highlighting some of the ways in which OCNY, SUNY College of Optometry and its University Eye Center (UEC) help the community, Jim Murphy said that “the video really speaks to why we are all here.”

Richard Feinbloom, the president of OCNY, offered his gratitude to his fellow trustees as well as members of the greater ophthalmic community. In addition, he thanked the faculty, staff and doctors at the College and the UEC for their work in educating vision health professionals and caring for the community.

Check out some of the photos from the night below: