Transitions Academy Ignites Passion and Creates Fun

By Paddy Kamen

Large photo – Grammy winning singer/songwriter Darius Rucker
Left inset – From left to right: Marie-Josée Mercier, vice-president of sales and operations, Lunetterie New Look, France Reimnitz, vice-president of marketing and merchandising, Lunetterie New Look
Right inset – Rachel Hill-Campbell, owner, Personal Optical

Fun, passion and incredible learning opportunities prevailed at the 17th annual Transitions Academy event at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, FLA this past January. Who had fun? I dare say everyone who attended the Darius Rucker concert. The former frontman for Hootie and the Blowfish performed his new-style country music at the closing event. Why Rucker? Because he is a celebrity ambassador for Transitions® lenses!

I imagine that all lovers of good cuisine had fun meeting Food Network® celebrity chef and long-time Transitions lens wearer, Robert Irvine, at the Transitions Academy.Irvine, host of Restaurant Impossible, is another 2013 celebrity ambassador for Transitions lenses. Chef Irvine made a special guest appearance during the North American marketing session, and joined Sherianne James, director, North America marketing, on stage.

Additional celebrity ambassadors for Transitions lenses in the coming year will include baseball legend Cal Ripken, Jr. and National Geographic reporters Annie Griffiths and Andrew Evans. All ambassadors were chosen after Transitions Optical conducted research into consumers’ interests and identified four top passions – music, sports, travel and food – giving them direction for 2013. 

The passion at Transitions Academy came through, not only in the enthusiasm these ambassadors have for Transitions lenses and healthy sight, but also in the incredible learning opportunities created in a series of FranklinCovey workshops. The “Working at the Speed of Trust” session provided tips for identifying and addressing “trust gaps” within a business and creating a more positive working environment. The “Five Choices to Extraordinary Productivity” session inspired employees to make more selective choices about where to invest their time, attention and energy. A third workshop, “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” provided attendees with tools to help maximize performance and reach career goals, both individually and as a team.

St. Catharines,Ontariooptician, Rachel Hill-Campbell, owner of Personal Optical, thoroughly enjoyed attending the Speed of Trust workshop. “I love the fact that the Transitions Academy gives us a choice of educational opportunities that help us strategically plan for further business success. Building trust with employees, suppliers and customers is key to my business and I got a lot out of the workshop.”

Hill-Campbell has been to five of the Transitions Academy events. “The Academy is wonderful every year, and I’m always excited to see how they will amaze us.”

And amaze her they did, for Transitions Optical selected Hill-Campbell as the winner of the 2012 Transitions Canadian Eyecare Professional of the Year award. Hill-Campbell was recognized for her outstanding efforts to promote eye health and the benefits of Transitions lenses in front of more than 1,100 optical professionals from North andSouth America.

“Rachel greatly believes in her profession. She has a flair and a strong ability to use grassroots techniques to build trust with everyone in her community,” said Christine Underhill, business manager, Transitions Optical, Canada. “She continually challenges herself to inspire everyone around her to think about what they can do to improve their vision and how Transitions lenses can help.”

Winning the award was a thrill for Hill-Campbell, an optician’s daughter with strong roots in the profession and the eyecare community in the Niagara region, where she was raised. In an interview with Envision: seeing beyond magazine, Hill-Campbell said: “My father, Hans Hill, previously worked for Sears Optical and I was privileged to meet many local eyecare professionals while growing up. It was wonderful for me to “come of age”, so to speak, as an equal at this event with so many colleagues from my career in attendance.”

Lunetterie New Look was also honoured as the first-ever Transitions Retailer of the Year inCanada. France Reimnitz, vice president of marketing and merchandising, accepted the award on behalf of the New Look team.

“We have a long history of doing everything we can to provide the best possible experience for our patients, and a big part of that has meant offering the entire family of Transitions lens products,” said Reimnitz.

“With their inspiring education tactics and incredible passion for the Transitions family of products, New Look was very deserving of the Transitions Retailer of the Year title,” said Underhill. “We congratulate them for their success in 2012, thank them for serving as a strong Transitions partner and for their contributions in providing valuable eye health education.” 

And so another fun-filled and passionate Transitions Academy has left indelible memories and inspired action in the hearts and minds of all attendees. This invitation-only event takes place annually. How do you get an invitation? Talk to your Transitions representative!