Interview With Lee Lavigne, LDO

Lee Lavigne, LDO

A man of many hats. Lee is a Licensed Dispensing Optician in the state of Washington, President of the Opticians Association of Washington, and a Sales Representative for two different eyewear brands covering the WA/OR/Idaho territory. So, with all of this experience what can Lee share with us about his journey as an optical professional? I had the pleasure of interviewing Lee recently and found that he has a tremendous amount of knowledge to share with us.

Lee on the Optician’s Association of WA:

“The OAW has always had a mission of providing education for opticians so that we can offer the most current standards of care and best practices for our patients/customers. I believe in our mission as opticians. We offer valuable service to patients and public health.”

What about optics intrigues you most?:

“There are so many aspects that intrigue me. The fact that lenses are essentially just two prisms put together to refocus light onto the retina is fascinating to me. It is the foundation of vision correction.

Tell me about your mentors:

“I was fortunate to have some good mentors along the way from the very beginning. One is BJ Mullis. She is the one I owe my career to. Without her ever having met me, she encouraged her manager to interview me and give me a chance. BJ is now a District Manager with National Vision. Others that have given me guidance and shared their knowledge are Bill Mercer, Julie Tipple, Hector Garza, Tracy Scott, Toni Krause who is the greatest leader I have ever had the privilege to work with, and most recently Maayan Shuval, LDO. There are many more amazing professionals that have taught me so much.”

What advice would you give someone interested in becoming an optician?:

“Educate yourself in optics. There is so much easy and readily available information out there today. Even if you are not licensed or ABO/NCLE certified, take continuing education classes. It is a good and inexpensive way to learn things that are not always in textbooks. Find good mentors. There are so many amazing optical professionals in the industry, and they love to share their knowledge. Take pride and give it your all. We do noble work, just ask anyone that has lost their vision how drastically their lives have been altered.

What advice can you give a new rep on building rapport?

“Be honest and always operate with integrity! All relationships are built on trust and nurturing. As an optician, I have had reps that would pad orders and were generally shady. I did not do business with them for a long time because I could not trust them to do what is right for my business. You are a partner in the accounts business. Look at the long game. If they are successful, then they will be reordering and you will be successful. It benefits both you and your account when you help them build their business.

If you could choose any frame in the entire world to wear what would it be?

“This is a tough one but the Silhouette M8020 in white. Originally made in the 1980’s, the style is so of the era yet unique. Also, just about anything with Neostyle (gone but not forgotten). I’ve had a love affair with Theo since I saw my first one back in 2002. The newest designers to catch my attention are Roger, XIT, and Traction. What can I say? I love bold eyewear!”

Interview by Mikki Collins

Find Lee here: LinkedIn

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