Transitions Optical, Inc. has announced the finalists for the 2011 Transitions Academy Awards Program, which recognizes leading optical labs, retailers, independent eyecare practices and vision benefits brokers for their commitment to growing their businesses with Transitions® lenses and promoting eye health over the past year.

Congratulations to the finalists!

2011 U.S. Lab of the Year: Optical Prescription Lab, Soderberg Ophthalmic Services and Toledo Optical, Inc.

2011 National Retailer of the Year: Costco, Eye Care Centers of America (ECCA) & Empire Vision and LensCrafters

2011 Regional Retailer of the Year: Barnet Dulaney Perkins Eye Center, Eyear Optical and SVS Vision Optical Centers

2011 Eyecare Practice of the Year: Complete Family Vision Center, Preferred Eyecare Center, and Smyth County Eye Associates

All of the winners will be recognized during a special awards ceremony, to be held on January 31 during the 16th annual Transitions Academy at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Fla. Winners will also receive additional rewards such as Transitions-branded merchandise and materials, cash prizes or marketing support and trips to attend the 2012 Transitions Championship®.

Lab of the Year Award

The U.S. Transitions Lab of the Year title has been awarded annually since 1991 to an independent lab that has demonstrated a strong commitment to supporting Transitions Optical and its products and programs. “Each year, the selection process becomes increasingly difficult as our lab partners continue to surpass our expectations with the amount of energy they put into educating their customers about the Transitions brand,” said Scott Henning, Director, U.S. ECP Sales and Marketing, Transitions Optical. “All three Lab of the Year finalists took unique and creative approaches to building their businesses with Transitions lenses and truly deserve to be in the spotlight for their efforts.”

A four-time Transitions Optical Lab of the Year finalist, Optical Prescription Lab is a family-run lab headquartered in Pelham, Alabama that provides premium optical products to eyecare professionals throughout the southeast.

Based in Minneapolis, Minn., Soderberg is a two-time Transitions Optical Lab of the Year winner, and has 15 locations that provide eyewear products, manufacture contact lenses, distribute refractive and diagnostic instruments, and design innovative industrial eyewear programs.

Toledo Optical is a family-owned and operated wholesale optical laboratory located in Toledo, Ohio that is committed to fabricating quality, customized optical products for eyecare professionals. Toledo Optical was named Transitions Lab of the Year in 2003, 2006 and 2010.

The 2011 Lab of the Year winner will be inducted into the Heritage Lab Ambassador’s Club and will receive benefits including business consultation and marketing support to help them develop a strategic marketing plan for 2012 and beyond.

Retailer of the Year Awards

For the second year, Transitions Optical will honor one National and one Regional Retailer of the Year for their commitment to encouraging healthy sight through superior vision care offerings. “It’s remarkable to see how our retailer partners are actively discussing Transitions lenses with their customers – and it’s equally rewarding for us to hear how the Transitions family of products has helped them achieve greater customer satisfaction and significant growth in 2011,” said Alex Louw, director, lens manufacturing, national retail and Canada, Transitions Optical. “We credit much of our success to this year’s finalists and are looking forward to honoring each of them this January.”

ECCA & Empire Vision was named the 2010 Transitions National Retailer of the Year, while Costco and LensCrafters are first-time contenders for the award. Barnet Dulaney Perkins Eye Center is headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz. and operates 14 locations in Arizona. A second-time Transitions Retailer of the Year finalist, Eyear Optical operates five locations in Texas, with its headquarters in McAllen. SVS Vision Optical, named 2010 Transitions Regional Retailer of the Year, is a 53-office regional chain operating in the mid- west, with the highest concentration of offices in Michigan and Ohio.

Eyecare Practice of the Year Award is a program to formally acknowledge and celebrate loyal eyecare practice partners who are actively promoting healthy sight to their patients and within their local communities.