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OWA Unplugged Retreat

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OWA Unplugged Logo

San Diego, California
October 20-22, 2023

OWA's first-ever retreat was held in San Diego, CA,  at the Paradise Point Resort, and sponsored by ClearVision Optical. Deliberately limiting attendance to 40 OWA members, the purpose of the retreat was to provide an opportunity to "unplug", connect, recharge, relax, and be truly present in the moment, while also laying the groundwork for future retreat planning.

Under the leadership of Connection &Enrichment Committee members Kathy Cruz, Dr. Beverly Bianes, Mary Lanning Jones, Linda Laube, Susan Ludwick, Debbie Myres, and committee chairs Janna Neal and Tamara Sanders, the weekend greatly exceeded all expectations!

The retreat began late Friday afternoon with a welcome reception, followed by an in-person Fireside Chat, complete with s'mores. Saturday highlights included yoga and Pilates, a "coffee talk", an OWA Reads book discussion, and a very special bonding event that drew tears from many as personal stories were shared. A Sunday walk and breakfast wrap-up concluded the weekend gathering. Attendees went home feeling enriched, inspired, transformed, and very grateful to have been part of this incredible experience!

A big thank you also goes out to the companies who provided wonderful mementos of this extraordinary weekend to all attendees: ClearVision, Eyeporters, Silhouette, Visual Inspirations, and Zyloware.

You may click on any photograph to download a high-resolution version. And be sure to check out what some of the attendees had to say!

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What OWA Unplugged Participant Thought

Kerri Ann Raimo — PentaVision, Eyecare Business

Even amid the vulnerability and "heaviness", I left truly uplifted.

Mary Jones — Zyloware

. . . a weekend of deep connection and inner reflection that I am truly grateful for.

Kathy Cruz — Silhouette Optical

This weekend was better than we could have ever planned. We shared a weekend of laughter, tears, meals, vulnerability, stories, hugs, and our passion as a group of powerful women.

Stephanie McCoy — EyeMed

We were told the event was meant to push us outside of our comfort zone. That I expected. What I didn't expect was through all of the laughter and all of the tears was to walk away completely transformed. I am so grateful for the experience and the friends I am taking home with me.

Linda Laube — Eyeporters

It was a truly enriching weekend connecting with group of truly beautiful women - I now know what it's like to be part of a sisterhood!

Dr. Kristie Nguyen

I came in with no expectations and left with a plethora of memories and friendships with incredible women in the optical industry that I may not have crossed paths with otherwise. Thank you for inviting me to experience this.

Audrey Pavia — Tura

I feel both honored and privileged to have been a part of OWA's unplugged debut! I struggle for words that are "worthy enough" to express the inspiration, mentorship and support curated by our very own industry women. With that said the OWA standard "connect. inspire. lead." was proven during the debut of unplugged!

Dr. Barbara Dey

Spending a weekend away with some of the amazing women at OWA was truly transformative. It was a beautiful blend of laughter, tears, shared stories, and deep connections. We supported each other, empowered one another, and discovered the strength of our bond. It was a weekend that left us all feeling awoken, inspired, and grateful for incredible women in our lives. Here's to the power of sisterhood and the magic of transformative moments together!

Susan Ludwick — Eyecare Service Partners

Today expressing gratitude for our inaugural OWA Unplugged event over the weekend. Connecting and engaging with a diverse group of women with a focus on looking internally will strengthen external relationships at work and in life.

Jennifer Trakhtenberg — ClearVision

It was truly an honor to participate in the inaugural OWA Unplugged Retreat. I am so proud that ClearVision Optical played an important role in making this event possible. It was a unique opportunity to collaborate and be inspired by such remarkable professionals, spanning generations and geography, however united by the eyecare industry we love. Taking time to reflect personally and to gain perspective from others will definitely inform my own leadership approach going forward.

Bonnie Whitfield — The Vision Council

I encourage anyone who is invited to the OWA retreat in the future to take advantage of the opportunity. The format of the retreat inspires connection and transparency in an organic way to bring the group together. I was able to get to know women across our industry on a level that would have taken years otherwise. I made wonderful connections and what I feel will be lifelong friendships. I had the best time!


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