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What is the Optical Women's Association's Pleiades Award?


Each year, our Pleiades Award honors an individual who has shown exceptional support in advancing the leadership role of women in the optical industry. This award is named after the star cluster "The Pleiades" in the constellation of Taurus. "The Pleiades" is also known as the "Seven Sisters" — referring to the seven brightest stars in the cluster.

According to Greek mythology, each star was named after the seven daughters of Atlas who were turned into stars by Zeus. Together these stars create one of the brightest clusters visible in the northern hemisphere, just as by working together, the women of the OWA have created an organization that is bigger and brighter than the sum of their individual efforts.

Rebecca Giefer

2024 Pleiades Award Recipient — Rebecca Giefer

Rebecca Giefer, CEO for Modo Eyewear, has a distinguished career marked by commitment to client relations, leadership, and strategic growth initiatives. She has a solid foundation in team building, based on her past experience as a collegiate soccer player at NYU, and a reputation for cultivating a culture of collaboration, work ethic, and excellence. Her leadership style inspires teams to surpass targets and achieve remarkable results. Her mantra is not original and has been used by many before her: "true leaders raise leaders who raise leaders." Her unwavering commitment to customer-centric solutions is rooted in her start at Modo, where she began as a temporary employee on Modo's customer service team. Rebecca wore various hats throughout her tenure at Modo; noteworthy positions include Manager of Customer Service, Director of Operations, and  beginning in 2010, Vice President of Operations. In 2014, she became the COO, and in 2020, was appointed CEO.

Giefer, a current member of the Optical Women's Association, served on The Vision Council's Board of Directors for six years, was part of their Emerging Optical Leaders Committee, chaired their Marketing Committee, and also participated in their DEI task force.

In recognition of her outstanding contributions to the business landscape, Giefer has twice been honored as one of Vision Monday's Most Influential Women — first in 2016 in the "Executive Suite" category, and then in 2023 in the "Above and Beyond" category.

Her professional journey is characterized by an unwavering dedication to delivering value to various stakeholders and a strong work ethic. She currently lives in the vibrant borough of Brooklyn with her husband David and 7-year-old son Owen.

Pleiades Award — Past Honorees

Click on the award winners' names from 2003 forward to see more information about the Pleiades Award recipient.

2024 OWA Pleiades Honoree — Rebecca Giefer

2023 OWA Pleiades Honoree — Karen Roberts

2022 OWA Pleiades Honoree — Erinn Morgan

2021 OWA Pleiades Honoree — Gai Gherardi

2020 OWA Pleiades Honoree — Millicent Knight, OD

2019 OWA Pleiades Honoree — Holly Rush

2018 OWA Pleiades Honoree — Ashley Mills

2017 OWA Pleiades Honoree — Kate Renwick-Espinosa

2016 OWA Pleiades Honoree — Sue Downes

2015 OWA Pleiades Honoree — Maureen Cavanagh

2014 OWA Pleiades Honoree — Sherrie Rogerson

2013 OWA Pleiades Honoree — Marge Axelrad
Press Release

2012 OWA Pleiades Honoree — Shirley Platzer-Stocks
Press Release

2011 OWA Pleiades Honoree — Christie Walker
Press Release

2010 OWA Pleiades Honoree — Danne Ventura
2010 Awards Cocktail Reception and Presentation

2009 OWA Pleiades Honoree — Rene Soltis

2008 OWA Pleiades Honoree — Stephanie K. De Long

2007 OWA Pleiades Honoree — Deborah Malakoff

2006 OWA Pleiades Honoree — Janet Callif

2005 OWA Pleiades Honoree — Mimi Friedfeld

2004 OWA Pleiades Honoree — Dana Weeks

2003 OWA Pleiades Honoree — Carene S. Kunkler — Sight Resource Corporation

2002 OWA Pleiades Honoree — Andrea Gluck — Eyewear Designs

2001 OWA Pleiades Honoree — Tom Styers — Southern Optical

2000 OWA Pleiades Honoree — Pat Patterson — Walman Optical

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