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2007 OWA Pleiades Honoree


Deborah Malakoff, Vice President of Show Operations
Vision Council of America

Deborah Malakoff

With over 20 years of experience in the optical industry, Deborah Malakoff serves as vice president of Trade Shows for the Vision Council of America, a non-profit trade association representing eyewear manufacturers. In her role, Malakoff works closely with Reed Exhibitions, the VCA Show and Exhibitor Advisory Committees to establish and direct the long range strategic goals and objectives of the International Vision Expo family of tradeshows.

Recruited from college into an Executive training program piloted by RCA records Malakoff started her career working in the art department designing album covers.

She transitioned into the optical industry in 1984 as marketing and visual merchandising manager for Eyelab, a Division of Quaker Oats, where she administered the marketing and media budget and led a team of visual merchandisers in the expansion from four stores to a chain of thirty-eight optical superstores. She later joined Bob Hillman in his next retail endeavor Hillman/Kohan Eyes, where she served as director of creative services. Here she was part of a senior management team responsible for executing a new retail concept that evolved into 10 fashion eyewear superstores.

Malakoff served on the Board of Directors for the Major American Tradeshow Organizers and is a member of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events, the Optical Women's Association and the American Society of Association Executives.

She holds both a bachelor's degree in Advertising Design and Marketing from the University of Maryland. In her spare time, Malakoff enjoys skiing, golfing, and traveling.

The Pleiades Award spotlights an individual who has shown a commitment to the mission of the OWA by fostering the growth of women in the industry. The Pleiades Award is named for the star cluster Pleiades in the Taurus constellation. The Pleiades is also known as the "Seven Sisters" referring to the seven brightest stars in the cluster.

The invitation to attend this event is extended to both OWA members and non-members. Guests are asked to RSVP by Feb 28 via email to .

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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