40 years ago yesterday, I dialed an optometrist’s office for the first time to attempt to sell the practice eyewear “on approval.” I was 16. At the time, I worked for Dr. Bill Lusk, an optometrist (who still practices in Oneonta, NY), for whom I was his yard-boy. For whatever reason, Bill believed in me and gave me the chance of a lifetime. I spent 7 years with his firm, selling, marketing, managing and learning business. From there, in 1979, at the ripe age of 23, I launched Co-Optics of America, the first national buying group for optometrists and a business that would change the face of an industry. I followed Co-Optics with 24 other businesses and scores of product launches…so far. Each of these enterprises and efforts are built on that single action of Dr. Bill Lusk.
I know of few people who would give a 16 year old such a chance as did Dr. Lusk. I am eternally grateful to him. Thank you, Bill, for believing in me.
The photo of me presenting Dr. Lusk with the Cleinman Performance Partner’s “Founders Award.”