Global Insight

Congratulations to John Hibbs on his election to Vice President of the CLMA and Secretary/Treasurer of GPLI


Contamac’s VP of Commercial US Sales was recently elected as Vice President of the Contact Lens Manufacturer’s Association (CLMA) and Secretary/Treasurer of the Gas Permeable Lens Institute (GPLI). 

The CLMA is an industry association that aims to increase awareness and utilization of custom manufactured contact lenses. One such venture in which the CLMA provides vast resources to eye care practitioners through its educational division the GPLI. 

With both organisations being dedicated to the custom contact lens industry and to the provision of education for practitioners, it is an honor to be involved.

Firstly, congratulations on your new position on the board! You’ve been a part of the CLMA/GPLI for 27 years now, from an associate to an official company lead representative. What has it been like to have a participatory role in these organisations?

Working with these two organizations has been both an honor and a joy. I first began attending CLMA meetings as far back as 1994 and was able to see the vision of the CLMA to develop the GPLI to train new practitioners in the fitting of specialty GP lenses. It is amazing to think that the GPLI is celebrating its 25th Residents Weekend this year. Serving on the board of directors of each organization and helping create long-term strategies for growth is nothing less than thrilling. To be chosen by my colleagues to serve each organization in an executive director capacity is nothing less than humbling.

What made you want to be part of the CLMA board?

The CLMA collective of lab partners all strive to bring design and innovation of new customized specialty lens designs to offer sight to those who are most in need. Having worked with the CLMA membership for more than thirty years. I feel driven to give back and help ensure that the long-term success of the CLMA and the GPLI continues.

What does your new position entail?

The role of Vice President of the CLMA board is responsible for serving on the executive board along with our President Derrell James and Secretary/Treasurer Sara Yost. As Vice President, I am also tasked with oversight of committee assignments and to fill in for the president in his absence. As Secretary and Treasurer of the GPLI, my primary function is accuracy of accounting rules and development/oversight of the budget. As secretary, I am responsible for accuracy of the minutes and submission of documents outlined in the bylaws.

How does the CLMA contribute to the global industry?

The CLMA has strived since its inception in the 1960s to bring together customized contact lens manufacturers to bring about new innovation, and a collective voice as it relates to governmental oversight, marketing and education. The reach of the CLMA has been felt in every continent. Many of the innovative signature designs of CLMA members are distributed or licensed to contact lens laboratories across the globe. Due to the success of the CLMA similar types of organizations can be found in Europe, Asia and South America.

What kind of resources are available to manufacturers through the CLMA?

The CLMA continues to work closely with the GPLI to be “First in Education”. Other areas are industry marketing materials, regulatory, legal and research of new areas of innovation. 

What is your vision for both the CLMA and GPLI?

My vision is to keep both organizations focused on research and education. Developing and promoting new technologies of vision correction. We have seen how success of innovation with scleral lenses and Ortho-K. We need to be at the forefront of myopia control management, improved presbyopic fitting and new corrective lens designs for the compromised cornea.

What are you most looking forward to in the future of GP lens education and research?

The GPLI has been extremely successful in partnering with schools of Optometry across North America to educate students on the benefits of specialty lens fitting and training. They have worked with the best contact lens residents for more than 25 years. It is a particular goal for me to see the GPLI further expand its focus on education, training and accreditation to all of general optometry. I truly feel that the GPLI should be viewed as being “First In Education”. When optometry looks for answers they turn first to the GPLI.