Jess Labriola – Professional Services & Customer Relations
Please describe your role at Contamac:
Currently, I work in Professional Services/Customer Relations – which is quite broad, but in short, I work with our speciality contact lens laboratories in North America to coordinate projects and help them utilise the variety of professional resources we offer, and I work with practitioners and contact lens fitters to share and develop educational resources for the industry.
What is your professional history?
I have been lucky enough to have gained my formal contact lens training while working with Contamac, but prior to joining the company, I completed my university degree in English Literature and Philosophy, followed by a certification course in teaching English and a foreign language. Shortly after beginning my first role at Contamac as an office assistant, I became very interested and excited about contact lenses and optics, studying for and obtaining my NCLE (National Contact Lens Examiners) certification as a contact lens technician.
What do you enjoy most about working at Contamac and our industry?
It’s hard to say – there are so many great aspects of working at Contamac and in this industry. I truly love the impact that we are able to have on people’s lives – restoring sight to patients that had otherwise lost hope is a pretty amazing thing, and I am proud to be able to play a small part in that. I also enjoy the opportunity to continue to learn and grow through the different projects that I have been able to work on and places I have been able to go. There is definitely never a dull moment! And finally, I genuinely enjoy the people that I get to work with and the friendships that have developed over the years, it makes it even easier to enjoy work when you enjoy working with the people around you.
Continuous education is crucial for personal and professional growth. Can you describe your involvement with students at universities and colleges?
We work with students in several different ways and always love new opportunities to support students and schools of optometry – whether it’s through supporting annual speciality contact lens CE programs that many universities hold, visiting schools and providing more information about our products and speciality lenses through lunch and learns or workshops, or interacting with students at major optometry meetings or the various programmes available to students and residents through educational organisations or our laboratory partners. We really would like to support optometric education at all levels and be a resource for students, educators, and practitioners.
Do you foresee growth when it comes to building relationships with educational organisations?
I think there will always be opportunities to grow and to learn and the profession continues to change and innovate, both for Contamac and for the organisations out there committed to providing speciality lens education. As a materials manufacture it is sometimes hard to explain the connection between what we do and why we invest so heavily in education, but at the end of the day we are committed to providing the very best to patients from beginning to end, and that very much includes supporting access to quality education and resources.
Can you explain one of the key partnerships you (and Contamac) have in speciality contact lens education?
We work with so many fantastic organisations – it’s really hard to pick just one! Most recently, we have worked with Melissa Barnett and Daddi Fadel, who in a collaboration between the Accademia Italiana Lenti Sclerali (AILeS) Scleral Lens Educational Society (SLS), wrote a fantastic book for practitioners of all experience levels fitting scleral lenses entitled the Clinical Guide for Scleral Lens Success. The Scleral Lens Educational Society provides so many fantastic educational resources, both on their website and through their live lectures and workshops, and we are pleased to have partnered with the organisation for several years and are excited to see their membership continue to grow and contribute to the wealth of scleral lens knowledge and research.