Name: Joe Cherry
Title: Vice President of Business Operations and Safety Eyewear Sales
Years with Cherry Optical, Inc: 15
Job-Related Certifications: US Navy Opticianry Certified 1978, Optical Laboratories Associations Quality Control Certified 1980
What is your current role in the company? As a co- founder of Cherry Optical and be involved in the industry for over 40 years, I am now at a point where I am passing my experiences and responsibilities on to Adam, Lynn, and our management team. From a business-opportunity standpoint, I’ve always enjoyed prescription safety eyeglass operations and am actively building this business opportunity as part of my exit strategy.
What area of optical technology excites you the most? Digital technology has revolutionized optical manufacturing. Laboratories are now the manufacturers of optics.
What makes Cherry Optical, Inc different from other optical laboratories? We provide value, quality and timely delivery, but two major reasons people do business with us is because we answer the phone and provide vision solutions.
Why is a business like Cherry Optical important to the optical industry? As an independently-owned, wholesale laboratory, our job is to offer an unbiased view of what’s going on in the marketplace and to share this information in a manner that can be easily communicated from eye care professionals onto patients.
As a native of Kentucky, what drew you to the Midwest? My mother always gave me a tough time when I moved up here, but I told her, “Mom, you know how we always talked about southern hospitality? Well, I moved to the upper Midwest and found it.” This culture of our staff and the community definitely gives Cherry Optical a competitive advantage in the industry.
What do you plan to do after you retire? Answering that question now would be like asking me during my senior year of high school, “What do you want to do when you get out of college?” I don’t think I should know. If I retire with a predetermined direction, I may not see all of the opportunities. However, I would like to go back and give a little more to the Veterans Administration and possibly volunteer with a hospice organization in the community.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received? “Learn how to be wrong even when you’re right.”
What is your favorite sports team? The team that makes my heart flutter is Kentucky basketball, but you will hear me loud a clear with chants of “Go Pack Go!”
What celebrity or historical figure wears or has worn glasses best? John Lennon and General MacArthur