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ABB Throughout the Years

In 1989, founder and CEO Angel Alvarez, formerly a sales representative for Vision Service Plan and later a senior sales representative for CibaVision, purchased Co-Optics Distribution and formed Alvaco Trading Company. A year later, the company changed its name and became ABB Optical.

Angel Alvarez

Expanding Nationwide

Between 1998 and 2003, ABB Optical expanded its operations significantly with the acquisition of three optical companies across the nation:

  • A gas permeable lab and ophthalmic products distributor from Massachusetts, RLI Vision.
  • C&E Vision Group, based out of San Clemente, California, helped ABB gain presence on the west coast.
  • The contact lens portion of Optical supply Buying Group and Contact Optical added numerous Midwest customers to its expanding eye care practitioners list.

A New Millennium of Growth

ABB Outside Sign

2004

ABB Optical built a new 25,000-square-foot call center, gas permeable lens manufacturing and distribution facility in Marshfield, Massachusetts.

Wise Optical Brand logo

2005

ABB Optical acquired Wise Optical of Yonkers, New York.

ABB Materials

2006

ABB Optical purchased a 75,000-square-foot building in Coral Springs, Florida to serve as a distribution facility, call center, and the company’s corporate headquarters. This significantly expanded the company’s presence in South Florida.

Quarterly publications, such as the company’s Retail Price Monitor and Profit Advisor, also launched this year.

ABB Concise & Primary Care Network

In 2007, ABB Optical and CON-CISE Contact Lens Company, an Alameda, California-based distributor and gas permeable lens manufacturer founded in 1959, merge to form ABB CONCISE.

The merger establishes Primary Eyecare Network, a nationally recognized provider of practice enhancement products and services based in San Ramon, California, as a division of ABB.

West Coast operations expand and move into a new 60,000-square-foot facility in Alameda.

ABB CONCISE launches yourlens.com, an online patient ordering platform that links seamlessly with a practice’s website.

In 2008, ABB Concise receives the Emerging Company of the Year award from the South Florida Chapter of the Association of Corporate Growth.

18 Years of Excellence

In 2009, ABB Optical Group received the Contact Lens Manufacturers Association’s Seal of Excellence Award for the eighteenth consecutive year. The award recognizes excellence in quality and expertise in the manufacturing of gas permeable contact lenses produced at ABB CONCISE labs in Massachusetts and California.

Success for ABB Concise

ABB Business Review

2009

ABB Concise launches its Soft Contact Lens Business Reviews, a valuable business analysis tool providing quarterly practice data and profitability and industry benchmarks.

ABB Concise is honored with the 2009 Business of the Year Award from the South Florida Business Journal. The award recognizes the company’s growth, culture and community service.

Xcel Logo

2010

ABB Concise acquires the soft contact lens distribution business of X-Cel Contacts, a Walman Company.

ABB Definitive Brand Logo

2011

ABB Concise begins manufacturing specialty custom soft lenses with the acquisition of Ocu-ease Optical Products’ soft lens manufacturing facilities in Pinole, California.

A doctor locator search feature is added to YourLens.com.

ABB Concise donates more than $600,000 worth of ophthalmic lenses to Optometry Giving Sight and Eye Care for Kids.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gives approval to ABB Concise to produce a line of specialty contact lenses in the silicone hydrogel 60Dk, 74% H2O Definitive material.

BL KeraSoft Logo

2012

ABB Concise launches an irregular corneal design 16.5mm scleral lens, manufactured in Alameda, California, and begins manufacturing Bausch + Lomb’s KeraSoft IC silicone hydrogel contact lenses.

The company introduces its Annual Supply Tutorial, a tool that provides doctors and staff with strategies for presenting and closing the sales of annual supplies of soft contact lenses.

New Mountain Capital of New York, a private equity firm, recapitalizes ABB Concise to support the company’s continued growth and expansion.

ABB Concise donates more than $125,000 to Optometry Giving Sight® and other charitable organizations, including the American Cancer Society, United Way and Red Cross Disaster Relief.

ABB Optical Group

In 2012, ABB Concise merges with Optical Distributor Group (ODG), a leading contact lens distributor based in Hawthorne, New York, forming ABB Optical Group. The merger establishes Digital Eye Lab, the first fully automated optical lab dedicated solely to freeform digital lens fabrication in the United States, as a division of ABB Optical Group.

ABB Optical Group unveils a new logo the next year.

A New Phase for ABB Optical

ABB Digital Logo

2013

A distributor of Rose K lenses for more than 15 years, ABB Optical Group becomes an authorized manufacturer of Rose K’s full line of keratoconus lenses.

ABB Optical Group expands its product line of custom soft contact lenses with SynergEyes and ORION lenses.

Digital Eye Lab introduces the Digital Master Series, a proprietary spectacle lens product line designed for technology centric patients.

ABB Optical Group donates more than $130,000 to Optometry Giving Sight® and other charitable organizations, including the American Cancer Society and United Way.

Deal of the Year Award

2014

ABB Optical Group is honored with the 2014 Deal of the Year Award from the South Florida Chapter of the Association of Corporate Growth in recognition of the successful merger of ABB Concise and Optical Distributor Group.

ABB Cares is launched. During its first year, the signature annual grants program receives more than 140 nominations submitted by eye-care practitioners nationwide. ABB Optical Group supports 10 charitable non-profits that have made significant impacts on the communities they serve.

ABB Optical Group announces a $25,000 match for donations made to Optometry Cares®—The AOA Foundation, in support of the organization’s mission to expand eye health and vision care access to everyone in the United States.

 

SUNY logo

2015

The Optometric Center of New York, the foundation of the SUNY College of Optometry, announces it will honor ABB Optical Group founder and CEO Angel Alvarez at its 12th annual ‘Eyes on New York’ gala. The fundraiser benefits the foundation’s mission of providing comprehensive vision care to people in need, as well as student scholarships and support for research at the college.

ABB Optical Group grows to over $1 billion in revenue, a major milestone for the company and optical community.

2016 Entrepreneur of the Year

CEO and Founder, Angel Alvarez is recognized as 2016 Entrepreneur Of The Year by Ernst and Young. The awards program, which was in its 30th year, recognizes entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in areas such as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.

Strengthening Logistics Across the States

In 2016, ABB Optical Group acquired Diversified Ophthalmics, Inc. and MidSouth Premier Ophthalmics. The acquisition combined the complementary geographic operations of Diversified and MidSouth in the central U.S. with the existing strong logistics network along the east and west coasts.

The expansion of the Alameda distribution center is completed, leading to a fully automated distribution center on the west coast.

Recent Years

DEL logo

ABB Optical Group Unified The Digital Eye Lab Network Under One Brand

In 2017, the network encompassed the original DEL facility in Hawthorne, N.Y., as well as three labs that were acquired in ABB OPTICAL’s 2016 purchase of Diversified Ophthalmics DLab in Cincinnati, Summit Optical in Nashville, and TriOptics in Milwaukee. The lab network is projected to generate $50 million in revenue for ABB OPTICAL.

ABB Unity Lab of the Year

Unity Independent Lab of the Year for 2016

Digital Eye Lab Network was named VSP Optics Group’s Unity Independent Lab of the Year for 2016! DEL earned the award in its first full year as a Unity-enabled lab. The award is presented annually to an independent optical laboratory that demonstrates exceptional quality of work, exceeds Unity sales targets and provides superior customer service.

Thomas Burke Photo

A New Chief Executive Officer

ABB Optical Group announced the appointment of Thomas E. Burke III, a healthcare logistics leader with nearly 40 years of experience, to chief executive officer. Burke will assume CEO responsibilities from Angel Alvarez, who will remain as chairman.

Glimpse Logo

ABB Optical Group Acquires Glimpse Live

Glimpse Live is a data and analytics provider for eye care professionals and other healthcare practitioners. Glimpse is the first “push” informatics service in the eye care industry. It is designed to help business owners measure and track performance, identify growth opportunities, forecast future trends and compare results among peers.

New Brand Strategy with Plans for the Future

In 2019, ABB Optical Group reintroduced its new brand to the eyecare industry at Vision Expo West in Las Vegas. The rebrand and introduction of product, service and business solutions represent the latest efforts in ABB’s decades-long commitment to providing high quality products and services to more than two-thirds of eye care professionals (ECPs) throughout the United States. ABB reorganizes its services and solutions into three new groups: ABB Contact Lens, ABB Labs, and ABB Business Solutions.

ABB Labs, the company’s optical lens fabrication business pillar, opens a new, 42,000 square-foot laboratory located in Erlanger, Kentucky. In time, the new lab will be able to produce between 2,500 and 3,000 lens fabrication jobs per day.

ABB Optical Group announces in September 2019 the company’s plans to expand contact lens distribution into Canada, beginning in 2020.