On March 27, Zyloware Eyewear Chairman Bob Shyer and Vice Chairman Henry Shyer were honoured as the 2014 recipients of the Persons of Vision Award by Prevent Blindness. The Persons of Vision award recognizes individuals or corporations involved in the field of vision, eye health and/or eye care.
The awards were presented to Bob and Henry by their sons, Chris and Jamie Shyer, the current leaders of Zyloware Eyewear. The business is the oldest family-operated optical company in the United States and now in its third generation of family management. Joseph Shyer founded Zyloware in 1923, at the advent of manufacturing eyewear with zyl. During the 1960’s, Bob and Henry brought the first-ever commercially viable, nearly indestructible, nylon optical frame to the market. Called the Invincible, it went on to sell over 30 million pairs.
The Shyer brothers have had a storied partnership, both of them noted for giving back to the industry through their Optical Manufacturers Association (OMA) leadership. Founded by their father, the OMA was the predecessor trade association to the Vision Council, which was their initiative. However, among their many accomplishments is most notably the moment in 1979 when they joined with Academy Award-winning actress Sophia Loren in creating the first celebrity eyewear brand. This launch was instrumental in changing the world’s perception of eyewear from simply a medical necessity to a fashion accessory.