Meet Our Company Leaders
President, North America
Rick Gadd is President of Essilor of America and responsible for the company’s overall vision and planning, including all aspects of the business, mission and culture. A proven leader and advocate for Essilor’s mission of improving lives by improving sight, he is passionate about the customer experience and is highly regarded for delivering results. Rick joined Essilor of America in 2011 as Senior Vice President Key Accounts. Most recently, he was President, ECP Sales and Services, and was responsible for developing and leading best-in-class teams to accelerate sales growth and customer satisfaction through ECP partnership and unique product and service innovation. Prior to joining Essilor, Rick was Vice President of Sales for Motorola’s Mobile Devices business where he managed the wireless carrier relationship, demand generation and revenue growth for Motorola in Canada and the USA. He has more than 20 years of high-tech sales, marketing, product management and business development experience. Rick obtained his bachelor’s degree and his BBA in marketing and finance from York University in Toronto, Canada. “I’m proud of Essilor’s commitment to our customers to provide innovative products and innovative business solutions. Innovation is our catalyst for growth.”
President of Distributor Channels
Larry Clarke serves as President, Distributors Channel after 19 successful years with Satisloh. Under his leadership as President and CTO of Satisloh Group, the company achieved record results and he was one of the main drivers in building the Lab 4.0 program. In his role as President, Distributors Channel, Larry leads the teams responsible for wholesale, Nassau-OOGP, I-Coat, and Opti-Source. His experience and expertise are instrumental to our success.
Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
Nchacha joined Essilor in 2019, bringing an impressive 20+ year career in finance and business operations, global strategy, and management of multi-billion dollar global market leaders in the Healthcare and Medical Devices, Consumer Packaged Goods, Software, Pharmaceutical and Private Equity industries. Nchacha served at Johnson & Johnson Vision for four years where he held the position of Vice President and CFO. During his time with J&J Vision, Nchacha led a team of 200+ employees in 54 countries, successfully transitioned Finance into a Global Shared Services center, and served as a member of the Board of Directors. Prior to J&J Vision, Nchacha held progressively responsible finance leadership roles with Coca Cola, Microsoft, Eli Lilly, and The Carlyle Group.
Nchacha holds a Masters in Business Administration in Finance from Howard University, and a B.S. degree in Accounting from George Mason University. He is fluent in both English and French.
Senior Vice President of Strategic Alliances & Solutions
James Gilchrist is the Senior Vice President of Strategic Alliances & Solutions. In this role, he leads Essilor of America's managed care, doctor alliance, dispensary management and distribution services businesses to support our eye care professional partners in the delivery of high quality vision care and eyewear. The Managed Care division consists of Essilor's relationships with health plans, vision plans, and government entities as well as Essilor's Prescription Safety Eyewear and Classic Optical Laboratory businesses. The Doctor Alliance division consists of Essilor's eye care professional buying groups and franchise businesses supporting nearly 10,000 member locations. The dispensary management division includes optical management services organizations operating more than 230 optical dispensaries within ophthalmology and optometry client practices. The distribution services division consists of NASSAU OOGP Vision Group including the Nova Optical Laboratory, a custom contact lens laboratory, and ophthalmic stock lens and contact lens distribution businesses.
Prior to Essilor, James was a Principal Consultant for SEI, a business and technology consulting firm, where he led strategic initiatives for clients across multiple industries, including Essilor. He began his career as a Medical Services Corps officer in the United States Air Force where he held various healthcare administration leadership roles. James holds a MS in Technology Commercialization from the Red McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin and a BS in Business Administration from the United States Air Force Academy.
Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President, Customer Engagement
Sherianne James joined Essilor of America in 2011 as Director of Global Consumer and Professional Insights for Transitions Optical, a wholly owned Essilor subsidiary. She became Vice President, Marketing in June 2016. The Marketing organization’s priorities include bringing proven product superiority and breakthrough innovations to market; leveraging consumer marketing to shape consumer traffic and drive sales; providing the insights and business intelligence to enable the company to make data-centric decisions; and acting as a partner to the sales team to generate demand. Sherianne earned an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a CHE in Chemical Engineering from the University of Florida.
Dr. Millicent Knight
Senior Vice President, Customer Development Group
Millicent L. Knight, OD, FAAO, FAARM, is Senior Vice President of the Customer Development Group, Essilor of America (EOA), reporting to Rick Gadd, President Essilor of America. In this role, Dr. Knight is responsible for EOA’s professional relations, external and employee communications, as well as eye care professional and sales training efforts. Dr. Knight represents the voice of the doctor as a member of the Leadership Team.
Prior to Essilor, Dr. Knight was Vice President, Professional Affairs, North America at Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., serving on the North America Leadership Team led by Peter Menziuso, President. In addition, she was responsible for leading the development and deployment of a competitively differentiated eye care professional strategy including education and advocacy, and developing sound connections to eye care professionals including emerging and established industry leaders.
Dr. Knight spent the majority of her career in private practice. She has owned two optometric practices blending conventional eye- health care with natural and complementary approaches to enhance patient care delivery. She is also a former member of Vision Source. Dr. Knight received her Doctor of Optometry degree and a Bachelor of Science, Visual Science degree from the Illinois College of Optometry. She also received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Augustana College.
Dr. Knight is a member of the Illinois Optometric Association (IOA), the American Optometric Association (AOA), and the National Optometric Association (NOA), and was awarded Optometrist of the Year by both the IOA and NOA, as well as Young Optometrist of the Year by both Organizations.
She has served on the Illinois State Regulatory Board of Optometry, and on the board of trustees of the Illinois College of Optometry, where she was awarded the Alumnus Professional Achievement Award. Dr. Knight was awarded the J&J Standards of Leadership Award, selected one of Vision Monday’s Most Influential Women in Optical, and a Women In Optometry Theia Award for Leadership recipient. Dr. Knight is a Fellow in the American Academy of Optometry, the American Academy of Anti-Aging Regenerative Medicine, and a Kellogg Leadership Fellow.
Senior Vice President, Operations and Supply Chain
Christophe Leger joined Essilor of America in 2018 as Senior Vice President, Operations and Supply Chain. In this role, Christophe will focus on optimizing the manufacturing and supply chain systems across Essilor’s entire North American footprint, with a focus on improving lab performance, providing better customer service support, and investing in the latest equipment and technology to deliver the highest quality product on time, every time. Prior to Essilor of America, he served as Vice President AMERA Operations, IT & SimplifEye and was based in Singapore. Christophe earned his master’s degree in mechanical engineering from ECAM School (Ecole Catholique des Arts & Metiers de Lyon) in France, and his executive MBA from Reims Management School. “Our mission is the common denominator among Essilor employees all over the world. It’s what links us together, no matter where we are. When I meet people from Essilor in other countries, I see how we all share our mission and it always feels great to experience this.”
Senior Vice President of Legal, Chief Legal Officer
David Milan joined Essilor of America in 2000 as General Counsel and Vice President of Legal. He is responsible for the Essilor of America legal department, which provides internal legal services for all of the Essilor of America affiliated entities in the United States. Prior to Essilor, David was a trial lawyer with Dallas-based Winstead, Sechrest and Minick, P.C., as well as serving as in-house counsel to Snelling Personnel Services and Pearle Vision, Inc. He received his bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Texas at Austin and his Juris Doctorate degree from Texas Tech University.
Executive Vice President
Kevin Rupp joined Essilor of America in 2000 as the Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration. During his career at Essilor, he has implemented a shared service organization for the administrative functions of the company, which has included an enterprise-wide systems implementation to provide full administrative services to all operating business units from a central shared service organization. Kevin has also headed the company’s acquisition efforts. As Executive Vice President, Kevin is responsible for Information Technology, Legal and multiple business units as well as holds the position Board of Director on many of the company's activities. Prior to joining Essilor, he was employed in the energy industry for more than 20 years with Arco, Fina, and TotalFina. A Certified Public Accountant, Rupp received his bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Houston. “We are fortunate to work in an industry to improve a person's life by improving their vision. As a successful company, with a strong valued culture of sharing our success, it is important to give back to the community that has made us successful. It is our duty as an organization to assure everyone has access to good vision and we provide a great avenue for our employees to do this through our Essilor Vision Foundation and Essilor Social Impact fund.”