Management Education Program (MEP)
National Vision’s Management Education Program (MEP) was founded in 2011, and has been providing leadership education and development for managers throughout our organization ever since.
About the MEP Program
The MEP program was developed by our Training Department to provide new managers with the tools necessary to lead their teams and operate a successful business. Located at the Retail Support Center (RSC) in Duluth, GA, this team is responsible for training and coaching over 900 management level associates.
There are currently two courses available to new managers – MEP 101: Operations and MEP 201: People Skills. These courses are facilitated by Stephanie Zielenkievicz and Tracy Scott.
Stephanie, a Senior Learning Specialist, started with NVI in 2004 as a part-time associate in one of our Walmart Vision Center stores with no prior optical experience. She then moved over to our America’s Best division where she obtained her New Jersey Optician’s License in 2007. Stephanie joined the Training Department in December 2010, and began working on Management Education in 2012.
Tracy joined the NVI family in December 2014 as a Learning Specialist and came to us with an extensive optical and managerial background. She was a store manager, area manager and franchise business consultant before joining our Training team. Tracy is a proud Auburn University graduate with a degree in Political Science and a double minor in English.
MEP 101: Operations
The first course available to managers is MEP 101. The focus of MEP 101 is to prepare new store managers and assistant managers to effectively operate their stores on a day-to-day. Managers who are opening stores and newly promoted managers have first priority in the class and tenured managers are strongly encouraged to attend as well.
The week-long training course takes place at the Retail Support Center in Duluth, Georgia. During this time, attendees receive training on the following topics:
- Financial Audit
- Store Banking
- Code of Excellence
- Production Reports
- Net Promoter Score
- Remakes and Warranties
- Marketing (Traditional & Digital)
- Human Resources
- Inventory Control
- Managed Care
- Profit and Loss
- Supply Orders
- Petty Cash handling
- Daily Budget Planning Guide
- Performance Report Card
Reade also spends some quality time with the new managers and usually joins them for lunch. He does a roundtable discussion and gets to know the managers individually by discussing new and exciting items on the agenda for the company.
MEP 201: People Skills
The second course available to managers is MEP 201. Offered at least once per quarter, the focus of MEP 201 is to prepare store managers to be effective leaders and coaches. The course is available to area managers, general/store managers, and assistant managers. This course focuses on the soft skills needed to effectively train and coach store associates and on personal growth for all attending managers.
General Manager – Optical Center at the Naval Air Station Joint Reverse Base
When asked about MEP 101, Chelsea, a GM based in Fort Worth, TX says, “A strong structure is supported by having a solid foundation. MEP 101 focuses on introducing the fundamental resources and tools to set new recruits on the pathway to success. My most valuable takeaway was learning that all decisions I make need to have three things in mind; “Is it right for my customer? Right for my team? Right for my company?”“
Chelsea has been with NVI for two years and earned her American Board of Opticianry Certification (ABOC) in 2011 after only eight months in the optical industry. This fall, Chelsea will graduate from Tarleton State University with her degree in management. In her free time, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her husband and two-year-old daughter.
America’s Best District Manager – St. Louis, Missouri
Kyle Barnett says that “with MEP 201, our group of managers took a deeper look into leadership and the IQ Development System. We were pushed and stretched to the edges of our comfort zones by presenting core materials back to the trainers. Through this process I uncovered dormant leadership traits I never knew I had, and still utilize in my leadership style today.“
Kyle joined the National Vision family in October 2013 as General Manager of an America’s Best in Dothan, AL and was promoted to Area Manager of the South Alabama/Florida panhandle in November 2014. He has been the proud District Manager of St. Louis since March 2016. Kyle has a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Psychology from the University of South Alabama and studied Ophthalmic Dispensing at Canterbury Christ Church University in Kent, England.
America’s Best General Manager – Oxford, Alabama
Priscilla Garner adds, “Attending these training classes took me out of my comfort zone and was very vital to my growth as a new manager. All the instructors did an excellent job in leading us to teach back the material, which allowed me to gain the skills that I needed to lead our team and reach the level of success we have seen.“
Priscilla began her career with NVI in 2011 as an optician for America’s Best in Oxford, AL. After six months, she became a third key holder, and four months later was promoted to an Assistant Eyeglass Manager. In 2013, Priscilla was offered the opportunity to become a General Manager. Through this process, the training classes provided by NVI helped her not only become a better manager, but a better leader.
Priscilla feels truly blessed to work with her team in Oxford and have the opportunity to see their growth and development every year. She ends by saying, “This is an amazing company to be a part of, and I look forward to continue growing my career further with NVI!“
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