In 1961, Rodney founded Western Optical, a Canadian optical distribution company. 50 years later, Western Optical has evolved into Westgroupe, with 2 frame divisions that distribute eyewear in Canada as well as exporting their proprietary brands to over 40 countries around the globe. Over the years, Rodney has grown his business, through hard work and smart business acumen. His strong notion of family, and his loyalty and commitment to his staff and business associates has fostered a corporate philosophy that focuses on our customer commitment to excellent service and exceptional products.
As a second-generation leader in Canada’s optical industry, Montreal native and eyewear executive, Michael Suliteanu sits at the helm of his family’s 50 year old Montreal-based company, WestGroupe Optical.
In 1990, Michael joined the family business, which was founded as Western Optical in 1961 by their father Rod Suliteanu. Over the past 20 years, Michael has worked to learn the business from the ground up, starting as a sales representative in 1990 and moving through the hierarchy to VP sales in 1998. In 2009, he became President, overseeing day-to-day operations of both frame divisions Western Optical and Wescan.
Vice-President of Product Development
In 1994, following positions as a marketing analyst and product manager in the pharmaceutical industry, Beverly Suliteanu joined her family’s business Westgroupe. Over the years she has held key positions in sales and purchasing and is currently Vice President of Product Development. Beverly oversees the development, design and manufacturing of Westgroupe’s proprietary eyewear brands as well as ensuring the proper product mix within the company’s brand portfolio. Beverly’s design perspective is influenced by the trends in fashion and interior design, as well as her love of travel and her interest in the unique and varied cultures she experiences around the world.
Chief Operating Officer
Mike started his outstanding optical selling career in 1990. He spent 15 years launching and selling many prominent brands. Mike joined WestGroupe in June 2005 as Canadian National Sales Manager where he oversaw the expansion of the Canadian sales force. He was subsequently promoted to Vice President of North American Sales in March 2010. Mike has been instrumental in the global growth of WestGroupe, which lead to his promotion to Executive Vice-President of Global Sales in 2015. In February 2018, Mike was promoted to Chief Operating Officer where he continues to oversee the sales teams along with the corporate head office.
Vice President of Sales for WestGroupe USA
After serving in the US Marine Corps and getting his degree from East Tennessee State University, Dennis began his career in the optical industry in 1990 as a territory sales representative in the United States. Dennis held positions of both National Trainer and Regional Manager before being promoted to Vice President of Sales for the United States in 2004 for a worldwide leading optical company. Dennis has overseen all aspects of a sales organization and in December 2014, he made the exciting move to Vice President of Sales for WestGroupe USA.
Eastern Canada Sales Manager
Mylene has been in the optical industry for the last 15 years on both the retail and wholesale sides of the business. She joined WestGroupe in 2010 as a Sales Representative for the Wescan division in Eastern Quebec.
Mylene is a certified Optician, who also holds a degree in Fashion Marketing and has studied business and sales management at the University level. In 2014, Mylene took on the role of Eastern Canada Sales Manager and has recently taken on the role of Eastern Canada Sales Director.
Western Canada Sales Manager
Darin has over 15 years of
experience in the optical industry, including 13 as a sales rep in the Western and Ontario territories. He has been with WestGroupe for over 10 years, becoming Western
Canada Sales Manager in January of 2020. Prior to making the career transition to the optical field, he worked in the retail electronics industry for 13 years, as a Store
Manager, Regional Marketing Manager, and Regional Sales Manager. This experience has given him the tools to help our Optical partners navigate the ever-changing world of retail.
Central Regional Sales Manager for WestGroupe USA
Gayle has enjoyed many years in the optical industry serving in both the wholesale and retail sectors. Her optical career started in 1981 as a sales representative, advancing into Regional Sales Management, National Sales Trainer, Practice Management Coordinator & Product Development for leading optical companies. She also spent 10 years as Optical Manager and Buyer for a multi-location practice in Tennessee. In April 2015, she joined the WestGroupe USA team as US Corporate Brand Manager and US Vision Source liaison.
Western Regional Manager for WestGroupe USA
With a 17-year career in the soft drink business, Chris made the shift to optical in 1997. His first challenge was to pioneer a territory in Oklahoma where his hard work and dedication were rewarded with Rookie of the Year and Rep of the Year. Following his success in the field, he was promoted to Regional Manager in 2000. Chris is a great leader and some of his proudest moments were seeing multiple team members win Rep and Rookie of the Year, as well as his team winning Region of the Year on numerous occasions. Since joining WestGroupe in 2016 as Central Regional Sales Director, Chris has proven his sales and leadership skills are result-oriented, leading to his promotion to National Sales Manager in 2017.
North-Eastern Regional Sales Manager for WestGroupe USA
Heidi launched her career in sales management more than 20 years ago in the textile industry, where she earned numerous sales awards. She came into the optical industry with a leading optical company in 2010, and her sales contributions resulted in her induction into the President’s Circle. Heidi joined WestGroupe USA in 2015, earning the Sales Rep of the Year award in 2016 for her outstanding sales achievements. In September 2017, Heidi was promoted to the position of Regional Sales Director in the Northeast.
Export Sales Manager
Wally has been an integral part of WestGroupe for the past 10 years. She began her optical career with WestGroupe in 2007 in the international customer service division, and was quickly promoted to department manager. In 2014, Wally took over the Eastern Ontario territory as a Sales Representative to expand her expertise. In December 2017, Wally was promoted to Export Sales Manager where she draws upon her combined sales and management experience to expand WestGroupe’s business into the global market.
South-Eastern Regional Sales Manager for WestGroupe USA
Chris started his optical career in 1993, where he worked as an independent rep for 11 years and earned both Rookie and Sales Rep of the Year distinctions. Over the years, Chris’ path led him to take on different management roles that lead to several Manager of the Year awards. As a seasoned optical professional, Chris understands what it takes to succeed in the industry. In November 2017, Chris joined WestGroupe USA as the Southeast Regional Sales Director.
Vice President of Technology and Supply Chain
Joon is responsible for ensuring that Westgroupe’s technology platform is aligned with the corporate strategy, while optimized to support continuous improvement of internal processes. He has more than thirty years of I.T experience. Prior to joining Westgroupe, he worked at Via Rail Canada, Air Canada and Aon Hewitt (Global Outsourcing) supporting key account clients including Rogers, CIBC and Bank of Montreal. He brings to Westgroupe a wealth of knowledge in both business and technology. Joon completed his Bachelor of Engineering and MBA at McGill University.
Western Regional Sales Manager USA
With nearly 30 years of expertise in the optical industry, Jim Sepanek has served as
the Vice President of Business Development at De Rigo Rem. He has held executive positions at SPY Optic, Signature Eyewear, Revo, and Rem Eyewear,
championing a dedicated and innovative approach to advancing business, sales and brand development. As the Western Regional Sales Manager with WestGroupe USA,
Jim oversees the development and performance of sales in the Western Region with an agenda of driving key performance metrics necessary to realize
the company’s potential.
Director of Product Development and Marketing
After getting her degree in Business Marketing from Concordia University, Alexis joined WestGroupe
in 2009 in the product development department. She was subsequently promoted to Manager of Product Development. Alexis has been instrumental in the design and development
of WestGroupe’s product portfolio and has been an integral part of marketing Westgroupe’s brands over the years which led to her promotion to Director of Product Development
and Marketing in 2020.
With a CPA, CGA designation,
and an MBA in Finance, Donna Lisk has over 30 years of experience in Corporate Finance and Accounting in the consumer goods industry. She began her career in the electrical industry where she rose through the ranks to
the position of Business Administration Manager. In 1999, she transitioned to the apparel industry where she spent 14 years in the Canadian division of
a large multinational company and was promoted to CFO in 2009. She subsequently has held CFO positions in two other well-known apparel companies before
joining the Westgroupe family in February 2021.