2024 Thomas E. Anastor GPLI Distinguished Service Award

Presented to Don Ratkowski

“For outstanding service toward the goals, mission, and programs of the GP Lens Institute.”

About the Recipient


One of the greatest contact lens pioneers, Don Ratkowski founded Paragon Optical, later renamed Paragon Vision Sciences, in the 1970s. Don introduced one of the first modern GP materials – the Paraperm O2 lens. In early meetings with the CLMA, it was his collaborative efforts with his greatest competitor, Phil Keefer – the Boston lens representative – that really unified the CLMA and united them toward the importance of GP education. Ultimately, the GPLI (then the RGPLI) was started at a Paragon Optical Investigator’s Meeting, and the rest is history.



Don Ratkowski
Paradise Valley, AZ

Previous Recipients of the Award

2024 – Carl Moore and Don Ratokowski

2023 – Ursula Lotzkat and Pamela Witham

2022 – Dr. Edward S. Bennett