In 1937 Harry Katz (far right) and Russell Klein (far left) began Katz & Klein from a tiny office building in downtown Sacramento. At the time this photograph was taken, Katz & Klein had 20 employees and today employs more than 50 eyecare specialists.
Where We've Been
Meet the current Katz & Klein team
In March of 1937 Harry Katz and Russell Klein combined their more than 30 years experience in the optical business to form this corporation, a wholesale optical laboratory designed to fill the needs of the growing optical industry in the Sacramento area.
Starting with three employees, including themselves, Katz & Klein began operating from a tiny office in downtown Sacramento, California. By the second day of business, however, they already had a fourth employee.
Russell Klein retired in 1959 and Harry Katz followed a year later when his son Ellis purchased the lab in 1960. Ellis Katz was president of California Optical Laboratory Association in 1968, served on the board of the Optical Laboratory Association in 1967 and became president in 1972. In 1970 he was one of the founders of Global Optics (in Green Bay Wisconsin) which now has 20 laboratories. In 2000 Ellis was inducted into the Optical Pioneers as a charter member and retired in 2002 after 67 years in the optical industry.
From their humble beginnings, Katz & Klein has grown to more than 40 eyecare specialists; is serving the entire state of California as well as parts of Nevada; is the oldest laboratory in California; and is one of the largest and more experienced optical laboratories on the West Coast. Katz & Klein is run by Corrine Hood, President and Mike Francesconi, Vice President and vow to continue the tradition of "sincerity in service" so long ago established by Harry Katz and Russell Klein.
CORRINE HOOD, PRESIDENT
Corrine began her career at Katz & Klein in 1966 while attending UCS. She began as a bookkeeper assistant and then started working in the lab in 1969. Her quickness in learning and her interest in the optical field earned her a partnership in 1972. Ellis Katz, Harry’s son, passed on the role of president to Corrine in 1985. Other accomplishments include:
- Served as lobbyist for the California Optical Laboratories Association
- President of the California Optical Laboratories Association
- President of the Optical Laboratories Association (OLA) 1997
- Received the Optical Good Fellows Award 1994
- Lab Talk Magazine Advisory Board Member
- Listed in Who’s Who of women business leaders
- President of Soroptimist International of Greater Sacramento 1996
- Optical Pioneer Award 2002
- Listed one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Optical 2003
- Licensed Dispensing Optician
- Recipient of VSP's People First Award 2007
- Member of Global Optics Board of Directors - 2007 to present
MIKE FRANCESCONI, VICE PRESIDENT
After a successful sales career with Levi Strauss, Mike switched gears and came to work in sales for Katz & Klein in January, 1978. In just two years, Mike was promoted to sales manager. Wanting to learn more of the nuts and bolts of the lab, Mike in 1984 became production manager of lab operation. In 1987, he became a partner in Katz & Klein. Finally, in 1990 Mike became vice president while still overseeing the sales department. Other accomplishments include:
- President of the California Optical Laboratories Association
(COLA) - 1996-1998
- American Board of Opticianry (ABO) approved speaker
- California Optometric Association (COA) Vision Project Board
Member - 1998 to present
- Optical Pioneer member
- Member of the Global Marketing Committee 2002 to present
- Received the Optical Good Fellows Award 2007
- Vice President of the Optical Laboratories (OLA) Board of Directors -
Member 2007 to present
- Member of Romulus Italian Organization that raises money for
various charities in the Sacramento area - 2006 to present
Our current management team is still commited to continue the tradition of "sincerity in service" established over 70 years ago by Harry Katz and Russell Klein.
Full Service Laboratory
We at Katz and Klein are constantly striving to give you the best service in the industry. Here is a partial list of the programs we offer designed to support you and your practice.
- DVI - Digital Vision. State of the Art equipment
- Supreme Partnership in Eye Care (S.P.I.E.)
- P.E.N., Vision West and C & E members
- Katz Prudent Plan (frame & lens package)
- Adopt-A-Vison/California Vision Project
- In-Office Lens Seminars
- Berkeley Optometry Student School Party since 1970
- Student Intern Program at Lab
- Your Hilco/Grobet Representative
- Cal Berkeley Optometry School Golf Tournament
- Legislative support since 1966
- Corrine Hood past president of OLA and COLA
- Mike Francesconi past president of COLA - ABO approved speaker
- Electronic Rx Transmission
- Safety programs/private and industrial
- PRIO Vision Testers
- Lab Tours (hands-on training)
- Deliveries every day
- Turn around time is 1-1/2 days in Lab
- Nationally recognized speakers at our seminars
- IDC - Internet Doctor Communications
If you are interested in any of these programs please contact
Corrine or Mike at 800.698.5265
Features of Our Laboratory
Since 1937, Katz and Klein has offered a complete prescription laboratory with the latest product lines. Backed by a team of 50 experienced optical personnel, our customer service representatives are able to answer your questions and inquiries promptly, assuring correct prescriptions and on-time deliveries.
We are committed to the industry and support many professional schools and associations as well as professional trade shows and trade journals through advertising and we are a contract laboratory for P.E.N., V.S.P., Vision West and C&E.
Our outside sales department is comprised of experienced optical professionals who are certified speakers and presenters on the latest in lens technology. Katz and Klein is the oldest laboratory in California and a leader in the optical industry. We are a lab your practice can grow with.
Katz & Klein is proud to be a member of the GLOBAL network, an association of 20 independent optical laboratories who have teamed up with their buying power to maintain inventory in a 34,000 square foot warehouse. What that means to you is no back orders and 24-hour delivery of prescription lenses.