GLENWOOD – Josh Adams sees Valley Contax as an American success story.

“I like to talk about our country and the opportunities we have in America,” Adams said Saturday during a Grand Opening celebration of the custom contact lens company. “I recognize the chances we have here. My mom left my dad in 1979 in Montana, trucked out here as a single mom with two kids under 5, and started working at Valley Contax making about six or eight bucks an hour.”

At age 16, while still in high school. Josh joined his mom, Janice, at Valley Cortex. Now 25 years later, Adams is vice president of the company, which continues to be on the cutting edge by providing more comfort.

“We’ve reinvented the contact lens,” Adams said. “First, there was the hard lens before the soft lens. They would use plaster, and your eyes would dry out and they would flip out of your eye. People used to lose their lenses all the time back in the 70s. 

“Now, we’ve spent the last 15 years reinventing the concept of the contact lens. It’s more comfortable, it doesn’t fly out at a basketball game, it seals moisture across the eye. I fill it with saline and it locks the moisture in, it’s more of a shield – your soft lenses dry out, but these lenses act as a shield.”

Not only has this Adams family become an American success story, they are frequently hearing life-changing stories because the company gives away hundreds of free lenses as part of the Custom Stable program. 

The new building, located at 4748 Franklin Blvd., is a Eugene address, but if you’re coming from the south and take the 30th Ave. exit, the Valley Contax building sort of ushers you into the Glenwood development. 

“It has a Eugene address, but we’re governed by Springfield Fire, Springfield City of Commerce, so go figure,” Adams said. “Glenwood is at the beginning of its trajectory, and we see so much promise for this community. It’s been very good to us, we see so much mixed-use housing, hopefully affordable housing … 

“We want to be part of the revitalization of Glenwood, and I wanted to reach out to some of the Wildish family, we’re so thankful even for them even letting us in. It’s tough to buy a building that’s not for sale.”

“This building was never for sale. They said this building was not for sale. I think they finally saw that it was a deal that could help their mission too.”

Valley Contax has now expanded into every state and 10 countries.

“It’s a small company (in Russia) – a guy named Peter who runs it with his son,” Adams said. “So far, we haven’t done anything – I know some people think we should cut all ties – but for now, we’re leaving him alone.” 

Adams said Valley Contax seeks to give optometrists a good name.

“We sell to the optometrists to make them look good,” Adams said. “We’re the unsung, behind-the-scenes heroes.”