OLA and The Vision Council Announce Plans to Explore Synergies

OLA and The Vision Council Announce Plans to Explore Synergies

Open Forum to be Held at THE OLA Annual Meeting

Fairfax, VA (November 6, 2009) - Optical Laboratories Association (OLA) and The Vision Council have announced anongoing discussion to explore ways that the two associations can combine their efforts and activities for the benefit of their respective members.  “OLA and The Vision Council have always worked together on projects of mutual interest,” said J.Larry Enright, president of OLA. “It just makes sense to look at the full range of our memberships and activities to determine how we can each best serve the ophthalmic industry.”


“Changes in the industry have altered the business interests of our memberships,” Jon Jacobs, Superior Optical Lab. “The definitions of ‘supplier’ and ‘laboratory’ are changing. As the industry moves forward, we need to re-align our organizations to mirror the structure and meet the needs of the industry and better serve all of our customers.”


An open forum to review the synergies being explored between OLA and The Vision Council will be held during the December 4 General Session at THE OLA 2009 Annual Meeting with representatives from both organizations. “We are surveying OLA members in advance to confirm their core values and expectations from THE OLA Annual Meeting,” said Jeff Szymanski, Toledo Optical, “and that feedback will guide the proposal to be considered in December.” 


In particular, a proposal will be discussed to co-locate THE OLA Annual Meeting in Las Vegas and share the exhibit hall at International Vision Expo West . An update on the overall status of the potential collaboration of the OLA and The Vision Council will also be discussed at the open forum.

“We realize the first question on everyone’s mind would be regarding the combining of the OLA annual exposition with International Vision Expo West. However, there are various other considerations for OLA and The Vision Council, including overlapping memberships, activities within the organizations and the priorities of each organization”, said Mike Daley, chairman of The Vision Council.  “It is our responsibility as member-driven organizations to take the time to consider every opportunity for actions that will benefit our membership as a whole.”


“At the start, there are many more questions than answers,” said Kevin Bargman, Hawkins Optical, “but the underlying question is always, ‘How will this benefit our members?’’


The two associations will continue to collect member feedback on proposed changes to help guide their discussion. The organizations aim to have a final proposal at the end of the first quarter of 2010 for consideration by their respective memberships.



Optical Laboratories Association (OLA) is the international business association founded in 1894 to serve the needs of the optical laboratory industry.  OLA produces education and training for optical laboratories and for eye care professionals, including technical, legal, and regulatory bulletins and manuals, and industry conventions.


Serving as the global voice for vision care products and services, The Vision Council represents the manufacturers and suppliers of the optical industry. We position our members to be successful in a competitive marketplace through education, advocacy, consumer outreach, strategic relationship building and industry forums.