Record Numbers Gather at Executive Summit to Strategize, Innovate and Network

Record Numbers Gather at Executive Summit to Strategize, Innovate and Network

Optical Laboratories Association and The Vision Council Complete Merger

Alexandria, VA (February 10, 2012) - The Vision Council's 2012 Executive Summit, held at the Ritz-Carlton in Key Biscayne, Fla., January 25-27, drew more than 255 C-level executives from the optical industry, a new record for the organization's annual meeting.

The Executive Summit continues to be the premiere gathering place for leaders from all areas of business in the optical industry, said Mike Hundert, chair of The Vision Council's program committee and CEO of REM Eyewear. Executives are quickly taking notice that this is the best place to obtain fresh, relevant content that they can immediately implement into their business.

The 2012 program delivered a dynamic combination of networking opportunities, division meetings and hot-topic breakouts. Keynote addresses focused on hidden opportunities in a turbulent economy from two, sought-after speakers: Brian Beaulieu, market trend analyst for Institute for Trend Research, on Seeing the Future First and Adam Hartung, managing partner of Spark Partners, on Beating the Competition through Marketplace Disruption. Attendees were also invited to a presentation on Social Media Trends and Technology, a workshop on Innovation Implementation, and an industry panel discussion, Strategies in a Digital Age, exploring the hot topic of selling eyewear over the internet.

The concepts and strategies discussed at the Executive Summit are vital to the continued growth and success of our industry, said Jamie Shyer, chairman of The Vision Council's board of directors. When I was elected last year, I spoke about market growth and pledged that I would make sure our programs were designed with growth in mind. As of September 2011, our data shows that the total optical industry marketplace has shown a 3.2 percent increase. He added, This year, we're going to continue the momentum and push for even more success by ensuring that The Vision Council's programs align with the diverse needs and interests of our membership and the industry.

The Vision Council also hosted the 37th Total Ophthalmic Community (TOC) meeting at the Executive Summit. Key representatives from the National Alliance for Eye & Vision Research (NAEVR), Prevent Blindness America, National Association for Opticians & Optometrists (NAOO), Opticians Association of America (OAA) and Foundation for Eye Health Awareness were in attendance to share information about their key activities, explore opportunities for collaboration and discuss current and foreseeable challenges in the optical industry.

During the annual business meeting, The Vision Council and The Optical Laboratories Association (OLA) signed a final merger agreement, naming the OLA the new Optical Lab Division of The Vision Council. The merger comes after nearly two years of discussion and deliberation by both organizations, beginning with a letter of intent signed in January 2010, followed by a letter of agreement in October 2010. Both chairs signed the final agreement on January 26 to complete the merger. Moving forward, the OLA Board of Directors will become known as the Optical Lab Division Steering Committee, guiding all programs and services on behalf of the lab members. The complete steering committee roster can be found online at www.thevisioncouncil.org/ola.

For a complete meeting summary, and to access the post event resources from the 2012 Executive Summit, please visit www.thevisioncouncil.org/executivesummit.

EDITOR'S NOTE: High-resolution images are available upon request. Contact Stephanie Sikorski at ssikorski@thevisioncouncil.org.

About The Vision Council

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.