Optical Laboratories Association and The Vision Council Sign Final Merger AgreementOLA named the new Optical Lab Division of The Vision Council
Alexandria, VA (January 27, 2012) - At The Vision Council's Executive Summit, the Optical Laboratories Association (OLA) and The Vision Council have signed a final merger agreement, naming OLA the new Optical Lab Division of The Vision Council. The activities of both associations will be combined to benefit their respective members.
"The OLA Board of Directors came to the 2012 Executive Summit, partly because of the unique synergistic environment here, specifically to complete the merger with The Vision Council," said Mike Francesconi, Chair, Optical Lab Division. "
The announcement follows years of discussion and deliberation by both groups, with the first Letter of Intent (LOI) signed in January 2010, a letter of agreement signed in October 2010 culminating with the final merger agreement signed here today.
"The Vision Council remains committed to ensuring there is a healthy optical marketplace for our members to thrive," said Jamie Shyer, The Vision Council Chairman. "This merger is just another measure that we've taken in that regard, given that optical laboratories play such a critical role in our industry's distribution model."
Since the first optical lab organization began in 1894, there have been five separate mergers of organizations, in parallel with changes in the industry. "We see today's merger as a continuation of that history, and a necessary step for labs to continue providing the best service and representation for optical labs," said Francesconi.
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 steering committee roster is as follows:
- Mike Francesconi, Katz & Klein (Chair)
- Virginia "Susie" Lesher, Brondstater Optical America (Vice Chair)
- Jon Jacobs, Superior Optical Labs (Past Chair)
- John Haigh, J & J Optical
- Drake McLean, Dietz-McLean Optical
- Chris Bowers, Walman Optical
- Swen Carlson, VSP Lab Columbus
- Ronald Cooke, Jr., Diversified Ophthalmics
- Bill Harding, LensTech Optical Laboratory
- David Jochims, Carl Zeiss Vision
- Keith Pulling, Essilor Labs of America
- Steve Swalgen, Santinelli International
- Adam Winkelman, Perfect Optics
- Rick Tinson, Hoya
Francesconi and Jon Jacobs (Past Chair) will represent the Optical Lab Division on The Vision Council's Board of Directors.
According to Francesconi, "This merger truly is a best of both worlds scenario. Lab members will continue to receive the same products & programs that they know and love from OLA, while having access to the latest market data, benefiting from consumer outreach programs, training for their accounts and more. In addition, labs will now have a chance to influence, develop and direct new programs that will help labs, given the resources available to us through The Vision Council."
Over the next few months, optical lab division members will receive updates and information about the new programs and services available to them. There will be an in-person opportunity to learn more while networking and taking continuing education, when the division convenes its next annual member meeting from September 5-8, 2012, in conjunction with Vision Expo West in Las Vegas.
For more information please contact Maureen Beddis at (703) 740-9496 or email@example.com.
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 through education, advocacy and consumer outreach. By sharing the latest in eyewear trends, advances in technology and advice from eyewear experts, The Vision Council serves as a resource to the public looking to learn more about options in eyeglasses and sunglasses.