The Vision Council and Reed Exhibitions, organizers of Vision Expo, today announced that Vision Expo East 2021, originally scheduled to take place at the Javits Center in New York City from May 25–28, 2021, will now take place at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida from June 2–5, 2021.
The Show’s educational program, together with OptiCon®@Vision Expo, will open Wednesday, June 2 and exhibits will open Thursday, June 3. The decision was based on the current restrictions on large gatherings in New York State and the successful track record of previous events held at the Orange County Convention Center.
“It is our mission and responsibility to the vision care community to provide a platform to effectively show products and conduct business,” said Mitch Barkley, Vice President of Trade Shows and Meetings at The Vision Council. “With strict limitations on large gatherings still in place in New York, we wanted to find a suitable location that would allow us to provide the exceptional Vision Expo experience that the community needs and deserves.
Given its track record of successfully hosting more than 50 in-person events between March 2020 and December 2020, we are confident the right decision is to move the show to the Orange County Convention Center as the new 2021 host site in order to give our customers every opportunity to network and share their new products.”
The Vision Council and Reed Exhibitions selected the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) as the new host site with the safety and wellbeing of all Vision Expo attendees in mind. The OCCC has strict health and safety precautions in place, as well as upholding all nationally recommended precautions, including mandatory mask-wearing and social distancing. Additionally, the OCCC is part of a first of its kind collaboration between Orlando Health and Visit Orlando, which provides convention groups with personalized medical planning and support. The OCCC was one of the first convention centers in the nation to receive the Global Biorisk Advisory Council’s GBAC STAR™ accreditation, which is designed to help facilities establish a comprehensive system of cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention, and is widely recognized as the gold standard of safe and prepared venues.The Orlando International Airport holds the same accreditation.
“The decision to adjust the show dates and location is a positive solution in the midst of a challenging time for everyone,” said Fran Pennella, Event Vice President, Vision Expo, at Reed Exhibitions. “As we continue our planning efforts, the health, wellbeing and safety of everyone in attendance at the Show continues to be our top priority, and we will be working closely with the Orange County Convention Center to ensure all health and safety guidelines and procedures are maintained.”
“In the spirit of coming together as an industry to emerge from the challenges of the pandemic stronger than ever, The Vision Council and Reed Exhibitions invite other industry organizations in the midst of planning events to consider joining us in Orlando in June,” said Mitch Barkley. “We are committed to getting back to business and growing our industry, and we are stronger together.”
Additional information on Vision Expo East 2021 will be announced soon, along with registration details. Organizations interested in co-locating their event with Vision Expo East should contact Mitch Barkley at email@example.com or Fran Pennella at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Vision Council is pleased to announce that, to-date, more than $150,000 has been raised for the Open Your Eyes Scholarship Program through a virtual auction, company pledges and individual donations.
The Open Your Eyes Scholarship Program is a charity, created by The Vision Council through the Better Vision Institute, designed to support high school students in marginalized communities throughout the United States who have an interest in pursuing a career in the optical industry. The Open Your Eyes Scholarship will support selected students through monetary scholarships to opticianry school, paid internships and mentorships. The intent of the program is to launch a far-reaching effort that can expand to other segments of the industry.
The Open Your Eyes Scholarship program is still accepting contributions. To donate to the Open Your Eyes Scholarship Program directly, click here.
To kick off the program launch, The Vision Council hosted a virtual auction from January 20 to January 27. Featuring exceptional items and experiences donated by The Vision Council’s members, including limited edition artwork, celebrity memorabilia, fashion pieces and unique experiences, the auction raised $19,821, all of which will be donated towards the scholarship program.
The auction concluded on January 27 during a celebratory virtual happy hour hosted by Ashley Mills, The Vision Council’s CEO, at the organization’s 2021 Executive Summit. Hosted under the banner of “A Celebration of OPTImism,” the happy hour included several special guests and announcements, including a surprise appearance from multi-Grammy-award winning artist, Maxwell, who was announced as the newest member of the Open Your Eyes Scholarship board of directors.
Additionally, Maxwell announced a frame collaboration with STATE. The brand will be donating a portion of proceeds from the frame to the scholarship program.
Several optical companies also made pledges during the event to contribute to the scholarship program.
The Vision Council, through the Better Vision Institute, is pleased to launch the Open Your Eyes Scholarship Program, a charity designed to support high school students in marginalized communities throughout the United States who have an interest in pursuing a career in the optical industry. The program will support selected students through monetary scholarships to opticianry school, paid internships and mentorships. The intent of the program is to launch a far-reaching effort that can expand to other segments of the industry.
The Better Vision Institute is an Educational Foundation connected to The Vision Council. While largely inactive for the last several years, The Vision Council has continued to maintain the Foundation until it was needed. The Foundation will now be activated to make educational grants.
“We all take great pride in how much vision impacts lives, and this scholarship is an extension of that, showing how the vision community can impact lives, as well,” said Ashley Mills, CEO of The Vision Council. “With the support of the vision care community, we will provide deserving students with not only the resources, but also the tools, guidance and work experience they need to succeed. We invite the vision care community to help us reach our goal of raising $1 million dollars by making a donation. Together, we can launch the next generation of opticianry students.”
“Some of the communities we will be working with have a mean household income that is less than the average licensed dispensing optician’s salary. Therefore, the tools and skills this scholarship will provide have the potential to truly change some of these students’ lives,” said Tarrence Lackran, Director of Programs and Partnerships at The Vision Council. “In addition, being able to bring professionals to our industry from diverse racial backgrounds will elevate our industry and fill the need for a more inclusive community.”
To kick off the scholarship program launch, The Vision Council and the Better Vision Institute are hosting a virtual auction, featuring exceptional items and experiences donated by The Vision Council’s members. The auction starts today, January 20 at 9:00 am EST and bids will be accepted until Wednesday, January 27 at 6:30 pm EST, following a virtual happy hour hosted by Ashley Mills, The Vision Council’s CEO, during the organization’s 2021 Executive Summit.
Presented under the banner of “A Celebration of OPTImism,” the virtual happy hour will take place from 5:30–6:30 pm EST on Wednesday, January 27 and will feature a surprise special guest appearance by a multi-Grammy-award winning artist.
To register for The Vision Council’s Executive Summit, click here.
All proceeds from the auction will be donated to the scholarship program. To view the auction items and make a bid, visit 32auctions.com/O-YES.
Christopher Lentocha, new Director of Service.
Coburn Technologies, Inc. is pleased to welcome Christopher Lentocha to their service team as their new Director of Service. Lentocha will lead and implement Coburn’s service plans for their United States and Latin America markets. This will include providing leadership, guidance, training and support to the field service team, technical support, and Customer Care Center departments.
“Chris has experience in the optical and medical industries, bringing more than 17 years of service experience to Coburn. He has broad industry knowledge when it comes to customer satisfaction, strategic planning, operations management, and more. He will be an integral addition to our team,” states Coburn’s President, Alex Incera. “We are very impressed with Chris’ achievements and credentials as it relates to business acumen and keen attention to customer needs. As we continuously refine our attention to service, Chris’ qualifications will further drive our customer successes.”
Lentocha started his service career at Gerber Optical in 1994, and continued with Gerber Coburn, Gerber Products, and then at Gerber Scientific managing the shared services call center for 4 years. His latest roles included Director of Customer Service at VITAS Healthcare, Customer Service Design and Contracts Manager at Pelican Products, Inc., and then Patient Call Center Manager at Meridian Medical Management.
“I am impressed with Coburn’s service team and I am excited to join them,” Lentocha said. “My role will be to oversee and lead the field service team, technical support and Customer Care Center. Coburn has taken great strides to enhance the customer experience in 2020, and I look forward to collaborating with the team and building relationships with customers in the new year and beyond.”
“Working with and knowing Chris for many years, I know he will be a fundamental addition to the team and will foster strong relationships with our customers to successfully meet and exceed their support and service needs,” states Alex Incera. “Chris’ background in the optical and medical industries makes him a valuable source of expertise for both our customers and our team, and our service department will only improve because of this.”
The Vision Council shared details on the themed breakout sessions planned for the 2021 Executive Summit, taking place virtually from January 26–28, 2021.
On Wednesday, January 27 and Thursday, January 28, The Vision Council will present three breakout sessions each day focused on the topics of Senior Leadership Tactics, Marketing Strategies and Telehealth. Hosted by industry leaders and presented under the unifying concept of “The Pivot: Changing Your Mindset During Difficult Times,” the sessions will highlight how optical leaders are tackling the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on their businesses and what strategies they plan on employing in 2021.
The three breakout sessions will take place concurrently each day and attendees will have the option to select the breakout session that is most pertinent to their business needs.
Each day, the Senior Leadership and Marketing Strategy breakouts will feature moderated conversations led by industry experts, with a rotating group of panelists comprised of both industry leaders and experts from other fields, followed by Q&A sessions with the audience. The Telehealth breakout, offered both days, will feature a comprehensive forecast for 2021 followed by an interactive Q&A session.
“A complement to the comprehensive industry overview we will provide during other points of the Executive Summit, like the state of the industry session, the themed breakouts will allow attendees to customize their Executive Summit experience and dig deeper into the topics that are most relevant to their interests,” said Ashley Mills, CEO of The Vision Council. “We have designed the sessions to be engaging and interactive, with a curated group of the industry’s most well-respected leaders and experts, as well as several exciting guests from other fields, slated to host these thought-provoking conversations.”
On Wednesday, January 27, the breakout sessions will take place from 2:15–3:00 p.m. EST. Attendees will have the option to attend the session of their choice from the three topics listed below:
Wednesday, January 27; 2:15–3:00 p.m. EST
Option 1: Senior Leadership: Leading Your Team in a Post-Pandemic World
Marc Ferrara, president, Jobson Optical Group, and Marge Axelrad, senior vice president, editorial director of Vision Monday/VMAIL, will co-moderate a panel featuring a distinct group of senior optical industry executives during which they will explore the tactics these leaders have implemented to design their approach for 2021. Boasting diverse backgrounds across different segments of the optical industry, the panelists will share insights into the consumer and patient mindsets; how priorities have changed; and how they are refocusing their teams to be nimble in a fluid business environment.
Wednesday’s featured speakers will include:
• David Gilboa, Co-CEO, Warby Parker
• Kate Renwick-Espinosa, President, VSP Vision Care
• Marty Bassett, CEO, Walman Optical
Option 2: Adapting Marketing Strategies in the Age of a Pandemic
Moderated by Erinn Morgan, Editor-in-Chief at Eyecare Business Magazine, this marketing-focused breakout session will feature critical insights and innovative ideas through a conversation with Jonah Berger, PH.D, a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and internationally bestselling author of Contagious, Invisible Influence, and The Catalyst, and Chase Fisher, founder and CEO at Blenders Eyewear.
Designed to help marketing executives examine their own focus and define new ways of doing business during the pandemic and beyond, key discussion points will include: social listening; the power of hosting virtual events; telling authentic stories to speak to the new normal; and the critical value of social and philanthropic efforts.
Option 3: Telehealth: Overview of the Economics of Telehealth in Eyecare in 2021
Bryan Rogoff, OD, senior product manager, disease management at Zeiss Meditec, will share essential information about the economics of telehealth in eyecare, followed by a collaborative discussion with attendees about how industry partners can formulate a telehealth strategy.
On Thursday, January 28, the breakout sessions will take place from 1:30–2:15 p.m. EST. Attendees will have the option to attend the session of their choice from the three topics listed below:
Thursday, January 28; 1:30-2:15 p.m. EST
Option 1: Senior Leadership: Leading Your Team in a Post-Pandemic World
On the second day of the Senior Leadership breakout, Marc Ferrara, president, Jobson Optical Group, and Marge Axelrad, senior vice president, editorial director of Vision Monday/VMAIL, will co-moderate a conversation with a different group of senior optical industry executives exploring leadership tactics and disciplines for 2021.
Thursday’s featured speakers will include:
• Fabrizio Uguzzoni, President, Luxottica Wholesale N.A.
• Karen Roberts, Vice President Global Business Solutions/Customer Enablement, Carl Zeiss Vision International
• Michael Bender, President and CEO, Eyemart Express
Option 2: Storytelling in 2020: How It Changed and What It Taught Us
Moderated by Dee Carroll, Editor-in-Chief of INVISION Magazine, this panel will explore how high-touch, experiential, and service-oriented businesses pivoted their messaging to keep their consumers informed, engaged and reassured. The speakers will share their experience of pivoting their organization’s approach in 2020 to remain sensitive to current events and continue to serve their customers. They will also discuss their lessons learned so other consumer-facing, service-focused businesses can handle any crisis that may arise going forward.
Featured speakers include:
• Michael A. “Mick” Kling, OD, Founder and CEO, Invision Optometry
• John Deluna, Vice President of Marketing, AEG Vision
• Samar Younes, Vice President, Creative Director, SHOWFIELDS
Option 3: Telehealth: Overview of the Economics of Telehealth in Eyecare in 2021
Bryan Rogoff, OD, senior product manager, disease management at Zeiss Meditec, will again share essential information about the economics of telehealth in eyecare, followed by a collaborative discussion about how industry partners can formulate a telehealth strategy.
The Vision Council’s 2021 Executive Summit is taking place for the first time in a virtual format from January 26–28, 2021 under the banner of “An OPTImistic View of the Future.” Over the course of three days, The Executive Summit will illuminate the state of the industry, spotlight key business trends and present actionable approaches to confronting the challenges of the marketplace through a robust schedule of engaging presentations, interactive panels and personalized networking sessions.