Change in leadership: Kabashi takes over the management of opti

Change in leadership: Kabashi takes over the management of opti

Cathleen Kabashi will take over the management of opti with immediate effect. Source: GHM

GHM (Gesellschaft für Handwerksmessen) has announced that Cathleen Kabashi will take over the management of opti with immediate effect and until further notice. Kabashi is thus responsible for the future and development of the international trade show for optics and design. The previous head, Bettina Reiter, is moving within GHM to the FAF trade fair.

With Cathleen Kabashi, an experienced trade fair expert is taking over the management of opti. As trade fair advisor and later director of iba, the world’s leading trade fair for the baking and confectionery industry, Kabashi has made a significant contribution to the further development and internationalisation of this leading trade fair since 2007, which has consistently shown itself to be an economic driver for the baking industry.
In 2021, Kabashi took over the position of division manager of B2B trade fairs at GHM, which she will continue to hold in parallel. Kabashi has networked and exchanged intensively with the ophthalmic industry, especially in the last year, and is consequently building on the good results and partnerships of opti 2023 with the proven team:

“I look forward to leading opti into a successful future in trusting cooperation with the associations and organisations of the optics industry and, of course, with the trade fair exhibitors. My special thanks go to Bettina Reiter, who successfully led opti for years and now has a desire for a change, which we are pleased to accept. I am particularly delighted that she is leaving opti in a strong starting position. The upheaval of the last three years has brought about a lot of change – which we will continue to shape in a positive way and with full commitment. The goal by 2024 is to further raise opti’s profile as the go-to event for start-ups and established industry giants.”

In order to implement this plan, the opti trade fair team is to be further expanded in the future. Kabashi plans to hand over the baton to a new leadership in the medium term, following the strategy of a strong opti in a strong market.

Klaus Plaschka, Managing Director of GHM Gesellschaft für Handwerksmessen mbH added: “Bettina Reiter has achieved great things in her eight years with opti. She not only established it as a leading industry platform, but together with her team, she also manoeuvred opti through the challenging pandemic period to its successful first event after the COVID restrictions in January 2023. We are happy to comply with her wish for change, because I am convinced that FAF – Farbe, Ausbau und Fassade, which takes place every three years, will benefit from Ms Reiter’s concentrated expertise from now on. I would like to expressly thank Bettina Reiter for her consistently excellent achievements for the optics industry!”

Vision Expo East 2023 successfully concluded

Vision Expo East 2023 successfully concluded

Vision Expo East. Source: The Vision Council

Vision Expo East 2023 concluded on Sunday, March 19, following four days of new product discovery,  education sessions, networking events, and business meetings. Held at New York City’s Javits Center from March 16–19, Vision Expo East was the largest gathering of ophthalmic professionals in the United States in recent years.

Vision Expo East featured 425 exhibiting companies, encompassing some of the biggest names in eyewear and eyecare. Attendees explored the industry’s top brands in seven unique exhibit neighborhoods.
In addition to the exhibit hall, industry professionals attended VisionEd—Vision Expo’s continuing education program—which included over 300 hours of sessions ranging from the latest business strategies and fashion trends to patient education tactics and cutting-edge innovations. Additionally, OptiCon @ Vision Expo returned with an unmatched opticianry education program and exhibit hall experience.
The Career Zone-Student Lounge, a destination for students to connect with optical companies that are actively recruiting and explore career resources, also returned to Vision Expo East on Saturday, March 18.
The Bridge, Vision Expo East’s main stage destination, featured a diverse range of inspiring and educational events including a highly anticipated keynote presentation from Jason Romero, a legally blind ultra-runner, and an exclusive conversation with radio personality and author, Delilah.

Vision Expo East 2023. Source: The Vison Council

NOW by Vision Expo, an eyewear trends showcase created by Nico Roseillier, Creative Director at Europa/State Optical/American Optical, returned for a second year and hosted its inaugural NOW Awards, honoring brands that embody the latest trends and innovations in eyewear.
The 2023 NOW Award Winners:
• NOW Best Sunglass Award: Under $250 retail category – Rimmel Eyewear
• NOW Best Sunglass Award: $250 to $500 retail category – Ethnicity Eyewear
• NOW Best Sunglass Award: $500 & above retail category – Le Lab by Pierre
• NOW Best Optical Award: Under $250 retail category – Mita
• NOW Best Optical Award: $250 to $500 retail category – Maison Nathalie Blanc
• NOW Best Optical Award: $500 & above category – Baars x Gogosha
• NOW Optical Achievement Award – James Spina
• NOW Special Design/Brand Activation – Vintage Frames Company
• NOW People’s Choice Award – Strak Eyewear

“The business conducted and ideas shared at Vision Expo East shape the future of this incredible industry,” said Mitch Barkley, Vice President of Trade Shows and Events at The Vision Council and co-organizer of Vision Expo. “We’re grateful to all our partners from across the sector who came together and made this show a success.”

Vision Expo West 2023 will be held in Las Vegas from September 27–30, 2023. The Show’s educational program, together with OptiCon @ Vision Expo, will open Wednesday, September 27, and the Exhibit Hall will open Thursday, September 28. Details on registration will be released in the coming months.

Anti-fog coating for Coburn´s velocity lens coater now available

Anti-fog coating for Coburn´s velocity lens coater now available

Coburn Technologies announced that Visgard UV Anti-Fog Coating is now available for use in their Velocity Spin Coater platform. Since Coburn’s acquisition by SDC Technologies, their development teams have been hard at work to enable Coburn’s lens coater to dispense SDC’s  coatings. Now, not only can labs apply high performance hard coatings like ProCoat, UVMAX, and DURA-UV, but also a permanent anti-fog coating that delivers best-in-class abrasion, chemical, and UV resistance.

“Visgard UV Anti-Fog Coating by FSI Technologies, a wholly owned subsidiary of SDC Technologies, is specifically formulated for spin coating application with an easy-to-use single coat system,” said Alex Incera, President of Coburn Technologies, Inc. “This product performs extremely well within our Velocity platform. We are very pleased with the results, and incorporating Visgard UV with Velocity is just one of the many innovations to come from our partnership with SDC Technologies.”

Coburn’s latest generation of the Velocity technology, Velocity 2D, allows labs to apply two different coatings in one comprehensive, inline system. As a result of this development, one of those coatings can be Visgard UV which will be automatically applied if the job calls for it. The demand for anti-fog lenses is higher than ever, and Visgard UV offers a permanent solution with durability that withstands numerous environmental factors.

EssilorLuxottica and ERG sign a long-term agreement

EssilorLuxottica, a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of ophthalmic lenses, frames and sunglasses, and ERG, a leading European producer of energy from renewable sources through its subsidiary ERG Power Generation, announced today that they have signed a twelve-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the supply of approximately 900 GWh of green energy between 2023-2034.
The agreement is based on the sale by ERG of approximately 75% of the energy produced by its Partinico-Monreale wind farm near Palermo, Italy, the first in the Group’s portfolio to complete repowering activities. Following the replacement of the entire facility with latest generation equipment, the wind farm will consist of 10 turbines of 4.2 MW with a total installed power of 42 MW (compared to the previous 19 turbines for a 16 MW installed power) and an estimated annual production of 94GWh (compared to the current 27 GWh). The wind farm is in an advanced stage of construction and will come into operation during the second quarter of 2023.
For EssilorLuxottica, this agreement marks an important step towards its objective of becoming carbon neutral in its direct operations (Scope 1 and 2 emissions) by 2025, starting with Europe by the end of the year, as outlined in its “Eyes on the Planet” Sustainability program.

Francesco Milleri, Chairman and CEO of EssilorLuxottica commented:
“At EssilorLuxottica we envision a better, cleaner future where our planet and people can thrive. As a sign of our long-term commitment in this area, we are proud to announce this strategic partnership with ERG supporting our goal to become carbon neutral in our direct operations and to reduce the impact of our value chain. Through Eyes on the Planet, we are contributing to the global agenda of tackling climate change and protecting our planet for generations to come”.

Paolo Merli, Chief Executive Officer of ERG commented:
“We are pleased with this agreement, a partnership between two leaders of the Italian industrial context committed to contributing to the decarbonization process through the development and use of renewable energy. The agreement allows us to maximize the value of our first Repowering project in Italy through energy sales mechanisms capable of stabilizing revenues, which are even more important given the current strong volatility scenario”.

tooz to become AR/VR competence center of the ZEISS Group

ZEISS has acquired the shares of the joint venture tooz technologies, which was founded together with Deutsche Telekom in 2018. ZEISS is thereby responding to the large, growing market potential in the fields of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) glasses.

Until now, each partner held 50% of the shares in the start-up, which develops high-tech optics in the area of augmented reality. ZEISS and Deutsche Telekom thereby pooled their expertise in the fields of optics, optoelectronics and connectivity – three critical factors for realizing market-ready smart glasses. This has proved a success, as evidenced by the development of seamlessly integrated complete solutions for smart glasses over the past years.

“In a challenging and exploratory technological environment, we have achieved all the goals and milestones that we set together with ZEISS and Deutsche Telekom,” says Dr. Kai Ströder, CEO of tooz. “Now is the right time to focus on the unique selling points: serial production and visual correction in imaging systems. We will also retain our start-up organization as part of the ZEISS Group to remain agile in this complex and dynamic technological race.”

As the ZEISS Group’s AR/VR competence center, tooz will further drive the development and integration of optics for augmented reality products completely independently. In the future, tooz will also equip optical systems from other manufacturers of AR/VR optics with prescription lenses to place products with an integrated prescription on the global markets.

“tooz covers specific competencies and technologies for design, engineering and manufacturing processes, which complement the existing capabilities at ZEISS quite well. tooz will benefit in particular from production and process know-how and the significant experience in the approval of medical optics, and will be better positioned on the international market in the future,” says Gerrit Schulte, Head of ZEISS Ventures.

Smart glasses, AR, mixed reality and VR will become part of daily life, for commercial applications but also especially for private use. Due to an increased demand internationally for personalized visual correction, an AR optic with a prescription is an essential customer requirement. The integration of tooz in the ZEISS Group addresses this market need and puts tooz in a stronger starting position.

Coburn: New Digital Marketing & Trade Show Specialist

Coburn: New Digital Marketing & Trade Show Specialist

Michael Kelly, Coburn Technologies

Coburn Technologies, Inc. is pleased to welcome Michael Kelly to their marketing team as their new Digital Marketing and Trade Show Specialist. In this role, Kelly will develop and implement marketing campaigns and strategies to promote the Coburn Technologies, Inc. brand through the planning, logistics and support of all North American trade shows, as well as digital marketing efforts through various media platforms.

“Michael brings a wealth of experience promoting and organizing conferences, trade shows, product expos, and meetings across technology manufacturing, higher education, and retail industries, along with website development,” states Coburn’s President, Alex Incera. “His diverse experience in various industries brings dynamic skills and background to our marketing team; experience that will bring exciting new opportunity to Coburn.”

Kelly earned an Associate of Applied Science in Visual Communication & Graphic Design from Linn-Benton Community College in Albany, Oregon, and studied Digital Media & Design, Digital Marketing at the University of Connecticut (UCONN), School of Fine Arts. He also completed a Full Stack Web Development Coding program in UCONN’s School of Engineering.

He started his career at First Alternative Natural Foods Co-op as a Graphic Designer/Marketing Assistant, followed by NIRSA: Leaders in Collegiate Recreation as the Digital Services Coordinator/Website Manager. Most recently he was the Multimedia Designer/Global Corporate Marketing Specialist at Mirion Technologies, Inc., a global manufacturer of radiation detection, measurement, analysis, and monitoring solutions for nuclear, defense, medical and research end markets.

Through these roles, Kelly comes to Coburn with experience executing B2B and B2C trade show and expo events for industrial and medical brands, and he has managed the full cycle of many marketing and advertising campaigns for various industries. With Coburn being a frequent exhibitor at many US and global trade shows, Kelly will surely thrive within the organization and accommodate a seamless transition.

“It is my honor to join the team at Coburn Technologies. It is evident that there is a wealth of technical knowledge and industry experience within the organization,” Kelly said. “I am looking forward to helping promote the company’s efforts in producing innovative ophthalmic technology solutions for customers around the world. As I begin my role, it is my ambitious goal to learn as much as possible about the trade and industry, Coburn’s extensive product portfolio, and the customers and communities we support.”

Michael will be at the Coburn Technologies booth F2435 at Vision Expo East at the Jacob Javitz Convention Center in New York, New York from March 17-19. Coburn welcomes visitors to the booth to get acquainted.