European Sunglass Association and The Vision Council Announce Merger

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The European Sunglass Association (ESA) and The Vision Council, today announced their intent to merge and will outline specific details of the merger during a press conference to be held tomorrow at Silmo in Paris, France.

Both parties signed a comprehensive Joint Operating Agreement— effective immediately—with the goal of fully merging the ESA into The Vision Council within 12 months.

"This marks an exciting new chapter for our organization," said Jamie Shyer, chairman of The Vision Council’s board of directors. "By combining the leadership, programs and services from both associations, we are better positioned to support the growth and development of our members and the global vision industry."

To ensure a seamless transition, the ESA, its leadership and related committees will remain in place for one year. ESA members are entitled to select from six operating divisions within The Vision Council that provide guidance, education programs, marketing materials, research and advocacy outreach to address common interests among members. Each member is also eligible to serve on the various committees, subcommittees and task forces under The Vision Council structure.

The new union is an important step toward establishing a strong presence in Europe and will enable The Vision Council to better address European-based issues, according to the Vision Council.

"We are thrilled to join forces," said Martijn van Eerde, international marketing manager for the ESA. "The Vision Council is a well-oiled organization that has been extremely successful in servicing the American optical industry. Adding their resources, experience and creativity to the European Sunglass Association will create a wealth of services and benefits for the European optical industry.”

The addition of the ESA raises The Vision Council’s total membership to 724 members.

More information on becoming a member of The Vision Council us available from Greg Chavez, vice president of member services, at or (703) 740-1399.