Suppliers, Guests Network and Talk Trends at Vision Council Summit

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla.— At its annual Executive Summit here, a record number of attendees, more than 290, from among The Vision Council member companies and other guests, gathered to hold divisional meetings, network and listen to speakers discuss creativity, leadership and the economy in a multi-pronged program here last month.

Also at the meeting, The Vision Council officially inducted its 2013 officers and board of directors. At the annual membership meeting, new officers were elected and Raanan Naftalovich of Shamir Insight was named chairman. Naftalovich has been an active member of The Vision Council for several years and is a past chair of its Lens Division, Finance Committee and Statistics Committee.

Naftalovich will be joined by Martin Bassett of Walman Optical as vice chairman, Dick Russo of Safilo as secretary/treasurer and Jamie Shyer of Zyloware Eyewear as immediate past chairman. Also elected were directors at large Doug Hepper of Vision Ease (Lens Division), Claudio Gottardi of Marchon (Eyewear & Accessories Division), John Corsini of Super Systems (Lens Processing Technology Division) and Andrea Dorigo of Luxottica (Eyewear & Accessories Division). The complete roster for the 2013 Board of Directors can be found online at

“The vision industry’s success lies in working closely with our government allies, capitalizing on critical changes in marketplace conditions and having the intuition to fully leverage advances in technology,” said Naftalovich, chairman of The Vision Council’s Board of Directors. “My predecessor, Jamie Shyer, did an excellent job of working alongside The Vision Council to tailor programs necessary for such industry growth. Our challenge in 2013 will be to further refine these programs to ensure they are running as efficiently and effectively as possible to meet the needs of our ever-growing and diverse membership.”

Naftalovich also cited government and regulatory affairs, consumer campaigns and professional relations with other groups as three broad areas of initiatives in 2013.

The Vision Council’s Program Committee, facilitated by Program Chair Mike Hundert and others on the committee, provided senior executives with an opportunity to participate in special breakouts and an interactive panel discussion on the future of eyewear distribution channels.

Members were also invited to exclusive networking events and presentations from two keynote speakers. Eric Ryan, co-founder of Method Products, Inc., discussed the importance of branding your company from the inside out and being product-centric in building a sound business model. Andrew Duguay, senior economist for the Institute for Trend Research, shared economic forecasts for the vision industry, which included insights into what leading economic indicators may be worth watching.

 Raanan Naftalovich of Shamir Insight is the new chairman of The Vision Council.
Enjoying some networking time were Shamir’s Hilaire Van Der Veen, (l), with Satisloh North America’s Larry Clarke.


 Outgoing chair, Zyloware’s Jamie Shyer, recognized the long-term contributions to the board and show committee of Santinelli’s Gerard Santinelli. Mike Daley, now liason for The Vision Council’s lab division, was also recognized. 

 Gathering at the opening night reception, (l to r) were A. Pepper Designs’ Nicolas Kioalicas; Luxottica’s Dave Plogmann; REM’s Mike Hundert and Steve Horowitz; and Zyloware’s Jim Galinsky.  VSP Vision Care’s Ed Buffington (c) with his wife, Marci, and The Vision Council’s CEO, Ed Greene.

 Method Product Inc’s Eric Ryan, engaged the crowd with a lively presentation on “The Method Method.”
 An insightful view of the economy was delivered by Andrew Duguay, Institute for Trend Research.

   Program chair Mike Hundert interviewed E. Dean Butler, industry retail executive and founder of Lenscrafters and Vision Express in a wide-ranging, one-on-one conversation about the optical market.


Moderators Howard Purcell, Essilor and Al Berg, co-founder Marchon, posed a series of questions about current retail and online trends with a diverse retail panel, which included, l to r, SEE’s Richard Golden; Ilori/OSA’s Rob McCoy; National Vision’s Bruce Steffey; and Ossip Optometry’s Greg Ossip, OD.