COLA Becomes a Subcommittee of The Vision Council

By Christie Walker: Contributing Editor

TEMECULA, Calif.—The California Optical Laboratory Association (COLA) officially became a subcommittee of The Vision Council with the signing of documents at the annual COLA meeting held here. Mike Daley, liaison to the Lab Division of The Vision Council and Raanan Naftalovich, president of The Vision Council, signed papers with COLA president Lori Treadwell and Lab Division chair, Susie Lesher before the start of the educational presentations.

“This is a historic moment. You are all here at the beginning of the change,” Daley told a packed room of optical labs and vendor reps. “Today, we signed an agreement that will insure the future of COLA. I believe this will be good for COLA and good for the industry.”

COLA was founded in 1957 as a networking and educational event. Over the years, membership has been falling off due to consolidation among optical labs. The future of COLA as an organization was at risk with attendance at the annual meeting shrinking each year.

“It’s great news for all of us to have COLA as part of the organization,” said Naftalovich. “With the addition of the former OLA to The Vision Council, the Lab Division now sits at the same table with the other optical divisions. These divisions drive the strategies and direction of The Vision Council. Now COLA is a part of this process.” Naftalovich continued his presentation to the group outlining the benefits of being a member of The Vision Council and urging attendees to get involved.

With record attendance this year, COLA is back on track, maintaining their mix of fun, networking and education. Some of the education sessions included a California Optical Market Update by Ashley Danchuck, manager of association research, The Vision Council; a Regulartory/Standard Update with a special focus on California Prop 65 by Jeff Endres, The Vision Council; a panel discussion moderated by Susie Lesher, chair, Optical Lab Division, featuring retail, corporate and managed vision care optical lab perspectives.

 Signing the documents to make COLA a subcommittee of The Vision Council are (l to r seated) Raanan Naftalovich, Susie Lesher, Lori Treadwell and Mike Daley (standing).
 Enjoying the networking event at COLA are (l to r) Eric Soviak, Satisloh, Lori Treadwell, COLA president, Bob Babcock, Essilor, Ken Lin, XtraLight Optical, and Lee Pickett, Lap Optical.

 Winner of the 2013 Good Fellow Award John Haigh, J&J Optical.
 The education sessions were packed as labs and vendors gathered to hear presentations by The Vision Council.