Vision Council Re-Elects Officers, Names New Board Members at Executive Summit Meeting


Enjoying the opening night dinner
and networking at The Vision Council’s annual executive summit are (l to r) Vision Council vice-chair, Walman’s Marty Bassett; Vision Council chairman, Raanan
Naftalovich; A&R Optical Machinery’s John Fried; Vision Ease Lens’ Doug Hepper; and Think About Your Eyes’ Dave Plogmann.

SUNNY ISLES, Fla.—Executives from all sectors of the optical and vision care industry are convening here this week for The Vision Council’s annual executive summit meeting, a series of organizational division meetings, networking events and sessions featuring speakers on a range of topics from international trade to innovation and leadership.

The group also elected officers for 2014. Re-elected chairman of The Vision Council is Raanan Naftalovich, Shamir Optical. Elected vice-chairman is Marty Bassett, Walman Optical. Richard Russo of Safilo USA was elected secretary-treasurer while Zyloware’s Jamie Shyer will serve as immediate past-chair this year.

Departing The Vision Council board and recognized for their many years of service to the organization were REM Eyewear’s Michael Hundert, Eyewear Designs’ Andrea Gluck, L’Amy America’s Stephen Rappoport and Transition Optical’s Dave Cole.

Various member division meetings tackled a number of issues. The Eyewear & Accessories group recognized Jeff Frumkin, former chair of the division, for his efforts and welcomed Kenmark Optical’s Mike Cundiffe to assume that role. In addition to hearing about the update of the division’s benchmarking program, the group listened to a panel discuss the potential impact and opportunities of the Affordable Care Act, featuring Prevent Blindness’ Jeff Todd, Advantica Benefits’ Andy Davis, the American Optometric Association’s Barry Barresi, OD, Bryan Cave LLP’s Bill Applegate, all moderated by Jason McElvaney, the Council’s government and regulatory affairs liaison.

At the general session, the nearly 300 attendees also heard an update about the program and campaign, as TAYE director of industry relations, Dave Plogmann, encouraged more companies to join other lead sponsors and participating ECPs in the national campaign to raise awareness about eye health and boost the scheduling of eye exams.

Program chair, Hundert, worked with The Vision Council’s Rene Soltis Shepherd to develop a stimulating series of sessions. One featured Ambassador Ron Kirk, former U.S. Trade Representative, discussing a wide range of issues affecting the U.S. and international trade. Game-Changing Trends in Advertising and Public Relations, moderated by Essilor’s Howard Purcell, OD, FAAO, featured leading industry business-to-business publishing and media execs. Today’s sessions will include a mega-session on health care reform featuring a panel and discussion facilitated by Transition’s Brian Hauser, a talk by economist Brian Beaulieu and a session on Innovation by Ideo’s Fred Dust.

Watch for more photos and info about The Vision Council 2014 Summit on Vision next week.