New Speakers Join Roster for VM’s ‘workSMART’ Summit as Early-Bird Registration Extends to Jan. 26


NEW YORK—The speaker roster for VM’s upcoming Global Leadership Summit, ‘workSMART – Leadership Tactics for Transformative Times’ has expanded with the addition of Michael Dorf, founder and CEO of City Winery. A fast-growing and unique operation, City Winery combines culinary and cultural in venues in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Boston and, soon, Washington D.C. Dorf, at the age of 23, founded New York City’s go-to venue for independent music, the Knitting Factory. From its inception to 2002, as chairman and CEO, Dorf helped foster the concert house into prominence and expanded the brand into Europe and Asia through the production and sale of records, as well as the creation of branded festivals and tours. By 2008, he conceptualized a venue that bought his love of music and wine into a new venue, City Winery.

Dorf will be one of the “Brand Tacticians’ at the VM Summit. He will join experts from the realms of pop-up retail, health care communications and multi-generational trends in the work force in the day-long-program. Early-bird registration has also been extended until midnight Jan. 26 for the 12th annual Summit. Registration details are here for the day-long live event which will be held Wednesday, March 14 at the Times Center here, just prior to Vision Expo East that week.

One of the Summit’s opening speakers will be Erin Byrne, CEO of GreyHealth Group who will address the intersecting dynamics of technology and health care and the flexibility required by industry leaders today. Named CEO in September 2017, Byrne was previously EVP and chief client officer at Grey, and prior to that, was managing director, digital media, of Burson-Marsteller agency.

Jason Dorsey, a leading Millennials and Gen Z researcher and speaker will be the 2018 VM Summit keynote speaker, talking about solving tough generational challenges for organizations and leaders. A featured guest on 60 Minutes, The Today Show and more than 100 TV interviews, Dorsey is chief strategy officer at the Center for Generational Kinetics where research drives conversations and decision-making among senior executives who are looking to solve working with multiple age and attitude groups within their work forces. His most recent book, Y-Size Your Business, addresses this challenge.

Retail futurist Melissa Gonzalez founded the The Lion-esque Group in 2009. Her firm includes retail strategists and pop-up architects (a phrase she’s trademarked) who have produced over 100 pop-up experiences in New York City, Chicago, Austin, Los Angeles, Puerto Rico and the Hamptons. Gonzalez is also a co-founder of The MARKET, chief pop-up retail architect of Loudoun, Virginia’s Smart City development.

She’s the author of The Pop-Up Paradigm, How brands build human connections in a digital age. Most recently, Lion’esque partnered with General Growth Properties (GGP), one of the country’s largest shopping mall operators, to develop “experiential data” concept shops for brands.

“The VM ‘workSMART’ program will investigate and illustrate a new agility mandate for all businesses,” said Marge Axelrad, SVP, editorial director of Vision Monday. “Top thinkers and doers in the new world of work and business are redefining retail, health care and service. But how does a company ‘pivot’? What does the current digital revolution mean for traditional business models?”

The VM Summit attracts senior industry executives, optical retailers, leading eyecare professionals, suppliers and key opinion leaders from the worldwide optical industry. It has become the place for face-to-face networking, a dynamic exchange of ideas and thought-provoking discussion.

The 2018 VM Summit Premier Sponsors are Essilor, Europa Eyewear and Luxottica. Signature Sponsors include Alcon and VisionWeb. Supporting Sponsors are VSP Global and CareCredit.