Over 60 People Attend The Vision Council’s Second Town Hall Meeting


NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.—Over 60 people from a cross-section of the optical industry, including lens, frame, and equipment companies and optical labs, attended The Vision Council’s second Town Hall Meeting to hear information on technical standards, government regulations, industry statistics and a special presentation by guest speaker, Dean Browell, PhD, of Feedback, a company that specializes in social media strategy.

Dave Plogmann, director of industry relations for Think About Your Eyes, presented information about the rollout of the national Think About Your Eyes consumer awareness campaign. A segment called The Vision Council 101 included information on tapping into the value of membership in The Vision Council, including sales and marketing tips and technical information on standards. Time was devoted to those laws affecting businesses in California such as Prop 65, which requires a “duty to warn” label on products when certain chemicals are used in the creation of products, such as lenses or frames.

The highlight of the three-hour event was the presentation by Browell on “How Consumers are Searching For, Talking About, Engaging With and Making Purchase Decisions Online for Eyewear and Eyecare.

“It’s no longer a matter of wondering ‘if’ your customers are using social media, it’s a matter of ‘how,’” said Browell. “Knowing how your customers are using things like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, can then tell you how to use the same tools to enter into the conversation.”

The Town Hall meeting ended with an open Q & A followed by a networking reception.

In related news, the Optical Women’s Association (OWA) members and guests gathered at the Hyatt Regency here, for a Meet and Greet networking event. The two hour event preceded The Vision Council’s Town Hall meeting, with many of the women continuing onto that event at the conclusion of the Meet and Greet.

With a mix of 50 percent current members and 50 percent guests, the Meet and Greet was an excellent opportunity for women in the industry to learn more about the OWA and to meet other optical women in the Southern California region. OWA president, Christie Walker, made a brief presentation about the benefits of joining and then opened the networking with individual introductions, where each woman shared their current role in the optical industry plus a personal passion they had outside of the industry.

“Having a smaller group of women really enhanced the networking aspect of the event,” said Walker. “I saw business cards being exchanged and watched as connections were being made. Our larger networking events at the Vision Expos have more of a party-like atmosphere, whereas this smaller event really hit the mark for connecting and networking. I hope to see more of these smaller Meet & Greet events pop up across the country.”

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Guest speaker Dean Browell, PhD, of Feedback, addresses the group.

Randy Baldwin (l), CareCredit, chats with Steve Kodey, The Vision Council during the networking event.

(L to R) Rod Tahran, Essilor, Ed Greene and Greg Chavez, The Vision Council, enjoy the networking event after the Town Hall Meeting.

Raanan Naftalovich, Shamir, welcomes attendees to the West Coast Town Hall Meeting.

REM’s Donna Gindy (l) and Gilda Mehraban enjoyed the presentations made at the Town Hall Meeting.

Thomas Brophy (l) and Miriam McGorin, VSP, attended the Town Hall Meeting.

Express Lens Lab’s Brian Goldstone (l) and John Rodriguez enjoyed the networking event after the Town Hall Meeting.

Thirteen women gathered in the library of the Hyatt Newport Beach for a small networking event before the start of The Vision Council’s West Coast Town Hall Meeting.

OWA member Charlene Law, Shamir, greets guest Liz Segre, Access Media Group.

(L to R) Dominique Yonemoto, and Camille Montegranario, Clariti Eyewear meet with Violet Baker, VSP at the OWA Meet and Greet.

(L to R) Cathy Ives, The Optical Vision Site, Samar Shamieh, Signet Armorlite, Charlene Law, Shamir and Dominique Yonemoto, Clariti Eyewear listen as one of the OWA members introduces herself to the group.