Aspasia Shappet, ECN Purpose’s President and CEO
ALISO VIEJO, Calif.—A newly formed non-profit organization, ECN Purpose, is quickly establishing a presence within the optical industry through its partnership with a popular rock concert vision care fundraiser. Though the organization is small, with just three staff members, it has big plans. In addition to supporting the rock fundraising event, ECN Purpose intends to help educate the public about eye health and facilitate access to vision care among people who are unemployed, uninsured, impoverished, elderly, immobile or in foster programs or youth sanctuaries. A program to provide mobile eye exams for underserved populations in conjunction with public serving organizations is in the planning stages.

“We believe that sight impacts everything, every day, everywhere. Helping individuals in need with their sight impacts their daily life. This is what drives our passion,” said Aspasia Shappet, a longtime managed vision care executive who is ECN Purpose’s president and CEO.
One of Shappet’s first moves after joining ECN Purpose was to seek out potential partners. An introduction to John Alofs and Bob Stein, producers of a long-running optical rock concert fundraiser, resulted in a commitment to support the event, now rebranded as Rock4Sight with Purpose. The first Rock4Sight with Purpose fundraiser show is set to take place at the Hard Rock Café in New York City’s Times Square on April 2, 2022.
“We are ecstatic to announce that the band is getting back together,” said Stein, who formerly ran philanthropic programs for the optical retail chain National Vision prior to his retirement last year. “COVID-19 may have knocked us down on a global scale, but failed to knock us out. We will once again rock out at the Hard Rock for our fabulous optical industry.”
Alofs, founder and CEO of Eyewear by R.O.I., added, “For 18 months we have been communicating with the more than 30 musicians who perform at our shows, and we can’t wait to play for the optical community again next April.”
Shappet told VMAIL that "the spirit of service" drew the Rock4Sight event planning team together. "This team includes individuals I admire and respect, so it was a special moment when we discussed our common intentions of helping those in need of eyecare. Everyone involved, including the musicians who perform at this event, are passionate about this industry. Celebrating our partnership with music, toward a unified goal of helping others, is beautifully in line with the mission and culture of ECN Purpose.”

Denise Mogil of Costco is the fourth member of the Rock4Sight planning team.

National Vision has signed on as the event’s lead sponsor, a role it has played at past shows. “National Vision is thrilled to sponsor this terrific event, this year benefiting ECN Purpose,” said Jacqueline Grove, senior vice president of philanthropy for National Vision. “We look forward to this event every year, and we are even more excited to be able to safely gather with other vaccinated optical colleagues and optometry students to listen to some great music for a terrific cause.”
ECN Purpose is descended from The Eye Care Network (ECN), a not-for-profit mutual benefit corporation begun in 1976 by a group of eyecare professionals. Upon the dissolution of ECN in 2020, half of its assets were designated to start a charitable organization named Charity of the Eye Care Network (CECN) to make access to vision care possible for the underserved populations. Doing business as ECN Purpose, CECN is continuing the passion and purpose of the original founding eyecare professionals.
Assisting Shappet in managing ECN Purpose are two former teachers, Cassandra Hume, who serves as associate director, and Carolyn Khuu, program manager. Both previously worked with Shappet while she was the CEO of MESVision, a provider of vision care plans.