Services to Be Held for Former Marchon Co-CEO and Vision Industry Visionary, Al Berg


Al Berg

NEW YORK—Al Berg, one of the original co-founders of Marchon Eyewear, and the company's former president and CEO, passed away here on Sunday night, following a two-year battle with cancer, surrounded by his family. Berg was a dynamic and passionate leader of what became an internationally-recognized eyewear and sunwear company. He was known throughout the optical industry as a visionary and influential executive. He was active in The Vision Council and continued in his role at Marchon for about a year after the company was sold to VSP Global in 2008. He had since stepped back, keeping up his interests in many philanthropic activities and other ventures.

Larry Roth, Berg's former business partner told VMAIL, "Al Berg, my partner for 25 years at Marchon, was an incredible person. He was without a doubt the best communicator that I knew. His leadership ability was without par. He was tough at times but he did this to get the most out of an individual and I can personally attest to that. Those that understood his management style best knew that he was really a pussy cat. He was an influential leader in the optical industry, a great visionary, and a great partner to Jeff White and myself. He was extremely philanthropic but kept that side to a very few people. He will be missed by his former sales people, employees, friends that he made in the optical industry and by the incredible memories that we shared together.

Stated Nicola Zotta, Marchon president and CEO, "Al Berg was a greatly influential industry leader, serving as the co-founder, former president & CEO of Marchon Eyewear, and friend to many throughout the optical industry. Since co-founding Marchon in 1983, together with Larry Roth and Jeff White, he worked tirelessly for over 25 years to build Marchon into one of the global leaders in the eyewear industry with an extensive portfolio of iconic brands that were distributed in over 100 countries. Al will be greatly missed by all who knew him and we will honor his legacy by continuing to make Marchon the most admired global eyewear company in the world.”

Added Rob Lynch, VSP Global board member, "The optical industry lost a true original in Al Berg, co-founder and former president and CEO of Marchon Eyewear. While we are saddened by his passing, Al left an incredible legacy behind, having built one of the world’s greatest and largest eyewear companies, which still thrives today thanks to his vision and competitive spirit.”

Berg, 67, is survived by his wife, Dr. Gayle Berg, his son, Jarret Berg, his wife Jennifer, granddaughter Arielle and his daughter, Carly Berg Koenig and her husband Jeremy Koenig along with his sisters, Judy Berg and Marjorie Pugatch.

The funeral will be held this Thursday, March 14 at 11:00 am on Long Island at Gutterman’s Chapel, 8000 Jericho Tpke, Woodbury, N.Y. Berg's family said that anyone wishing to contribute something in Al's honor may be sent to the UJA Federation of New York, an organization close to Berg's heart, one with which he was deeply involved.

VMAIL is preparing a wider-ranging tribute to Berg in the coming days.