Top Optical Retail Leader to Join Digital Tech Expert and Leading Data Analyst for VM Summit’s ‘Future of Healthcare’ Program

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(L to R) Robin Raskin, Marc Albanese, Sue Downes.
NEW YORK—Honing its focus on the “Future of Healthcare,” the Vision Monday Global Leadership Summit is adding three experts with diverse backgrounds to its growing speaker lineup. The new speakers—Sue Downes of MyEyeDr., Robin Raskin of Living in Digital Times and Marc Albanese of CB Insights—join a rich Summit roster that includes thought leaders in integrated healthcare, finance, vision technology and consumer behavior. Sue Downes is CEO and co-founder of MyEyeDr. Starting with one office in 2001, she has led the MyEyeDr. brand to add almost 600 locations across 25 states and the District of Columbia.

Downes has created a brand identity for MyEyeDr. that connects independent optometry practices under one unifying mission—to deliver consistent personalized care and the best vision health and wellness experience for patients.

Downes had an extensive career in the industry before starting MyEyeDr. She was the assistant vice president with Hour Eyes and later, Eye Care Centers of America. She co-founded and was president of MyEyeDr. at its inception in October of 2001, and in April 2015, she was elevated to CEO.

In addition to her work managing MyEyeDr. offices, Downes served on the advisory board for the Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind & Visually Impaired, is a past board member of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce and previously served on the board of the OWA. She is the recipient of several prestigious honors including, Montgomery County Chamber’s “Spirit of Free Enterprise” award, VM's 2011 most influential woman award, the 2012 smart CEO award for Entrepreneurial spirit, the 2015 ACG Corporate Growth Award, and was named the Optical Women’s Association 2016 winner of the Pleiades Award. And most recently, Downes was named the 2018 Person of Vision by Prevent Blindness.

As of the end of 2019, MyEyeDr. finished an active year, operating 571 offices, and generating estimated revenues of $775 million, with practices in 25 states.

At the VM Summit, Downes will be sharing the technologies and digital tools that MyEyeDr. is currently exploring and how she envisions those tools and initiatives to helping the group to forge new and modern connections with patients in a fast-changing healthcare landscape.

Robin Raskin is the founder of Living in Digital Times (LIDT), a team of technophiles who bring together top experts and the latest innovations to look at the intersection of lifestyle and technology. LIDT produced a number of notable conferences and expos at CES and at conferences and events worldwide.

The company’s trademark events include Last Gadget Standing, Digital Health Summit, FashionWare, Fitness Tech Summit, Kids@Play Summit, The Digital Money Forum and others. Living in Digital Times was recently acquired by CTA, the parent company of CES, but Raskin remains an active consultant and is trustee of the CTA Foundation, whose mission is to make technology accessible to elderly and handicapped populations.

In a previous lifetime, Raskin honed her tech chops at a variety of technology publications. She was a columnist for USA Today online, editor of PC Magazine, started FamilyPC magazine and was one of the founding contributors of Yahoo! Tech. Author of six books, magazine publisher, blogger, TV and radio personality, Raskin has been a thought-leader at the forefront of an ever-changing topic: what it means to be digital.

Marc Albanese is the senior director of research for healthcare and tech at CB Insights, where he manages a team of analysts producing data-driven analysis and research. CB Insights helps the world’s leading companies accelerate their digital strategy and transformation efforts with data, not opinion.

Prior to joining CB Insights, Albanese co-founded and served as COO of Smart Vision Labs, a venture-backed digital health start-up that reimagined vision exams by combining smartphone-based aberrometry with telemedicine. Before starting Smart Vision Labs, he was an equity research analyst at UBS and Evercore Partners and prior to that was an engineer.

The VM Summit program will feature other leading voices in healthcare, such as Northwell Health's CEO Michael Dowling, who heads one of the nation’s largest private health systems; Maxwell Kahn, president of Coresight Research, an expert in retail technology and customer experience; Kip Webb, MD, MPH a pediatrician, professor and business leader who is an advocate for patient-centric, affordable, reliable and transparent healthcare; and Stu MacFarlane, chief marketing officer for Internet Brands Health, which includes WebMD, Demandforce, Officite, iMatrix and Vitals.
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(Clockwise from top left) Summit speakers include Mony Iyer, Jo Natauri, Michael Dowling, Maxwell Kahn, Jennifer Esposito, Kip Webb, Stu MacFarlane, Stephen Lake and Mark Pappas.

Other prominent voices at the VM Summit include Mony Iyer, vice president, specialty healthcare services, Walmart Health and Wellness, who will share a look inside Walmart’s newest Health Center, which is offering a new approach to healthcare services; Jennifer Esposito, vice president, health for Magic Leap, who will discuss how the company is building the next generation of computing, spatial computing, creating 3D imagery to visualize data, run simulations and train doctors and other professionals; and Jo Natauri, partner and global head of healthcare investing for Goldman Sachs’ Merchant Banking Division (MBD) who will present the view from the vantage point of today’s major global investors toward the fast-changing healthcare space, talking about which types of business models are getting their attention, and how consumer expectations and new technology is impacting the field.

Click here for additional details about these speakers.

The Vision Monday Global Leadership Summit is an exclusive live event that will be held March 25 at The Times Center in New York. Now in its 14th year, the VM Leadership Summit attracts senior industry executives, optical retailers, leading eyecare professionals, suppliers and key opinion leaders from the worldwide optical industry. The program, “The Future of Healthcare: Beyond 2020,” will illuminate the dynamic changes coming on stream in the healthcare field and examine the opportunities for vision care and optical to play a broader, more significant role in it.

To learn more about what attendees will learn at the VM Summit, watch this video featuring VM editors Marge Axelrad and Andrew Karp.

Essilor, Luxottica and VSP Global are Platinum Sponsors of the 2020 VM Leadership Summit. Gold Sponsors include CareCredit, EyeCarePro, GPN, The Vision Council, Patch and Think About Your Eyes. Alcon and Ocuco are Silver Sponsors.

Registration for the VM Summit is available now at www.visionmonday.com/Summit. Additional Summit speakers will be announced soon.