ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The Vision Council has announced a new organizational structure, including new hires in the trade association’s membership, marketing and communications, and market research departments, as well as staff promotions within the membership and government relations teams. “Our commitment to the vision care industry has never been stronger and I’m so pleased to welcome new hires and reward existing staff as we look ahead to a new year, with big plans on the horizon,” said Ashley Mills, CEO of The Vision Council. “Exceedingly talented with an impressive range of experience and expertise, these additions will empower us to deliver on our mission to promote growth, foster community-building and engage with key stakeholders in support of better vision for better lives.”

The Vision Council will introduce the organization’s new team members and roll out its 2023 strategic plan at The Executive Summit, taking place January 9-11 in Austin, Texas.

Additionally, The Vision Council will release Market inSights in early January. The first market estimate report to be released by The Vision Council since the organization launched its new inSights Research Program earlier this year, the report will include market size estimates for 2019 through 2022 and a forecast for 2023 using predictive analytics. It will be available as a complimentary report for members of The Vision Council and as a paid report for non-members.

Among The Vision Council's new and promoted staff are the following:


  • Nathan Troxell, director of member services
    Most recently serving as director of business development and special projects at The Vision Council, Troxell brings nearly 20 years industry experience to his new role. Charged with expanding and improving member engagement, he will oversee new member onboarding, membership communications and member benefit programs and initiatives.

  • Bonnie Whitfield, senior manager, member communications
    Previously the communications and community affairs supervisor at Choctawhatchee Electric Cooperative, Inc., (CHELCO), Whitfield brings more than 10 years of marketing and communications experience to The Vision Council. In her new role, she will interface directly with members to improve benefits access, grow engagement and more.

  • Dawn Tullis, membership administrative coordinator
    Tullis is responsible for maintaining the association’s membership database and serves as the main point of contact for Opening Your Eyes: The Vision Council Scholarship Fund. Prior to joining The Vision Council, she worked as a membership and conference coordinator at the International Association of Suicide Prevention.
Government Relations

  • Omar Elkhatib, senior manager, government relations
    Joining the team earlier this year as manager of government relations, Elkhatib’s promotion to senior manager reflects his achievements in expanding The Vision Council’s advocacy programs through a new partnership with Venable, one of Washington D.C.’s leading government relations firms, and engagements with the United States Trade Representative, Food and Drug Administration and the National Economic Council. He has also led the relaunch of VisionPAC, a Political Action Committee intended to enhance the vision community’s reputation among government officials and strengthen its impact on public policy through collaboration and formation of strategic alliances.
Marketing & Communications

  • Chelsea Pillsbury, vice president of marketing & communications
    With extensive leadership experience in public relations, marketing and events for global luxury brands and national non-profit organizations, Pillsbury joined The Vision Council in December and will lead the organization’s communications team. Through message alignment and strategic planning, she will establish the association as an industry thought leader.

  • Kayleigh Tokash, communications coordinator
    Tokash will support the marketing and communications team by assisting with public relations, trade media outreach and overall communications initiatives.
Market Research

  • Vlad Gupan, research manager
    Filling a new position within the research department, Gupan manages survey research for The Vision Council’s new inSights Research Program. He brings a wealth of market research expertise to the team, with more than seven years of experience and multiple graduate degrees. In his role, he oversees the Focused inSights reports, special interest reports on rotating topics; Industry Data inSights, a member-reported data program; and will help manage the Consumer inSights survey and reporting in 2023.
Per a Vision Council spokesperson, Membership and Government Relations report to Michael Vitale, vice president, membership & technical affairs. Marketing & Communications will be led by new hire Pillsbury, vice president of marketing & communications. Market Research reports to Alysse Henkel, senior director, market research & analytics. These three executives report to Mills, Vision Council CEO.

The Vision Council’s updated staff list, which includes contact information and bios, is posted here.