NEW YORK—A noted observer of retail trends, particularly those that impact independent retailers of all categories, Nicole Leinbach Reyhle, will be the opening speaker of VM LIVE. Reyhle is the founder and publisher of which has been recognized worldwide for its leading retail insight. With a core concentration on independent retailers and small businesses, Reyhle is a frequent guest and contributor to various media outlets that include “The Today Show,” Forbes and countless business-to-business publications.

Additionally, Reyhle has been the spokesperson for American Express’s Small Business Saturday since 2014 and is the author of the book “Retail 101: The Guide to Managing and Marketing Your Retail Business” from McGraw-Hill. Reyhle writes regularly as a retail thought leader for various industry resources that include and Forbes. She is also recognized as #3 out of 100 worldwide retail thought leaders from Vend. Reyhle is also a retail “futurist” for IBM. She is co-founder of the Independent Retailer Conference.

Reyhle rounds out the roster of speakers at VM LIVE, “Retail Smart” the program set for Thursday, Sept. 26 from 3:30 to 6:00 p.m. just prior to the opening of Vision Expo West. The special session and panel, examining how new digital technology is transforming the patient and customer experience, will also feature Carole Burns, OD, FCOVD, a successful optometrist who has brought “outside the box” thinking to her practice, Professional VisionCare’s newest Ohio location. Sharing his experience in modernizing his new practice with digital tech and innovation is veteran optometrist, Dave Ziegler, OD, who has practiced in the Milwaukee, Wis. area for 37 years. At Ziegler Leffingwell Eyecare, Dr. Ziegler has recently reconceived the practice using a range of new digital technologies and featured areas, as well as the practice’s website communications to patients, all underscoring their “experience” for both eyecare and eyewear.

A featured speaker at VM LIVE will be Sih Lee, SVP Payments Technology, New Business & Innovation for Synchrony Financial who will speak at “Retail Smart” about how the revolution in payment trends is changing the consumer’s shopping expectations and experience. In his current role at Synchrony Financial, Lee focuses on launching new retail card programs, leading the technology roadmap for emerging payments, and setting strategic alignment for innovation through disruptive technology, partnerships and investments.

CareCredit is the Premier Sponsor of VM LIVE. HEA is the Silver Sponsor.

Attendees at VM LIVE will learn how smart retailers and vision care professionals are erasing boundaries between discovery, choice and purchase. Using smartphones, tablets, apps, modern in-store displays, and a new range of in-office and online systems, they are creating a fluid, frictionless experience for shoppers, whether online or in-store.

“Consumers’ shopping habits and patient expectations are changing fast, and all ECPs and optical retailers need to keep up,” said Marge Axelrad, Vision Monday’s editorial director. “Today, shoppers want instant information about product features, styles and availability, and they want to decide where, when and how to make a purchase and have it delivered to them. Come to VM LIVE to learn how new systems and strategies can engage customers and create a seamless path to purchase.”

Go to to register for the event. Seating is limited.