The Vision Council today announces additional details on the 2021 Executive Summit, taking place for the first time in a completely virtual format from January 26–28, 2021 under the banner of “An OPTImistic View of the Future.” Over the course of three days, The Executive Summit will illuminate the state of the industry, spotlight key business trends and present actionable approaches to confronting the challenges of the marketplace through a robust schedule of engaging presentations, interactive panels and personalized networking sessions.

The event is open to both members and non-members. Register at Access the complete meeting agenda here.

“2020 has been a year of unexpected challenges, with ongoing repercussions still reverberating throughout the optical industry,” said Ashley Mills, CEO of The Vision Council. “With these challenges in mind, we’ve designed the 2021 Executive Summit to equip industry leaders with the concrete strategies they need to successfully navigate the rapidly evolving global economy and to provide intimate opportunities for networking and relationship-building, which we know is more important than ever during this turbulent time.”

Similar to previous years, The Vision Council will kick off the Executive Summit with its annual business meeting, set to take place at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, January 27. The business meeting will be followed by state of the industry updates, presented in a symposium format by four industry experts each focused on a different segment of the industry. The state of the industry symposium speakers and corresponding topics include:

  • Frame Manufacturing and Supply Chain – Rebecca Giefer, CEO, Americas at MODO Eyewear and Scott Shapiro, Vice President at Europa Eyewear and STATE Optical Co.
  • Retail – James Rosin, Co-President at Rosin Eyecare
  • Lenses and Lens Processing – Kevin Cross, Vice President of Sales at Schneider Optical Machines Inc.
  • Telehealth – Bryan Rogoff, OD, Senior Product Manager, Disease Management at Zeiss Meditec

Additionally, an analysis of the results of The Vision Council’s 2020 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Survey will be presented during the event by The Vision Council’s newly formed Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force. During the session, titled “Opening Your Eyes to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion,” the task force will also share potential initiatives to help the industry move towards a more equitable agenda in 2021. Presenters and their corresponding industry segment of-focus include:

  • Overview – Tarrence Lackran, Director of Partnerships & Programming at The Vision Council
  • Optometry and Academia – Howard Purcell, OD, President and CEO at New England College of Optometry and Diana Canto-Sims, OD, Co-Owner at Buena Vista Optical
  • Opticianry and Academia – Phernell Walker, ABOM, Director of Optometric Relations at VSP Ventures
  • Suppliers and Manufacturers – Millicent Knight, OD, Senior Vice President, Customer Development Group at Essilor of America
  • Summary and Q&A – Derrick Artis, OD, Owner at Artis Consulting

The Vision Council will present three keynote speaker sessions at the 2021 Executive Summit, including:

  • Wednesday, January 27 – How to be Together Apart with Priya Parker: Conflict resolution facilitator and author of The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why it MattersPriya Parker, will sit down with Reade Fahs, CEO at National Vision Inc., for a conversation about the art of gathering and the strategies that can be employed by individuals and companies to host highly impactful in-person and virtual meetings.
  • Thursday, January 28 – Diversity, Equity and Inclusion with Emmanuel Acho: Former National Football League (NFL) linebacker, New York Times #3 Bestseller of “Uncomfortable Conversations with A Black Man” and creator of the popular video series under the same name, Emmanuel Acho, will participate in a conversation about diversity, equity and inclusion with three optical industry leaders: Rick Gadd, President at Essilor of America; Thomas Swinnen, President, North America at Johnson & Johnson Vision; and Gary Black, President at Black Optical. Acho will speak with each optical leader about specific issues and opportunities related to diversity, equity and inclusion at each leader’s organization, followed by a group discussion.
  • Thursday, January 28 – Economic Trends with Brian Beaulieu: The event will conclude on Thursday afternoon with a keynote address by economist Brian Beaulieu, who will spotlight economic trends to watch in 2021.

To ensure high-quality networking and dynamic opportunities for connection, The Vision Council is partnering with a leading virtual platform equipped with customizable tools and capabilities, including virtual breakout rooms for groups of various sizes. Additional details on networking tools that will be available during the 2021 Executive Summit will be shared soon.

Discounted registration pricing is available for members of The Vision Council and faculty, staff and students currently working or studying at optometry schools. Contact Olivia Krise at to request the discount code and register at

For more information on the 2021 Executive Summit, including additional agenda details, click here.