Over 650 industry professionals from North and South America will gather today at the Swan Resort in Orlando for the 21st annual Transitions Academy. During the two-day, invitation-only event – themed “My Light” – attendees will take part in professional development and product technology workshops; hear from experts and educators on marketing and industry trends; and learn from their peers and partners.

During Monday morning’s opening session, attendees will be welcomed with an enlightening performance and opening remarks from José Alves, general manager, Americas. Darragh O’Connor, vice president of global marketing and Patience Cook, director of North America marketing will then provide attendees with a look at the future of the Transitions® brand and introduce the company’s new consumer marketing campaign for 2017, called “Live the Good Light.” Next, John Ligas, global research & development, will take the stage and speak about new insights into how Transitions Optical’s existing product technology is developed and tested for real life conditions and how Transitions® lenses filter harmful blue light.

“At the heart of our company is the strong partnerships we share and Transitions Academy gives us valuable time to talk about innovative technologies and the sharing of new perspectives and ideas with everyone in the channel,” says Alves. “With this year’s ‘My Light’ theme, we are asking attendees to think about what drives them to reach their goals, in life and at work. The variety of courses and workshops were chosen to inspire attendees and give them the tools and information they need to succeed with the Transitions brand.”

Monday’s curriculum will continue with breakout sessions on Transitions product training where attendees will attend one of two workshops. Next, attendees will attend one of three professional development workshops.

“We understand that not all attendees have the same business needs. So, we want to provide course options that feature the expertise of industry leaders from technology, science and business development,” said Alves.

The Transitions product training course options include:
• The Science, Art, and Life of a Transitions® Lens from the Transitions Team
• Harmful Blue Light and Optical Solutions led by Brian Chou, O.D. from EyeLux Optometry

The professional development workshops include:
• Effective Negotiating®, Dennis Bain, KARRASS
• Customer Experience Design, Stan Phelps, Association of National Advertisers
• MIND CRACK…For Aspiring Spies, an interactive and educational escape room experience, Play with a Purpose

The energy of Transitions Academy will continue to build as Tuesday commences with the keynote presentation about understanding and marketing to different generations and age groups, specifically millennials. Jason Dorsey will lead the conversation on how generational differences are a challenge and a powerful opportunity that eyecare professionals can leverage to achieve better marketing results.

The morning will continue with a Connecting to Consumers Panel featuring members of Transitions leadership team, including Thierry Robin, chief business officer; Catherine Rauscher, senior global director, lenscaster sales; and Luc Nouvelot, global director, R&D. Using the event app, Academy attendees will have the opportunity to submit questions for Transitions leadership in advance of this session. Tuesday will continue with industry elective sessions with three course options. Later, attendees will reconvene at the Peer-to-Peer Activation session which will allow attendees to share strategies for how to incorporate the knowledge gained throughout the event into business plans.

The industry elective breakout session options include:
• Dollars and Sense: Profiting with Vision Care Plans is a course presented by Jay Binkowitz, president and CEO of Gateway Professional Network. Following the course, Binkowitz will moderate a panel featuring John Lahr, O.D., VP Provider Relations/Medical Director, EyeMed Vision Care; Scott Hamey, CFO, Davis Vision and Daniel Mannen, O.D., Chairman of the Board, VSP Global
• Mastering the Selling Process and Overcoming Objections from Tina Graziotto, Dale Carnegie
• Finding the Style in Lenses, a guide to style trends led by Coco & Breezy, founders of Coco & Breezy; Sheena Taff, partner/optician at Roberts & Brown Opticians; Darryl Glover, O.D., Eye See Euphoria; and Bill Gerber, founder/creative director at OMG! Optical Marketing Group

After the final session of action planning, attendees will reconvene once more in the evening to hear closing thoughts from Alves. Then, Drew Smith, director, North America channels will lead Transitions Optical’s 2016 Transitions Innovation Awards program, naming the winners of Best in Marketing, Best in Training, Best in Patient Experience, Best in Growth and the 2016 Transitions Brand Ambassador.