Now in its third year, the exclusive Boutique Buyer Panel will feature an esteemed group of panelists who will each share their unique perspectives to the topic of independent eyewear at Vision Expo East 2019.

The Boutique Buyer Panel: The Freedom of Independence will take place on Saturday, March 23, from 5 p.m.–5:45 p.m. in the new Exhibit Hall destination, the BRIDGE. Cocktails and networking will take place following the panel from 5:45 p.m.–6:30 p.m.

The Freedom of Independence panel will discuss the relationship between retailers and vendors in the realm of optical independents. James Spina, vice president and editor-in-chief of 20/20 Magazine, will moderate the conversation to provide each panelist with the opportunity to share his or her unique stories.

Retail Panelists include:

Gary Black – Black Optical, Dallas, Texas, Tulsa, Okla.
Utenzi Miller – Elegant Eyes, East Orange, N.J.
Selima Salaun – Selima Optique, New York, N.Y.

Vendor Panelists include:

Gai Gherardi – Co-Founder and Co-Designer, l.a.Eyeworks
Rebecca Giefer – COO, Modo Eyewear
Nico Roseillier – Creative Director, Europa Eyewear and STATE Optical Co.
Peter M. Waszkiewicz – CEO and President, Randolph Eyewear

“Each year, the Boutique Buyer Panel provides the exciting opportunity to highlight and celebrate independent retailers,” said Joanne Mohr, event director at Reed Exhibitions. “We’re looking forward to hearing from each panelist as they discuss their business goals and share their views on the world of independent retail.”

Additionally, the winner of the second annual OPTImum Retail Award will be announced during the Boutique Buyer Panel. Through Feb. 25, Vision Expo is encouraging the vision community to share their input and vote to help select the winner. To vote, as well as see the photos and stories of the finalists, click here. The results of the social media vote will factor into the judges’ scores.

The Boutique Buyer Panel is an invitation-only event. For questions about the panel or to secure an invitation, contact