The Vision Council’s annual Executive Summit is underway as industry leaders gather for executive-level networking, leadership development, and the latest in economic trends and business strategies. The event, taking place at the Waldorf Astoria in Orlando, Florida, has drawn almost 350 high-level executives from the optical industry. During the event, held January 27-29, The Vision Council has officially inducted its 2016 officers and Board of Directors.

During the Summit’s business meeting portion, it was announced that Marty Bassett, Walman Optical, will continue as Chairman of the Board, with Mike Hundert of REM Eyewear as the Vice Chairman as well as the new Chair of The Vision Council’s Show Committee, and Ken Bradley of Eschenbach Optik of America as the Secretary/Treasurer. Raanan Naftalovich of Shamir Insight, Inc. is the Immediate Past Chairman. Newly elected directors-at-large are Don Oakley of VSP Optics, Catherine Rauscher of Transitions Optical, and Ray Khalil of Lafont USA, each selected for an initial two-year term. The complete roster, including newly elected division chairs, for the 2016 Board of Directors can be found online at

In his presentation as Chairman of the Board, also during the Summit’s business meeting, Marty Bassett outlined The Vision Council’s outstanding progress during his inaugural year as Chairman including strengthening the International Vision Expos, ensuring a consistent and relevant governance process, expanding the organization’s brand, and most importantly, stimulating market growth.

“A key initiative of The Vision Council has been to engage in activities and programs that promote the growth of the market, such as the Think About Your Eyes campaign,” said Bassett. “This campaign is designed to stimulate market growth by driving awareness for the importance of annual eye exams, and has proven to have a substantial, measurable impact. In 2015 alone the campaign generated more than 1 million eye exams, bringing in $55.5 million in eye exam revenue, as well as an additional $444 million industry revenue from sales of glasses and contacts generated by campaign-promoted eye exams. This important campaign is truly changing consumer attitudes about eye exams, and driving growth for the eyecare industry.”

The 2016 Executive Summit program also showcases experts in business, economics, and strategy. This morning’s opening keynote featured Jim Collins, the number one selling business author in history, as well as a workshop for the new Young Optical Leaders Organization, a group aiming to identify and develop the next generation of optical industry leaders. Tomorrow’s lineup will include a presentation from crowd-favorite economist Brian Beaulieu, and a closing keynote presentation by Dr. Jonah Berger, a professor at the Wharton School of Business and a world-renowned expert on decision making, social influence, word of mouth, and how products, ideas, and behaviors become popular.

“The Executive Summit continues to be the premiere gathering place for leaders from all areas of business in the optical industry,” said Mike Daley, CEO of The Vision Council. “The concepts and strategies discussed are vital to the continued growth and success of our industry. It’s encouraging to see these leaders come together to obtain the latest content that they can immediately use to grow and adapt their business, and ultimately move the industry forward.”

The 2017 Executive Summit will be held January 25–27 at the Waldorf Astoria in Orlando, Florida. To access the annual meeting summary and post-event resources from The Vision Council’s 2016 Executive Summit, please visit