News Bits From the Industry


New York Eye and Hemingway, Ltd., have announced the renewal of their licensing agreement for the Ernest Hemingway Eyewear collection. The license will run through Dec. 31, 2021.

Safilo Group and Christian Dior Couture have announced the renewal of their licensing agreement for the design, manufacture, and worldwide distribution of the Dior and Dior Homme collections of sunglasses and optical frames. The renewal period extends through Dec. 31, 2020.


Essilor of America announced the following management and organizational changes: Rick Gadd has been named president of Essilor Lab Group, Steve Nussbaumer has been named senior vice president and general manager of key accounts, and Mike Atkinson has joined the company as senior vice president of industrial operations.

Marcolin Group announced the appointment of Massimo Renon as worldwide commercial general manager. Renon will manage the direction of licensing, product, marketing, and worldwide sales, reporting directly to Giovanni Zoppas, CEO of Marcolin Group.

Modern Optical International has named Chris Millet to its senior management team in the role of director of sales development. Millet’s former roles include COO at Professional Eye Care Associates of America and regional sales manager at HOYA Vision Care.

Rochester Optical announced that Jeffrey LaPlante has joined the sales leadership team as director of national accounts. LaPlante was formerly executive vice president of business development at PFO Global, Inc.

Jeffrey LaPlante, Rochester Optical

Massimo Renon, Marcolin Group

Hemingway Eyewear will remain with New York Eye


Nationwide group purchasing organization Professional Eyecare Resource Co-Operative (PERC) announced its partnership with Vision Associates, an optical dispensary management company.


CooperVision made a $164,000 donation to Optometry Giving Sight in support of the 2016 World Sight Day Challenge, marking the fifth consecutive year that CooperVision employees organized a variety of fundraisers, with matching funds pledged by The Cooper Companies.

Safilo Group has announced that all 117 of its Solstice Sunglasses retail locations will carry a Special Olympics seal in their window fronts to communicate the retailer’s support of Special Olympics.

VSP Global and the American Optometric Foundation distributed nearly $200,000 among fourth-year optometry students as part of the 2016 Practice Excellence Scholarship program. The students are studying in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.


Essilor and Luxottica have entered into a merger that is expected to close by the end of this year. A holding company called EssilorLuxottica will be formed, but each company is expected to retain its independent operations. An interview with an Essilor executive about the merger can be found at .

Essilor International announced that Laurent Vacherot has been appointed president of the company as part of an executive realignment that was announced prior to the merger.

HOYA Vision Care has acquired Pinnacle Optical, LLC, a wholesale optical laboratory in Birmingham, AL.

Read more about these and other news stories at EB News: .

New Programs Await at Vision Expo

A wealth of new programs and events await attendees of International Vision Expo East 2017, which runs March 30-April 2 at the Javits Center in New York City.

Among the new offerings is “Google Partners Connect,” an opportunity for attendees to learn about the latest tools to remain competitive online. A series of free 20-minute Google Talks will take place in the show’s new Marketing Stadium. The sessions will be led by Marketing4ECPs and Liz Austin, Google agency developer, and will incorporate how to utilize Google digital products to grow business. Eyecare Business is proud to be the media sponsor of this must-attend education series.

“I’m incredibly excited to come to Vision Expo East this year,” says Austin. “[Attendees can] hear about how the world of digital is changing the way customers and patients are finding eyecare professionals.”

Timely new sessions on blue light and a retail-focused “Manager’s ‘To-Do-List’” mini-track are just some of the other new offerings. The new “Practice Owner & Manager Essentials” program provides strategies that focus on the business aspect of optometry for doctors and key decision makers. “Intrepid Talks” feature emerging thought leaders in optometry with the goal of promoting excellence and growth in the field. And, as always, EB is sponsoring the popular, product merchandising-focused Frame Buyer’s Certificate program.


Eyewear and accessories on display at Vision Expo East

Liz Austin, Google