On Growth + Giving Back
Ken Bradley has worked his way up in the optical industry. Now the president of Eschenbach Optik of America, Bradley started there as its first sales professional and, as he says, “worked my way up through sales to my current role.” He is also current chairman of The Vision Council.
Here he tells EB what’s new, plus why it’s so important to give back and be involved.
Who is Eschenbach + what kinds of products does it offer?
Eschenbach is a leading manufacturer of high-quality vision-enhancing products such as readers, optical and electronic magnifiers, and contrast-enhancing eyewear that ECPs dispense to their patients with low vision, macular degeneration, and other eye diseases.
How is low vision care changing?
Historically, low vision care has been provided in large part through social service organizations. If you look at the long-run trends in demographics, however, social service organizations will not be able to satisfy the demand. This is really where independent eye care can provide a critical role in serving the needs of the visually impaired.
Please tell us about your role with The Vision Council.
I began in the Low Vision Division of The Vision Council to try to gather industry resources to tackle some of the challenges that individual companies could not. My further involvement in The Vision Council emanated from this first experience. It’s a great organization that is truly member-focused.
Why is giving back so important?
Eschenbach has historically been very supportive of causes related to eye health and vision loss. We have, for years, supported the Blinded Veterans Association and Think About Your Eyes.
In 2018, we began the Eschenbach Partner Project, wherein Eschenbach agreed to underwrite the cost of the breeding, training, and placement of a Fidelco Guide Dog German shepherd with a visually impaired or blind individual.
Our dog’s name is Magno, and we’ve been following him on social media along his journey since birth. He even made an appearance at Vision Expo East.
How will Eschenbach stay on the cutting edge?
Low vision is a rapidly changing discipline. Technology is making ever more options available to consumers. Video, artificial intelligence, and wearables are all now part of the patient’s toolkit.
Change is certain. And, at Eschenbach, we plan to continue developing cutting-edge lens and digital technologies for the visually impaired, while also providing industry-leading customer service and experience. It should be very exciting!
—STEPHANIE K. DE LONG