2018 News Archive

  • Millicent Knight, O.D., Joins Essilor of America

    Friday July 13, 2018

    July 13, 2018 -- Millicent “Millie” Knight, O.D., FAAO, FAARM, will be joining Essilor of America later this summer as a member of the leadership team in her role as senior vice president, Customer Development Group. She will be responsible for the company's professional relations, communications, and eyecare professional and sales training efforts.

  • PECAA and OD Excellence Merge

    Thursday July 12, 2018

    July 12, 2018 -- Independent optometrist alliance group PECAA (Professional Eye Care Associates of America) announces a merger with practice management group OD Excellence, effective immediately.

  • Vista Outdoor Sells Bollé, Cébé, and Serengeti Brands

    Monday July 9, 2018

    July 9, 2018 -- Vista Outdoor Inc. is selling the legal entities operating its Bollé, Cébé, and Serengeti brands to an entity controlled by a significant European private equity fund. It has not identified the buyer.

  • AOA Names O.D. of Year and New President

    Thursday July 5, 2018

    July 5, 2018 -- David Redman, O.D., of California has been named Optometrist of the Year by the AOA, and Samuel D. Pierce, O.D., of Alabama has been sworn in as the association’s new president.

  • Essilor Luxottica Merger Deadline Extended

    Monday July 2, 2018

    July 2, 2018 -- Essilor and Luxottica have extended to July 31 the deadline of their contractual agreements regarding the pending merger of the two companies, as they await approval from the China trade authority, one of the last hurdles in the mega-merger that will create a new company to be called EssilorLuxottica.

  • EPIC Digital PAL Identifier Catalog Available

    Tuesday June 26, 2018

    June 26, 2018 -- The Vision Council has announced the launch of its new Electronic Progressive Identifier Catalog (EPIC), available for the first time in a digital format. The catalog is the industry-standard guide to the identifying marks engraved on progressive addition lenses, and is available for ECP use.

  • How Tariff Policy May Affect Optical

    Tuesday June 26, 2018

    June 26, 2018 -- President Donald Trump has implemented a policy to impose a 25% tariff on certain goods being imported from China, affecting some $34 billion worth of merchandise. How will optical goods be affected? The Vision Council provides an update here.

  • Luxottica Buys Sun Lens Maker Barberini

    Monday June 25, 2018

    June 25, 2018 -- Luxottica Group has acquired Barberini S.p.A., a global leader in optical sun lens manufacturing, for Euro 140 million (almost $164 million U.S.).

  • Last Call for Lab Hall of Fame

    Friday June 22, 2018

    June 22, 2018 -- Know a long-time lab pro who deserves industry recognition? Nominations for The Vision Council Lab Division Hall of Fame will close Tuesday, June 26. Read on to find out who’s eligible, and how to nominate….

  • Rick Gadd to Become President of Essilor of America

    Thursday June 21, 2018

    June 21, 2018 -- Essilor has announced that Rick Gadd, currently president of ECP Sales and Services, will be promoted to president of Essilor of America effective Sept. 1. He will succeed Eric Leonard, who will move to new senior responsibilities for the Essilor Group at that time.

  • Registration Opens for Vision Expo West

    Friday June 15, 2018

    June 15, 2018 -- Registration is now open for Vision Expo West at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas. The educational conference runs Sept. 26-29, while the exhibition hall is open Sept. 27-29. This year’s conference marks the 30th anniversary of Vision Expo West.

  • Essilor/Luxottica Merger Date Nears

    Friday June 15, 2018

    June 15, 2018 -- The merger between optical giants Essilor and Luxottica—which was first announced in January 2017—appears to be nearing completion. This morning, Essilor announced that it has scheduled the first shareholders’ meeting of the new EssilorLuxottica on July 25 in anticipation of the completion of the merger, which it said is expected to occur “within the coming weeks.”

  • Plans Set for Transitions Academy 2019

    Thursday June 14, 2018

    June 14, 2018 -- The dates for the 23rd annual Transitions Academy have been set: February 3-6, 2018 at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes in Orlando, FL. The annual conference is one of the industry’s most well-recognized and unique educational events, attracting opticians, O.D., and industry professionals. Read on to learn how to earn an invitation…

  • Former VSP President to Head HEA Alliance

    Tuesday June 12, 2018

    June 12, 2018 -- Jim McGrann, former president of VSP Global, has been named executive chairman of Healthy Eyes Advantage, Inc., (HEA), an optometric business alliance and buying group. McGrann is one of several additions to the HEA leadership team.

  • ABB OPTICAL GROUP Acquires Glimpse Live

    Monday June 4, 2018

    June 4, 2018 -- ABB OPTICAL GROUP, a national supplier of optical products and services, has acquired Glimpse Live, a data and analytics provider for eyecare professionals and other healthcare practitioners.

  • Mallinger to Receive AOA Service Award

    Wednesday May 30, 2018

    May 30, 2018 -- Joseph Mallinger, O.D., senior vice president of professional relations for Healthy Eyes Advantage buying group and president of Optometry Cares—The AOA Foundation, will receive the 2018 American Optometric Association’s Distinguished Service Award during Optometry’s Meeting in Denver next month.

  • Academy Online Offers Mobile CE Courses

    Wednesday May 23, 2018

    May 23, 2018 -- Need to earn some CE credit, but can’t get out to a conference or annual Academy meeting? Your life just got a lot easier, as the American Academy of Optometry is now bringing CE and other information directly to O.D.s’ laptops.

  • Contact Lens Renewal App Gets $16 Million In Funding

    Tuesday May 22, 2018

    May 22, 2018 -- Simple Contacts, a startup that created an online eye test that allows consumers to renew their contact lens prescriptions for online ordering, has just received $16 million in new funding.

  • Steve Wright Named CCO for Safilo North America

    Friday May 18, 2018

    Safilo has appointed Stephen Wright as its new chief commercial officer (CCO) of Safilo North America, effective from June 19. He is replacing Henri Blomqvist, who lead the development in North America for the last two years, when he leaves the company to pursue other interests.

  • A&A Optical Founder Passes Away at 87

    Friday May 18, 2018

    May 18, 2018 -- Industry veteran Alexander “Alex” Liener, founder of A&A Optical founder, passed away on Monday, May 7, surrounded by family, the company reports. Born in 1931 in Hungary, Liener—a Holocaust survivor—immigrated to the U.S. in 1956.

  • Rosin Named Head of The Vision Council Optical Retail Division

    Wednesday May 16, 2018

    May 16, 2018 -- The Vision Council has announced that James Rosin of Rosin Eyecare will serve as the inaugural chairman of the recently formed Optical Retail Division. Stuart Jolly of Sam’s Club/Wal-Mart has been named vice chair.

  • Thélios Opens Production Center in Italy

    Monday May 7, 2018

    May 7, 2018 -- Less than a year after its creation, Thélios has opened the Manifattura Thélios —a center for the design and production of its eyewear brands—in Longarone, Italy. The city, Longarone, is already home to production facilities and headquarters of several high-end eyewear companies.

  • Marcolin Celebrates in Sales Meeting

    Friday May 4, 2018

    May 4, 2018 -- Marcolin Group’s U.S. National Sales Meeting in Los Angeles focused on celebrating the company’s growth and commitment to the evolving eyewear market—and featured a special appearance by designer Tom Ford, who stopped by for a Q&A session with attendees.

  • New President to Lead Silhoutte in U.S.

    Monday April 30, 2018

    April 30, 2018 -- After being led by an interim CEO since November, Silhouette Optical, Ltd, has a new leader. Onofrio “Mike” Giannattasio will take the reins of Silhouette International’s U.S., subsidiary, effective tomorrow.

  • Robert Marc Exits Brand He Founded

    Wednesday April 25, 2018

    April 25, 2018 -- Robert Marc and Luxury Optical Holdings (LOH) announce that Robert Marc is leaving his position as chief creative officer of Robert Marc Eyewear. An industry leader in luxury eyewear, Robert Marc Eyewear was acquired by LOH in September 2014; Marc’s exit is effective immediately.

  • De Rigo REM Reorganizes Leadership

    Thursday April 19, 2018

    April 19, 2018 -- De Rigo REM, the U.S. subsidiary of De Rigo Vision, has announced a strategic organizational realignment that involves several new appointments as well as promotions from within.

  • Howard Purcell Named President of NECO, Will Leave Essilor

    Wednesday April 18, 2018

    April 18, 2018 -- Howard Purcell, O.D., FAAO, has been named the 13th president and CEO of The New England College of Optometry, effective July 2. He is leaving his post at Essilor, where he is senior vice president, customer development, at the end of June. Dr. Purcell succeeds Clifford Scott, O.D., MPH, who is stepping down after serving for nine years.

  • Steve Horowitz Named President of Eyewear Designs

    Friday April 13, 2018

    April 13, 2018 -- Steve Horowitz has been appointed president of Eyewear Designs, Ltd., an eyewear company based in Bethpage, NY. Horowitz had been president of REM Eyewear for 22 years, and then president of De Rigo/REM after the company was acquired by De Rigo Group in 2016. He left that position in January.

  • Optometry School Opens in Haiti

    Friday April 13, 2018

    April 13, 2018 -- In a celebration that has been more than five years in the making, Haiti’s first-ever optometric school is open. Created by Optometry Giving Sight (OGS) and its global optometric partners, the school is a huge step toward battling the preventable vision impairment issues that have long plagued the impoverished country.

  • ACUVUE to Launch Groundbreaking, Photochromic Contact Lens

    Wednesday April 11, 2018

    April 11, 2018 -- The contact lens category is about to become light adaptive! Johnson & Johnson Vision today announced ACUVUE OASYS with Transitions Light Intelligent Technology, a first of its kind contact lens that provides wearers with vision correction and a dynamic photochromic filter that helps to continuously balance the amount of light entering the eye.

  • Opternative Launches ECP Platform

    Monday April 9, 2018

    April 9, 2018 -- Opternative has announced the launch of EZRx, a software solution that enables eyecare practices to include digital refractions and visual acuity tests on the practice’s own website.

  • Retailer Gets Notice of Prop 65 BpA Violation

    Monday April 2, 2018

    April 2, 2018 -- For the past couple of years, the optical industry has been grappling with the placement of warning signs in California businesses after BpA (a chemical found in polycarbonate lenses and elsewhere in some eyewear) was placed on the state’s Prop 65 list of hazardous chemicals. Recently, a retailer selling sunglasses was put on notice as being in violation of the Prop 65 warning requirement. It is the first known violation notice in the optical industry, according to The Vision Council.

  • VSP Call Centers Honored for Service

    Tuesday March 27, 2018

    March 27, 2018 -- For the 16th consecutive year, VSP Global’s call centers have been recognized for their customer service by Service Quality Measurement Group, which honored VSP Vision Care as its Contact Center of the Year.

  • Vision Expo Reports Strong Show

    Friday March 23, 2018

    March 23, 2018 -- The 32nd annual Vision Expo East is in the books, and according to organizers it was a success in both attendance and energy from new events across all four days.

  • Opternative Responds to FDA's Warning Letter

    Thursday March 22, 2018

    March 22, 2018 -- Though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned online vision test company Opternative to cease its activities because it didn’t get the necessary premarket approval, Opternative says it is continuing operation while working with the FDA on the issue.

  • Shamir Optical Industry Appoints New CEO

    Tuesday March 20, 2018

    March 20, 2018 -- Shamir Optical Industry Ltd., has appointed Yagen Moshe as its new president and CEO effective July 1. He will replace Amos Netzer, who has announced his impending retirement.

  • Kering Eyewear to Open Online Store in China

    Tuesday March 13, 2018

    March 13, 2018 -- Kering Eyewear is forming a strategic partnership with JD.com, China’s largest retailer and the world’s third-largest Internet company by revenue. This agreement will be marked by the opening of Kering Eyewear’s official flagship store on JD.com, where a diversified selection of optical frames and sunglasses from Kering’s luxury brands will be available to JD’s over 292 million customers. 

  • Opticians Get Star Treatment at Vision Expo

    Thursday March 8, 2018

    March 8, 2018 -- Not only has the popular opticianry conference OptiCon joined forces with Vision Expo, but it does so with a full line-up of special programming, fun events, pop up talks, and celebrity appearances. It will all go down at the ABO-NCLE OptiCon@Vision Expo Hub, a space designed exclusively for opticians and contact lens technicians. Read on for a full schedule...

  • Jeff Todd to Succeed Hugh Parry at Prevent Blindness

    Wednesday March 7, 2018

    March 7, 2018 -- Prevent Blindness President/CEO Hugh Parry will retire on April 1, and current Prevent Blindness COO Jeff Todd has been tapped to take over the lead role. Parry has served in the role since 2002.

  • Free ECP Consultation Program at Vision Expo

    Wednesday March 7, 2018

    March 7, 2018 -- Going to Vision Expo? Get a custom business consult in a new program offering this year from De Rigo REM and The Power Practice.

  • Luxottica Buys Stake in Japanese Eyewear Supplier

    Tuesday March 6, 2018

    March 6, 2018 -- Luxottica Group S.p.A. announced the acquisition of a 67% stake in Fukui Megane Co. Ltd, a leading manufacturer of "Made in Japan" eyewear and specializing in the production of titanium and solid gold eyewear frames.

  • Essilor/Luxottica Merger Clears U.S. and EU Reviews

    Thursday March 1, 2018

    March 1, 2018 -- The proposed merger between Essilor and Luxottica cleared two major hurdles today as the U.S. and the European Union cleared the upcoming deal without conditions.

  • Vision Expo Hosts Retailer Awards

    Friday February 23, 2018

    February 23, 2018 -- Vision Expo has announced the finalists for the first annual OPTImum Retail Award, celebrating independent boutique optical retailers. You can place your vote here....

  • VSP Global Launches Smart Glasses

    Thursday February 22, 2018

    February 22, 2018 -- VSP Global today announced the launch of its Level smart glasses, featuring activity-tracking technology embedded inside the temple of an optical frame. It will roll out to select cities beginning next month, with a larger rollout to follow.

  • Safilo CEO Luisa Delgado to Retire

    Friday February 16, 2018

    February 16, 2018 -- Luisa Delgado, CEO of Safilo Group, has announced her intention to retire her position, for personal reasons, effective Feb. 28. She is being succeeded by Angelo Trocchia. Trocchia’s appointment will be effective April 1.

  • Transitions Anounces Award Winners, New Brand ID, and New Lens Colors

    Thursday February 15, 2018

    February 15, 2018 -- At its 22nd annual Transitions Academy, Transitions Optical announced the winners of its Innovation Awards, debuted a new brand identity, and hinted at new lens technology. Read on for details…

  • VSP Global Names New President/CEO

    Tuesday February 13, 2018

    February 13, 2017 -- VSP Global today announced that Michael J. Guyette has been appointed president and CEO of VSP Global. Guyette will succeed VSP Global Board Member Rob Lynch, who has served as interim president and CEO since April 2017.

  • Vision Expo East Expands Education Program

    Friday February 9, 2018

    February 9, 2018 -- With one week left before the Feb. 15 early-bird registration deadline, Vision Expo East has announced the addition of new educational programming to its scope of education, products, trends and solutions that keep the industry updated on best practices in patient care, practice management, and more.

  • The Vision Council Releases Annual Report

    Friday February 2, 2018

    February 1, 2018 -- The Vision Council has released its 2017 Annual Report, which celebrates the organization’s major accomplishments and the progress made across the industry throughout the past year.

  • Warby Parker Ventures Into Kids Eyewear

    Wednesday January 31, 2018

    January 31, 2018 -- Warby Parker is testing the waters in a new product category—kids’ eyewear. The collection offers children-sized versions of six of Warby Parker’s adult styles for a pilot program lasting just a few months at eight of its New York City locations.

  • Optometry Giving Sight Merges With Brien Holden Vision Institute Foundation

    Tuesday January 30, 2018

    January 30, 2018 -- Optometry Giving Sight will merge its operations into the Brien Holden Vision Institute Foundation. By working more closely together, the entities believe they can achieve more significant and sustained outcomes to benefit the millions of people who are needlessly blind or vision impaired simply because they can’t access an eye exam and glasses from a qualified optometrist.

  • The Vision Council Launches Optical Retail Division

    Thursday January 25, 2018

    January 25, 2018 -- The Vision Council has announced the launch of its new Optical Retail Division, which will focus on the unique business needs of optical retailers and the relationship between retail and wholesale. The announcement was made today during The Vision Council’s annual Executive Summit.

  • Essilor Execs Retire, New Lens Division Created

    Wednesday January 17, 2018

    January 17, 2018 -- Essilor of America announced the retirement of longtime company executives Bob Colucci and Rodney Tahran, O.D., F.A.A.O. at the end of 2017. Read on for more...

  • 3D-Printing Lens Firm Opens U.S. Facility

    Thursday January 11, 2018

    January 11, 2018 -- Luxexcel, a Belgium-based tech innovation company, opened a U.S. headquarters in Alpharetta, GA, in the greater Atlanta area. The move clears the way for the U.S. growth of ophthalmic-quality 3D-printed lenses. Guido Groet, chief commercial officer of Luxexcel, has relocated to Alpharetta to lead the operations.

  • 3D-Printed Lenses Now for AR Smart Glasses

    Friday January 5, 2018

    January 5, 2018 -- Luxexcel, manufacturer of the first 3D-printed prescription lenses platform, has teamed up augmented reality leader Vuzix Corp to provide 3D-printed prescription lens inserts for the Vuzix Blade augmented reality (AR) smart glasses, being launched at CES in Las Vegas this week.

  • Industry Veteran Michael Ness Passes Away at 61

    Friday January 5, 2018

    January 5, 2018 -- Michael Ness, an industry veteran who has been well-known in the spectacle lens/optical manufacturing industry for almost 30 years, passed away Dec. 30 at age 61. He was a veteran of Essilor, Vision Ease, and Hoya lens companies.

  • De Rigo REM Announces New President

    Thursday January 4, 2018

    January 4, 2018 -- De Rigo announces the appointment of Alessandro Baronti as president of its North American subsidiary, De Rigo REM. Baronti succeeds Steve Horowitz who will be moving on to pursue other business opportunities in the industry. 

  • Charmant USA Names New President/CEO

    Wednesday January 3, 2018

    January 3, 2018 -- Charmant has announced that Ken Onishi, president of Charmant USA, has left the company to return to Japan to pursue other ventures. Masakiyo Honjo has been appointed the new president and CEO of Charmant USA.