Marge Axelrad

Marge Axelrad, Sr. VP/Editorial Director

Marge oversees the overall editorial direction of Vision Monday and its print publication, VMAIL, e-newsletters, VisionMonday.com and special events including the VM Global Leadership Summit. She is also in charge of general corporate and company news, industry developments and business trends, financial news. Marge specializes in frame sunwear companies, practice management programs, spectacle lens and contact lens companies, managed care, wholesale laboratories, and research. She is also the editor of CLICK, a twice-a-month e-newsletter. Contact Marge at maxelrad@jobson.com.

David Kepron Speaks About Culture Shifts and Adapting to the Unknown

By Marge Axelrad
Saturday, April 23, 2022 12:53 AM NEW YORK—The pace of change is literally dizzying. In fact, it’s impossible for any human to “keep up” to manage the speed of it, certainly as digital technology moves ahead so rapidly. Those observations were part of the closing session of VM’s Summit, as offered by David Kepron, founder of the NXTVL Experience Design podcast, former head of global design for Marriott International, an experienced retail design expert, author and architect.

New Ways to Pay

By Marge Axelrad
Thursday, March 17, 2022 1:30 AM NEW YORK—The impact of a global pandemic has furthered a crescendo of new attitudes among patients toward how they want to pay, if they can afford to pay and the methods they are able to use to pay for their health care. Such concerns were in place prior to March of 2020 when COVID-19 threw so much into question, as most market experts agree. The retail and product worlds have been irrevocably changed by an escalation in online, digital and contactless payment options transforming those businesses for the past two years.

Financing Options Help Patients Access Specialty Clinical Eyecare and Quality Eyewear

By Marge Axelrad
Thursday, March 17, 2022 1:29 AM As one health care observer recently pointed out, COVID-19 offered a long overdue jolt to health care payments. The public health emergency, which impacted so many, underscored what is now perceived as out-of-date processes depending on manual, paper-based recordkeeping as much as the pandemic underscored confusion about health care costs.

Buy Now, Pay-Over-Time Helps Expedite In-Store Eyewear Purchases

By Marge Axelrad
Thursday, March 17, 2022 1:28 AM One of the more pronounced trends to emerge strongly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the rise of digital and online shopping and along with that, the rise of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) approaches to retail payments. Accompanying a range of retailers using new flexible payment options has been the advent of companies like Sunbit, which has specifically targeted the need for flexible payment and fast credit approval options for business sectors where physical store customers also need more varied flex payment options.

MyEyeDr. Scales to Elevate Both Eyecare and the Patient Experience

By Marge Axelrad
Thursday, March 17, 2022 1:00 AM From its origins in October 2001, created by a team out to combine hands-on vision care, managed care expertise and optical retail experience with operational know-how, the vision for MyEyeDr. was different. The goal was to create a new business model, one that would emphasize, as the name implied, the doctor’s credibility to patients and consumers at a time when the industry was moving from a mid 80s-to-90s “one-hour optical” trend to one that could more expertly manage the onset of managed vision care which was starting to grow rapidly across the country.

MyEyeDr. Puts the Focus on Customizing the Patient Experience and Educating Associates

By Marge Axelrad and Mark Tosh
Thursday, March 17, 2022 12:59 AM NEW YORK—Today’s MyEyeDr., as an organization, is certainly different in scale and size from its origins 20-plus years ago. As co-founder and the CEO leading its vision and execution for the majority of those years, Sue Downes describes the continuously updated business to VM this way: “We’re bringing independent optometrists together, we’re bringing the medical model together and we have a unified name with a strong operational structure. Because of our elevated position, because of the parameters that we have, the states that we operate in, we can actually lead the industry in elevating eyecare into a medical eyecare space. And create a best in class retail experience as well.”

Goldman Sachs’ Jo Natauri on the Health Care Opportunity for MyEyeDr.

By Marge Axelrad
Thursday, March 17, 2022 12:58 AM NEW YORK—Goldman Sachs’ investment in MyEyeDr./Capital Vision Services was announced in June 2019 and closed in August of that year, representing the start of a major new chapter in what MyEyeDr.’s future platform could be. In early January 2020, when Vision Monday met with CEO Sue Downes and Goldman’s Jo Natauri, at that time the global head of health care investing for the Goldman Merchant Banking Division, the vision was to amplify MED’s efforts to put the patient experience front and center and to raise vision care’s profile and awareness among patients and other provider groups in the health care field.

New Talent Is Expanding the Senior MyEyeDr. Organization and Executive Team

By Marge Axelrad
Thursday, March 17, 2022 12:53 AM Several new leaders with unique backgrounds and a range of skill sets and capabilities have become part of the MyEyeDr. executive team within the past year or two, joining longtime veteran leaders as the company further builds out its expansion and plans more strategic programs.

A Look at MyEyeDr. at 20 Years and Beyond

By Marge Axelrad
Thursday, March 17, 2022 12:52 AM OCTOBER 2001: MyEyeDr. opened its first door in Burke, Va. on October 1, 2001 as the country and the region were reeling in the aftermath of September 11.

Big Man, Big Eyewear and Eye Health Messages

By Marge Axelrad
Thursday, March 17, 2022 12:51 AM ATLANTA—NBA basketball legend, sports analyst, businessman and philanthropist Shaquille O’Neal has been working on an eyewear partnership with Zyloware for several years. That effort also led to a collaboration for an exclusive S/O Shaquille O’Neal eyewear collection for MyEyeDr.

Connections—Personal, Professional, Digital—Take on New Importance

By Marge Axelrad
Sunday, February 6, 2022 4:00 AM After the two years we’ve all been through, you might think that relationships should no longer be taken for granted, right? It might be that living and working through a pandemic and everything related to that would elevate the importance of those connections.

Independents and Optical Retailers Start to Add Click to Brick

By Marge Axelrad
Sunday, February 6, 2022 1:00 AM Call it a paradigm shift. A sea change. A transformation. A mindset adjustment. All describe the still-changing and already-changed attitudes among optical retailers and independent eyecare professionals toward establishing an enhanced online presence that supports e-commerce and connectivity with customers and patients.

Visionist Takes a Stylish and Curated View of What an E-Commerce Site Can Be

By Marge Axelrad
Sunday, February 6, 2022 12:59 AM NEW YORK—Pierce Voorthuis of Georgetown Optician began to conceptualize what a new type of online shopping experience for luxury eyewear might look like months before the pandemic began. Despite the immediate challenges of reacting to and thriving during the pandemic, in the interim of then and now Georgetown became a part of LOH (Luxury Optical Holdings) and subsequently, LOH was acquired by the New Look Vision Group.

Independents and Staff Lean Into Online Showcases, via Optify

By Marge Axelrad
Sunday, February 6, 2022 12:58 AM NEW YORK—As more independent eyecare professionals start to lean in to connecting with patients with more online options on their websites, they are finding that their embrace of digital tools that can integrate with existing systems are adding a new dimension to how patients perceive the practice and use new online connections to increase the productivity of office visits.

Canada’s New Look Brings a ‘Full-Store Experience’ to Customers’ Homes

By Marge Axelrad
Sunday, February 6, 2022 12:57 AM MONTREAL—After years of work and development, New Look stores, part of Canada’s New Look Vision Group (which consists of several retail/eyecare brand banners) is now live this month with its two-pronged e-commerce approach, bringing what it describes as “the full store experience” into its customers’ homes. New Look’s suite of tools now offers two ways for customers to buy glasses online with New Look, according to Jean-Michel Maltais, the group’s senior vice president of omnichannel.