Transitions Academy to Mark 25th Anniversary June 13-16, 2021 in Orlando, Fla.

By Staff
Friday, September 25, 2020 12:42 AM PINELLAS PARK, Fla.—Typically held in February, Transitions Academy will celebrate its 25th year as one of the industry’s most well-recognized educational events from June 13 – 16, 2021 at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes in Orlando, Fla, the company announced late yesterday. The submission dates for the Transitions Innovation Awards are also being extended. The awards are open to optical industry professionals, educators, retailers, optical laboratories and independent eyecare professionals and practices. The Transitions Innovation Awards categories include: 2020 Transitions Brand Ambassador (individual-only award), Retailer of the Year, Eyecare Practice of the Year, Best in Training and Best in Marketing.

Silmo Releases First Categories of Silmo D’Or Nominations

By Staff
Friday, September 25, 2020 12:39 AM PARIS—Silmo has released the first selections of nominations for the 27th Silmo D’Or awards. The awards ceremony gives prizes to recognize the creativity of the optical products for design, innovation and technology.

UnitedHealthcare Selected to Provide Vision and Dental Benefits for Federal Government Employees

By Staff
Friday, September 25, 2020 12:36 AM MINNETONKA, Minn.—UnitedHealthcare has been awarded a seven-year contract to provide dental and vision benefits through the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP).

Novartis Names Whitney Hauser, OD, to Key Ophthalmics Post

By Staff
Friday, September 25, 2020 12:30 AM BASEL, Switzerland—As part of its commitment to developing innovative resources and relevant educational opportunities for ECPS Novartis (NYSE: NVS) has announced that Dr. Whitney Hauser will join its eyecare team as director, peer education for U.S. Ophthalmics.

AOA to Establish Task Force on Diversity and Inclusivity

By Staff
Friday, September 25, 2020 12:27 AM ST. LOUIS—The American Optometric Association (AOA), moving to follow-up on its earlier statement  on the national dialogue around diversity following the death of George Floyd, has taken the opportunity to look inward and assess how the organization can be even more impactful and focus on advocacy for doctors, patients and as a profession. One of the results has been the effort to develop a board-level Diversity and Inclusivity Task Force appointed by AOA president William T. Reynolds, OD.

Kenmark and Kensie Announce Licensing Renewal Through 2024

By Staff
Friday, September 25, 2020 12:24 AM LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Kenmark Eyewear and Kensie have announced the renewal of an exclusive licensing agreement for the design, development, production and worldwide distribution of eyewear for the Kensie brand. This agreement will extend through June 2024—Kenmark Eyewear has partnered with Kensie since 2009, launching the brand within the optical industry. The brand includes Kensie optical, Kensie sun and Kensie girl segments. Marissa Cundiff, Kenmark Eyewear marketing director, said, “We’re thrilled with the renewal of Kensie. It’s such a fun, colorful brand to work on and we love what we have created together over the years.

Fight for Sight and Prevent Blindness Announce Recipient of the 2020 Joanne Angle Public Health Award

By Staff
Friday, September 25, 2020 12:21 AM CHICAGO—Fight for Sight, the first nonprofit organization in the U.S. to promote eye research, and Prevent Blindness, the nation’s oldest voluntary eye health organization, announced today the recipient of the 2020 Joanne Angle Public Health Award as Angela R. Elam, MD, Clinical assistant professor, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Kellogg Eye Center, University of Michigan.  The $25,000 grant was awarded for Dr. Elam’s study, “Engagement in Telemedicine-Based Glaucoma Screening in the Community Clinics.” The Joanne Angle Public Health Award is presented annually to research focusing on the public health side of vision and eye health.

ECPs Optimistic as Business Increases, Wave 15 of Jobson Survey Finds

By Staff
Thursday, September 24, 2020 12:33 AM NEW YORK—Even with the coronavirus pandemic continuing to move across the U.S. in a hopscotch-like path, ECPs and eyecare practice managers seem to be exhibiting a more optimistic outlook on circumstances and taking steps to get back to more of a “normal” approach to business, according to the 15th Wave of Jobson's ECP Coronavirus Survey. Jobson Research conducted the survey during the Sept. 18-22 period.

LION Eye Group Signs Supplier Agreement With ABB Optical Group

By Staff
Thursday, September 24, 2020 12:30 AM NEW YORK—LION Eye Group, a network of independent optometry practices that utilizes various key initiatives and protocols across strategic and non-clinical operational disciplines to increase provider profitability, entered into a master service agreement with ABB Optical Group.

VSP Global’s COVID-19 Patient Care Grant Program to Help Offset Pandemic Expenses Is Now Available to ECPs

By Staff
Thursday, September 24, 2020 12:27 AM RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif.—VSP network doctors can now apply for the recently announced VSP Global COVID-19 Patient Care Program, which offers grants to help practices offset expenses and financial hardships due to the pandemic.

WestGroupe Appoints Alexis Nyiro Director of Product and Marketing

By Staff
Thursday, September 24, 2020 12:24 AM MONTREAL, Canada—WestGroupe has announced that Alexis Nyiro has been promoted to director of product and marketing. Nyiro joined WestGroupe 11 years ago, and “has been instrumental in the design and development of WestGroupe’s product portfolio and has been an integral part of marketing our brands over the years,” the company said.

I-deal Optics and Rafaella Renew Licensing Agreement

By Staff
Thursday, September 24, 2020 12:15 AM TROY, Michigan and NEW YORK—I-deal Optics and Rafaella, a division of Perry Ellis International, have announced a multi-year extension of their licensing agreement. The agreement grants I-deal Optics the rights to design, produce and distribute sun and prescription eyewear under the Rafaella brand through Dec. 31, 2023. I-deal Optics has held this license since 2018. Rafaella was initially launched in 1982, and is now a well-established lifestyle collection of on-trend and ready-to-wear styles that embrace women’s individual shapes. 

Inspecs Appoints Key Industry Figure as General Manager of Norville

By Staff
Thursday, September 24, 2020 12:15 AM BATH, England—Inspecs Group PLC (LSE: SPEC), the global eyewear design house and manufacturer, has announced the appointment of Nevil “Nev” Trotter as general manager of Norville, the Group’s manufacturer of optically advanced spectacle lenses. Inspecs acquired Norville from the Administrator on July 14 of this year, as VMAIL previously reported, providing the Group with a full lens offering domestically and globally. Following the acquisition, the Group immediately launched a search for a new general manager to run operations, the company said. 

Services Held for Michael Brown, Industry Veteran and Optical Hall of Fame Honoree

By Staff
Thursday, September 24, 2020 12:12 AM MINEOLA, Texas—Services were held here on Sept. 12 for industry veteran and Optical Hall of Fame honoree Michael (Mikey) Brown of Holly Lake Ranch, Texas, who passed away on Aug. 17, 2020 after a battle with cancer. He was 73 years old. Brown was born in Atlanta, Texas, on March 22, 1947. He worked in the optical industry from 1970 until he retired in 2014, holding senior management positions for Semi-Tech, DAC Vision, Salem, Gerber-Coburn, and Signet Armorlite.

KKR to Acquire 1-800 Contacts from AEA Investors in Deal Valued at About $3 Billion

By Staff
Wednesday, September 23, 2020 8:05 AM DRAPER, Utah—1-800 Contacts, the largest retailer of contact lenses in the U.S., today announced a definitive agreement under which global investment firm KKR will acquire the company from AEA Investors. The sale follows many years of strong growth and technology innovation for the direct-to-consumer (DTC) brand, which was purchased by AEA Investors in 2016. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. However, sources close to the deal told VMAIL that the deal is valued at roughly $3 billion, about $2 billion more than when it was acquired by AEA.