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19th Annual Transitions Academy Draws 500




Nearly 500 industry professionals from North America gathered at Disney’s Contemporary Resort in Orlando for strategic business planning, educational workshops and professional development at the 19th annual Transitions Academy.

Bertrand Roy, general manager, North America, and Catherine Rauscher, global director for lenscaster partners, welcomed attendees to Transitions Academy and set the stage for the interactive environment that immersed attendees.

“Transitions Academy has always been a reflection of our desire to work with our partners to deliver education that can be carried on down the channel, and we will continue to do this throughout 2015 and beyond,” said Roy.

“As we work toward our shared goals together, the past few days were designed to help all of our partners take away actionable ideas for activating the Transitions brand and accelerating growth for their businesses.”

Sally Hogshead, professional speaker and author of Fascinate, gave a keynote address on “How the World Sees You.” Explaining how most people operate with a nine-second attention span, Hogshead helped attendees find ways to earn and maintain the attention of the people around them through their own individual fascination advantages.

The curriculum continued with professional development courses from Development Dimensions International (DDI) that gave attendees strategies for influencing others to achieve positive results and tools for appreciating other’s unique perspectives, styles, motivations and abilities.


Expanding on the “ACTivate” theme, John Ligas, director of research and development, challenged attendees to think about how they could activate better product education and understanding among ther customers or staff – specifically around Transitions XTRActive lenses – during a technology session on Monday afternoon. To help attendees internalize the unique product benefits of Transitions XTRActive lenses, they participated in various experiments and team building activities with members of the Transitions Optical R& D team and the experts at Play With A Purpose.

“There is so much opportunity with Transitions XTRActive lenses. One of the reasons is that the product overcomes some of the objections as to why eyecare professionals don’t always recommend Transitions lenses, which includes performance behind the windshield and darkness,” said Ligas. “Because the product offers unique features and benefits in these areas, it creates the opportunity for our partners to see incremental growth with it. Academy was the perfect place for us to combine learning about this opportunity with some fun activities.”

Sherianne James, director, Global Marketing, and Patience Cook, associate director, North America marketing, shared the latest in the Transitions brand story and introduced attendees to Transitions Optical’s new consumer marketing plans for 2015 – including a new, unique media partnership and PR and social media campaign. Attendees also heard from the “best of the best” during two product- and customer engagement-themed panel sessions, featuring the Transitions Awards finalists and brainstorm activities with their peers.

Transitions Academy concluded with closing thoughts from Mikael Malagies, key account director, and Paddy McDermott, president, on activating what was achieved during Transitions Academy. Transitions Optical also celebrated the 2014 Transitions Awards program finalists and winners, and named Walman Optical the Lab of the Year, Henry Ford OptimEyes and Costco Optical the U.S. Regional and National Retailers of the Year, Southern Eye Specialists, P.C. the U.S. Eyecare Practice of the Year and Opto-Réseau the Retailer of the Year from Canada.



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