The board approved formation of an Emerging Optical Leaders Committee.

(Press Release) Alexandria, VA -- The Vision Council’s board of directors unanimously approved the formation of a new Emerging Optical Leaders Committee, tasked with identifying and developing the next generation of optical industry leaders for the organization.

Mike Hundert, vice chairman of the board, made a motion at the September board meeting explaining the concept and expected outcome.

“We hold the match that will energize a new network built to perpetually welcome and encourage bright young people in our business who are looking for an industry to which they can commit their endless energy, their unbridled passion, and their innovative, if not disruptive thinking,” he said. “We have the ability to not only make a direct contribution towards improving our industry, but to directly improve the lives of the people who will drive its future. By energizing and encouraging our industry’s emerging leaders, we’re creating an outlet for these leaders to broaden our perspectives, bring provocative insights to our understanding of challenges, and add bold ideas to the palette of our solutions.”

Criteria for membership on the Emerging Optical Leaders Committee includes: Employment by an organization in good standing as a member of The Vision Council. Currently hold or on track for an executive level role in next three to five years. Age 35 years or younger to join; may move to alumni adviser role at age 40. Nomination from a senior executive within their company.

Reporting to the board, the committee will use mentoring, training and networking opportunities to enrich the value these emerging leaders bring to their companies and the optical industry at large. An inaugural leadership team has been established for the committee. Ryan Kirkpatrick of Shwood Ltd. will serve as the chairman, with Sebastian Hewslett of Carl Zeiss Vision as vice chair and Jennifer Smith of Essilor as secretary. Michael Daley of Essilor will lead the committee’s development, with Joe Colucci of Essilor leading advocacy, Jaclyn Frumkin of Eye Q Eyewear leading membership and Kurt Gardner of IOT serving as member-at-large.

“We would like to thank the Board, and are excited to carry out this vision to develop the next generation of optical industry leaders for The Vision Council,” Kirkpatrick said.

The Vision Council has also announced a scholarship program to connect these emerging optical leaders with members of the industry’s established leaders at The 2017 Executive Summit. The Vision Council will subsidize the entire registration fee — a value of almost $1,200 — for 20 qualified candidates. Travel and related expenses will be the responsibility of the individual or their respective company. This opportunity will also include breakout sessions, speed mentoring and networking specific to the Emerging Optical Leaders Committee. Candidates must be referred by a registered attendee of the 2017 Executive Summit.

Members of the industry interested in joining the Emerging Optical Leaders Committee, or those looking for more information on nominating a scholarship recipient, can contact Renae Shepherd, The Vision Council’s senior director of meetings and education.