(PRESS RELEASE) ORLANDO, FL – Over 900 industry professionals from North and South America gathered at the Swan Resort in Orlando Feb. 11-14 for the 22nd annual Transitions Academy. During the two-day, invitation-only event – themed “Future Ready” – attendees took part in professional development and product technology workshops, heard from experts and educators on marketing and industry trends, and learned from their peers and partners.

During the opening session, attendees were welcomed with an exciting performance and opening remarks from Jose Alves, general manager, Americas. Next, to set the stage for how the Transitions brand is staying “Future Ready,” Chrystel Barranger, president of photochromics, Transitions Optical, unveiled Transitions Optical’s new global brand identity and refreshed consumer campaign.

The morning continued with a Trendspotting Leadership Panel hosted by Marian Salzman, CEO, Havas PR North America, which featured opinions from various participants from the industry, including:

  • Catherine Rauscher, global director, strategic business innovation, Transitions Optical
  • Joseph Plott, VP of merchandising- lenses, Visionworks
  • Mark Wright, O.D., Professional Vision Care
  • Fayiz Mahgoub, optometry student, Western University College of Optometry
  • Diana Monea, O.D., Eye Health Centres
  • Ernani Parussolo, director of sales, Repro Produtos Opticos

Paddy McDermott, president and chief innovation officer; Darragh O'Connor, VP global marketing; and Luc Nouvelot, director global R&D, then took the main stage to share the latest news in Transitions lens product innovation. Next, Jason Dorsey, who delivered the hit keynote a year ago on millennials in the workplace, returned to the Academy stage to deliver the results of proprietary research conducted by The Center for Generational Kinetics for Transitions Academy.

Patience Cook, director, North America marketing, and Rose Harris, associate director, channel marketing strategies, closed Monday’s general session presentations with an overview of Transitions Optical’s 2018 marketing and consumer outreach plans as well as how partners and their customers can leverage these efforts within their businesses.

“Transitions Academy offers a great opportunity for us to bring our partners together and to be able to provide them with a unique educational experience that can be shared with their co-workers and customers,” said Alves. “The theme ‘Future Ready’ allowed attendees to see how Transitions Optical is heading into the future, and inspired them to think about different ways they can be forward-thinking in their own professional and personal lives. We discussed global trends, listened to consumer preferences and created an open dialogue around establishing photochromics as a smarter lens standard. I’m more excited than ever to see what success attendees are going to achieve with what they learned during Transitions Academy.”

Monday’s curriculum continued with industry elective sessions with three course options:

  • Engage, Amaze and Convert, Bill Gerber founder, creative director, OMG! (Optical Marketing Group)
  • Eyecessorize led by Lindsey Ruhe, The Vision Council, and Dr. Amanda Rights, O.D. from Blue Ridge Vision, and a special appearance by Coco & Breezy, founders of Coco & Breezy
  • Learn to Dominate Digitally, Trudi Charest and Kevin Wilhelm, Marketing4ECPs

The energy of Transitions Academy continued to build as Tuesday commenced with a keynote presentation from Jeremy Gutsche about how to be Better & Faster: better at making change happen, and faster at finding your next idea. Gutsche led the conversation on how to overcome the psychological traps that consistently block successful people from realizing their potential and taught the six patterns of opportunity; the proven paths to unstoppable ideas.

Tuesday continued with professional development workshops where attendees attended one of three workshops. Next, attendees participated in one of two breakout sessions on Transitions product training. Later, attendees reconvened at a Breakthrough Activation session led by Brian Biro where attendees had an opportunity to break through stagnation, find inspiration and galvanize their action plans through Biro's signature board breaking activity.

The professional development workshops included:

  • Jump Starting Social Media Marketing, Jennifer Lyerly, O.D., and Dr. Darryl Glover, O.D., DeFocus Media
  • Leading and Facilitating Effective Meetings, Ed Ramos and Rob Pennacchini, Dale Carnegie
  • Present Your Ideas with Confidence and Charisma to Win Over Any Audience, Doug Staneart, president & CEO, The Leaders Institute

The Transitions product training course options included:

  • Bright Side of Kidz, Christopher Lievens, O.D., Anna Young, ABOC, Vision Care Consulting
  • Myths and Misperceptions and the Future of Photochromic Technology, Laura Askew, new products project coordinator, R&D, Transitions Optical; Charlotte Hamel, associate director, global brand marketing, Transitions Optical; and Chris King, global marketing manager, Transitions Optical

After the final session of action planning, attendees reconvened once more in the evening to hear closing thoughts from Alves. Then, Drew Smith, director, North America channels, led Transitions Optical’s 2017 Transitions Innovation Awards program. The six category winners were as follows: 20/20 Visions was named Best in Training; Opto-Réseau was named Best in Marketing; Greiche & Scaff was named Canada Retailer of the Year; Costco Optical was named US Retailer of the Year; Pacific Eye Care of Port Orchard was named Eyecare Practice of the Year; and Jennifer Lyerly, O.D., Triangle Visions Optometry, was named the 2017 Transitions Brand Ambassador.

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