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Podcast: Is Eyecare in Canada Really More Like the US Than We Think?

Dee talks with 4ECP’s Trudi Charest on marketing and staffing an eyecare business in both countries.




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IN THIS EPISODE of INVISION with Dee Carroll, brought to you by Art Optical Contact Lens, Dee talks with the co-founder of 4ECPs and the EyeInnovate conference, Trudi Charest.

First Trudi gives a little info on her personal background, including her family’s optical heritage, working as an optician in retail, a sales rep for B+L and Optos, and training and producing live events, and how her company 4ECPs was founded with partner Kevin Wilhelm due to a lack of available marketing resources for ECPs. At 6:30 minutes, Dee asks about the idea for the EyeInnovate conference, held in November in San Francisco. “[EyeInnovate] really spring from my background doing events for buying groups,” shares Trudi. “We didn’t do the typical eyecare event that you see out there; we made it more of a business event. We brought in non-industry speakers who could talk about the business aspects and motivational and inspirational speakers. I saw that there was no dedicated marketing growth conference in our industry.”

Podcast: Is Eyecare in Canada Really More Like the US Than We Think?
This episode is brought to you by Art Optical.

She goes on to describe the conception and format of EyeInnovate (9:00). At 11 minutes, they discuss continuing education and the recently changing landscape of accredited courses and the future of CE talks. In short, “people remember fun,” says Trudi (13:53).

At 16:30, Dee sets the stage for the U.S. vs. Canada discussion and Trudi sets the record straight (17:08). She discusses the similarities … mostly challenges ECPs in both countries face … including Canada’s insurance system (18:00) and how Canadians are more willing to spend more on their eyewear (19:00). But across the borders, when asked what their main challenges are, Trudi always hears the same thing… the number one universal challenge facing those managing eyecare businesses is revealed at 19:35. Trudi goes on (20:40) to explain how 4ECPs different divisions helps businesses learn what to do to compete in today’s world, including digital marketing, training and business strategy.

Dee and Trudi discuss the columns from the 4ECP team that INVISION readers can expect in the magazine in 2020 at 22:02. And the bonus content, guidebooks and tools readers will be able to download throughout the year.

This episode of In Vision with Dee Carroll is brought to you by Art Optical Contact Lens. For over 60 years, Art Optical’s mission has helped ECP’s to take control of their custom contact lens business. Listen to the podcast for a free offer from Art Optical and visit or call 1-800-253-9364 for more information.

Having built a career in service journalism, Dee has been covering the eyecare industry for over a decade. As editor-in-chief of INVISION Magazine, she is passionate about telling independent ECPs stories and can be reached directly at


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