Executive Summit

Executive Summit

Executive Summit

January 30 - February 1, 2019

Contagious Leadership - Strategies for Cultivating People While Producing Business Results

Join us at The Vision Council's 2019 Executive Summit – an exclusive event filled with opportunities for executive-level networking, leadership development, economic trends, and business strategies. The 2019 program will tackle a theme of leadership in a unique and compelling way by weaving in concepts from key thought leaders on the topic as well as tapping the collective wisdom of our industry through engaging and provocative workshops.

Boasting an impressive resume, former executive at Tesla Motors, Apple Computer and GAP Inc. George Blankenship will serve as the keynote speaker. With three decades of experience in international strategy, retail and real estate, Blankenship is best known for his growth strategies focused on customer experience, implemented in his work with such notable and impactful companies. As the greater vision and vision care industry continues to evolve and expand, Blankenship will offer a unique perspective on how organizations within the industry can adapt to an ever-changing marketplace. We'll also feature Jeff Cherry, an expert on the topic of Conscious Capitalism and Liz Wiseman who will share ideas from her top 20 business leadership book, Multipliers. Closing the Summit once again is our favorite economist, Brian Beaulieu.

Registration is open now! Join us to expand your circle of advisors and find out why scores of attendees have identified the Executive Summit as the premier, must attend event for senior level management and business leaders.



Click here to download a pdf of the draft agenda.

Keynote Speakers and Program


Former executive at Tesla Motors, Apple Computer and GAP Inc., George Blankenship brings 30 years of international strategy, retail and real estate experience to his audiences. In his executive capacities at Tesla Motors, Blankenship successively served as vice president of design and store development, vice president of worldwide sales and ownership experience, and vice president of worldwide retail. In these roles, he redefined the car-buying experience, and in turn revolutionized the auto industry.

Read George's bio.


For the last 30 years, Gallup has surveyed employee engagement locally and globally. Their reports yield consistently unfavorable results stating that 85% of employees worldwide are not engaged or are actively disengaged in their job. That means that the majority of employees – those sitting in your office right now – simply don't care, or worse, are actively attempting to sabotage your organization.

We suggest that this state of affairs is largely driven by the way we collectively view the purpose of business: as a tool to enrich shareholders with a primary focus on monetary success. However, there are massive societal and market forces at play today that are changing the way we decide whom we want to work for, buy from, partner with, and invest in. These forces are bringing forth a new narrative about the purpose of business and a new movement called, Conscious Capitalism. The companies that are equipped to leverage these forces, by operating with a stakeholder as opposed to myopic shareholder mindset, will shift the engagement dynamic and be the winning companies of the future.

We'll explore the history that started us down this road of disengagement, the elements that are changing the relationship between business and society, the emergence of Conscious Capitalism, and the tools at your disposal to profit from passion and purpose.

Read Jeff's bio.


We've all had experience with two dramatically different types of leaders. The first type drains intelligence, energy, and capability from the people around them and always needs to be the smartest person in the room. These are the idea killers, the energy sappers, the diminishers of talent and commitment. On the other side of the spectrum are leaders who use their intelligence to amplify the smarts and capabilities of the people around them. When these leaders walk into a room, light bulbs go off over people's heads; ideas flow and problems get solved. These are the leaders who inspire employees to stretch themselves and get more from other people. These are the Multipliers. And the world needs more of them, especially now when leaders are expected to do more with less.

In this highly engaging talk, Liz Wiseman will share the research behind Multipliers and illustrate the resoundingly positive and profitable effect these Multipliers have on organizations – how they get more done with fewer resources, develop and attract talent, and cultivate new ideas and energy to drive organizational change and innovation. She'll introduce the five disciplines that distinguish Multipliers from Diminishers and provide practice tips for leading like a Multiplier. What could your organization accomplish with access to all the intelligence that sits inside it?

Read Liz's bio.


Brian will share quick forecasts for the next few years and the associated Make Your Move Moments – an all-time crowd favorite! You won't want to miss Brian's recap of an interesting and active 2018, the economic indicators, trade policies, and the short and long term impacts. Brian will conclude with his outlook for 2019 and beyond and host an always lively Q&A.

Read Brian's bio.

james chen

James Chen, Eye-care philanthropist and founder of international eye-care initiative Clearly in conversation with Mike Hundert, Chairman of The Vision Council. 

Read James' bio.

Emerging Optical Leaders

The Emerging Optical Leaders (EOL) Committee is tasked with developing the next generation of optical industry leaders for The Vision Council through mentoring, training and networking. Criteria to participate is as follows:

  • 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 3-5 years
  • Age 35 years or younger to join; may move to Alumni Advisor role at age 40.
  • Nomination from a senior executive within their company.

The EOL Committee launched their mentoring program at the 2017 Summit and will expand and enhance it for 2019 with a dedicated session for mentors and mentees led by keynote speaker Jeff Cherry. The session will take place on Thursday, January 31st from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The EOL Committee will also gather for a committee business meeting and networking lunch on Wednesday, January 30th from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. 

For more information on the Emerging Optical Leaders, contact Donna Jones at djones@thevisioncouncil.org.


Registration for the 2019 Executive Summit is open!

  • Members: $699 (full meeting, sessions, social and meal events)
  • Non-members: $1,399 (full meeting, sessions, social and meal events)
  • Spouse/Significant Other: $349 (social/meal functions only)


Plan Ahead and Extend Your Stay

As an extra incentive for those looking to jumpstart their calendar year with countless fresh ideas and ample opportunities for networking, Transitions Academy 2019 will take place following the Executive Summit Feb. 3-6 at the adjoining JW Marriott Grande Lakes. The Ritz Carlton and JW Marriott are working to assure a seamless linking of your reservations from one event through the other so you will not be required to check in and out or change rooms.

For more information on Transitions Academy, visit the website at www.transitionsacademy.com.


The Vision Council has negotiated a special room rate of $359 per night at the Ritz Carlton and $339 per night at the attached JW Marriott for attendees for either a king or double room.

Numerous events in the Orlando area this week will have hotels at capacity. Reserve your room now! You may make a reservation by calling 1.800.266.9432 between the hours of 9:00 am – 8:00 pm Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. You may also make reservations online using this link.

Reservations must be made on or before the cutoff date of Monday, January 7, 2019 in order to be eligible for the group rate. Reservations made after the cutoff will be based on availability at then current rates.

*NOTE: Rooms as well as room type and location are available on a first come, first served basis and have sold out the last two years. Book now to secure your preferred room.

Bordered by Shingle Creek, the Headwaters of the Everglades, The Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes envelopes you into 500 acres of natural beauty. A luxurious retreat where you can surrender to the serenity of our relaxing spa, indulge in fine dining, or play 18 holes on our golf course, a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. With exceptional amenities and impeccable service, one of the most breathtaking luxury hotels in Orlando is the perfect place to meet, all while enjoying the quintessential all-American city. Click here to learn more about the resort.

Golfers, the tournament will take place on Wednesday morning, January 30th, at 8:30 a.m. Please ensure you book your travel accordingly!

For travel information and a comprehensive list of resort activities and amenities, please review the Frequently Asked Questions document (PDF).

Golf Tournament

The tournament will be held Wednesday, January 30th beginning at 8:30 a.m. on the 18-hole Greg Norman-designed course at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club® Orlando, Grande Lakes. The cost of the tournament is $199 per person and includes a grab-and-go breakfast. You will be able to register for the tournament during the Summit registration process.

If you need rental clubs, please reserve them directly with the golf course at least 14 days IN ADVANCE by calling 407-393-4900. Club rental is $75 and is at the player's expense.


For travel information and a comprehensive list of resort activities and amenities, please review the Frequently Asked Questions document.

For more information on the 2019 Executive Summit, please contact Mitch Barkley, at mbarkley@thevisioncouncil.org.

*Refund Policy: Registration and/or golf tournament fees are eligible for refund if canceled in writing by Monday January 7th, 2019. Please send requests to events@thevisioncouncil.org.