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Esteemed Vendor and Retail Panelists Set for Boutique Buyer Panel

Alexandria, VA – Feb. 20, 2019 – Now in its third year, the exclusive Boutique Buyer Panel will feature an esteemed group of panelists who will each share their unique perspectives to the topic of independent eyewear at Vision Expo East 2019.

The Boutique Buyer Panel: The Freedom of Independence will take place on Saturday, March 23, from 5 p.m.–5:45 p.m. in the new Exhibit Hall destination, the BRIDGE. Cocktails and networking will take place following the panel from 5:45 p.m.–6:30 p.m.
The Freedom of Independence panel will discuss the relationship between retailers and vendors in the realm of optical independents. James Spina, vice president and editor-in-chief of 20/20 Magazine, will moderate the conversation to provide each panelist with the opportunity to share his or her unique stories.
Retail Panelists include:

  • Gary Black – Black Optical, Dallas, Texas, Tulsa, Okla.
  • Utenzi Miller – Elegant Eyes, East Orange, N.J.
  • Selima Salaun – Selima Optique, New York, N.Y.

Vendor Panelists include:

  • Gai Gherardi – Co-Founder and Co-Designer, l.a.Eyeworks
  • Rebecca Giefer – COO, Modo Eyewear
  • Nico Roseillier – Creative Director, Europa Eyewear and STATE Optical Co.
  • Peter M. Waszkiewicz – CEO and President, Randolph Eyewear

“Each year, the Boutique Buyer Panel provides the exciting opportunity to highlight and celebrate independent retailers,” said Joanne Mohr, event director at Reed Exhibitions. “We’re looking forward to hearing from each panelist as they discuss their business goals and share their views on the world of independent retail.”

Additionally, the winner of the second annual OPTImum Retail Award will be announced during the Boutique Buyer Panel. Through Feb. 25, Vision Expo is encouraging the vision community to share their input and vote to help select the winner. To vote, as well as see the photos and stories of the finalists, click here. The results of the social media vote will factor into the judges’ scores.
The Boutique Buyer Panel is an invitation-only event. For questions about the panel or to secure an invitation, contact
Editor’s Note: For headshots of the panelists, email

About Vision Expo

Vision Expo East (Education: March 21-24, 2019; Exhibition: March 22-24, 2019) in New York City and West (Education: September 18-21, 2019; Exhibition: September 19-21, 2019) in Las Vegas are trade-only conferences and exhibitions for eyecare and eyewear presented by co-owners Reed Exhibitions and The Vision Council. Vision Expo is the complete event for ophthalmic professionals, where eyecare meets eyewear, and education, fashion and innovation mingle. In the Vision Expo Exhibit Hall, eyecare providers can discover trends, interact with new technologies and access innovative products and services. The Vision Expo education program is driven by the profession, offering content of the highest quality and relevance to enhance overall patient care. For more information, visit and follow Vision Expo on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

About The Vision Council

Championing better vision for better lives, The Vision Council positions its members for success by promoting growth in the vision care industry through education, advocacy, research, consumer outreach, strategic relationship building and industry forums. By sharing the latest in eyewear trends, advances in technology and advice from eyewear experts, The Vision Council serves as a resource to the public looking to learn more about options in eyeglasses and sunglasses.