Dwight Akerman, OD, MBA, FAAO, FBCLA
Chief Medical Editor, Review of Myopia Management
International Myopia Institute Global Ambassador
Dr. Dwight Akerman is an internationally recognized senior health care leader with extensive experience in myopia management strategy, peer education and communications, medical marketing, innovation, financial management, and M&A/business development & licensing. Currently, he serves as the president of Global Visionary Consultants, LLC, and the chief medical editor at Review of Myopia Management.
Dr. Akerman was the vice president and global head of Professional Affairs & Business Development for Alcon before retiring from this role in 2019. He has published widely and is a frequently invited peer educator on myopia management, cornea, contact lens and business management topics.
Dr. Akerman graduated cum laude from the Illinois College of Optometry and earned an MBA degree from the University of Texas. He has achieved the status of diplomate of the American Academy of Optometry Cornea, Contact Lenses & Refractive Technologies Section, fellow of the International Association of Contact Lens Educators, and fellow of the British Contact Lens Association. He currently serves as chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Illinois College of Optometry.
Keynote Speaker, Author
Rohit Bhargava is on a mission to inspire more non-obvious thinking in the world. He is the 3-time Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of eight books and is widely considered one of the most entertaining and original speakers on trends, innovation and marketing in the world. Rohit has been invited to deliver sold-out keynotes and workshops in 32 countries around the world to change the way teams and leaders think at the World Bank, NASA, Intel, LinkedIn, MetLife, Under Armour, Univision, Disney and hundreds of other well-known organizations.
Prior to becoming an entrepreneur and founding two companies, he previously spent 15 years as a marketing strategist at Ogilvy and Leo Burnett where he advised global brands on marketing and storytelling strategy. Outside his speaking and consulting, Rohit has taught persuasive speaking and global marketing as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, is frequently quoted in the global media and writes a monthly column on trends for GQ magazine in Brazil.
Rohit lives in the Washington DC area with his wife and is a proud dad of two boys. He loves the Olympics (he’s been to five!) and actively hates cauliflower.
Dr. Solange Charas
Founder and CEO, HCMoneyball
Dr. Solange Charas is the founder and CEO of HCMoneyball, an adjunct professor, and a governance researcher and thought leader. She is an expert in the area of quantifying and contextualizing the material impact of human capital and in a variety of ESG governance frameworks requiring disclosures. She has served as a director on public company, non-profit and higher education boards. She is the co-author of "Humanizing Human Capital: Invest in Your People for Optimal Business Returns”.
Gary Y. Chu, OD, MPH, FAAO
Vice President of Professional Affairs
New England College of Optometry
Dr. Chu is the vice president of Professional Affairs at the New England College of Optometry. He received his Doctor of Optometry degree from the New England College of Optometry and his Masters of Public Health from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
He has been in practice and optometric education for over 25 years and is involved in the changing landscape of eyecare, health care and public health. Dr. Chu has been in the forefront of eyecare innovations through the development of collaborative partnerships with health systems, federally qualified health centers, social service agencies, local and state government, school systems, health payors, optometry employer groups, ophthalmic industry and start-ups.
Dr. Chu continues to give back to the profession and beyond. He is vice chair of the Council on Optometric Practitioner Education (COPE) Governing Committee, a member of the New Technologies Committee of the American Optometric Association (AOA), contributor to Review of Optometric Business (ROB) Tech Reviews, and has been appointed a commissioner of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Asian American Pacific Islander Commission.
Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President
Ali Daniels is chief marketing officer and senior vice president for Visit Seattle. Ali serves on the organization’s leadership team, oversees its public relations, creative services, international tourism, cultural tourism and marketing departments, and drives strategic planning and development across convention and leisure travel markets. She also manages the marketing activities for the Seattle Tourism Improvement Area. During her tenure, she has led the organization through their company-wide rebrand, website redesign, publications overhaul, and launched Seattle’s first leisure campaign.
Previously, Ali worked for Creature, a Seattle-based advertising agency, where she partnered with creative teams, worked directly with client brand managers, and implemented strategic communications with national sales forces.
She has also worked for strong Seattle brands such as Seattle SuperSonics & Storm, Screenlife LLC and Tully’s Coffee.
Deloitte Consulting LLP's US Human Capital
Kraig Eaton is a principal in Deloitte Consulting LLP's US Human Capital service area.
Kraig has 29 years of experience working with senior business and HR executives to transform their Human Capital strategies and capabilities to better support the business goals of the organization. Specifically supporting some of the world's leading organizations on efforts spanning the full spectrum of HR and workforce transformations; from upfront strategy development through large-scale operating model, organization and technology implementations.
Kraig also serves as the co-lead of the Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends, the largest longitudinal study of HR, talent and related technology topics ever conducted.
Chief Executive Officer and President
Reade Fahs has served as the chief executive officer and president of National Vision since January 2003. He joined the company in April 2002 as its president and chief operating officer. Under his leadership, National Vision has become one of the largest and fastest growing optical retailers in the United States.
Reade devotes himself to an ecosystem of charities that help make eyeglasses available and affordable to underserved populations around the world. He is the chairman of the board of VisionSpring and an active board member of RestoringVision. He also serves on the boards of Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University, PetVet Care Centers, The Atlanta Committee for Progress and Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre.
Reade holds a B.A. in English and American Literature from Harvard University.
Senior Vice President, Talent and Development
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Culture
Jacqueline Grove has been with National Vision since 2016. In her role, she is responsible for creating the best possible work experience for the National Vision team of more than 14,000 associates.
Prior to her current role, Jacqueline served National Vision as the senior vice president of store operations for Eyeglass World, Vision Centers in Walmart and Vista Optical. In total, she has more than 30 years of retail experience in human resources and store operations.
Jacqueline is a board member of Preventing Blindness of Georgia and serves on The Coalition for Clear Vision of the International Association for the Prevention of Blindness. She holds a B.S. degree in Communication Arts from the University of Cincinnati.
Managing Director, Edelman Health
Founder and Director, Wellness 360
In Jennifer Hauser’s 25+ year marketing and communications career, she has advised a range of leading global and U.S. clients who are making transformational advancements in health and wellness.
Jennifer is currently a strategic communications leader at Edelman, where she’s spent the last 17 years. She’s also the founder and director of Wellness 360, an Edelman communications specialty for clients who aim to engage consumers across all generations in self-care and positive health behavior change.
Jennifer has deep experience in corporate and brand marketing having worked with clients like GSK, CVS Health, Johnson & Johnson, Reckitt, Danone, Unilever, Alcon, Microsoft, the American Lung Association, and the American Heart Association, which includes the award-winning Go Red For Women Red Dress ampaign.
Prior to joining Edelman, Jennifer founded a marketing/communications firm in 1993 specializing in consumer lifestyle and health companies and brands representing clients like SmithKline Beecham and Nike. She sold her agency to Havas in 2002.
Jennifer is on the faculty at New York University and is a frequent speaker on health and communications at universities and organizations. She received an executive certification in Business Leadership & Sustainability from the University of Cambridge in 2021 and is currently earning her Masters of Public Health, with an Environmental Science concentration, in an executive program at the Yale School of Public Health.
Steven P. Lee, OD, MBA
Steven P. Lee, OD, MBA is an entrepreneur with a medical and engineering background. Most recently, he served as CEO of Vision Pros, Inc., an e-commerce company selling glasses and contact lenses.
Among his entrepreneurial efforts, Dr. Lee has founded or co-founded Safer Eyecare, a non-profit organization to help bring more people back into clinics using equipment shields; Eyesight Mobile, which is developing a VR vision testing system; and Visibly, the online vision testing company for which he also served as chief science officer from 2012-2019.
Dr. Lee has over 15 patents granted, with an additional 15 pending on the concepts of online vision testing. He is a partner in Nexgen Venture Partners, which is focused on early-stage companies.
Educator and Thought Leader
Stela Lupushor is a thought leader, speaker, educator and futurist on a mission to humanize the workplace through the use of design thinking, technology, analytics and future thinking to create inclusive workplaces. She is the co-author of "Humanizing Human Capital: Invest in Your People for Optimal Business Returns” and "Humans At Work: The Art and Practice of Creating the Hybrid Workplace."
Global Myopia Coalition (GMAC) Board Chair
Global Myopia Lead, Johnson & Johnson Vision
Lisa McAlister now serves as the 2023 board chair of the Global Myopia Awareness Coalition (GMAC), an industry coalition founded with a mission to promote public awareness of childhood myopia as a treatable disease through direct-to-consumer channels and awareness with governments, NGOs and other health care associations.
Lisa leads Johnson & Johnson Vision global efforts in eye health focused on the pediatric eye. She and her team continue to launch Johnson & Johnson Vision into the myopia management category—empowering children to see their future by slowing the progression of myopia.
Over the past two years, Lisa and team have launched the Acuvue Abiliti portfolio of products and services, in addition to continuing to raise awareness of myopia in children as a chronic, progressive disease.
Lisa joined Johnson & Johnson Vision in 2011 and has held roles in strategy, marketing, sales, and analytics. Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson, she was a strategic planner and buyer for several retailers. Lisa earned her M.B.A. and B.S. in Finance from the University of Florida. If not traveling, party planning, or reading, you’ll find her at home in Jacksonville, Florida with her husband and, who’ll Lisa will argue as, the cutest toddler son ever.
Podcast host, Masters of Scale: Rapid Response
Founder, The Flux Group
Bob Safian is the host of podcast Masters of Scale: Rapid Response, downloaded by business leaders millions of times each month and named by The New York Times as one of its "Podcasts for the Pandemic Era." Guests on the show include CEOs from Airbnb to Marriott, Instacart to Target, GM to Harley-Davidson, Nike to Peloton, covering topics from AI to autonomous vehicles, sustainability to social impact, leadership responsibilities to talent management, and more.
One of the most sought-after experts in modern business, Bob was editor-in-chief of Fast Company for a decade, previously serving as executive editor at both Fortune and Time. As founder of The Flux Group, an advisory group driving awareness of new business practices, he directly counsels Fortune 100 firms, start-ups and nonprofits across multiple industries.
A journalist at heart, Bob has appeared numerous times on TV outlets including CBS This Morning, MSNBC’s Morning Joe and CNBC’s Squawk Box. He has shared insights at industry-leading forums around the world and interviewed dozens of CEOs and celebrities on stage and at virtual events, from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to Serena Williams to Princess Reema Bint Bandar, Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to the U.S.
An honors graduate of Brown University, Bob is married and has three sons.
Director of Strategic Partnerships
With a career commitment to accessibility spanning more than 25 years, Sagalyn’s deep understanding of accessibility solutions allows her to guide clients to practical and sustainable strategies and implementations. She was previously director of marketing and strategic partnerships at the WGBH Educational Foundation, spearheading accessibility consulting and digital media services for clients ranging from Apple, AOL and IBM to the National Cancer Institute, General Services Administration and McGraw-Hill.
Perkins Access https://perkinsaccess.org/ is mission-driven to build a more accessible digital world. Perkins Access partners with organizations of all kinds to help them create digital products, services and experiences—websites, apps, multimedia and beyond—that engage and include all people, regardless of their abilities. Its human-centered approach is all about impact, which means Perkins keeps your users’ needs front and center, while striving to meet them in ways that mesh with your organization’s unique culture, processes, resources and goals.
As part of the world-renowned Perkins School for the Blind, https://www.perkins.org/ which has been dedicated to expanding accessibility since 1829, Perkins Access “brings a sense of purpose and optimism to everything we do as we help organizations turn their intentions into reality.”
John Whyte, MD
Chief Medical Officer
John Whyte, MD is the chief medical officer, WebMD. In this role, Dr. Whyte leads efforts to develop and expand strategic partnerships that create meaningful change around important and timely public health issues. He has been a leading voice in addressing the COVID pandemic, being named as one of the top 20 health influencers.
Dr. Whyte frequently speaks on evaluating digital tools and technologies, assessing their roles in the evolving health ecosystem.
Prior to WebMD, Dr. Whyte served as the director of professional affairs and stakeholder engagement at the Center for Drugs Evaluation and Research at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In this role, Dr. Whyte spearheaded numerous efforts to address diversity in drug development programs especially as it relates to necessary changes in clinical trial design.
Prior to this, Dr. Whyte worked for nearly a decade as the chief medical expert and vice president, health and medical education at Discovery Channel, the leading non-fiction television network. Dr. Whyte developed, designed and delivered educational programming that appealed to both a medical and lay audience.
Dr. Whyte also served in numerous leadership roles at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. He is a recognized expert on various payment policies and models.
Dr. Whyte is a board-certified internist and continues to see patients. He completed an internal medicine residency at Duke University Medical Center as well as earned a Master of Public Health (MPH) in Health Policy and Management at Harvard University School of Public Health. Prior to arriving in Washington, Dr. Whyte was a health services research fellow at Stanford and attending physician in the Department of Medicine. He has written extensively in the medical and lay press, including two best-selling books.
Susy Yu, OD, MBA, FAAO
Director of Business Strategy and Operations Support
Vision Essentials by Kaiser Permanente
Dr. Susy Yu is the director of Business Strategy and Operations Support for Vision Essentials by Kaiser Permanente in Southern California. Dr. Yu’s main role is to develop and implement strategy for this division comprising more than 300 doctors of optometry. One of the more interesting aspects of Dr. Yu’s role is to identify and pilot new technologies and help determine the ideal practice model for optometry in our complex and rapidly evolving health care environment.
Dr. Yu has served on the California State Board of Optometry, is past president of the Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry (ARBO), and is past chair of ARBO’s Council on Optometric Practitioner Education (COPE). Her board experience, together with her role at Kaiser Permanente, shifted Dr. Yu’s focus from individual patient care to population care management—developing policies and making strategic decisions to improve health outcomes for a community of people.
Dr. Yu currently serves on the board of directors for the National Board of Examiners in Optometry as immediate past president. She earned her bachelor of arts from UC Berkeley, a doctor of optometry degree from the UC Berkeley School of Optometry, and a masters in business administration from the Anderson School at UCLA. She is a fellow and diplomate in the Public Health and Environmental Vision section of the American Academy of Optometry.
Dr. Yu is married to Brian Kim, MD, JD, and is the proud mother of two children, ilsa and ilan.
Amel Youssef, OD
Amel Youssef, OD, owns and operates optometric practices in Las Vegas, Nev. and in East Rutherford, N.J. under the European optical retail brand, Acuitis. She also operates a sunglass retail location in the Waldorf Astoria in Las Vegas.
Dr. Youssef has participated extensively in clinical trials and was a primary investigator for Allergan’s Vuity eye drops. She has served as clinical director at Siems Lasik Eye Center Las Vegas. My Vegas magazine and other local media has named her among the top doctors in Las Vegas.