By Stephanie Godward, Director of Marketing and Communications
RestoringVision’s Board Chair, long-time optical marketing executive Kevin Hassey, is passionate about solving the global vision crisis and is personally energized by the organization’s remarkable ability to scale because of its unparalleled network of 3,000 partners worldwide, including governments and NGOs.
“The problem is clearly huge, and the solution needs models that can grow quickly and be cost-effective while doing so,” Hassey said. “RestoringVision’s ability to grow quickly and be cost-effective at the same time is exciting. This sets RestoringVision apart because the organization’s incredibly strong ability to scale is driven by its number of partners…it literally has thousands of partners, and that number of partnerships is not seen elsewhere in the vision category.”
Kevin Hassey joined the RestoringVision Board of Directors in 2020 and currently serves as Board Chair, playing an integral role in the organization’s growth and in its determination to reach 10 million people annually by the end of 2026. Currently, RestoringVision reaches 4 million people living in extreme poverty per year with the vision services and eyeglasses they need to see clearly. This work is important because vision impacts everything, he said.
“Uncorrected refractive error impacts people’s ability to live their lives well. If you cannot see, virtually everything in life is a challenge to do. Clear vision and addressing UREs is a basic core need for someone to live a good life,” Hassey said.
Hassey spent the early part of his nearly 30-year optical career at the Luxottica Group. During his 15 years there, his responsibilities included Chief Marketing Officer of LensCrafters and Founding General Manager of EyeMed Vision Care. Kevin took a 4-year sabbatical during his time at Luxottica (after 8 years) to become President of LCA Vision, which became the largest US Lasik provider and a Wall Street favorite. He then returned to Luxottica to finish the remainder of his 15 years there. Since his time at Luxottica Group, Hassey most recently served as Sr. VP & Interim Chief Marketing Officer of National Vision, Inc.
As RestoringVision’s Board Chair, Hassey is supportive of the organization’s growing role as an advocate for eye health on the global stage at the level of the United Nations and World Health Organization.
“Those institutions bring a lot of credibility to the issue area and in particular they bring credibility to governments and ministries of health. Those organizations tend to look to the WHO, the UN, and the World Bank for leadership and input into how to prioritize the many challenges facing countries today,” Hassey said. “The global prioritization of vision health is important because it is very hard to achieve many of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals without being able to see well. When you look at SDGs such as No Poverty, Quality Education, Reducing Inequality, and Good Health and Well Being, I would hypothesize that none of those goals are achievable if you cannot see well.”
In a world facing many challenges, Hassey states that he is most optimistic about and what he is most concerned about is the same answer: climate change.
“Climate change is my primary global concern both because of the size of its potential impact and the geography it might impact. The largest impacted geographical area is more likely to occur on lesser income pockets and populations of the world,” Hassey said. “But, climate change is also what I am most optimistic about because there just appears to be an enormous amount of energy and innovation in the area and I just have a belief that a breakthrough will happen that enables us to make progress.”
What continues to motivate Hassey to be of service through his work in optical philanthropy in the Board Chair role at RestoringVision is the impact he knows the organization has the potential of having on millions of more lives across the globe.
“What motivates me is to work together with other motivated people to solve an important topic both in a high-volume way because so many people need eyeglasses but also being able to make a difference in one person’s life and see how that changes their ability to get ahead and thrive,” Hassey said. “I am very grateful to the whole RestoringVision team and board for the opportunity to serve and be part of a great effort.”
Kevin holds a B.S. degree in Marketing from Boston College and an M.B.A. degree from Carnegie Mellon University.