Recollections of the the Late Al Berg in 'Making a Difference: How a Little Upstart Eyewear Company Changed the Optical Industry'

DENVER and UPPER SADDLE RIVER, N.J.—Outskirts Press, Inc. has published Making A Difference: How a Little Upstart Eyewear Company Changed the Optical Industry by Al Berg as told to Frank Giammanco, a book which hosts the recollections about Marchon and the optical industry by Berg, former president and CEO of the eyewear company, who passed away in March, 2019. The book is now available on such websites as Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the publisher's website here.

As the book notes, "In 1983, three young entrepreneurs set out to create a new eyewear company with a $2 million loan and a passion to succeed. Twenty-five years later, the company they called Marchon was one of the largest and most innovative eyewear suppliers in the world, a fact which led to its sale to the top vision insurance firm for $735 million. In this memoir, Berg tells his unique story and the story of world class fashion eyewear products, groundbreaking marketing campaigns, and a drive to take the Marchon concept global."

Giammanco is a 40-year veteran of business-to-business publishing and communications for the optical industry, and founder and CEO of First Vision Media Group, Inc., producing print and digital media for optical readers. He resigned from his position in 2017 upon the sale of the company. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame of Optical Pioneers in 2014.

Berg was a founder and CEO of Marchon Eyewear until the sale of the company to VSP Global in August, 2008. He was a preeminent figure in the optical industry and served as vice president for The Vision Council, an industry trade association. He received a B.A. from Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management, to which he endowed an Entrepreneurship Chair, and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

He was very active in philanthropy and provided decades of strategic leadership and support to the UJA Federation of New York, serving as Centennial Campaign chair, executive board member past Long Island chair and special advisor to the UJA president. After a two-year struggle, he succumbed to cancer on March 11, 2019 at his Long Island home in the company of his wife, son and daughter. He was 67.

Vision Monday/VMAIL reported on the contributions of Berg in March, reflecting the personal and professional memories of colleagues, friends and family in March 2019.