Pogo-Team™

The great team behind the company

Management Team


Ron Blum

Ron Blum, OD

President & CEO

Ronald D. Blum, O.D., is Founder, President and CEO of PogoTec™. He has had great success in building diverse management teams needed to develop products as well as executing business strategies. He is a visionary, innovator and businessman. Dr. Blum is named as the inventor or co-inventor on over 500 patents and patent applications worldwide and is ranked #1 in the world for the filing of patent applications for class of optics, eye examining, vision testing and correcting (Source: PatentsEncyclopedia.com). He has invented, co-invented, or helped to develop 9 different products, technologies or IP portfolios, which have been licensed or sold to 6 global billion dollar companies.

Bill Kokonaski

Bill Kokonaski

Chief Technology Officer

Mr. Kokonaski has significant experience in inventing, developing and commercializing technology products within and outside of the optical industry. He is the former CTO of PixelOptics, which pioneered the development of electronic, auto-focusing eyewear. Kokonaski, is responsible for managing product development and reinforcing the company’s intellectual property strategy. Bill Kokonaski is ranked #2 in the world for the filing of patent applications for class of optics, eye examining, vision testing and correcting (Source: PatentsEncyclopedia.com).

Tim Haley

Tim Haley

Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Haley joined PogoTec in November 2016 after three decades of CEO and other senior management roles for venture capital backed companies in the wireless industry and for other PE backed high-tech manufacturing and service companies. For over 30 years, Tim’s leadership has been instrumental in delivering aggressive growth in customers, cash flow and shareholder value at privately held ventures, with five separate VC backed portfolio companies culminating in highly successful exits for investors.

Diane J Munn

Diane J. Munn

Chief Financial Officer

Ms. Munn has over 25 years' experience leading the finance and accounting operations for small and large companies with global operations. Prior to joining PogoTec™, she held executive and senior financial management positions with Triple Canopy, Pearson Government Solutions, Boeing and Price Waterhouse Coopers. Diane earned a BA in Accounting from Lynchburg College, an MBA from George Mason University, and is a licensed CPA in Virginia.

Ami Gupta

Ami Gupta

Chief Scientist

Dr. Gupta is a widely recognized authority in the areas of devices for vision correction, including spectacle lenses, implants and contact lenses, optical materials, laser spectroscopy, and laser interaction with materials. His career has included significant positions at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Ioptex Research (intra-ocular lens development), and the Spectacle Lens Group (J&J). At J&J, Dr. Gupta was responsible for all research and development activities of the company from product development through the manufacturing processes. In 2005 Dr. Gupta joined Vistakon (J&J) as a Senior Principal Research Fellow. He has received a number of awards and has served on a number of professional and industrial advisory boards.

Michael Plaksin

Michael Plaksin

SVP of Sales and Marketing

Michael Plaksin is a senior sales and marketing executive with a deep breadth of expertise in business development, product launches, marketing communication and advertising in the mass-market consumer electronics channel. He brings over 20 years of experience developing and expanding diversified channels of distribution from key national retailers to leading Internet product providers. A leader in the sales and marketing efforts with companies like Packard Bell, AST Computers, ATP Electronics and Motorola he has help generate multi-billion-dollar business programs. Michael has a B.S. degree from the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University.

Evelyn Blake Harris

Evelyn Blake Harris

VP Legal and Administration

Ms. Harris has proven herself in multiple young companies where she has assisted with a wide variety of legal needs. Harris has served in an Investor Relations role for Innotech, Inc in 1994 with the company going public on the NASDAQ and then sold to Johnson & Johnson Vision Care. Following its exit, Harris took on the role as Director of Legal Affairs for PixelOptics, Inc. from 2005 transitioning into VP of Legal through 2013 as the IP oversight and due diligence management for financings.

Richard Clombus

Richard Clompus, OD, FAAO

VP of Communications & Consumer Interaction

Dr. Clompus has significant experience in developing messaging and communication programs for large and small global companies and has extensive skills in digital photography and video. He brings over 30 years of experience including clinical care, director and president of The Vision Care Institute, LLC, a Johnson & Johnson Company, vice president of global professional relations at CooperVision Inc. and PixelOptics.

Liz Pires

Liz Pires

VP of Digital Marketing / eCommerce

Liz Pires is a global digital executive with a proven track record of building integrated digital ecosystems from the ground up for both start-up environments and multinational companies. She received her B.B.A. in Marketing from the University of Texas at Austin. Liz brings over 20 years of experience in technology from Dell, Motorola and Alcatel where she specialized in building highly profitable online sales channels and delivering incremental revenue growth and margin optimization that exceeded sales goals globally.

Jim Barney

Jim Barney

VP PogoCam™ Partnering

Jim Barney is a successful entrepreneurial technology executive with experience in the vision care, healthcare and non-profit sectors. Most recently, Jim was managing partner at Click & Pledge. Since 2002, the company grew its global customer base to over 14,000 nonprofits and processed over $175 million annually in philanthropic donations. He has held executive marketing and sales positions with The Egg Factory and also for Innotech which was taken public on the NASDAQ and was purchased by Johnson and Johnson. Jim has also worked on projects with Eli Lilly, 3M Healthcare, Bausch & Lomb, Johnson & Johnson, and Toshiba America Medical. Jim has a business and journalism degree from West Virginia University.

Jack McDougall

Jack McDougall, OD

VP Business Relations

Dr. McDougall is the founding optometrist and chief executive officer of International Eyecare Center, Inc. with fourteen locations in Illinois, Missouri and Iowa. He has extensive business relationships developed from managing a regional eye care chain in the Midwest. He has owned CMS Wholesale Optical Laboratory since 1981.

Steve Anderson

Steve Anderson

VP of Customer Care, Planning & QA

Steve Anderson is an executive leader with extensive successful experience in multi-functional management of manufacturing, logistics, and integrated product realization processes. Steve has a Virginia Tech Industrial and Systems Engineering undergraduate degree and a MBA from the Babcock Graduate School of Management at Wake Forest University.

Joshua Schoenbart

Joshua Schoenbart

Director of Business Development
& Pogo-Power™ Partnering

Mr. Schoenbart is a millennial entrepreneur, alumnus of Dartmouth College, a member of the United States G20 YEA Delegation and World Entrepreneurship Forum, and Future Global Leader Award recipient from Web Summit 2014. Schoenbart is Founder of The EyeBook, the largest and most comprehensive database in the optometric industry, and serves on the Board of the Office of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer at Dartmouth College as an Associate of Business Development and External Operations.

Jose Prado

Jose Prado

European Business Representative

Mr. Prado is an active entrepreneur and a professional of the enterprise management and international strategic business development with a strong background in commercial skills. He has deep knowledge and experience working in the international vision sector. Having worked as Country Commercial Manager supporting business development for Pilkington Barnes Hind, Wesley Jessen and Hoya Lens Iberia. He currently manages his own company supporting companies in the European markets.

Board of Directors


Harry Edelson

Chairman

Harry Edelson, CFA, has had a distinguished career in finance and technology. His experience as a computer engineer and telecom engineer led him to Wall Street where he worked for three of the six leading investment banking firms and was named an All Star Security Analyst. His knowledge of technology, his engaging personality, and easygoing simplified style of writing on technical subjects resulted in his becoming the most quoted person on Wall Street for a decade. Ten CEOs of the largest companies in the world wooed him away from Wall Street and into the world of venture capital. He formed Edelson Technology Partners to introduce his corporate partners to high technology opportunities. His average financial returns in the high 20% range, lead his big four auditors to inform him that he was the most successful venture capital firm in the Eastern United States. Harry has served on 150 boards of directors, 12 as chairman. He is a frequent keynote speaker at conferences throughout the world.

Ron Blum, OD

President & CEO

Dr. Blum has had substantial commercial innovation success. Dr. Blum is named as the inventor or co-inventor on over 500 patents and patent applications worldwide and is ranked #1 in the world for the filing of patent applications for class of optics, eye examining, vision testing and correcting (Source: PatentsEncyclopedia.com). He has invented, co-invented, or helped to develop 9 different products, technologies or IP portfolios, which have been licensed or sold to 6 global billion dollar companies. He has been involved with the founding of over 10 companies in the vision care space, including Innotech, which, was sold in 1997 to Johnson and Johnson. Innotech was founded by Dr. Blum in 1990, and under his direction as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer was taken public on the NASDAQ exchange in 1996 before being sold to J&J in 1997. Dr. Blum remained with J&J until March 1999 serving as General Manager of Advanced Technologies for the Spectacle Lens Group of Johnson & Johnson, where he lead and managed the team that invented and developed the DEFINITY digitally surfaced progressive lens. DEFINITY lenses were acquired in 2005 by Essilor, the largest global lens manufacturer. Dr. Blum was also the founder and the initial President and CEO of PixelOptics.

Ed Greene

Past CEO of The Vision Council and President of Carl Zeiss Optical, Inc.

With over 40 years of experience in the optical industry, Ed Greene recently retired as chief executive officer of The Vision Council, a non-profit trade association representing the manufacturers and suppliers in the optical industry. Greene began his career in the optical industry with a focus in sales and marketing, working for Schott Glass Technologies, Inc., Coburn Optical and Titmus Optical. In 1989, he became president and CEO of Titmus Optical, Inc and after nine years in this role he moved to Carl Zeiss Optical, Inc., as president and CEO for 10 years. Before becoming the CEO of The Vision Council in 2006, he served as vice president of Americas for business development for Carl Zeiss Vision. He also has served as chairman of Prevent Blindness America and has held several volunteer posts throughout the optical community, as well as several business associations. He currently serves on the boards of Conexus, Universal Photonics Inc. and JENOPTIK Defense Inc. Greene holds both BS and MS degrees in ceramic engineering from Alfred University, Alfred, N.Y. He served as an officer in the US Army and is a veteran of the Vietnam War.

Read Ziegler

President & CEO, Vantedge Group

Mr. Ziegler spent the first twenty years of his career developing and leading sales and marketing organizations in the communications and technology industries. He was responsible for bringing to market a variety of innovations, including subscription internet and wireless services, and the first enablement platform for ebilling. In 2006, Ziegler founded Vantedge Group along with a unique services model that accelerated data capture and analysis, while minimizing delivery costs and timeframes. Read is credited with developing many of Vantedge’s distinctive diagnostic and optimization offerings as part of its Actionable Intelligence portfolio. Vantedge’s client list spans high-growth start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, including McKesson, Fiserv, PGi, Piedmont Healthcare, and Vision Care Inventing. As Managing Partner of Vantedge, Ziegler is an active member of the Atlanta technology community, where he spends a majority of his time advising executive leaders and developing their innovation and growth strategies.

Brendan Sheil

Board Member of The Egg Factory

Mr. Sheil has 25+ years experience in sales and marketing in Ophthalmology developing relationships and overseeing the sales and strategic development of various ophthalmic products worldwide. Since 2009, Mr. Sheil founded and is president of Synergy Ophthalmic Solutions, a Midwest based ophthalmic device distributor and consulting firm. Previously, Mr. Sheil was Vice President of Commercial Operations of the Americas for Bausch + Lomb Surgical. In his senior roles, he developed various go to market strategies and successfully implemented these strategies with internal and external sales operation teams. He has been a recipient of various accolades for his achievements and is a speaker on product implementation strategies and practice development. Mr. Sheil holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business from Iowa State University and is an active Board member of: The Egg Factory, High Performance Optics, eVision/Smart Optics & Encore Health. He also maintains an advisory role for various established and start-up ophthalmic companies.

Advisory Board


Richard Russo

Former Executive Vice President Safilo USA, Commercial Head of North America

After a career spanning forty-two years with Safilo and the Optical industry, Dick Russo retired from the company and his position as Executive Vice President and Commercial Head for North America. During his tenure with Safilo, Dick assumed critical roles in Sales, Marketing, Product Development and Customer Care playing a key role in the development and implementation of strategic and financial goals for the company in North America. He is currently the Secretary/Treasurer of The Vision Council and is active in local Charities and Civic organizations.

Richard Lindstrom

MD; Founder Minnesota Eye Consultants

Dr. Lindstrom, founder and attending surgeon at Minnesota Eye Consultants, Adjunct Clinical Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota Department of Ophthalmology, Associate Director: Minnesota Lions Eye Bank, Board Member: University of Minnesota Foundation, and Visiting Professor: UC Irvine: Gavin Herbert Eye Institute. Dr. Lindstrom is a board-certified ophthalmologist and internationally recognized leader in corneal, cataract, refractive and laser surgery. He has been at the forefront of ophthalmology's evolutionary changes throughout his career, as a recognized researcher, teacher, inventor, writer, lecturer and highly acclaimed physician and surgeon. He is Chief Medical Editor of the USA and International editions of Ocular Surgery News, which reaches over 82,000 Ophthalmologists worldwide. Dr. Lindstrom serves on numerous company boards. He is an angel investor and strong supporter of Innovation.

William Pate

President and CEO, Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB)

Mr. Pate is the president and CEO of ACVB and its responsible for developing and maintaining tourism as one of the city's top economic drivers. During his six-year tenure, visitation is up almost 55 percent, ranking Atlanta number four in the U.S. in domestic visitation at 48 million visitors. He is the former chief marketing officer of BellSouth, where he was responsible for U.S. and Latin American marketing operations and ran advertising and communications worldwide for MCI.

David Milne

Managing Partner, SV Life Sciences

Mr. David Milne has 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry having worked at several leading public and private medical technology companies. Mr. Milne has extensive experience in the medical device industry having worked in product development and commercialization to mergers/acquisitions. He held numerous executive positions in Business Development and Marketing at Boston Scientific in both U.S. and European operations. Previously he worked at Scimed Life Systems, Becton Dickinson and Parker Laboratories. Mr. Milne also serves on the board of the non-profit Friends of the Children-Boston for the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, previously having worked on their Advisory Board. Mr. Milne holds an MBA in Marketing/Finance from New York University and a BS in Biology from Rutgers University.