David Holmberg has been named president and chief executive officer of the parent company of the Eye Care Centers of America, HVHC, which is a unit of Highmark. He will continue to serve as president and CEO of ECCA as well.
HVHC is also the parent company of Viva International and Davis Vision. The company said Holmberg will lead the implementation of a more integrated multi-regional structure for its optical-related managed care, wholesale and retail operations, starting on July 1.
Holmberg has been the chief at ECCA since Jan. 1. Before that, he was executive vice president of operations for Jo-Ann Stores. He has also been the president of Cole Licensed Brands. He takes the place of Robert Gray, who has retired.
For its part, Viva, which is celebrating its 30th birthday this year, has put in place a new management structure under its new president and CEO, Frank Rescigna. Responsibilities for the various brands in the company's portfolio have been redistributed differently. New positions have been created while 11 company executives have been promoted.
For example, Drew Opperman, who has been with the company for 18 years, has been promoted as senior vice president of international sales, overseeing all operations outside North America. Another company veteran, Mike Roden, will report to him as associate vice president of international sales.
Viva has hired a new customer service manager, Ed Delvescovo, who worked previously for Marcolin and Charmant. New on the staff is also Eugene Arencibia, who acts as director of programming.
Highmark, a major health insurance company in Pennsylvania that operated the Davis Vision chain of optical stores, bought Viva in 2005 and ECCA the next year. ECCA operates nearly 500 optical stores.
ECCA saw its numbers grow in the first quarter ended March 29. Revenues were up by 10.9 percent to $147.0 million, with sales on a comparable store basis up by 5.8 percent. The net income also increased, by 9.0 percent to $14.6 million, over the same period in the previous year. The gross profit margin dropped to 67.4 percent from 68.7 percent, due to a higher proportion of sales of low-margin specialty lenses and increased laboratory costs. As of March 29, the chain had 413 locations including eight new ones opened in the quarter.