Petra Eckhardt, who recently left as managing director of Fossil Europe, has become the new general secretary of the European Sunglass Association (ESA) on Jan. 1. The German-based executive takes over from Daniel Popesco, who resigned from the position, which he had held since 1999, for personal reasons. Popesco was ESA's president from 1997 to 1999 and he has been closely involved with the association since its launch in 1994.Eckhardt has been a member of the board of ESA for the past 2 years, with a mission to develop its marketing and communication activities. She now takes up the big challenge of improving consumer awareness of the vital importance of sunglasses. She will also help to improve services to ESA members, providing more information on training, technical issues, market statistics and fashion.