Authoritative Expert Speakers

The education programme at Optrafair features some of the most well-known and authoritative experts in their field. Here are our speakers from the 2017 education programme.

Richard Edwards B.Sc MCOptom

Richard Edwards qualified as an optometrist in 1987 and was Director of Professional Services at Boots Opticians before launching OPTOMiSE Consulting in 2014.

Richard is Professional Advisor to the Optical Consumer Complaints Service, chairs the Optical Confederation Education Committee and is a member of the GOC Companies Committee.

Richard also works on a consultancy basis for the GOC Illegal Practice Programme.

He is also a former member of the CBI Education & skills committee and away from the world of optics has held the position of HR & Professional Services Director at Shuropody the UKs largest chain of podiatry clinics. Using his broad experience Richard supports the OCCS team on both clinical and policy matters.

Lisa Donaldson BSc(Hons) MCOptom

Lisa Donaldson is an optometrist and clinical lead for SeeAbility‘s Children in Focus campaign which is providing eye care in school for children attending 8 special schools in the South East of England. We are using our findings to call for better access to eye care for children who have a learning disability.

Before working for SeeAbility Lisa worked at Moorfield’s Eye Hospital in London and taught paediatric eye care at City University London. She also has experience of working in independent practice and is an active member of her Local Optical Committee.

Ned Saunders BSc(Hons) FBDO D-14986

Ned is SeeAbility’s Children in Focus Dispensing Optician. His work involves the supply and fitting of spectacles in the special school environment as well as providing on going support with spectacle wear and adaption. He trained with ABDO, qualifying as a dispensing optician in 2013, having been in optics since 2009. Alongside his work in optics, Ned has worked with children with learning disabilities in several different settings including in schools and out of school clubs.

Gavin Rebello BSc(Hons) DipSpVis Dip ScVis MCOptom, STORM

Gavin Rebello is an optometrist who has thrived in the independent sector for over 20 years. He recently sold his partnership in Patrick & Menzies Opticians (three successful practices) after growing them by developing innovative niche areas, offering multi-award winning customer service and building a strong, motivated team.

Since 2012, Gavin has run ‘See Success’ - a mastermind group of entrepreneurial practice owners. His commitment to enhancing the independent optometry sector also led to him serving as Chairman for the Sight Care board for two years, and also saw him awarded Businessman of the Year in 2010 for the north Essex region.

Gavin is an engaging speaker and has delivered thought-provoking presentations and lectures at conferences and workshops both nationally and internationally.

A Co-Founder of STORM - the most highly-innovative and holistic, Independent Optical Business support programme …ever.

Mark Draper B. Optom MBA, STORM

Mark Draper is an optometrist with expertise in business and marketing. He graduated from University in Australia and worked in independent practice for eight years before moving to the UK.

In 2003 Mark completed his Master of Business Administration and authored the Association of Contact Lens Manufacturers best practice handbook, ’50 ways to improve your contact lens business.’

Manufacturers best practice handbook, ’50 ways to improve your contact lens business.’

Mark was appointed to a Professional Affairs role for a contact lens manufacturer, leading several initiatives to grow the contact lens market. He then had the opportunity to move into a global marketing position, followed by two years in management and sales in the pharmaceutical division of the same company, before returning to a marketing role in the contact lens industry in 2015.

A Co-Founder of STORM - the most highly-innovative and holistic, Independent Optical Business support programme …ever.

David Samuel - MBA, dipM, FCIM, FBDO, CL, STORM

David Samuel is a qualified Dispensing Optician and Contact Lens Optician. He has a degree in Marketing and a Masters in Business Administration, and is also Managing Director of Eyesite Practice Limited – an independent group based in the South of England – the first optical group to achieve Investors in People.

In addition to his Managing Director role, David coaches, presents and speaks on a wide range of business subjects, challenging independent practitioners to examine their own businesses to improve and enhance their practice performance, reputation and value.

David is a past Director and Chairman of the Sight Care Services business support organisation, current chairman of Vision Aid Overseas, and is a council member of the British Contact Lens Association.

A Co-Founder of STORM - the most highly-innovative and holistic, Independent Optical Business support programme …ever.

Dr Imran Hakim, STORM

Starting his own business at the age of 16, Imran Hakim continued his business enterprises whilst studying at University. Soon after qualifying as an optometrist he successfully ran a joint venture store practice with Vision Express, which he later sold before opening his first independent practice.

After successfully developing his own optical practices, Imran acquired and developed additional locations (either as sole owner or in partnership), which has culminated in the Hakim Group.

Imran has extensive experience in a wide range of business sectors with a key focus in the optical industry. He has spoken at a multitude of events, seminars and lectures all over the world, and won a number of prestigious awards including ‘North West Young Entrepreneur of the Year.’

A Co-Founder of STORM - the most highly-innovative and holistic, Independent Optical Business support programme …ever.

Sarah Morgan BSc(Hons) MPhil MCOptom FAAO FBCLA, STORM

Sarah Morgan is an optometrist and staff development consultant, with expertise in effective communication. She has worked in a variety of independent and multiple practices, which led to her passion for training all members of the team.

Since establishing her consultancy in 1994, Sarah has obtained a wide portfolio of successful projects working with individuals, practices and groups. She’s also currently working on the next edition of her sell-out book, ‘The Complete Optometric Assistant.’

Sarah gained her Masters of Philosophy for her research in daily disposable contact lenses and continued to be involved in undergraduate teaching. In addition, she has lectured extensively in the UK, Europe and Internationally also.

Emma Wynne. Chartered FCIPD, MA HRM, STORM Expert and Gateway

With experience in both the public and private sector and an MA in HRM, Emma’s knowledge and ability to take action is formidable. In addition to her role as Managing Director of Gateway HR, Emma has lectured in HR for both the University of Northampton and the CIPD at Masters Degree level for 8 years. Nothing gives her more pleasure than observing her students’ progress with some reaching the dizzy heights of HR Directors at large organisations. Emma remains in contact with many of her former students and some of them are now Gateway HR clients and even staff! Emma is also a very engaging event speaker and recently presented at the National CIPD conference in Manchester.

Emma is a STORM Expert.

Jacqui Ma

Following 8 years as Director of Accessories at the world’s leading Fashion Trend Forecasting company WGSN, Jacqui Ma started Trendfields, a trend and design consultancy specializing in accessories. Consulting to brands as diverse as Amazon Fashion to advertisting agency BMB, Jacqui’s works closely with brands to combine future consumer insights with actionable recommendations and designs.

Thomas Kaercher is an independent ophthalmologist in Heidelberg, Germany.

Dr. Kaercher graduated with a medical degree from Heidelberg University and undertook further training at the University of London, UK, before specialising in ophthalmology at Heidelberg University`s ophthalmic hospital. He has worked as a senior physician at the ophthalmic hospital of Ludwigshafen, Germany.

Dr. Kaercher`s research interests include dry eye, Meibomian gland diseases, ocular surface diseases, contact lenses and ectodermal dysplasia syndromes. He is a member of the German Ophthalmologic Society, the Association of German Ophthalmologists.

Regular active participation in national and international meetings and advisory boards. Multiple publications in the above mentioned fields, review for different journals. Scientific awards.

Dr Alison Alderson

Dr Alison Alderson graduated from UMIST in 1990 and since qualifying as an optometrist in 1991 has worked in private and hospital. In 2011 she gained a PhD from the University of Bradford after which she continued to work as a part time researcher in the area of mobility and falls. She is currently employed at the University of Bradford as a staff optometrists where her main responsibilities are undergraduate teaching and supervision of students in the University Eye Clinic.

Dr Padraig Mulholland

Dr Padraig Mulholland is a Lecturer in Optometry at Ulster University and the Principal Optometrist for research within the Optometry department at Moorfields Eye Hospital. His primary research interests lie in the psychological examination of visual function in the healthy and diseased visual system in-vivo ocular imaging and the development of automated image analysis algorithms.

Dr Mulholland undertook his primary Optometry degree at Ulster University and pre-registration year in Moorfields Eye Hospital, London. Following professional registration he registered for a PhD at Ulster University, with subsequent post-doctoral research undertaken in Moorfields Eye Hospital and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology. Dr Mulholland has also worked in a number of specialist hospital clinics including glaucoma, external disease, medical contact lenses and low vision.

Dr Rakhee Shah

Dr Rakhee Shah is an optometrist, researcher and lecturer in optometry. Rakhee qualified as an optometrist thirteen years ago and has worked in various different practice settings. Rakhee was awarded her PhD in Clinical Optometry by City University in 2009. She has an interest in evidence-based optometry, clinical optometry, clinical decision making, myopia control, glaucoma, dementia and visual impairment.

Dr Janis B. Orr PhD BSc(Hons) MCOptom DipTp(IP) PGCertHE FHEA FBCLA

Dr Janis Orr is an optometrist with a registered independent prescribing specialty, and a lecturer at the Aston University School of Optometry. She leads the Further Investigative Techniques and Primary Ophthalmic Instrumentation modules, and supervises in the Primary Care and Myopia Control student clinics.

Dr Orr is a member of the myopia arm of the Aston University Ophthalmic Research Group, and the UK Myopia Consortium. Her research interests are centred upon myopia development and control, corneal biomechanics in relation to orthokeratology, and the optical and biometric characteristics of the eye.

Dr Doina Gherghel, MBBS, MD, PhD, FHEA

Dr Doina Gherghel is an academic ophthalmologist working at Aston University. During her career she trained approximately 10% of all UK optometrists. She is an internationally acclaimed researcher with main research interests in healthy ageing, vascular diseases, glaucoma, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr Robert Barry, PhD MBChB BMedSc

Robert Barry is a NIHR clinical lecturer for the Academic Unit of Ophthalmology at the University of Birmingham, and a clinical ophthalmologist practicing within the West Midlands Deanery. He has a special interest in uveitis and inflammatory eye disease, and is involved in both clinical and basic science research in ocular immunology. Robert regularly publishes research papers in scientific journals and presents at international research conferences. He is actively involved in teaching of undergraduate medical students, and is a mentor for the University of Birmingham MBChB programme.

Paul H Artes, PhD MCOptom. Professor of Eye and Vision Sciences, Plymouth University

Paul Artes is Professor of Eye and Vision Sciences at the School of Health Professions, Plymouth University. After training as an optometrist (Bradford University, 1996; Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, 1997), Paul joined David Henson’s research group at Manchester University to work on new techniques of visual field examination (PhD, 2001). During his post-doc in Halifax, Nova Scotia (2001 - 2003), he investigated change over time in visual field and optic nerve heads in patients with glaucoma. After holding faculty positions at Dalhousie University (2003-2005), Manchester University (2005-2007) and at the Dalhousie Medical School (Foundation Scholar in Glaucoma Research, 2007-2014), Paul returned to the UK in 2014 to lead the Eye and Vision Sciences research group at Plymouth University. His current work focuses on public health aspects of eye care, on peripheral visual fields, and on measuring vision and its changes in patients with advanced glaucoma.

Katie Stewart BSc (Hons), MCOptom Dip TP (IP)

Katie is a practising optometrist with an independent prescribing qualification. She has worked in a breadth of clinical settings including a large teaching hospital, an award-winning independent practice and in the refractive surgery sector. She has experience in prescribing under Patient Group Directives post- refractive surgical procedures, and in managing acute red eye presentations in primary care. Katie is the Lead Clinical Advisor to Eyecare and is experienced in education through her time on the faculty for J&J's Vision Care Institute, and through her supervision of undergraduate students at Cardiff University. She has written CET articles and is an accredited facilitator for peer discussion.

Shamina Asif BSc MCOptom

Shamina is a self-employed Optometrist in the West Midlands. She is currently Chair of Dudley Local Optical Committee (LOC), past Vice Chair of Walsall LOC and is a council member for the College of Optometrists. Shamina has a keen interest on the effect of nutrition and AMD having achieved the best elective studies mark at University in this subject area. She has presented at the AMD conference held at Cambridge University in 2011 and has written an article in the Daily Mail on AMD and diet.

She has been actively involved in promoting Optometry, having been featured in two articles in the Daily Mail - 'The £17 eye test that could save your life' and 'Want to live longer? See an Optician!'. In addition, she has also written a CET article on drusen resolution following supplementation in Optometry Today.

Shamina is the founder of Optom Academy – a training institution primarily aimed at Pre-Registration students and Newly Qualified Optometrists. The Academy has helped many students through their pre-registration year. She is on the advisory board for EyeCare (independent provider of CET) and is accredited as a WOPEC examiner. In 2015 she was awarded a 1st class in her leadership training at Cardiff University and this has contributed to the success of the first ever Healthy Living Optician pilot in the UK.

Fritz Passmann

Born on 21.10.1959 in Essen, Germany, A level, Study of Physics and Biology to become a teacher, training as an optician from 1981-1984, master craftsman training, master's certificate on 12.12.1990., Freelance teacher for opticians at various chambers of trades, lectures and seminars on adjustment of glasses, workshop work and refraction. Since 01.02.2007 public servant and head of department "Optometry" at the chamber of trades in Dortmund. Co-inventor of the sensational 3D-eye examination "PASKAL 3D". Certified teacher for advanced training/chamber of trades

Mr Andrew Sanders FBDO

Andrew qualified as a Dispensing Optician in 1988 and has over 30 years experience in both manufacturing and technical dispensing optics. Andrew has previously worked for large optical chains, smaller regional groups and independent high street practice.

Andrews current role as UK Professional Services Manager for Hoya UK, involves him in a variety of support, management and training roles. He is not only responsible for in-house company training but creation and delivery of motivational seminars on lens product, prescription and task analysis to a wide group of professionals both in the UK and Mainland Europe.

Andrew is a regular lecturer and tutor at Hoya's European facility in Budapest and is currently chair of the ABDO/FMO Education panel, chair of the FMO standards panel and Vice chair of the FMO lens focus group.

Professor James Loughman, Phd FAOI, Clinical and Research Director for Ocuco

Professor Loughman is Professor of Optometry and Vision Science at the Dublin Institute of Technology in Ireland. He is Director of the Centre for Eye Research Ireland at the Environmental Sustainability and Health Institute, and Managing Director of VisuHealth, a company dedicated to research and technology development for blindness prevention. He is also Founding Director and Chair of Optometry Giving Sight in Ireland, a charity targeting the elimination of avoidable blindness due to refractive error. He has published more than 120 scientific articles and abstracts, and attracted more than €6million in research funding. He is currently the Principal Investigator for a number of clinical trials, including a placebo-controlled drug trial designed to explore the mechanisms and therapeutic efficacy of low dose atropine for the control of myopia.

Simon Browning B.Sc. (Hons.) MCOptom

Simon Browning has run his own practice in Bedford for over thirty years. He has previously held posts within both the College of Optometrists and Association of Optometrists. He has also been co-chair of his PCT Professional Executive Committee and worked as the Clinical Governance Lead for the Bedfordshire Primary Care Trusts.

In recent years Simon has lectured within Europe and to many North American audiences on ultra-widefield imaging as well as to audiences within the UK. He has also presented posters at ARVO 2016 and at the European Academy 2016 Conference showing how autofluorescence may be used to monitor regression of macular drusen in line with lifestyle and dietary changes.

Simon has used optomap imaging systems in his practice for nearly twenty years and was the first optometrist in the world to have the new Optos Daytona Autofluorescence system installed and now lectures on the system and the advances that viewing the functionality of the retinal system affords clinicians.

Simon has been a qualified optometrist for 32 years having attended the City University in London and graduated in 1981. Since 1984 He has run his own independent practice in his home town of Bedford, England.

Simon has served on the national committees of both the College of Optometrists and the Association of Optometrists. Locally he was Chair of the Local Optometric Committee for many years. He has also chaired the Professional Clinical Committee for the local Primary Care Trust.

His association with Optos started before the first machine was even made! As a result, he has used the various Optomap systems from the very outset and was the first person in the world to use the Optomap Daytona system.

He has done a lot of media work over the years with appearances on various national TV programmes and national and local radio programmes.

Simon has lectured widely on both optical political matters and more recently has concentrated on lectures for Optos. Given the advent of autofluorescence he has now lectured in a number of countries including the USA and various European countries on the anatomy and physiology of the retina and the way in which Optomap systems allow us to deliver the very highest standards of clinical care for our patients. He also considers the further aspects of nutrition and lifestyle with a view to lifelong retinal health maintenance. This year Simon has presented posters at ARVO and the EAOO conferences showing how drusenoid changes in the retina have been reversed with patients who have modified lifestyles. He has just returned from lecturing in Finland and Boston in the USA.

Nick Howard

Nick qualified as a Contact Lens Optician in 1984, working primarily with challenging ocular conditions and complex contact lenses.

Part time lecturer, trainer and presenter, at conferences, hospitals and Universities at local, national and international events. Nick has authored several articles published in the professional optical journals.

Winner of prestigious Contact Lens Optician of the Year award in 2012, Nick has also received Fellowship of the BCLA and is currently a BCLA Faculty speaker.

Now working in two Lancashire hospitals and private independent practice, developing innovative techniques for management of myopia and dry eye.

Carl Glittenberg, MD, FEBO

Dr Carl Glittenberg studied medicine at the university of Vienna, Austria. He did his residency and specialisation at the Rudolf Foundation Hospital in Vienna Austria. He worked as a medical retina specialist at the Department of Ophthalmology. He was on the Board of the Austrian Ophthalmic Society and was assistant editor in chief of their scientific journal “Spectrum der Augenheilkunde”. He performed scientific research at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Retinology and Biomicroscopic Laser Surgery as well as the Karl Landsteiner Institute for Retinal Research and Imaging, of which he is currently the vice chairman. Currently he is working as the senior clinical advisor as well as global senior manager for medical affairs for the Topcon Corporation.

Samantha Peters, Chief Executive and Registrar, General Optical Council

Samantha Peters has worked in the British health sector for nearly twenty years. She is currently Chief Executive and Registrar at the General Optical Council, which is the regulator for optical professions in the United Kingdom. Samantha holds an Executive Master’s in Business Administration from Cass Business School in the city of London. Whilst at Cass, she wrote her mastery project on the subject of ‘Blind Trust: Trusting to excess in the case of Nick Leeson and Harold Shipman’, for which she received a Tallow-Chandler Award.

Paul Clare, BSc, Co-Founder & Director of OptiCommerce

Paul Clare is the co-founder and director of OptiCommerce, the UK’s leading provider of websites and eCommerce systems for the optics industry. In addition to this, OptiCommerce are also the UK’s first digital marketing company dedicated to the optics industry. He is an expert in eCommerce systems development, having created the first dedicated eCommerce platform for optics in 2008. Paul has a proven track record of successful delivery for hundreds of eCommerce solutions, helping opticians to grow their businesses through omni-channel solutions. Paul is widely recognised as a visionary and innovator within the optics industry, featuring as a guest speaker at various industry events in the UK, Europe and North America.

Usha Chakravarthy, Professor, Institute for Ophthalmology and Vision Science, Queen’s University, Belfast

A particularly prominent retinal surgeon, Usha Chakravarthy has been involved in many of the major international clinical trials with therapeutics, including the IVAN, INTREPID, EUREYE, INDEYE, and VISION studies, as well as being a co-author of multiple Cochrane Review articles, plus the Royal College of Ophthalmologists guidelines for the treatment of AMD. She continues to work at the forefront of AMD research, investigating issues such as the long-term effectiveness of anti-VEGF regimens, and the factors that affect patients’ response to anti-VEGF therapy.

Dr Nigel Best DOptom MCOptom FBCLA FAAO

Nigel is the Ophthalmic Partner of Specsavers in Darlington and Richmond (N. Yorks), a College of Optometrists supervisor, and a former member of the Optometry in Practice editorial board. He also sits on the GOC’s Standards Committee. He has written a number of papers published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at national and regional training events. In 2009 Nigel was awarded a Fellowship of the British Contact Lens Association followed in 2010 with Fellowship of the American Academy of Optometry. In 2013 he was awarded his Doctorate from Aston University.

Ross Campbell BSc (Hons) MCOptom

Ross is an experienced optometrist, pre-registration optometrist supervisor and a clinical director of Specsavers Swaledale and RCO Ltd, a company which develops and delivers training material for optical conferences and develops optometrist skills and knowledge for provision of enhanced optical services.

Jeremy Diamond MB ChB, FRCS, FRCOphth, PhD

Jeremy Diamond qualified as a doctor in the mid-1980s from the University of Bristol. After working in emergency medicine, orthopaedic surgery, ENT and neurosurgery, he opted to train as an ophthalmologist.

His eye surgical training was split between Cheltenham, Bristol and Perth, Western Australia. Along the way he undertook a PhD at the University of Bristol, studying the natural antibiotics present in the eye.

In 1996 he was appointed as the first glaucoma specialist at the Bristol Eye Hospital (BEH). His first action at the BEH was to establish the Shared Care Department, which trained optometrists to work alongside consultant ophthalmologists. In the early years, the shared-care optometrists worked exclusively in the hospital Glaucoma Department. In more recent years, the shared care optometrists have extended their remit to work in support of ophthalmologists in every sub-specialist department in the hospital.

In 2003 Mr Diamond established the Consultant Eye Surgeons Partnership (CESP), which became the UK’s largest partnership of consultant eye surgeons. Several years later, in conjuncture with Darshak Shah, Mr Diamond set up Newmedica, which became the largest private provider of eye care on behalf of the NHS. In 2016, Newmedica became a part of the Specsavers family.

Mike Horler BSc(Hons) MCOptom Cert Oc Pharm Oc Therapeutics

Mike Horler is the Ophthalmic Director and Clinical Lead at Specsavers Brighton. Alongside this varied role, Mike also works as a specialist optometrist in the macula clinic at Sussex eye hospital and is an AMD Community Optometrist with Special Interest in Brighton & Hove.

Paul Morris BSc (Hons) MCOptom

Paul is Director of Optometry Advancement for Specsavers, responsible for furthering clinical scope, professional standards and forming strategy for the group. Paul is also the Ophthalmic Director of Specsavers in Bridgend and Porthcawl.

Paul is a Director of FODO, Chair of the Optical Confederation IT and Information Committee and Paul is a Director of FODO, Chair of the Optical Confederation IT and Information Committee and an Optometry Wales Councillor. He has previously worked as a clinical supervisor for the AOP and was founder and Director of BAM Optical Training and Solutions. In 2011, he began working within WOPEC (Wales Optometry Postgraduate Education Centre) to deliver postgraduate training to a range of healthcare professionals and inform policy. Paul is also a trustee of The FODO Educational Trust.

Doug Perkins FBOA DCLP, Joint Group CEO and Co-founder, Specsavers

A qualified and registered optometrist of more than 50 years, Doug studied optometry at the Welsh College of Advanced Technology in Cardiff (now Cardiff University).

Doug is accountable for the overall success of the Specsavers Partnership. He also has specific responsibilities for driving professional standards and influencing the regulatory agenda across all Specsavers markets.

With his wife Dame Mary, he established Specsavers’ joint venture partnership model in 1984 with the vision of making eye care more affordable. There are currently more than 1,700 partners in the UK and Republic of Ireland alone, of whom 548 have been with the Partnership for at least 10 years.

The Specsavers Partnership now comprises almost 2,000 locally-run businesses in the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Spain, Australia and New Zealand. Specsavers is a champion of the NHS – of its 20.3m customers in the UK, 60% are from the NHS and the company is the largest provider of free NHS digital hearing aids. Specsavers is the largest employer of registered optometrists and dispensing opticians in the UK (around 3,500).

Doug supports several UK charities including Royal National Institute for Blind People, Guide Dogs, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, and Vision Aid Overseas, for whom Specsavers stores have raised enough funds to build a school of optometry in Zambia and open eyecare outreach clinics in many parts of the country.

Doug has an Honorary Fellowship from Cardiff University and Honorary Doctorates from Anglia Ruskin and Plymouth Universities.

Rachel Thomas BSc (Hons) DipTP (IP)

Having completed a Human Biology degree in 1994, Rachel worked for several years in the field of educational technology for visually impaired students. She then re-trained in optometry, achieving a first class Honours degree from Aston University in 2001. Following a pre-registration year at Moorfields in London, Rachel combined hospital optometry with private practice work. In 2009 she moved to Moorfields at Bedford to set up the optometry department. She is now the Lead Optometrist at Bedford and combines extended role clinical work in the fields of Paediatrics, Medical Retina and Acute eye care with work on the Shared Care Cataract Scheme and diabetic retinal screening, triage of referrals, liaison with community optometrists and clinical audit.

Satvinder Singh Soomal BSc (Hons) MCOptom FBCLA FBDO

Since qualifying with a first class Honours degree in optometry and attaining the award of clinical excellence from Anglia Ruskin University in 2006, Satvinder has worked in various hospital optometry clinics and community practice roles including part-time specialist contact lens presentations for contact lens manufacturers, delivering workshop presentations and Optometry Manager and Deputy Head of Optometry Birmingham and Midland Eye Centre, City Hospital. He obtained his Fellowship of the BCLA in 2016 and has recently joined Specsavers as Ophthalmic Director of the Daventry practice and a Head of Enhanced Optical Services.

Adam Wannell MSc BSc MCOptom DipGlauc DipTp (IP)

Adam Wannell is a Head of Enhanced Optical Services for Specsavers. Since 2007 Adam has been a medical optometrist at the Bristol Eye Hospital specialising in glaucoma and acute eye in conjunction with establishing a community eyecare practice. In 2014, he became module leader for the accredited Wales Optometry Postgraduate Education Centre (WOPEC) Higher Certificate of glaucoma programme. Following a Diploma in Sports Vision Practice in 2006, Adam went on to gain an MSc in Clinical Optometry from City University in 2008, the College of Optometrists Diploma in Glaucoma in 2010 and became an Independent Prescriber in 2013.

Wasim Sarwar

Wasim is the Training and Education Officer for Sandwell Local Optical Committee (LOC) in the West Midlands. He is also the Minor Eye Conditions Services (MECS) liaison officer for the Sandwell and Birmingham areas. He is a WOPEC lead assessor for the MECS and glaucoma referral refinement accreditation exams as part of the enhanced services being adopted nationwide. He is also co-founder of Optom Academy.

His current role is a Clinical Lead Optometrist for a multiple which involves supervising and training pre-registration optometrists as well as overseeing and auditing the branches’ enhanced services. To add to his passion for training and education, he has become a Clinical Optometric Demonstrator at Aston University, supervising and training Optometry students in clinics.

Dame Mary Perkins, co-founder, Specsavers

Specsavers co-founder Dame Mary Perkins is a qualified and registered optometrist of more than 50 years.

With her husband Doug she established Specsavers’ joint venture partnership model in 1984 with the vision of making eye care more affordable. Dame Mary plays an active role in the business in a number of areas including driving customer service standards, championing its values and shaping its corporate responsibility.

She holds senior posts in a number of national and local charities and is patron of everywoman, a membership organisation that champions the advancement of women in business.

An Honorary Fellow of Cardiff University, she has been awarded Honorary Doctorates by Plymouth, Bradford, Stirling and Cardiff Metropolitan Universities. She is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers.

Mary was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2007.

Dr Cindy Tromans, Consultant Optometrist and Head of Optometry, Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, and Honorary Clinical Lecturer, University Department of Ophthalmology, University of Manchester

Cindy Tromans graduated Aston University with a BSc(Hons) in Ophthalmic Optics in 1985 and received a PhD from the University of Manchester, Faculty of Medicine in 1991. She is currently Consultant Optometrist and Head of Optometry at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital and is an Honorary Clinical Lecturer in the University Department of Ophthalmology University of Manchester. She sat on the Council of the AOP from 2000 to 2004 as the hospital optometrist representative and chaired the Hospital Optometrists Committee during this time. She has been representing the North West region on the College of Optometrists Council since 2004 and was President of the College from 20110 to 2012. She is currently Chair of the Board of Trustees and International Representative of the College. Cindy specialises therapeutic/medical contact lenses, keratoconus and ophthalmic ultrasound and was one of the first cohort of optometrists in the UK to gain the Diploma in Therapeutics for Independent Prescribing. She also collaborates with the Department of Optometry, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester and her current research interests are in keratoconus and biometry of the eye.

Jayne Abel, optometrist and co-founder, Eyespace

Optometrist and co-founder of Eyespace, the UK’s fastest growing eyewear supplier, Jayne Abel is widely recognised as a passionate and dedicated ambassador of the British optical industry.

With years of experience gained in the testing room, Jayne’s unique 360-degree vision of practice needs has been instrumental in rapidly shaping Eyespace into a multi-million Pound organisation that supplies its market-leading product ranges to opticians around the globe. Recognised at the UK’s most prominent business awards (Lloyds Bank National Business Awards, PWC Private Business Awards) Eyespace is also holder of eminent “Optical Supplier of the Year” and “Frame of the Year” accolades from the Optician Awards.

Overseeing the vision and activity of its ambitious Product and Marketing divisions through her Creative Directorship role, Jayne delivers a fresh and dynamic concept that formed during her early career, working and locuming around the country as an optometrist in renowned independent practices and optical chains. During pre-reg placements at Dollond & Aitchison and Vision Express, she observed the unwavering power eyewear has to simultaneously improve vision and instil confidence in the wearer; insight that has remained her focus throughout her career.

Along with her sister and Eyespace co-founder Julie Abel, Jayne is driving a commitment to developing a unified optical industry community, delivering fresh dynamics to the independent sector that will see widespread economic growth, and to showcasing “Great British Design” via innovative product and digital marketing content. Having cemented the company’s position within the British market, Jayne finds great inspiration in working alongside other ambitious and successful entrepreneurs to elevate the UK optical industry on an international platform.

Lynne Fernandes, optometrist and director, Lynne Fernandes Optometrists

Lynne Fernandes is an Optometrist and Director of three independent Optometry practices in the Bristol area, called Lynne Fernandes Optometrists.

Lynne graduated from Cardiff University and carried out her professional qualifying year at the West of England Eye Hospital, Exeter. She has worked for Boots Opticians, Specsavers and at Bristol Eye Hospital.

Before moving to Bristol, Lynne spent a year in Paraguay and Peru setting up and running an eye clinic aimed at providing eye care and spectacles for the indigenous peoples living in the slums surrounding the large cities.

Currently in addition to Lynne Fernandes Optometrists, Lynne works for the PLDP for NHS England and Avon LOC. She has worked within the LOC to set up and take part in community schemes such as Post Op Cataract and Repeat Measures & OHT Monitoring.

Lynne is also the Optometrist of the Year 2016-2017.

Ranjit Sandhu MBBS MRCOphth MD FRCOphth, Luton and Dunstable University Hopsital NHS Foundation Trust

Ranjit completed her Basic Speciality training in various London hospitals acquiring general and specialist ophthalmological experience. She undertook the vast majority of her postgraduate ophthalmic training at King's College Hospital in London, including a Clinical Research Fellowship evaluating ocular blood flow in retinal disease. She obtained her postgraduate doctorate (MD) from the University of London. Her Higher Specialty training was from the School of Ophthalmology in Cambridge and further complemented her ophthalmic training with a Fellowship in Medical Retina and Uveitis at Moorfields Eye Hospital.

Her subspecialty interests include Cataract Surgery, complex cataracts in particular, Medical Retina and Uveitis. She is a leader, a driver of change and innovation having swiftly turned her medical retina service around incorporating a one-stop model for intravitreal treatments for various retinal conditions. A keen researcher, she was a sub-investigator for the international GENEVA Study Group. She has presented at national and international conferences, published in peer reviewed journals and co-authored a chapter in Optometry: Science, Techniques and Clinical Management.

She is married with two boys and is passionate about cycling, running and trekking. Having completed a London half marathon for charity a few years ago, she took part in a London to Paris bike ride for charity in July 2016. She is planning to fundraise for a charity Iceland trek in September 2017.

Sali Davis, Chief Executive, Optometry Wales

After graduating from Cardiff University with a Master’s in Legal Aspects of Medical Practice and an honours degree in Law Sali worked with the Royal College of GPs’ as a Project Officer before returning to the law to work for Deloitte and Touche LLP running a practice review programme for Tax Partners on both a local and national basis. She now works for Optometry Wales and is employed as their Chief Executive.

Helen Perkins, Clerk to the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers

Nick Walsh, Sector Skills Development Officer at ABDO

Jayshree Vasani F.B.D.O.

For nearly last three decades Jayshree has been working in retail optics in mainly independent practices.

This includes a five year interim at the Institute of Optometry (IOO), being involved in primary eyecare services, SpLd clinics, research and pre-reg optometry training.

She is a Practical Examiner for ABDO; both home and abroad and an ABDO Practice Visitor ensuring GOC &ABDO guidelines are met when a practice employs a pre-reg dispensing optician.

For the last decade, she has been an assessor and internal verifier for the National Vocational Qualifications for optical assistants; working with Colleges of Further Education.

Jayshree was, until recently, the UK and Ireland Distributor for Erin's World Frames-specialist frames for people with a low bridge fitting, as seen, for example in a person with Down syndrome.

Currently, in addition to high street practice, Jayshree is a sessional D.O. for Action for Blind People/RNIB.

The charity provides clinics for people with sight impairment, people with specific learning difficulties and has a specialist clinic for people with learning disabilities.

Jayshree has an interest in all things optics old and new and is the Publicity Officer for Ophthalmic Antiques International Collectors’ Club (OAICC).


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