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2017 Speakers

Once again iDay will host a great line-up of speakers, including Laura Tenison as our Keynote. She will supported by top speakers from inside the optical industry. Full details of this speakers can be seen below.

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Please take a moment to have a look at our speakers:

Laura Tenison MBE is one of the most innovative entrepreneurs in the UK. Her enormously successful company, JoJo Maman Bebe is one of the UK's most prominent retail outlets. She is an inspirational business and motivational speaker and addresses women's groups, business conferences and networking events in the UK and internationally, including speaking in French on behalf of the Welsh Assembly in Paris.

As the founder and Managing Director of JoJo Maman Bebe, Laura has grown the companyorganically from its start-up in 1993 to become the UK's foremost niche multi-channel specialist in the pregnancy and baby market. Offering fashionable maternity wear, a Breton inspired children's collection and original nursery products, gifts and toys; JoJo offers everything you need from pregnancy to pre-school.

With start up capital of just GBP 50,000, Laura has grown the company to a forecastgrowth turnover of GBP 50M in the current financial year and employs over 700 people. The company, now with 60 stores nationwide, continues to expand both organically in the UK and via trade sales to over 60 countries across the world. With the multi-currency website, social networking platforms, UK and USA websites, 200 page catalogue and 60 stores across the UK, JoJo offers a truly multi-channel service.

The business ethos is based on a strong code of ethics, more akin to a social enterprise than a commercial retail chain. The people and the planet are ranked higher on the agenda than bottom line profit. The company prides itself on its longstanding employees with the majority of the founding members still part of the team. Emphasis is placed upon the service offered to customers and the value for money in the product plus the quality of life of the employees and third party workers above all else.

Laura is a candid and informative speaker, whilst also being entertaining. She speaks about being an entrepreneur and also environmental and ethical business practices. Laura has also appeared on a variety of television and radio programmes including BBC's 'Beat the Boss', 'The Apprentice-You're Fired', BBC Radio 4 and 5 and the Channel 4 News to name a few.

Laura has won numerous awards over the last couple of years including 'Welsh Woman Mean Business; Lifetime Achievement Award 2013', the Business Woman of 2011 award at the Women in Public Life Awards, She won the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award 2010 and is currently sitting as a judge for the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Awards.

Laura was rewarded an MBE for services to business in the Queen's 2004 New Year's Honours List. JoJo Maman Bebe has also received a number of awards including the award for Best New Product for Baby and Child at the New York Gift Fair 2013 and the Best Company Award 2010 at the Leading Wales Awards.

Laura's two sons both modelled extensively for JoJo as babies. She is a hands-on mother, juggling her children with her career.

David Samuel is a qualified dispensing optician and contact lens optician, who also holds a Marketing Degree from the Chartered Institute of Marketing and an MBA from Reading University. David is Managing Director of Eyesite Practices Ltd. an independent group, based in large towns and cities around the South of England. The practices range from a single optometrist practice right through to a six optometrist practice.

As well as being the first optical group to achieve Investors in People, Eyesite is recognised as a leading independent, continually pushing the boundaries in terms of customer service and staff engagement.

David's CV includes past director and chairman of the Sightcare Services business support organisation, Fundraising committee chair for Vision Aid Overseas, and is currently a counsellor on the British Contact Lens Association.

As well as running his own business, David also coaches, presents and speaks on a wide range of topics, challenging independent practitioners to examine their own businesses to improve and enhance their practice performance, reputation and value.

Educated in Edinburgh, Ian Cameron graduated from UMIST with a first class honours degree in Optometry before he went on to undertake his pre-reg year at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital. After qualifying, he worked for Eurolens Research, the Royal Eye Hospital and taught undergraduate refraction at the University of Manchester before returning to Edinburgh to work in private practice in a specialist contact lens practice, which amongst other things is responsible for the hospital contact lens fitting service in Edinburgh and Lothians. With diplomas in Contact Lens Practice and Independent Therapeutic Prescribing, Ian lectures widely on all aspects of optometry from retinal pathology to contact lens materials and continues to be active in optometric research. He is Managing Director of Cameron Optometry Ltd a contact lens and therapeutics specialist centre that was awarded Practice of the Year 2013.

Janan is Director of Spectacle Emporium. He graduated from City University in Optometry and has forged a career in improving the fortunes of independent practices through retraining staff and giving fresh perspectives to old solutions.

By committing to opening a new practice from the ground up, Janan is determined to prove that the modern independent practice will require a change in focus and encourage conversation with clients beyond the store.

Since opening in November 2015, Spectacle Emporium was recognised as Best Fashion Practice Finalist in the Optician Awards 2017 and shortlisted as Best Independent Retailer in Birmingham 2017.

Jason is Managing Director of Kirk & Kirk. The Kirk family have been in optics since the early 20th century. Sidney and Percy Kirk were optical manufacturers and, as Kirk Brothers, influenced the profession worldwide. Jason grew up in optics, spending weekends at his father’s practice and stumbled into optics when he discovered a cache of his grandfather’s original designs back in 1992.

Today, along with wife and co-director Karen Kirk, Jason brings twenty five years of international experience to independent optics, not to mention boundless passion.

Kirk & Kirk not only design their own collections but also create collections and oversee production for other companies, consult to help develop independent practices and distribute international brands into the UK market.

Lynne Fernandes is a director and founder of Lynne Fernandes Optometrists, a successful independent optometrists with three practices in and around Bristol.  She has been a qualified optometrist for over 20 years.

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. This work continues today, run by ophthalmologists using the equipment Lynne donated at the end of her time in South America.

In addition to running Lynne Fernandes Optometrists, Lynne works for the PLDP (Performers List Decision Panel) 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 & OHTMonitoring.

Lynne was awarded 'Optometrist of the Year' in 2016, one of the optical industry's biggest accolades.

Ryan is CEO and owner of Leightons Opticians & Hearing Care, a family business built on care, personal service and quality. They have 34 stores in South East including 8 franchise,3 joint ventures, and they will celebrate 90 years in 2018. 

Ryan launched their audiology business in 2006, and in that time have conducted over 30,000 hearing assessments. 

Since 2011 Ryan has embarked on a transformational journey with the entire business, creating a culture of growth and constant improvement, investing in people, technology, store environment and customer experience. 

Growth focused, Ryan also believes passionately in the future of the independent sector where his new business The Hearing Care Partnership aims to help by connecting independent optometry with best-in-market audiology. 

Simon is well known to the British comedy-going public from TV shows such as Live at the Apollo and Stand Up for the Week, and as a regular on BBC Radio 4, where his own hugely successful, acclaimed radio show Simon Evans Goes To Market returns for a fourth series in Spring 2018. A funny, incisive and informed look at the economics behind, well, everything – this is a great showcase for Simon’s talents, as are his regular appearances on various panel games, most notably R4’s legendary The News Quiz. 

Simon also makes regular contributions in a slightly more serious vein, as a regular guest on current affairs TV shows (most recently Andrew Neil’s This Week, BBC One) and on live radio, eg Radio Five’s Afternoon Edition. He was also part of the comedians’ team on University Challenge: The Professionals (BBC Two) – narrowly beaten by eventual series winners the Ministry of Justice! – and has won Celebrity Mastermind (BBC One): his specialist subject was Ernest Shackleton.