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This innovative new award at the Silmo d’OR Ceremony for the International Optician of the Year recognises the importance of the optician in the optical business and their role in the choice of the optimum products for their clientele. The International Opticians Association (IOA), an international body dedicated to the enhancement and development of the profession worldwide, is working in a strategic partner with Silmo in the development of the profession worldwide.

The first winner of the award is Robert Grimard, o.d.d. A graduate of the École des opticiens d'ordonnances du Québec, Robert opened his first optical clinic in Montreal in 1980. Since then he has developed a professional and independent network of high-end optical clinics. Robert says, “It is with great pride that I accept this honor. I would like to share it with all members of my profession and especially the Grimard Optique team. In an industry that continues to evolve I welcome the growing importance of our role as an optician. I once again thank the International Opticians Association for this recognition.”
President of the IOA Fiona Anderson says, “The optician is at the heart of the optical business. The majority of the turnover of an optical practice comes as a result of the expertise of the optician and their interaction with the client. The client’s perception of their visit is almost entirely based on their interaction with the optician and the great vision they receive with their new spectacles. The winner of this award, Robert Grimard, demonstrates the professionalism, entrepreneurial spirit and innovation that are at the heart of this award and the profession. Has been President of his company for nearly 40 years, and is well known in Montreal, with many media engagements due to his success and professionalism. Robert has not only been satisfied with being an entrepreneur and expanding his group of high end optical practices, but also by engaging with other professionals and giving something back to the profession. He has been an Executive Committee Member of the Opticians Association of Canada since 1992. Since 2015 he has also been the Chairman of the Opticians Council of Canada. The OCC is an Opticians organisation with representatives from all Canadian provincial regulatory bodies, associations and teaching institutions as participating delegates. He has been a supporter of the IOA and is passionate about promoting the skills of our profession and encouraging the best vision care for consumers around the world.”

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2019 Award

Nominations will open for the 2019 award on 1 March 2019. As well as being able to demonstrate that they are a qualified dispensing optician in the country where they practice, the winner of this award will display the following attributes:-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
• Professionalism – the client is at the heart of their business and receives excellent care
• Excellent communication skills – both personally and via social media
• Entrepreneurial spirit – with solid business acumen highlighted through the success of their enterprise
• Innovation – within their business model / product offer / shop design
• Specialisation – with a reputation in a specific branch of optics
• Creativity – both in the products they offer and the way they practice
• Engagement – with the profession, the community, charitable endeavours, industry
• Advocacy - championing the profession of dispensing

Members of the IOA as well as industry partners will be able to nominate opticians worldwide. These people will be contacted and asked to fill in a dossier. The dossiers will be scrutinised by a jury made up of a number of hand-picked industry experts. A shortlist of up to four people will be established and the winner will be announced during the Silmo d’Or ceremony in Paris France. As well as the prestigious award, the winner will also win a trip for 2 to Silmo 2020