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ODMA unveils latest board appointees for upcoming term

Essilor’s new Australasian head Mr Pierre Longerna has joined the Optical Distributors and Manufacturers Association (ODMA) as a director, while Mr Robert Sparkes returns for a third term as chairman.

The organisation, which runs marquee industry events O=MEGA and the O-SHOW, revealed its new nine-member executive for the next two years following its recent annual general meeting.

Longerna, who is the newest member to join the board, was recently appointed as CEO of Essilor’s Australia and New Zealand division after a two-year tenure as chief operating officer.

He has been with Essilor International since 2005, holding several high-level roles across both Europe and Canada. In Paris he managed the company’s Nikon partnership throughout the European markets, before moving to Canada in 2012 to take on the role of president at Nikon Optical North America.

At Essilor, he replaced Mr Phuong Nguyen, who has retired after a career with Essilor that started in 1987. Nguyen also departed from his role as an ODMA director in July after serving more than 10 years on the board.

Sparkes, managing director of Optimed, was unanimously re-elected to the position of chairman for a third term.

The remaining appointees were Mr Richard Grills, of Designs For Vision, Mr Mark Altman, of Device Technologies, Mr Brad Saffin, from Marchon, Mr Craig Chick, of Hoya Lens Australia, Mr Lionel Minter, of Mimo Australia, Mr Sean Rosenberg, from Frames Etc, and Ms Hilke Fitzsimons from Zeiss.

Member update

Sparkes also updated ODMA members on the previous year’s activities, and advised the organisation now serves 50 members. Frames and sunglass companies account for 56% of the membership, equipment 19%, lenses 13%, accessories and other 8% and contact lenses 4%.

“In 2019 ODMA’s membership numbers had some ups and downs and there are now 50 members after several consolidations such as Healy Optical merged into Frames Etc and Jono Hennessy into Sunshades. We also lost France Medical, MYM and Black Lilly,” Sparkes said in his AGM report.

Sparkes hailed the success of the O=MEGA19 in July, which ODMA hosted with joint venture partner Optometry Victoria South Australia (OVSA). The event saw 130 primary exhibitors covering 3,900m2 of floorspace to accommodate 5,308 visitors over the three days.

“The exhibitor and visitor surveys, which were sent out immediately following the fair, indicated that exhibitors and visitors alike were very happy with O=MEGA19 and many stated it was the best event ever staged,” Sparkes said.

“It has been very exciting working with OVSA and you would all have received our exciting news that we will together host the 4th World Congress of Optometry at O=MEGA back in Melbourne, in September 2021.”

Sparkes also revealed that ODMA has completed its latest update of the Australian Eyewear Analysis report, which was first conducted in 2002.

“It will be sent out next week to members after a few more data checks. It includes new consumer research which has not been covered for eight years and concentrates on the changes in the optical marketplace in that time,” he said.