At ODMA’s Annual General Meeting on 8 November, there were nine nominations for nine positions and the following were duly elected as directors for the next two years: Robert Sparkes, Optimed; Richard Grills, Designs For Vision; Mark Altman, Device Technologies; Brad Saffin, Marchon; Craig Chick, Hoya Lens Australia; Lionel Minter, Mimo Australia; Phuong Nguyen, Essilor Australia; Sean Rosenberg, Frames Etc, and Hilke Fitzsimons, Zeiss.
ODMA’s nine person board serves for a two year term and elections are held every second year. The election of Hilke Fitzsimons brings the board back to nine since the resignation of Nicole Perry. Ms. Fitzsimons, who is general manager for Zeiss Vision Care ANZ, will commence working for ODMA at a board meeting on 8 December. With a background in engineering, science and business, she has strengths in communication, leadership and commercial acumen across a broad range of professional levels and cultures.
ODMA now has 64 members having welcomed Nine Eyewear, MYM Group and Ocuco. Membership comprises contact lens (3.39 per cent); accessories (5.08 per cent); lenses (15.25 per cent); equipment (20.34 per cent) and frames / sun (55.93 per cent).
In his report, having completed his first term as Chair, Robert Sparkes said ODMA2017 had been the Association’s major event for 2017, with 105 primary exhibitors attracting 3,662 visitors over there days. He said despite the challenging economic situation and competition from SILMO Sydney, surveys indicated exhibitors and visitors were happy. Frame Fashion Week, which ran from 1 –10 July, was perceived to be a valuable addition to the industry however Mr. Sparkes noted that some events within Frame Fashion Week needed “to be better aligned to the Associations and Trade Show organisers to give the maximum value to the participants. In particular, planning needs to start earlier to ensure companies have budgets not allocated to the trade show itself.”
Mr. Sparkes said in 2018, OShow would be organised in-house for the first time and will run from 14-15 July in Melbourne.
Mr. Sparkes reported that Eye Talk, acquired by ODMA on 1 August 2014, now has a circulation of 3,795 magazine subscribers, 550 digital subscribers and 3,000 e-talk digital subscribers. ODMA paid out the purchase price of Eyetalk during the financial year ending 30 June 2017, which noticeably reduced the Association’s cash position. Mr. Sparkes said, “Our strategy includes but is not limited to maximising revenue through advertising and subscriptions including supplements such as Equipment Mag and LOOK BOOK.” He noted that Eye Talk made a profit at June 30 2017.
Mr. Sparkes announced that ODMA had completed an update of the Australian Eyewear Analysis, first completed in 2002. The update concentrates on changes in the optical marketplace in the past five years and the behaviour change in retail practices as a result.
The Chair’s report also included a summary of support for charities, dispensers’ scholarships, work with the Universities and Member services.