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Opchat Magazine Industry NewsIndustry News, July to September 2018

KOMONO announces change in management team and updated business models.
Simone Favero new Blackfin marketing manager.
Change of Vice Chairs at FMO due to promotion.
No7 Strengthens position in Middle East as specialist supplier.
Moving on up The Myers La Roche Way
Heidelberg engineering promotes experienced team
Tribute to Essilor md retiring after 35 years of service to independents
Read the last quarters Industry News

KOMONO announces change in management team and updated business models.

September 2018

Founded in 2009, KOMONO has led the way in making contemporary design accessible. As one of the fastest-growing businesses in Belgium, KOMONO firmly established itself as the go-to brand for watches and eyewear since its foundation. To ensure another decade of steady growth, KOMONO recently brought on changes to its management team and updated its business models throughout Europe.

KOMONO appoints Charlotte Arts as creative director, Michael Arts as commercial specialist

KOMONO welcomes two new members to its management team with the arrival of Charlotte Arts as creative director and Michael Arts as commercial specialist. They will support Anton Janssens, founder and managing director, and Jasper D’Hooghe, CEO, with the goal of expanding KOMONO’s strong framework into the future.
Charlotte Arts is a former student of the Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts with a background in high-fashion retail buying. She joins the team from Raf Simons where she was commercial director and from Willy Vanderperre where she functioned as studio manager. In her new role, Charlotte will oversee all creative output for the brand across both design and image.

Michael Arts has substantial experience in the fashion industry – co-founder at Bellerose, sales manager Europe at Polo Ralph Lauren and executive vice president at Tommy Hilfiger. More recently, he served as executive vice president at PVH Corporation, which holds brands such as Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Van Heusen. In his new role, Michael Arts will focus on all commercial matters.

KOMONO renews and expands partnership with Sample&Supply in France

KOMONO is proud to announce its renewed partnership with Sample & Supply for both its watches and eyewear activities in France. Since 2013, KOMONO and Sample & Supply have been in close collaboration towards the development of the French market with great success.
This partnership will now be deepened with Sample&Supply changing from a distributor to an agent model.
Heightened investment from KOMONO in the French market in terms of marketing and merchandising will
accelerate the speedy growth the brand is currently occurring. These changes will come into action from the 1st of September.

KOMONO takes German business activities in-house

Present in the country since 2011, KOMONO is proud to announce an exciting new chapter for its business in Germany. Following a recent change of management, KOMONO found a renewed confidence and decided to take all of its business activities in-house. This across both eyewear and watches.

All sales will from now on be handled by a new agent team, led by Max Morgenstern. Max previously worked as a sales representative for the company and has now been promoted to lead a team of dedicated sales agents for the German market.

KOMONO partners with Slam Jam

KOMONO teams up with Italian lifestyle imprint Slam Jam for the distribution of its watches and eyewear range in Italy. Both at the forefront of contemporary fashion, KOMONO and Slam Jam found common ground in its shared interest for contemporary design and urban subcultures. Slam Jam will take over all business activities for the brand within the country.

Simone Favero new Blackfin marketing manager.

September 2018

Simone Favero
Pramaor, the company based in Agordo (Belluno) specialising in the production of the top-of-the-range titanium eyewear brand Blackfin, announces that Simone Favero has taken on the role of Marketing Manager, reporting directly to CEO Nicola Del Din.

“We are living through Blackfin phase three” – comments Nicola Del Din – “We have the product, we’ve given it a soul by imbuing it with our history, now we are aiming even higher, adopting an all-round approach to the brand with ever more sophisticated design and a more coordinated image. I’m sure that Simone will be a fantastic new member of the Blackfin team capable of helping raise the bar even higher”.

“Blackfin is a dynamic young company and I share all its values so rooted in the local community” – adds Simone Favero – “and I feel completely on the same wavelength as Nicola, Giancarlo and the rest of this strong team. I’m delighted to bring all my experience to Blackfin phase III and I believe the time is right to raise the bar and, thanks to the hard work and dedication of the team, achieve one of the objectives we have set ourselves.”

35-year old Favero, has had similar experience in marketing and communications for a number of different companies, including Standex International and Calzaturificio Scarpa Spa.

It will be the job of this keen young executive to coordinate the work of the team in the fields of communications, visual and trade marketing with the aim of contributing to the growth and renewal of the brand on a global level.

Change of Vice Chairs at FMO due to promotion.

August 2018

Krysten Williams
Krysten Williams is standing down as Vice Chair of the FMO.

This follows her appointment as Head of Global Marketing and Education at Heidelberg Engineering and her move to Germany.

She will be much missed by buyers of Heidelberg equipment and her fellow equipment suppliers as well as those on committee at FMO.

Stuart Burn, Managing Director of Performance Finance is the new FMO Vice Chair.

At PHN wWe congratulate Krysten and wish her well in her new role. And we welcome Stuart, who we look forward to working with as Co-media partners of the FMO and Mark Allen Group providiing the show case event Optrafair 2019 next March.

Heidelberg are keen supporters of your free Opchat News. Take a look at ther pages on your site here

No7 Strengthens position in Middle East as specialist supplier.

August 2018

Ian Sexton at No7No7 has strengthened its position in the Middle East: a market which has much need for its specialist contact lenses.
Touring the region’s eye hospitals and leading optometry practices, No7 Professional Services Manager, Ian Sexton, fitted more than 30 patients and trained optometrists and ophthalmologists to fit the company’s specialist lenses, as he explained -

“We have become very reactive of this market’s specific needs and have modified our Comfort 15 fitting sets’ sagittal height by a further 500 microns in order to cater for the extreme keratoconics.  It can make an enormous difference to fitting the patient and, in some cases, has alleviated the need for a corneal graft. The feedback and appreciation for our visit was enormous.

“It was a very intensive trip but one which was very worthwhile for us and our Saudi colleagues and their patients. The complexity of the patients I saw amazed me. The benefit for the patients and the smiles on their faces where we were improving their vision from, in some cases, best correction 6/60 improved to 6/9 with just trial lenses, was very humbling.”

The Middle Eastern market features complex corneal shapes and far more extreme powers than a practitioner would routinely see in the UK. “I would say that saggital depths are generally 35% deeper than one would see in UK clinics – and that is the case throughout the range.  At Riyadh’s Magrabi Hospital we fitted several patients with our Comfort 15 mini-scleral lens. For the keratoconics and those with pellucid marginal degeneration ordinary rigid gas permeable lenses would be very hard to fit and uncomfortable to wear, but we can overcome that problem.

“It is not just the extreme powers that are a challenge but also providing lenses which accommodate the region’s dry dusty conditions. The outcomes were very good, with excellent comfort and vision for several very complex patients, which amazed both the patients and clinicians.”

Moving on up The Myers La Roche Way

August 2018

Relocation to a larger base and a new website for Myers La Roche as part of expansion

Myers La Roche has moved to larger premises in Cheshire and has launched a new website as part of its strategy for major expansion.

The practice sales, management, training and marketing company has moved 500 metres to still be in Altrincham town centre, but in much bigger offices.

Myers La Roche Operations Manager, Liz Calcutt, explained: “Myers La Roche has experienced substantial growth over the last couple of years and we are forecasting a similar level of growth over the next three years through both continued development of existing client relationships and through the development of exciting new partnerships.

“This is an important move to facilitate that continued growth,” she added: “We have moved to a much more open building which will allow the team to work together in a much more collaborative style, and hopefully it won’t be quite as hot in the summer, or as cold in the winter.

“The move enables us to continue to develop our personnel and to develop and improve the services we offer to our clients.

“Our new partnership with MyHearing is already gaining traction and we are currently redeveloping our trusted and respected Practice Health Check for independent practices, which we are due to launch in the autumn,” she concluded.

The company was based in its previous premises for 22 years when initially it was the base for just the founder Patrick Myers and two other members of staff.

Highlighting the reasons for the move within the same town, Liz said: “As an independent business with a client base of independents, it is within our culture to continue to support the independent economy in our local market town. However, our ongoing expansion means we are now a team of 10 (pictured) and we literally had no space left.”

The company has had a busy month with the office move and the launch of a new website. Its new website now has better functionality and an e-commerce platform has been added to replace

The company has also merged into the new website to create a more streamlined experience for the user.

To follow a busy summer, Myers La Roche has a full schedule of events planned, beginning with attendance at the AIO Conference and Exhibition in October in Manchester as a founding partner of the AIO’s Practice Support Network. The company will also be at the Scottish Optical Conference in November. At both events the company will be showcasing its cutting edge HearScreener as part of the My Hearing partnership offering.

The new address for Myers La Roche is now 1st Floor, 21-23 Stamford New Road, Altrincham, Cheshire, WA14 1BN and its new website is

Heidelberg engineering promotes experienced team

July 2018

Heidelberg Engineering in the UK has announced a new leadership team to drive the ground-breaking diagnostic imaging company into the next decade.

Kenny and Tosh at HeidelbergUK Director, Krysten Williams, will be based in Germany in her new position as Head of Global Marketing and Education, while Tosh Vadhia, Head of Sales, steps up to become General Manager UK. Kenny Boyle, National Accounts Manager, is promoted to National Sales Manager to mentor and carefully hone the skills of the growing sales team. Both Tosh and Kenny have been with the company from its start in 2011, and are Heidelberg Engineering veterans.

Chris Mody continues as Director of Clinical Affairs; Emily Malbon as Marketing Manager; Phill Ennion as Head of Technical Support and Ruth Hatt as Finance & HR Manager.

Krysten praised the UK team, “I have been honoured to work with this team for more than five years and they are amazing individually and collectively. We have raised the standard of education for diagnostic imaging in ophthalmology and optometry, and significantly increased access to imaging technology that facilitates early diagnosis and prompt treatment of sight-threatening disease. I am confident that this team is ready to lead forward and continue the success we have worked so hard to achieve together."

“The UK market is extremely important to me and I will continue to support it closely – but with the added benefit of having an international perspective. The education and support that we have established in the UK is a great example for other distributors and subsidiaries around the world.”

Tosh Vadhia is delighted to lead the team of colleagues he has worked with closely for several years, says “We are all looking forward to taking Heidelberg Engineering UK to the next level, while continuing to nurture our core values. Krysten has assembled the best team possible and built a tremendously successful company with hundreds of SPECTRALIS platforms in ophthalmology, optometry and research in the UK. We are established as leaders in education and we will be looking to further enhance our working relationship with ophthalmology and the NHS. Shared care is the way forward and it is our intention to be a key provider in this increasingly important sector. "

“The connections that we have in ophthalmology, primary care and research are supplemented by those of our sister company Medisoft in Healthcare IT and data mining. We have all the tools in place for a very major role in ophthalmology into the next decade.”

Tribute to Essilor md retiring after 35 years of service to independents

July 2018

Mike Kirkley
Essilor Ltd today announced that Mike Kirkley, the company’s managing director, has decided to retire effective July, 2018.

Mike joined Essilor in 1983 and has dedicated the past 35 years to the company.

During his leadership he was the driving force behind many initiatives and played a critical role in helping the company to support independents.

Regional vice president at Essilor, Peter Smith, said: “Mike's passion for supporting the independent channel was his hallmark. He ensured they were at the heart of every product, every process and every investment the business made. The legacy of supporting independents continues today and this strategy will remain into the future.

“Mike will be very much missed and we wish him a happy retirement.”

Mike Kirkley said: “I’ve been planning my retirement for a while but the time now feels right for me to turn my attention to other things and I’m really looking forward to that.”

Essilor will announce Mike’s replacement in due course.

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