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FILIPPO PUSTETTO Named as Blackfin Global Sales Director
NEG celebrates 40th anniversary with members
Read Industry News published between April to June 2019

FILIPPO PUSTETTO Named as Blackfin Global Sales Director

July 2019

Filippo Pustetto
The Belluno, Italy company specialized in the manufacture of high-end titanium eyewear under the Blackfin brand, has named Filippo Pustetto global sales director, as of July 8. Reporting directly to CEO Nicola Del Din, the new manager will define and implement a sales strategy consistent with the company’s growth, sales and profit objectives, through the development and management of a sales force currently made up of 30 direct sales agents and 25 distributors in 35 countries.

“We are convinced that Filippo is the right person to work with the company on the growth plan we have developed and are implementing, based on the industry plan in effect through 2022. With in-depth experience in Italy and abroad, especially the management of brands with different distributions and positioning, Pustetto is a professional with breadth and depth of vision as well as practical knowledge of Blackfin and our brand’s potential in the international designer eyewear sector,” remarked Del Din.

“Initially, I was intrigued and then won over by Blackfin because it encompasses all of the elements in which I believe and upon which I try to base my work ethic: vision, passion and courage, on one hand; product, consistency and balance on the other. I am excited to set out on this new adventure with an enthusiastic and realistic approach to lead the company – working with the team – to the short- and medium-term goals we have set for ourselves,” commented Pustetto.

Forty-four years old, native to Treviso, Pustetto spent 17 years at Safilo in various sales positions. Initially, three years in exports, managing distributors in the East European and Turkish markets; followed by 8 years as sales director in the Spanish branch and, the last 3 years as country manager for the Italian market, after a three-year interlude in the brand arena as distribution manager for proprietary and licensed brands.

Having strengthened the production department in 2017 by bringing in Ivo Benvegnù as Chief Operations Officer, and the marketing department in 2018 with Simone Favero as Marketing Manager, the company brought Pustetto on board, with his extensive international experience in the eyewear industry, as part of a strategic development plan that calls for the expansion and strengthening of the sales division with the aim of positioning the brand in the high-end market segment.

NEG celebrates 40th anniversary with members

July 2019

Members of the National Eyecare Group (NEG) gathered in Nottingham last month to help the group celebrate its landmark 40th anniversary.

More than 100 independent practitioners and guests joined in the celebrations during NEG's annual Building for Success Conference, held at the East Midlands Conference Centre on Sunday 30 June and Monday 1 July.

Michael Daunt and Mike Wheeler

During a special anniversary dinner on the Sunday evening, NEG founders Michael Daunt and Mike Wheeler spoke of their great pride in the Group's evolution over the past 40 years – from its inception in 1979 as Percy Kirk to its present day standing as the UK's leading purchasing group for independent opticians.

The two-day conference was the Group's most comprehensive yet, offering a mixed programme of CET and business sessions as well as an adjoining exhibition of preferred suppliers to the Group. Topics covered included OCT imaging and referral refinement, glaucoma diagnosis, dry eye identification, contact lens aftercare, dispensing regulations and visual impairment.

The conference also saw the launch of the NEG Business Club, in partnership with Practice Building. The club offers NEG members a mix of business training, including live tutorials, quarterly strategic planning, a KPI toolkit, marketing packs, a social media channel and bespoke marketing through the Practice Building Studio.


Phil Mullins, NEG Operations Director, said: “We have been supporting independent practice for the past 40 years, and we were delighted that so many members, and friends and colleagues throughout the profession, could join us to celebrate this achievement.We believe that 40 years in business is a great milestone for NEG, particularly when you consider the changes the UK optical market has seen over the past few decades – and the more recent challenges presented to High Street businesses in general."

"Our Building for Success members conference received great feedback from both delegates and suppliers, including new members who have joined in the last couple of years. We look forward to working with them to build for further success long into the future."

The National Eyecare Group (NEG), previously known as Percy Kirk Ltd, was formed in 1979 by Michael Daunt and Mike Wheeler, both of whom remain owners of the business today and continue to take an active part of the Group’s ongoing success.

The original founding aim remains the key focus of the Group today, which is for an independent UK company to support independent practices, with preferred terms, simplified administration and breaking down barriers to creating successful practices. More than 1,000 independent practices in the UK are members of NEG.


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