New FMO chairman takes up office

Value of unity and the important role of the Optical Confederation are emphasised at the FMO’s AGM in London

Mark Truss and Andy Yorke

Andy Yorke (pictured), the managing director of Topcon Medical (GB), has taken up his new role as chairman of the Federation of Manufacturing Opticians (FMO).

Mr Yorke officially took over the role from Mark Truss at the FMO’s annual general meeting in London (2 December). The event was attended by representatives from across the various sectors of the optical industry, and representatives of the professional bodies.

Mr Truss is pictured formally handing over his chain of office to Mr Yorke, who thanked him for successfully steering the FMO throughout the year.

Mr Yorke's first official duty as chairman was to present Mr Truss with an engraved picture frame in recognition of his service to the FMO as a director since 2011, which included terms of office as chairman and vice chairman, as well as chairman of the federation’s frames focus group.

In his speech, Mr Yorke emphasised his firm commitment to working with all of the bodies in the optical sector.

At the event, Mr Truss summarised the FMO’s “successful year,” which had focused on maximising resources under the operational leadership of its chief executive, Bryony Pawinska, former chief executive of the College of Optometrists.

He emphasised the need for the sector to work together and the important role of the Optical Confederation, of which FMO is a founder member. Mr Truss said that the FMO plays a key role in a diverse sector by representing members who are “the very foundation of the industry.”

At the meeting, Stuart Burn, managing director of Performance Finance, stepped down as an FMO director and chairman of its equipment focus group. He was presented with an engraved photo frame in recognition of his service.

Mr Burn is succeeded on the group by his vice chairman, Krysten Williams, chief executive of Heidelberg Engineering UK. Amanda Danson, sales director of Birmingham Optical, becomes the new vice chairman of the group, and a director of the FMO board.

The FMO's former office manager, Sandie Fisher, who retired earlier this year, was presented with a gift from members in recognition of her long service and Mr Truss paid tribute to her “exceptional commitment.”

Mr Truss also presented a donation from the FMO from its Optrafair income to the Optical Workers' Benevolent Fund, which was accepted by fund trustee, Frank Norville. Mr Norville emphasised the “much-needed” support that the fund provides for optical workers facing hardship.