Andy Yorke, Managing Director of Topcon Great Britain Ltd, has come a long way from his days at Portway Comprehensive in Bristol. Having worked his way through the ranks at Topcon over the last  30 years, he is now MD of a world leader that combines the most innovative technology with a local, personal service. Andy is one of the most respected and knowledgeable practitioners in the optical industry, with knowledge and expertise across Ophthalmics, Healthcare, Medical Devices and Imaging.

As well as being a loyal Topcon executive, Andy is an industry man, having dramatically modernised and revitalised FMO, the Federation of Manufacturing Opticians, as its Chair, over the last 3 years. Whilst having respect for FMO’s esteemed history, Andy is an innovator, keen to exploit the opportunities technology offers.

Although Andy handed over the FMO chains of office to Stuart Burn in December, to become Immediate Past Chair, as ‘Optrafair Ambassador’ he is helping Stuart ensure that a revitalised Optrafair 20/20 exhibition and conference provides the platform for all sectors of the optical industry to come together and discuss the innovative changes which will shape optics over the next decade and beyond.

So how will Andy and Stuart ensure that 20/20 will be the biggest and best Optrafair ever? Firstly by broadening its appeal and working closely with the movers and shakers he knows so well at ABDO, FODO, BCLA and the other membership organisations and trade bodies within the Ophthalmology, Audiology and Pharma sectors.

Secondly by inviting a galaxy of world renowned experts in the optical industry to make keynote speeches and appear on panels. Fortunately Andy knows most of them. Pearse Keane, consultant ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital, has been awarded the inaugural Kanski Lecture, giving him the opportunity to describe the motivation and urgent need to apply deep learning to optometry and ophthalmology.

Consultant ophthalmic surgeon and leading exponent of cataract laser surgery Professor Sunil Shah will perform live Femto-Second laser surgery streamed from the Midland Eye, followed by a Q&A session. As well as being an active researcher and innovator, Sunil is the international medical director of Khmer Sight Foundation, a charity that has saved the sight of people who can’t afford eye surgery.

Andy declares ‘An Audience with Professors Lyndon Jones and Philip Morgan’ features two of the world’s leading contact lens and anterior eye specialists. As they both enjoy global reputations speaking at conferences all over the world, having them share a stage at Optrafair 20/20 is a real coup.

Completing the impressive line up of professors, Professor David Spalton has gained a global reputation in the fields of cataract surgery, uvetis, medical and neuro-ophthalmology, as well as intracular lens design.’

Optical Question Time is another new feature for Optrafair 20/20, with experts from independent practices and multiples. Panellists include Doug Perkins, Co – Founder, Specsavers, David Moulsdale, Chair and CEO, Optical Express, Imran Hakim, Chief Executive, Hakim Group, Lynne Fernandes, Lynn Fernandes Optometrists, Nicholas Rumney, Chair, BBR Optometry Ltd and Scott Mackie, Co-Founder, Mackie Eyecare and Director, Mackie Professional Services. Optician comedienne Sarah Morgan will host. Themes to be discussed include NHS, Education, Education, the Market Place and the Future.

The President’s Address will combine presentations and discussions on the main priorities for the profession in improving eyecare for the public. Clive Marchant, ABDO, will host, with presentations from Colin Davidson, College of Optometrists, Richard Whittington, LOCSU, Jonathon Bench, BCLA,  Michael Burdon, Royal College of Ophthalmologists and David Hewlett, President of the European Coalition for Vision and FODO Director.

In the run up to Optrafair 20/20 FMO will be announcing more new features, including interactive Innovation and Technical sessions, Dry Eye Tech Live, Profs Corner and the Practice of the Future. Not forgetting an impressive selection of CET and CPD with enhanced training and education sessions and lectures on the Future of the NHS and the impact of Optics on the Environment.

Andy Yorke is determined to ensure that the exhibition and conference live up to expectations. He knows that delivering a successful Optrafair 20/20 will secure the FMO’s future, thereby helping to protect and support not just its members but the whole optical industry in a dynamic and challenging business environment.