Speakers 2023

Stuart BURN (UK)

After  20  years  in  banking  and  finance,  Stuart established Performance Finance Ltd in 2005. It is a UK based funder specialising with opticians, dentists and solicitors. He believes that concentrating on just 3 disciplines allows for a greater understanding of these markets which in turn  allows  funding  to  become  more  dynamic, more suitable, and more competitive for clients, hence the name.

In 2013, Stuart joined the Board of the Federation of Manufacturing Opticians (FMO), the UK’s optical trade   association.   In   2020,   he   became   the Chairman just as COVID 19 took hold of everyone’s attention. Against a backdrop of the association making losses for nearly a decade, located in an expensive building, losing members and running a loss making exhibition, he had to move quickly to secure the associations future. All whilst running his own business which halved in size due to the pandemic.

With the help of a very supportive Board, Stuart, sold the building, merged the exhibition with its then rival 100% Optical and changed the name of the FMO to the Optical Suppliers Association (OSA). Within 12 months the OSA became profitable, cash rich and grew membership. It also provided the platform for the UK to have a large single UK Conference and Exhibition for the optical world to support and rally behind. 

3 years on, the OSA is thriving, it continues to increase membership, increase profitability and provide more support to its members. Stuart is particularly proud that the OSA has since been able to donate £1,000’s each year to optical charities. In recognition, the OSA awarded Stuart, Honorary Life Membership. In 2019, Stuart became a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers, becoming a Liveryman this year.

Stephen CAUNTER (New Zealand)

Stephen’s motto is enthusiasm, entertainment and knowledge. Ask him what his job is and he will tell you “storyteller”. These attributes make Stephen a highly successful facilitator, MC and presenter.  His presentations will be aimed to bring a level of thought or knowledge to help participants be more successful, in business or life. Stephen  is  particularly  passionate  about  the  topics  of Networking, Marketing and Customer Service.

Stephen’s career as a speaker started in 2006 and he has enjoyed the opportunity to speak to thousands of people both nationally and overseas.  During his banking career of over 40 years the majority of this time was spent dealing with business owners. Post covid he has adapted to delivering events online so has become a champion of the webinar!

Outside of work Stephen is interested in all kinds of sports, a rugby referee, fly fisherman, the outdoors and when time permits turns his hand to restoring vintage machinery.

Michelle BEACH (UK)

Michelle Graduated from Cardiff University in 1993 and  completed  her  Pre-Reg  at  Queens  Medical Centre Eye Department, Nottingham. She spent 4 years in clinical research at QMC with Professor Dua and won research prizes in UK and USA in refraction after corneal graft surgery.

Michelle opened her own practice, Park Vision in May 2008 in Nottingham. Michelle is sports mad and has played for England Basketball, swam for South East England, herded cattle through Texas, completed her Advanced Padi, fallen down many ski slopes and broken many bones! With a passion for sports, Michelle completed her Sports Vision Diploma with distinction in 2008 and her School Vision Diploma with distinction in 2010. She was awarded Sports Vision practitioner of the year in 2018 at the Sport Vision UK annual conference.

Park Vision has been through two expansions and the practice was awarded Fashion Practice of the Year 2020 and Independent Practice of the Year in 2021 at the UK Optician Awards. She continues to grow the clinic specializing in Sports Vision, School Vision, Dry Eye and contact lenses including Myopia Management and Scleral lenses. As well as working day to day at Park Vision Michelle is on the Advisory board with Alcon and Bausch & Lomb and clinical advisor to AOS software solutions.

Michelle has worked with many athletes from elite to “practicing”, including GB Ladies cricket, Harlequins, GB Volleyball, England Lacrosse, GB Carriage Driving, GB Skeleton, GB speed skating, GB Eventing as well as many footballers, cyclists, golfers and gymnasts of all ages.

Prof. David B. ELLIOT (UK)

David  Elliott  is  the  Professor of Clinical  Vision  Science  at  the University  of  Bradford, UK. He is  editor of the textbook Clinical Procedures in Primary Eye Care, which is now in its 5th edition and was Editor-in-Chief of the UK College of  Optometrists’ research journal Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics between 2010 and 2020. He has been presented the Glen Fry (2013) and William Feinbloom (2018) awards by the American Academy of Optometry in recognition of his research into how vision affects everyday life in older people.

Grant HANNAFORD (Australia)

Practising  in  optics  with  a  career  spanning  three decades and working with optometry and dispensing students as well as industry, Grant is at the forefront of ophthalmic optics in Australia and internationally after being named the    2022 International Optician of the Year.

Grant  is  a  physicist,  lens  designer  and  qualified optical dispenser. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in physics and pure mathematics from the University of New England. Grant holds a qualification in spectacle lens design with honours from the UK under the tutelage of Professor Mo Jalie and is the first and currently the only qualified spectacle lens designer in Australia. He has an interest in research and photonics.

Grant is a Fellow of the Association of British Dispensing Opticians and the Australasian Dispensing Opticians Association. He is also a senior lecturer at the School of Optometry and Vision Science UNSW. He is the past Chairman of the NSW Optical Dispensers Education Trust and the past Vice President of ADOA (NSW). Grant also consults for various international education projects providing resources for best practice dispensing models. He is currently a doctoral candidate at the School of Life and Health Sciences at Aston University, Birmingham England.