Three store partners have been appointed to the Specsavers Australia & New Zealand Board in a first for the local optics industry.

Optometrist partners Chris Papatheodorou (Specsavers Burwood, New South Wales) and Philip Walsh (Specsavers New Lynn, New Zealand), as well as dispensing partner Richard Dyson (Specsavers Cairns, Queensland) have been appointed to the Specsavers ANZ Board for a two-year term after which they will be replaced by three new partners.

The move, which follows the lead of Specsavers UK, was announced at the recent 2017 Partnership Seminar, held on Saturday 4 March.

Optometry Director and current board member Peter Larsen says the partners were appointed as they have always been vocal, successful and passionate advocates of the Specsavers business, adding that the appointments are a natural progression for Specsavers ANZ.

“The Specsavers partnership concept is highly collaborative for a franchise – with a strong working bond between store partners and Support Office,” he says. “We have involved store partners in more and more of our core decision-making groups over the past 18 months and that has worked really well, ensuring that the decisions we make are road-tested with and by experienced partners.

“We felt the time was right to take the practicality of partner involvement in Support Office and Board decisions to its logical next step, and appoint representatives to the Board. What this means is that our store partners are now represented at the highest level in strategic discussions and whole-of-business decision-making, as well as working through how strategy flows through into business-focussed initiatives.”

Peter adds that having partners on the Board will enable the executive to provide and receive direct input and feedback from fellow partners.

“The big picture outcome is you get a partner-focussed view at the highest level of decision making in the business. So, as you build and implement the business plan, everyone’s got their eyes on the ensuing successes, and everyone can be represented. As we grow, this becomes increasingly important.”