John Billings has been named as one of six finalists for the prestigious International Opticians Association (IOA) Silmo International Optician of the Year Award.
Waking up to receive the news, Billings said he first thought it was some sort of joke. “I was gobsmacked. To even be shortlisted to the top six is amazing. Even if I don’t win, getting selected as a finalist is a great honour and I thank those who nominated me. It is the highlight of my year so far.”
The other finalists are Miguel Gianinni (Brazil), Clive Marchant (UK), Eric Milot (Canada), Jean-Franck Pineau (France) and Helen Whitaker (Canada).
IOA president Fiona Anderson said she was delighted to be championing the best of the best in the profession once again, having missed this opportunity last year due to the pandemic. “The standard of nominees has been incredibly high and has led to an exciting shortlist of six dedicated and inspiring professionals from around the globe. We wish them all luck in the final stages of judging.”
An international jury will vote in the weeks leading up to Silmo 2021, with the winner announced during the fair from 24-27 September. The winning DO will have displayed professionalism, excellent communication skills, entrepreneurial spirit, innovation, specialisation, creativity, engagement and will have championed the profession, said Anderson. The winner will receive a certificate, a lifetime IOA membership and flights for two to Paris for Silmo 2022 with two-nights’ four-star accommodation.