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AOP Awards 2011: welcome to the AOP Awards Book of the Night, which was given to every attendee of the awards ceremony on Thursday, November 3 2011, and also included in Optometry Today.

This guide marks an important date for those who want to celebrate excellence in the profession. The inaugural AOP Awards were given out in nine categories: Student of the Year, Dispensing Optician of the Year, Optometrist of the Year, Lecturer of the Year, Charity, Company or Practice of the Year, Supplier Award, LOC/AOC/ROC of the Year, Best Educational Video and the Community Achievement Award.

Since the awards were first announced at Optrafair, the nominations flooded in from all corners of optics and, once the shortlist was announced, the votes were cast at a similarly rapid rate. In total 5,855 of votes were cast across the categories. The winners, whose achievements you can read about in the following pages, have been nominated and voted for by the profession itself, who chose to honour the group, organisation or individual that they felt deserved to be recognised for their contribution to optics. This was the profession's chance to thank unsung heroes for their efforts.

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All of the shortlisted nominees were invited to attend the AOP Awards Night at the National Optometric Conference at Chesford Grange, a luxurious hotel set in 17 acres of private grounds in the Warwickshire countryside, situated in Kenilworth, close to Leamington Spa, Warwick and Coventry.

There, the winners were announced, awarded their trophies and, of course, given the credit they so richly deserved. The night certainly went with a bang and the party continued long into the night.

Meet the judging panel

Prior to the public vote high profile members of the profession carefully sorted through all of the nominations to narrow down the field, here are the people who had to make those tough decisions

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Bob Hughes AOP chief executive

Appointed chief executive of the AOP in 2005, Bob Hughes had previously spent seven years in the same position at the FODO and was key in establishing the school of optometry at Anglia Ruskin University in 1998. Prior to his high-profile career in optics he was the Conservative Member of Parliament for Harrow West. All categories

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Gill Brabner LOCSU director of education

With a background working in the NHS, Gill Brabner joined the LOC support unit in 2010 in a role to enhance the profession and support LOCs improve their status within primary care. She also runs a training and development company, Resound Training, which provides training for a wide variety of health and social care clients. All categories

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Karen Sparrow AOP education adviser

Central to the AOP's offering for students, Karen Sparrow has previously worked as an optometrist and professional services manager. She is a founder member and fellow of the European Academy of Optometry and Optics and a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry. Category: Lecturer of the year

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Don Grocott AOP president

A pillar of the industry, Don Grocott has been AOP president since 2000 and also holds the positions of convenor of the Optical Confederation and president of FODO. He is also heavily involved in the work of charities including RP Fighting Blindness and a prominent member of the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers. All categories

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Cindy Tromans President of the College of Optometrists

Cindy Tromans was appointed president of the College of Optometrists at its annual conference in 2010 as well as being an examiner and chair of the board of trustees. She is also consultant optometrist at Manchester's Royal Eye Hospital. Category: Charity, Company or Practice

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Helen Tilley AOP council member

As a board and council member of the AOP, Helen Tilley has done a tremendous amount for forwarding the profession especially in Wales where she spent four years as chair of Optometry Wales. She also continues to work in practice and is a panel member for some of the GOC's fitness to practice cases. Category: Lecturer of the year

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Geoff Robeson AOP professional adviser

As a key member of the AOP's primary care team, Geoff Robeson is responsible for helping shape AOP policy and helping fellow professionals on matters including clinical and primary care matters. Categories: Student, LOCC/ROCC/AOC, Community Achievement Award, Supplier Award, Charity, Company or Practice, Dispensing Optician, Optometrist and Lecturer Award

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Leon Davies Senior lecturer in optometry at Aston University

Academic and former clinical editor of OT Leon Davies has lectured at Aston since 2005 and is also the convener of the institution's ophthalmic research group. He has built up an excellent reputation in both academic circles and from within the profession. Category: Best Educational Video

The panel selected a shortlist of three for each category, except for Lecturer of the Year. The votes were then cast with the winners for eight categories being decided by the candidate receiving the highest number of votes. In the Lecturer of the Year category the three with the highest level of support in the poll were put forward as the shortlist, with the expert panel selecting the winner.
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Title Annotation:Association of Optometrists
Publication:Optometry Today
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 11, 2011
Words:834
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