The Association of British Dispensing Opticians is celebrating Sir Anthony Garrett CBE’s twenty years at the helm as General Secretary. There has been much change in the Association during the past twenty years and Tony has been instrumental in this successful journey.
Shortly before Tony joined the organisation Thurailingam Pavanakumar, known to all as Pavan, took up the post of Chief Finance Officer. Tony and Pavan very quickly formed a significant working relationship which continues to this day.
Since joining ABDO Tony and Pavan have overseen the relocation of the Associations’ headquarters to 199 Gloucester Terrace from Hurlingham, providing the Association with prestigious central London offices co-owned with FODO and the FMO which the BCLA now also occupies.
Tony was also a driving force behind the formation of ABDO College at Godmersham, Kent which opened its doors to students in 2001 Today 50% of all student DOs train via blended learning at ABDO College. Credit must be given to Jo Underwood, principal since the inception of the college, and her incredible team.
Most recently ABDO has opened the National Resource Centre in Birmingham, the new home for ABDO examinations and training.
ABDO President Clive Marchant says, “ABDO has seen many organisational changes, importantly the move from an ABDO council to the current nationally elected board. Credit to all that has been achieved must be attributed to both these great men and the team they have recruited to work alongside them. Tony has always sought to improve and enhance the profile of the profession and to develop closer co-operation with other optical bodies. Twenty years ago, ABDO did not employ any Dispensing Opticians, a stark contrast to today when most of the senior team are DOs, along with two Optometrists. While we reflect and celebrate, I know Tony and Pavan are always forward thinking, and we will continue to work to take the profession onwards.”