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New Editor for OLA Online

New Editor for OLA Online

Kevin Gutsell FBDO (Hons) SLD will become the new editor of Ophthalmic Lens Availability Online (OLA Online) for the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO), taking over from retiring editor Phil Gilbert.

OLA Online brings together data found in manufacturers’ catalogues. The site contains an interactive search function enabling users to view lenses available from all contributing manufacturers in one place, along with extensive further information on lenses.

Kevin Gutsell has been appointed to take over as editor of Ophthalmic Lens Availability Online. Kevin says, “I am both delighted and excited to take on the position.

Tremendous work has already been completed by Phil Gilbert, the previous editor, and Antonia Chitty of ABDO in order to take the printed information, and more, and place this on a modern platform.

“My previous knowledge of ophthalmic lenses in practice, my role in representing ABDO on the British Standards Institute standards for lenses committee, and being responsible for analysing the market and marketing lenses for a manufacturer has given me experiences which will assist in taking OLA Online forward.

“My objectives are to make OLA more interactive and relevant as new products and concepts are launched. I will do my upmost to make this a living Wikipedia for ophthalmic lenses used in the UK. I look forward to engaging members and suppliers in taking OLA forward in the coming months and years.”

Antonia Chitty says, “It is exciting to have Kevin on board. He has a great range of relevant expertise and I’m looking forward to working with him to continue to develop Ophthalmic Lens Availability Online.”
Dispensing optician Phil Gilbert steps down as editor of OLA Online after 10 years in the role and around 30 years in optics.

The original Ophthalmic Lenses Availability book was conceived by Dr Alan Tunnacliffe and Phil took over updating it on behalf of ABDO in 2011 with his first issue published in 2012. As a qualified DO working within the lens industry Phil was well placed to enhance the book content during the most expansive period in optics where free form lens production took over conventional production for almost every manufacturer.

Phil came up with the idea of moving OLA to a website, but it was not until Antonia Chitty took over the role of Head of Communications that this was developed. After a year of complex population of the site it is now firmly a part of ABDO member resources.

Phil says, “I have thoroughly enjoyed the editorship over the past 10 years but I have now fully retired from optics and am enjoying living in the sun in Spain”.

Antonia Chitty, Head of Communications at ABDO says, “I have been continually impressed by Phil’s vision, dedication and lens knowledge. In moving OLA to become a searchable online directory he successfully completed a mammoth task, and it has been a pleasure working with him. ABDO members will benefit from the legacy of OLA Online for years to come.”

Associate membership of ABDO includes access to OLA Online, along with a range of other benefits, and costs from just £19.50 per month.

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