Leader of the Future was a newly-devised and keenly-contested category at this year’s Optician Awards.
Upon meeting Paige Furlong at the buzzing Specsavers Chelmsley Wood practice, there can be no doubt the new prize has true merit.
Clearly inspired by her victory, Furlong is setting out to take her management experience to the next level and one day intends to run her own practice.
The optical assistant, who since 2014 has completed dispensing certificates and qualified in diabetic screening, progressed through the multiple’s management academy scheme.
She also helped kick-start a local school screening initiative last year – writing to head teachers in 30 locations before visiting with a basic kit of frames and lenses. As a manager, she runs clinic days, leading a team of at least five optometrists, two dispensing opticians and 20 retail staff over two floors.
Upon seeing the new award category late last year, a modest Furlong decided she would at least try her luck after a busy few years. ‘I looked at the criteria and thought it did fit quite well with what I’d done,’ she tells Optician.
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