Optician Kirkcaldy celebrates 30 years with Specsavers

The father of two is a qualified dispensing optician and currently Director at Specsavers in Glenrothes, Leven, Cupar and Lerwick, previously leading remote operations for the Highlands and Islands prior to the formation of Specsavers Lerwick.

As a teenager, Gary played for Kirkcaldy Junior Ice Hockey, which was sponsored by the company, and he was fitted with contact lenses at his local store when, then manager, Fiona Walker offered him a job.

He said: “I was 17 and left school with good qualifications but no clear career path or continuing education plan to pursue.

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“I started out with administrative duties at Specsavers Kirkcaldy while considering my options, but after a few months I moved into the lab, learning the ropes as an optical technician and later learning to distribute.”

After a short hiatus Gary was offered a role at Specsavers Laboratory in Perth and at the age of 21 left to become Laboratory Director at Glenrothes and, within a span of one year, became store manager.

Supported throughout by Manager Stewart Wilson, Gary took a three-year course to become a Qualified Prescribing Optician as he held the role of Store Manager and achieved his first Managerial designation at age 31.

Gary added: “Not many people know that you can pursue a management career at Specsavers without a degree.

“It is a growing company, it is an exciting place to work with many opportunities and thanks to its excellent training programs you can grow quickly and enjoy job security from an early age. .

“I am very proud to help other people grow with us. I had several great role models, including Stewart Wilson, who is a fantastic mentor.

“I hope to encourage more people to pursue careers in optics, whether as an optician or in non-clinical operations and management like me.

A career highlight for Gary was the launch of the first mobile joint venture in Highlands & Islands at age 31 in January 2006.

Operating without a fixed location, Gary and the team traveled to town halls and community centers to perform eye tests remotely or at workplaces, they tested in factories and distributed safety glasses.

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About Marion Alexander

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