Dame Mary Perkins honoured with lifetime achievement accolade
October 23, 2017
SPECSAVERS co-founder Dame Mary Perkins has received a national lifetime achievement award.
Dame Mary, who set up Specsavers with her husband Doug Perkins in 1984, was honoured with the accolade at the recent EY Entrepreneur Of The Year UK Awards in London.
The award was in recognition of her role in building the world's largest privately-owned optical retailer and also her contribution to inspiring the next generation of female entrepreneurs through her patronage of Everywoman.
‘It was such an honour to receive the EY Lifetime Achievement Award. Doug and I started an optical business as soon as we qualified from Cardiff University, at a time when glasses were very expensive, which prevented people from seeking advice about their eye health. Since then we have stuck to our vision and values and our unique joint venture partnership is a cornerstone of our success. All entrepreneurs, including those who also received awards at the event, are the back bone of the success of the UK and they put the Great into Great Britain.’
A leading figure in optometry and audiology, Specsavers’ revolutionary vision was to provide affordable, fashionable eyecare for everyone, at a time when product choice was limited and prices for optical care were high.
Today the Specsavers Partnership is the world's largest optical retailer with 1,800 stores operating in 10 countries. Each store is part-owned and managed by its own directors, who are shareholders of their own businesses, and are supported with marketing, accounting, IT and wholesaling services, among others. The partnership model ensures that the opticians and audiologists who run their stores, can concentrate on what they do best – providing expert eye and hearing care to their customers.
A qualified and registered optometrist for more than 50 years, Dame Mary plays an active role in the business, including driving customer service standards, championing values and shaping corporate responsibility. Dame Mary is passionately involved with a number of national and local charities and was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2007.
Now in its 31st year globally and 19th year in the UK, ‘EY Entrepreneur Of The Year’ recognises the spirit and contribution of exceptional entrepreneurs, running in more than 145 cities in more than 60 countries worldwide.