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16 Aug 2022

New director for County Derry optician

Christina O'Kane said she is focused on providing 'excellent clinical care'.

New director for County Derry optician

Christina O'Kane has been appointed Director of Specsavers in Magherafelt.

Specsavers in Magherafelt has announced the appointment of Christina O’Kane as a Director, after being a member of the store’s team since its opening in 2008.

After receiving a degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Ulster, Coleraine, Christina worked across a range of specialities and progressed to a Band 7 Specialist Dietitian in Nutritional Support in the Community. A career change decision led to Christina joining Specsavers’ first long distance training cohort for a qualification in hearing aid dispensing in 2007.

In 2008, Christinas’ husband, Brian O’Kane, opened Specsavers Magherafelt with a team of 5 including Christina as Hearing Aid Dispenser and Aidan Halferty, who has since progressed to become Store Manager.

The team has grown to 17 in the 14 years that have passed and the store is locally recognised as a strong, community-focused family business.

Christina worked as a Specsavers Hearing Aid Dispenser at stores in Exeter, Coleraine and Belfast from 2007 until 2020, when increased commitments as Retail Manager at the Magherafelt branch led to this role becoming her sole focus. In 2021 she embarked upon Specsavers’ Pathway programme, which prepares optometrists, optical dispensers and retail managers for practice ownership.

Christina explains; “‘Pathway consolidated all the skills and knowledge I had to become a partner within a Specsavers store, giving me the confidence in my abilities that will be used to the benefit of the store.

“In these times, we are focused on providing our customers not only excellent clinical care, but excellent personalised customer service.”

Christina joins her husband Brian in her director role. Brian became Specsavers’ youngest director in 1998, at the age of 21, and is a past Regional Chair for Northern Ireland.

“It is also great to officially partner with Brian and strengthen our family business,” said Christina.

“Many see Specsavers as an international brand and do not realise that many branches are owned and operated by people within their community.

“Indeed, it has its roots in family business, with Dame Mary Perkins and her husband Doug co-founding the brand in 1984.”

Brian said; “Christina and I have been partners in the success of Specsavers Magherafelt since it opened its doors for the first time 14 years ago.

“It is wonderful to formally seal that partnership as Christina now becomes a Director and we look forward to sharing the next stage of growing the business and providing value for money eyecare to our customers.”

To book an appointment and for more information on Specsavers Magherafelt, visit their website.

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