History and Philosophy of Prairie Ophthalmics (1988) Inc.
In December of 1983, Prairie Ophthalmics opened its doors in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and started the process of surface generating and edge mounting spectacle lenses. The corporate constitution consisted of allowing only independent dispensing optometrists to join. The laboratory began with 14 members putting deposits down to arrange financing and secure a lease; by the time the lab opened there were 22 shareholders. At the time of writing there are 23 Class A shareholders.
The mission statement that our members have started with and continue to uphold is to provide first and foremost, quality lab work in as efficient time frame as the specific job requires. This quality work is to be done in as price competitive environment as the quality will allow.
When our first Board of Directors met, the lab manager that was secured was Mr. Len Giesbrecht who had 25 years managing Bausch and Lomb’s lab prior to working with us. The second order of business was interviewing and hiring 10 of Bausch and Lomb’s top employees at an increase of 10% above their existing salary. Our first price list was 10% less than the existing price list.
Prairie Ophthalmics is one of the few independent surfacing labs left with Free Form technology. The staff has combined lab experience of over 300 years. The equipment, coating formulas and knowledge level have enabled Prairie to produce some of the best quality lenses and coatings in the world. The current share price is $25,000. If new accounts need financing, Prairie Ophthalmics will finance the share for one year the same interest rate that the bank lends to Prairie. The return for the shareholder consists of two types of payments. The first is an equal dividend to all shareholders on record at year end. The second payment is a participatory bonus. The Board of Directors determines the total return to the shareholders. The participatory bonus is paid to the shareholding optometrist that is responsible for the generation of the business to Prairie Ophthalmics.
We at Prairie Ophthalmics are proud to be a locally owned and operated company, contributing to the local economy and creating jobs supporting local families. We take pride in our work and it shows. After all, our customers are our neighbours.
The current Board of Directors consists of:
- Dr. Skylar Feltis (President)
- Dr. Warren Toews (Treasurer)
- Dr. Adam Fitzpatrick (Secretary)
- Dr. Bruce Robinson (Past President)
Each year one of the Director’s terms expires and an election occurs. The Annual General Meeting usually takes place at the end of September.