Ian began more than 49 years ago as a contact lens technician after a period of study towards an engineering degree majoring in mathematics and physics. He concentrated on lens design, mathematics of lens design, developing production and marketing methods for the laboratory and eventually computerisation of the design and production of contact lenses. Ian completed a number of advanced management, sales and marketing courses in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
In 1979 he moved to the United Kingdom to establish and develop a large research, development and production company that introduced leading edge CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) machining equipment for contact lens manufacture. He headed both the Computer Development Team and the International Sales and Marketing force. During this period Ian travelled extensively selling, establishing new businesses and developing and servicing computer-based technology. A number of his inventions for the optical industry were awarded patents, many of his lens constructions are now industry standard designs.
While in the UK, Ian developed Practice Management software for Optometry and designed, built and established a number of pioneering lens production laboratories throughout Europe, USA and Asia.
In 1989 Ian returned to New Zealand on an invitation to rejoin the Hirstlens group and immediately prepared a business plan for the future of the company. In 1990 he purchased the company expanded it rapidly and began the development of Beyond Imagination, a high technology unit for advancing photo-digital imaging as a business concept. During this period, Ian masterminded a substantial improvement in the marketing and promotion of contact lenses via innovative exhibitions.
Bifocal Contact Lenses
In 1993 Ian designed and patented a highly successful bifocal contact lens and was a key member of the engineering team that built the tooling and multi-axis lathing systems to produce the lens. This development attracted international press and television coverage.
The bifocal design and subsequent engineering design was awarded a Foundation for Research, Science and Technology grant.
On 18th March 2012 Ian was awarded an Honorary Membership of the Cornea and Contact lens Society in recognition of outstanding contribution to contact lens practice in New Zealand. It was given for his contribution in original lens design, patents, manufacturing inventions, substantial contributions to the mathematics of optical design, clinical contributions in lens design for astigmatism, keratoconus, post-natal aphakia, bifocal and multifocal contact lenses, production methodology, the development of ground breaking CNC manufacturing optics, surface engineering, materials research, robotics, practice management software and for the introduction of computers into the whole New Zealand optometry market.
In 1994 he began work on innovative software and business model for a photographic restoration system called Photopages (later PhotoWonder). He has managed the engineering, development, sales and marketing teams of this project since its inception. During 1999 Ian developed the franchise in the United Kingdom and completed the franchise package including authoring the manuals and support marketing material.
The growth of the photo restoration business was rapid and in 2002 a landmark sales and distribution agreement was signed with Creekside LLC in USA. Ian established large computer studios in New Zealand, China and India using his software and techniques to service the growing market developing in the USA. Walgreens, Walmart, CVS, Albertsons, Best Buy and many other major chains now use this photo restoration service exclusively. Further distribution agreements were completed for Japan, Asia and Europe and PhotoWonder is now the world’s largest photo restoration company.
ToothPix & RealtyPix
In 2003, Ian began work on Tooth-pix, a professional imaging service providing a comprehensive yet simple method for dental photos to be altered to show predictive outcomes for cosmetic surgery. Ian pioneered the manipulation software and techniques for Tooth-pix and has worked closely with key dentists in NZ to develop a professional on-line interface for all dentistry.
2004 saw the release of Ian’s unique real estate system, Realty-Pix. Similar to Tooth-pix, it provides the opportunity for property buyers to explore the potential of a property prior to investment, encouragement for vendors to better prepare the property for sale and can inexpensively explore make-over options when considering planned home improvements. Ian has worked closely with key people within the real estate industry to advance the use of more effective marketing techniques.
Ian also is actively involved with and collaborates in developing complete business solutions, designing and building comprehensive internet and engineering complex software solutions for a wide range of commercial disciplines. These have included web-sites for publishing houses, software for asset management systems, high profile sites for automotive dealerships and real estate listing sites. In 2009 he developed a complete business plan and infrastructure to support real estate sales by lawyers.
In 2011, Ian was appointed as a foundation director of Alexander & Co.Ltd., a leading surveying company in New Zealand specializing in building enclosures and providing market leading solutions, advice and assistance in all aspects of building surveying, dispute resolution, cladding design, architecture, maintenance planning and building restoration. He is also a consultant with company providing management, training, business development and career development services.
In 2014 Ian established NUON, a boutique innovation group which specialises in providing economic IT, graphics and web solutions. He also provides management, writing and marketing support for a number of financial advisors. Also that year Ian began working with a high profile provincial newspaper supporting business growth and providing editorial and graphic design services. He has also designed and is delivering a marketing plan for a radiology enterprise based at Ascot Central in Auckland
From 2014 Ian has provided business management training, marketing support and high-level coaching for a number of companies over a diverse scope of disciplines. These include insurance brokers, style and fashion consultants, cartoonists and animators, IT support enterprises, optometrists, dental practices, counsellors and psychotherapists, mortgage brokers, accountants, software support and developers, NLP practitioners, authors and writers, social media experts, restaurateurs, marketing companies and artographers. In supporting these businesses he has, for them, created a large number of websites and has provided graphics and design services.
For a number of years Ian has been providing comprehensive genealogy research and authoring services. He has researched, written and published a large number of history books for many New Zealand families. Ian now has one of the most comprehensive genealogy databases in New Zealand.
Theatre & Music
Prior to and during his tenure in contact lens design and manufacture, Ian had a long career in live theatre production working with most major productions at His Majesty’s, St James and Playhouse Mercury Theatres in Auckland. He also worked and gained engineering experience at the NZED Quay Street workshops, qualified as a baker and taught music for a number of years.
Ian speaks frequently at conferences, seminars and in the community promoting and discussing developments in digital technology and business, tutors a number of imaging workshops and offers private tuition in Photoshop. He also offers tuition and runs seminars on the iPad.
Ian is a regular guest lecturer at the Owen Glenn Business School, University of Auckland where he teaches marketing, personal selling, career development and business concepts. In 2012, his tooth-pix business was selected as the key project for final year marketing students to study for completion of their degree.
Ian provides coaching and teaching modules for both private and business clients.
For business, he teaches effective and exciting techniques to improve sales, motivate for growth and enhance techniques for prospecting, presentation of products and services and closing. His thought-provoking and a fresh approach to common business situations is based on more than 40 years' front-line business experience both in New Zealand and in the international market.
For private clients, he provided private tutoring in most academic disciplines.
Ian is a member of a major consortium developing proposals for the Ministry of Health towards improving leadership in New Zealand’s Health and Disability System.
He is also providing assistance and mentorship to business operators to help grow their enterprises and improve productivity and sales.
To help those finding it difficult to gain employment, he crafts effective resumes, creates personal profile websites and coaches for the job interview process.
Ian is a keen bridge player, enjoys reading, music composition and has a significant interest in mathematics, history and genealogy.
Knowledge is power.
You can't begin a career, for that matter even a relationship, unless you know everything there is to know about it.
“I’d rather attempt to do something great and fail than attempt to do nothing and succeed.” –Robert Schuller