Dr. Daryan Angle, IRIS VP Business Development recounts how the COVID crisis accelerated the group’s advanced technology adaption and customer flow management.  IRIS continues to be bullish in acquiring partnerships and sees little impact on valuations as a result of COVID closures.

About the Guest

Dr. Daryan Angle graduated from the University of Waterloo School of Optometry in 2001. He joined IRIS in 2002 as a practicing optometrist in British Columbia, and shortly thereafter became a franchise partner with IRIS. In 2006 Dr. Angle relocated to Ontario. He currently holds the title of Vice President Business Development and in that role, primarily focuses on buying, partnering and integrating optical stores and optometry practices into the IRIS network.


Episode Notes

Dr. Daryan Angle recounts how IRIS, a 400-location network across the country subject to a variety of provincial regulatory edicts, not only withstood but excelled out of the COVID calamity.

IRIS took an early decision to lock down the entire network and then marshalled the organization’s significant resources to support staff through the various government programs to protect their livelihood.

Dr. Angle explains the intensity of the communications effort to keep everyone on the same page and informed of the group’s actions, including taking a centralized approach to secure Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

He also explains how IRIS managed suppliers and landlords in their effort to preserve cash.

Daryan explains how the IRIS model, with relatively lower patient numbers with more personal service time, fit nicely with mandated appointment-only retailing. The pandemic actually accelerated IRIS’ move forward in their efforts to rigoursly manage the timeline of the customer journey for eye exams and dispensing.

The necessity to reduce patient contact time, also advanced e-commerce initiatives and their 3D technology partnership with Topology Eyewear, which can deploy remote facial scans to adjust the frame even without the patient on site.

Finally from the  IRIS perspective,  he explains how 3-year averaging and accommodation for the COVID closure period mitigates the impact on practice valuations. IRIS remains bullish on the market and actively seeks partnerships with independent opticals and optometric practices.



Dr. Glen Chiasson

Dr. Glen Chiasson

Dr. Glen Chiasson is a 1995 graduate of the University of Waterloo School of Optometry. He owns and manages two practices in Toronto. In 2009, he co-hosted a podcast produced for colleagues in eye care, the “International Optometry Podcast”. He is a moderator of the Canadian Optometry Group, an email forum for Canadian optometrists. As  a host of  “Eyes Wide Open”, Glenn  looks forward to exploring new new technologies and services for eye care professionals.

Dr. Chiasson enjoys tennis, hockey, and reading. He lives in Toronto with his wife and two sons.

Dr. Chiasson splits EWO podcast hosting duties with Roxanne Arnal.


5 / 5. 1

I was reminded of an article I wrote a few years ago about a unique situation. Our company was engaged to appraise the practice of an optometrist who was preparing for her retirement. While I was meeting with her, I mentioned that I needed a new pair eyeglasses and I also wanted to purchase a pair of prescription sunglasses.

I performed the appraisal when the practice was closed—which is the usual and customary process for all business appraisers—and while meeting with the owner I asked for her permission to book an appointment to attend her practice as a new patient for an examination and new glasses. She agreed.

Needless to say, when I arrived for my appointment during normal business hours the staff did not know who I was and that we had performed an appraisal for this practitioner. I had a wonderful experience as both a new patient and a purchaser of two pairs of glasses.

Then as now, it occurred to me that as a professional practice appraiser and broker— seldom do I meet the staff—nor do I attend the practice during regular operating hours for obvious, confidential reasons. I realized how much I had learned about the wonderful office environment that this owner had built and the incredible staff that she employed. I wish, as a broker, that my team could have this experience with every practice they visit.

From this visit, I had obtained two points of view—one as an appraiser/broker—the other as a patient. This was and still is an extremely rare circumstance. In completing the appraisal, it was now impossible for me to ignore the excellent service I had received as a patient. In addition, the staff provided me with the following:

• An email containing a simple, online patient survey within 24 hours of my appointment, which I completed,
• A second email thanking me for completing the survey—it arrived within minutes of the survey completion process,
• A third email asking whether I would like to be contacted in the future by email, telephone or by text message for upcoming appointments—I found this very useful as I prefer text messaging.

What incredible patient communications! All of this had transpired within 24 hours of my new patient examination. Needless to say, this remains one of the best patient experiences I have ever had in a professional health care practice.

My dilemma at the time was how do I ignore my experience as a patient when I finalized the appraisal as a professional? Frankly, I could not and did not. This practice was exceptional. I was thoroughly impressed—if all appraisers and brokers could have the new patient experience in their client’s practices they would know much more about how a practice operates and what the patient experience is like.

Essentially, I was an ‘undercover patient’ (much like retailers employ undercover/false shoppers to gauge customer service) and as such learned a great deal more than the traditional, after hours appraisal process.

My company to this day is still trying to decide how or even if it is practical to use ‘undercover patients’ to learn more about our clients’ practices in order to prepare a more empirical practice appraisal. Obviously, we cannot simply act as an undercover patient each and every time we appraise a practice. But I still think about it—maybe as a practice owner you should as well.

Jackie Joachim, COO ROI Corp


Jackie has 30 years of experience in the industry as a former banker and now the Chief Operating Officer of ROI Corporation. Please contact her at Jackie.joachim@roicorp.com or 1-844-764-2020.


0 / 5. 0

On Monday June 4th 2018 Canadian Eye Care Business Review hosted a panel discussion entitled: Should I Stay or Should I Go? Exit Strategy Considerations.

Drs. Jeff and Tina Goodhew, independent practitioners from Oakville, Ontario, guide the discussion an expert panel of Canadian Optometric opinion leaders actively involved in optometric practice transactions.  Panelists included:

  • Dr. Daryan Angle  – VP Business Development IRIS (Part of the NewLook Vision Group)
  • Dr. Paul Gray – Director and President of the Member Relations Committee, Optometric Services Inc.
  • Jackie Joachim, Chief Operating Officer, ROI Corporation
  • Grant Larsen, CEO, Eye Recommend
  • Dr. Al Ulsifer, CEO & President, FYi doctors

The webinar provide a comprehensive discussion of factors that indpendent optometric practice owners ought to consider as they approach the important decisions around exiting their practice.  Topics covered include planning, use of a business broker, importance of assembling a trusted team of advisors, various valuation methods and the roller-coaster psychological aspects of a sale transaction.


The countries two leading practice aggregators,IRIS and FYi doctors, provided the benefit of their perspectives as did the two leading independent  OD networks, Optometric Services Inc. and EyeRecommend.

The webinar is packed with solid practical tips and information: essential for any practice owner that has selling their practice even remotely on the horizon.

You may watch the video slide show and audio above, or listen to the audio only from the links below.



0 / 5. 0