Mr. Paul Folkesson, WCO Immediate Past President
Mr. Paul Folkesson is an authorized optometrist (by the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare) since 1980 and is an authorized contact lens specialist. He bought his own private practice in 1987 and sold the company in 2004. Since then he has acted as a consultant optometrist when needed within Sweden. He has been the owner and CEO of his own consultant company, Synbar AB, since 1999 working with Business, Board and Personal Development.
Mr. Folkesson was elected as president for 22 years of the Swedish Optometric Association (Optikerförbundet) between 1996 and 2018 and was Editor in Chief for the Swedish Professional Journal (Aktuell Optik & Optometri) between 1996 and 2005. He was a national delegate to the Nordic Optical Council (NOR) from 1996-2018 and has served as President three times.
He served as a national delegate to the European Council of Optometry and Optics (ECOO) from 1996-2018, was elected as an Executive Committee member 2012-2018, and President from 2014-2016.
He has served as a member of the ECOO Professional Services Committee for several years. During 2001-2003 he was elected to a working group with a mission to form new statutes and working methods for ECOO. From 2006-2008 he chaired an ECOO working group focused on CET points from a European perspective, with Armin Duddek from SBAO (Switzerland) and Peter Coe from GOC (UK).
Since 2008, he has been appointed by the Swedish Government as a delegate of the Swedish National Board for Consumer Complaints (ARN). ARN is a public authority that functions roughly like a court with the main task of impartially trying disputes between consumers and business operators.
From 2011-2012, he was a government appointed delegate to the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education, Department of Quality Assurance, to assist in the quality audit of optometry education programs.
Mr. Folkesson was a Founding member and Member of the Board of Directors for the Swedish Industry of Optometry Association from 2005-2018.
As President for the Swedish professional association, Mr. Folkesson organized the Swedish annual CET congress (Optometridagarna) including lecture programs and exhibition. Optometridagarna grew to be the largest professional CET congress in the Scandinavian countries, with more than 500 attendees annually.
Mr. Folkesson currently serves on WCO’s Board of Directors and the Immediate Past President.