Information supplement – IRIS founder Dr. Francis Jean dies
Friday, July 18 2014 | 00 h 00 min | News
President and founder of IRIS The Visual Group, Dr. Francis Jean, died suddenly yesterday, July 17, in Jasper, Alberta, at the age of 56. Dr. Jean experienced discomfort while cycling in the IRIS Challenge, an activity he created to raise funds for cancer research.
In a press release, IRIS officials, naturally in a state of shock, expressed great sadness, describing Dr. Jean as an exceptional leader with a big heart, a passion for life, and remarkable generosity. “Thanks to him, IRIS was built on strong values,” they said.
A graduate from McGill University with a bachelor in Neurophysiology and from the University of Montreal with a degree in Optometry, Dr. Francis Jean opened his first practice in 1986 in his hometown of Baie-Comeau, Quebec. He always dreamed of creating the largest network of optometrists, opticians and ophthalmologists in Canada. And he pulled it off brilliantly, by first founding a buying group then adopting the IRIS trademark in 1990.
IRIS presently has 166 locations across Canada, with most being in Quebec and in the West, and is starting to expand into the Ontario market, where is has 14 places of business. Its network includes over 238 opticians, 280 optometrists and five ophthalmologists. The group also has two laser surgery clinics, one in Quebec and one in British Columbia. Annual sales in 2012 were $132 million.
Dr. Jean is survived by his wife, Denise; his sons, Jonathan and Guillaume, and daughter, Marilanie; his parents; his brother and sister-in-law; and his nieces and nephews.
We would like to extend our condolences to his family and friends as well as to the IRIS team. Funeral arrangements are being made in Baie-Comeau, Quebec.
For more details, click HERE to read the IRIS press release.
Click HERE to read an interview with Dr. Jean, published in the September 2008 issue of Opt!k Magazine, reproduced posthumously.