Meet the Team


About Us

Practice staff

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Kjell Nölke – Practice Boss !

Kjell qualified from Dublin DIT in 1993. He spent 2 years working in Killarney before moving to London where he worked for 5 years in various practices including St Thomas’s hospital, St Peters hospital eye departments, Theodore Hamblins opticians on Wigmore Street, Dollond and Aitcheson and Specsavers practices. 
Having met Yvonne in London they travelled to Australia and New Zealand where Kjell worked in multiple practices in Sydney, Perth and Queenstown. 
On returning to the UK from their travels in 1999 they moved to Southampton where Kjell worked for a long establised independent – Martin Halls Opticians – where Kjell gained invaluable experience in his plans for setting up Nolke Opticians in Waterford in 2004.

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Yvonne Nölke – Admin & HR

Yvonne is a qualified nurse. She specialises in paediatrics and neonatal care. Yvonne helps out in the practice when she is not working at home with our two teenagers Ewan and Katie,  working in Waterford Regional. Yvonne completed the Cambridge University dispensing assistant course in 2011.

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Órla Reade – Optometrist

Nolke Opticians is delighted to welcome Optometrist Órla Reade to our team. Órla who is originally from Carlow has practiced as an optometrist in Carlow and Kilkenny since 2006. Órla has a keen interest in all aspects of optometry including contact lenses, Diabetes and children’s eyecare. The practice has grown substantially over the last few years and Órla’s arrival will allow the practice to develop and grow further. With experience in Specsavers opticians Órla will bring valuable knowledge to the work flow and processes in practice. Nolke Opticians eye-care practice is very much centred on the patient journey, giving time to the appointment as well as the use of the latest in technology.

With our OCT (Ocular Coherance Tomographer) we are able to view patients retinal structure similar to an ultrasound scan. Combined with Hospital standard visual field screeners, painless glaucoma screening, custom contact lens fitting and a new low vision service for visually impaired patients, both Órla and Kjell will have plenty to keep them both busy.

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Brian Roche – Dispensing Optician & Practice Manager

Brian joined our team in 2008 as a trainee lab technician. Having progressed through all aspects within the practice Brian completed his Despensing Optician qualification in 2018 and is now practice manager. Brian has developed a passion for all things optical and has a huge interest in the many challenging cases that come to us. He has been integral in the evolution of our frame ranges, ensuring we meet the high standards expected of our customers at both the budget and exclusive end of our ranges.

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Joelene Rowe – Optical Assistant & Frame Stylist

Joelene started with us in in 2018 having come from a varied career in hairdressing and retail – including high fashion shoes – both strangely quite suited to her new passion in her role as frame stylist in Nolke Opticians. Hair – is all about the head! – and shoes are both as personal and varied as spectacle frames!.

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Eilis Purcell – Optical Assistant & Frame Stylist

Eilis joined Nolke Opticians in 2010 and is in charge of reception, and dispensing / sales. She has a keen eye on frames and enjoys finding just the right frame to suit every face. Eilis was well known in her previous work with Aerlingus in Dublin Airport so she keeps us all on our toes when it comes to managing busy days.

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Jimmy McGrath

Jimmy has extensive experience working in optics. Over the years he worked in Bausch and Lomb as well as with his Uncle Jim Mc Grath who founded McGraths opticians on the Quay Waterford. Jimmy also worked in the optical lab in Specsavers in Wexford. A dab hand at repairs, Jimmy loves a challenge and will get almost any lens into any frame if we leave him to it!

Ben Richards – Optical Assistant & Frame Stylist

Ben joined Nolke Opticians Start 2023 as an Optical assistant. Ben is new to Optics but has extensive customer service experience working in hospitality, bar and hotel work. He progressed to duty manager in the Greenway manor hotel where he excelled in working with hotel guests in various roles. Ben is both our youngest and most enthusiastic member of staff. He has soaked up the knowledge of optics very quickly and as a life long spectacle wearer (and customer of Nolke opticians!) he thoroughly enjoys helping our customers in their frame selection. We can see quite a future in optics for Ben – so here’s hoping he enjoys the learning!

Stephanie Dunphy – Optical Assistant & Frame Stylist

Stephanie has returned – AGAIN ! We tried – TWICE – to get rid of her… But she keeps coming back! 😉

Stephanie first joined us waaaay back in 2008 as an optical assistant. We loved her humour, her style and our customers loved the way she helped with their frame selection. Stephanie has a natural charm and as a spectacle wearer herself, enjoys helping others find the frame to suit. In around 2010 she went to “find herself” Australia with her husband Tom… She even got a job in an opticians in Perth thanks in some small part helped by our reference :-). Having “found herself” – Steph returned to Waterford and returned to us for more laughs and selling more of her favourite “white coloured spectacles”. Then, just as we were getting comfortable, she decided to have two children and left us again. She worked with her husband in Crossfit Waterford. Now – having travelled the world, two lovely son’s, a successful gym business and with the same charm and enthusiasm for spectacles, Steph has returned to us. – Just ask for Steph – you’ll get white frames and a laugh (at the very least!).


Abe Yakob – Audiologist

Abe attained a first class BSc in Audiology from the University of De Montfort Leicester and completed his advanced Masters in Audiology at the university of Manchester England. He is registered with the Irish Society of Hearing Aid Audiologist (ISHAA), the Health Care Professional Council (HCPC) and the Irish Academy of Audiology (IAOA). He is also a member of the British Academy of Audiology and Audiology online.He has over 7 years experience working between the NHS/HSE and privately. Abe has worked for the HSE South East since early 2019 and is now senior Audiologist in the Audiology department in University Hospital Waterford.Abe has extensive experience in working with people with hearing loss ranging from mild to profound categories. His work includes both paediatric and adult diagnostic audiology as well as audio-vestibular assessments (balance) and hearing aids dispensing. Hearing aids offered are from an extensive range of suppliers including: Phonak, Unitron, Widex, Starkey, Oticon, Siemens and GnResound. 1 jimmy-cho 3 ray-ban 5 6