Roger Hardy is the Founder and CEO of Coastal Contacts Inc, the world's
largest online retailer of contact lenses and eyeglasses.
in Toronto, Ontario, Hardy grew up in Eastern Canada until, after
graduating from Bishops University, his passion for skiing pulled him to
the West Coast. He spent a year skiing in Whistler and came to the
decision that BC was his home.
While attending university, Hardy
was a member of many sports teams where his competitive nature garnered
him the Most Valuable Player of the year award. Later in his career, it
was this competitive spirit that helped Hardy succeed in an online
industry in which thousands had entered, and failed.
Vancouver, BC, Hardy began to build his resume working for a
transportation and logistics company, followed by a contact lens
manufacturer. After discovering the optical store mark-ups on contact
lenses and eyeglasses, Hardy recognized an opportunity to serve
customers better than they were being served and became passionate about
changing the way these products were sold.
It wasn't long
before his entrepreneurial affinity began to take over, and in 2000
Coastal Contacts Inc. was born. The knowledge and expertise Hardy had
acquired in logistics and contact lenses from his previous positions
along with the efficiencies of the Internet provided the basis for a
solid business plan.
Hardy's "never-say-die" attitude and
uncanny problem solving skills have helped him become a proven developer
of successful business strategies and have helped Coastal Contacts Inc
become the Internet retail giant that it is today.
a balance between work and play, Hardy loves to have fun and is
extremely competitive. Hardy is still an avid athlete and spends most
of his downtime with his wife and family in Vancouver and Whistler.
has been honored with many awards over his years as Coastal Contacts'
leader, including Business in Vancouver's Top Forty Under Forty in 2002,
and The Pacific Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award
(Business-to-Consumer) in 2006.
Hardy's charity contributions
have been an important part of his rise to success. He established the
Hardy Endowment Fund at Bishops University which will pay the tuition
for a student "in need" each year in perpetuity. Hardy is responsible
for donating to and contributing countless hours along with his team at
Coastal Contacts Inc. over the past years to charities close to their
hearts. Easter Seals, The Ride to Conquer Cancer, The Greater
Vancouver Food Bank, ORBIS Canada and The Red Cross are some of the many
charities that he is involved with. Hardy has also contributed
hundreds of pairs of free glasses to people in developing countries such
as Mexico and El Salvador, as well as disadvantaged people in Canada.