Mark Tosh, Senior Editor

Mark covers news and feature coverage of national and regional optical retailers, managed vision care organizations, software systems and technology. He works closely with other members of the VM editorial staff to monitor developments in online optical retailing and other industry issues. Mark is a contributor to dba, a twice monthly e-newsletter profiling successful local and regional retail/optometric businesses while addressing their decision-making needs. Contact Mark at mtosh@jobson.com.

Rethinking the Classical Approach to Marketing

By Mark Tosh
Monday, March 11, 2019 12:30 AM Suffice it to say I am not a real marketer. I read a lot about marketing theories and can debate either side of the art-or-science question, but I skipped the classical training part and didn’t become familiar with the 4Ps (product, price, place and promotion) until midway in my professional life. As old-school marketers know, the marketing-mix framework and most marketing management decisions were shaped by the 4Ps for decades.

Billie Jean King: A Champion of Vision Care on and off the Court

By Mark Tosh
Friday, March 1, 2019 4:43 PM She’s a winner and an authentic all-around champion. Is there a better way to describe Billie Jean King? Well, add vision care advocate to the long list of King’s achievements over a long and legendary career, both on and off the tennis court. King is recognized for her 39 Grand Slam titles (16 in doubles), including a record 20 titles at Wimbledon, and she undoubtedly is one of the greatest tennis players of all time. But she is perhaps best known for the match in 1973 when 90 million people worldwide watched King soundly defeat Bobby Riggs in the “Battle of the Sexes,” 6-4, 6-3, 6-3. Many believe that no other sporting event has played a more significant role in raising recognition for women athletes.

Remembering the Wisdom of Martin Luther King Jr.

By Mark Tosh
Friday, January 18, 2019 2:34 PM Today marks the start of the three-day Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. For many of us, this simply means we have an extra day to work on things around the house, to spend additional quality time with family or even to start those new projects that keep getting pushed off. But there’s also time this weekend to reflect on the accomplishments of the great Dr. King and the way he managed to take a measured and well-thought out approach to achieving his goals.

Anyone Can Take a Holiday Picture, But Who Can Shoot a Photo?

By Mark Tosh
Friday, December 14, 2018 2:58 PM It’s that time of the year again when everyone thinks they should be a photographer. So many situations arise that just need to be captured with a digital memory. Smartphones have done nothing if not exacerbate the common misperception that anyone can take a picture.

Visionary Eye Partners Sets Sights on Northeast Markets

By Mark Tosh
Thursday, November 15, 2018 12:30 AM BLOOMINGTON, Ill.—Visionary Eye Partners (VEP), a practice management company backed by Toronto’s Imperial Capital Group, has completed the acquisition of five separate eyecare practices over the past few months, the firm’s co-chief executive officer Nick Williams told Vision Monday.

What Are You Thankful For?

By Mark Tosh
Monday, November 12, 2018 12:30 AM This is the time of year when we like to take a moment and identify the many things that we appreciate for making the daily journey more interesting and pleasurable. While there are certainly some omissions from this list, here are just a few things that we’d like to acknowledge as our thoughts turn to Thanksgiving and all that this annual holiday represents.

Panel Explores Private Equity’s Evolving Role in Vision Care

By Mark Tosh
Monday, October 22, 2018 12:15 AM LAS VEGAS—A full house of several hundred optometrists, practice management executives and retailers gathered in a Sands Convention Center meeting room here late last month for a panel discussion focused on the role of private equity in the eyecare business and the decision-making process ODs need to consider when examining future options for their practice. The session, “Private Equity Takes Root: What Does it Mean for Optometry?” featured three optometrists with extensive experience related to the role of PE in eyecare, and four chief executive officers representing the leading PE-backed management companies with extensive holdings in eyecare.

Power in Numbers

By Mark Tosh
Monday, October 22, 2018 12:15 AM From Fitbit-type performance metrics to likes on Instagram and Facebook, Americans are infatuated with checking their status and/or tracking progress across various activities. While this tracking trend may be more common across personal activities, it’s becoming fairly standard in professional dealings, as well, to measure all kinds of performance. As the adage goes, you can’t manage what you can’t measure.

It’s Time to Light the Grill, Tee up the Tailgate, and Get Ready for College Football

By Mark Tosh

Thursday, August 30, 2018 2:57 PM The Big House, Camp Randall and Death Valley. For college football fans, the images these names convey is pretty clear. There’s really nothing like a college football Saturday, with the abundance of school colors, getting together with old friends on a crisp fall afternoon, and settling into a stadium with 100,000 other raucous fans to take in an exciting football game. And the optical industry will be well-represented this fall at games from Florida to Oregon and all across the Midwest and Southwest when executives return to their alma maters for a weekend like none other. Even if you’re not a college football fan, the stories we’ve rounded up for this VMail Weekend feature offer a collage of things we in the industry do when we’re kicking back over a weekend.

Looking at the Practice Ownership Model

By Marge Axelrad and Mark Tosh
Monday, August 13, 2018 12:30 AM NEW YORK – Having the wherewithal to successfully compete as an eyecare professional and a business person can be a daunting challenge, particularly for independents.

Vision Source

By Marge Axelrad and Mark Tosh
Monday, August 13, 2018 12:29 AM KINGWOOD, Texas—Perhaps lost in the initial response to Vision Source’s launch of its Vision Source Next program was just how broad and comprehensive the program intends to be, and how it has a range of offerings for optometrist practitioners across all stages of their career.

Rev360

By Marge Axelrad and Mark Tosh
Monday, August 13, 2018 12:28 AM MADISON, Wis.—Five months into the launch of a new practice ownership structure for independent eyecare professionals, Rev360 executives are pleased with the response the new RevAdvance “partnership model” has received and the operational progress the initial OD practices in the program have experienced.

Associates in Eyecare

By Marge Axelrad and Mark Tosh
Monday, August 13, 2018 12:27 AM ASHBURN, Va. – Growing organically and with well-chosen local partners, Associates in Eyecare (AIE), a business group of optometrists in the D.C./Northern Virginia area, has been carefully building its presence, augmenting its doctors’ talents and equity stakes with professional operations managers in an approach that has enabled the group to grow to 10 practices today.

Pearle Vision

By Marge Axelrad and Mark Tosh
Monday, August 13, 2018 12:26 AM For independent optometrists who own their practice, Pearle Vision recently added a new option for these ECPs to consider as they plan for future growth and success. In June, at the American Optometric Association event in Denver, Pearle officially launched the “Pearle Vision Ignite” program as a “strategic independent optometrist conversion program.”

Vision One Credit Union

By Marge Axelrad and Mark Tosh
Monday, August 13, 2018 12:25 AM SACRAMENTO, Calif.—With interest by firms outside the traditional vision care market on the rise, these are interesting, and challenging, times for independent eyecare practices. Indeed, private equity firms looking for prospective new investments, and even corporate-operated eyecare groups, are looking at optometry as a market ready for growth and consolidation.