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.

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.

‘Tooth’ Be Told, We’re Fascinated by Sharks

By Mark Tosh

Thursday, July 26, 2018 3:00 PM It’s probably safe to assume that everyone has an opinion about sharks. They’re just not the kind of thing you can be ambivalent about. And sharks were on our mind this week, thanks to the Discovery Channel’s celebration of “Shark Week,” a week-long TV programming block created by the Discovery Channel. This actually is the 30th anniversary of “Shark Week,” which means there’s a whole segment of the population who have been around less time than this cultural phenomenon. Sharks, believe it or not, are somewhat misunderstood (aren’t we all, to a degree?) and they have under-appreciated eyesight characteristics.

Brainiac Students in Colorful Costumes?
It Must Be the Essilor Student Bowl

By Mark Tosh
Friday, June 22, 2018 2:53 PM DENVER—Here’s the question: what’s the most exciting, most dramatic and loudest event at Optometry’s Meeting every year? The answer, of course, is the Essilor Student Bowl competition that pits students from 25 optometry schools across the nation against each other in a battle of knowledge, one-upmanship and courage.

Today’s Baseball Has New Rules

By Mark Tosh
Monday, June 11, 2018 12:00 AM Baseball has been one of my favorite things for a long time. There’s something about the way it combines athletic skills, a degree of strategic thinking and even a bit of risk taking.

Vision Source Hosts 3,300-Plus Members at The Exchange Meeting in Anaheim

By Mark Tosh

Tuesday, May 29, 2018 12:09 PM ANAHEIM, Calif.—Vision Source held its annual Exchange conference under sunny skies here at the Anaheim Convention Center earlier this month, with more than 3,300 members, their staff and guests in attendance. Vision Source founder and executive chairman Glenn Ellisor, OD, noted that the success of the meeting was a further indication of how far the group has come in delivering on its original mission. At its founding 27 years ago, Vision Source’s objective was to unite independent optometry and to provide the marketing and practice-management solutions that help members’ practices succeed.

When a ‘Regular’ Eye Exam Is Anything But Routine

By Mark Tosh
Friday, May 25, 2018 1:06 PM There’s quite a bit of debate today around the concept of an eye exam, and even what qualifies as an “acceptable” exam. Without getting too deep into the weeds on this complicated issue, we thought nonetheless that this story, which begins with a routine appointment for an eye exam and ends on a very happy note, would be a great way to start the three-day weekend.