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.

Summer Reading: The Books People in Optical Are Reading Right Now

By Mark Tosh
Friday, May 21, 2021 8:30 AM NEW YORK—With the unofficial start of summer just a week away, what better time to start putting together a summer reading list? Right now there are enough good, thought-provoking business titles circulating right now to capture just about every special interest. For one, we like the premise of “The Future is Faster Than You Think,” which looks at how technologies will “completely reshape every industry and society over the next decade.” But don’t just take our suggestions for your next book: Here’s a roundup of what VMAIL Weekend learned when we asked several people in the optical business what books they have read recently, want to read or just have in the stack by their bed. (BTW, that's my bedside pile in the photo.)

After a Pause in Mid-2020, Dealmaking Rebounds in Eyecare

By Mark Tosh
Sunday, April 25, 2021 11:00 AM NEW YORK—The challenges of 2020, for the most past, continue to drag on this year for most business sectors, including eyecare and optical retail. These challenges include recovering lost sales and patients, reduced appointment slots for many practices and the additional expense of PPE supplies and other safety measures that have become commonplace.

EyeCare Partners Finishes 2020 With a Flurry of Practice Additions

By Mark Tosh
Sunday, April 25, 2021 10:59 AM ST. LOUIS—Amid the challenges of COVID-19, some businesses found themselves so consumed with responding to these new external challenges that they overlooked the internal struggles faced by people within their own organization. EyeCare Partners, a leading network of integrated ophthalmology and optometry providers, saw this need and moved quickly to find ways to care for its own team members while they were themselves caring for ECP’s patients.

MyEyeDr. Sees the ‘Silver Linings’ of Managing Through 2020

By Mark Tosh
Sunday, April 25, 2021 10:58 AM VIENNA, Va.—It’s a cliché, of course, but still it’s often said that what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger. Some will say this is how they look at the ups and downs of 2020 and the way it roiled the eyecare sector with practice closings, PPE requirements and new in-office protocols for patients, among other challenges. But putting this “down time” to productive use has prepared many groups for a strong recovery.

Medical Model Helps Keplr Recover from the Pandemic as it Eyes the Future

By Mark Tosh
Sunday, April 25, 2021 10:57 AM BLOOMINGTON, Ill.—Things are beginning to feel more like normal to Nick Williams, chief executive of Keplr Vision, the management group formed in 2019 just nine months before COVID-19 upended what normal looked like. And this is not just because the Keplr Vision practices have been showing positive trends for months or that the rollout of vaccines has gained momentum across most of the country.

AEG Vision Used Downtime to Prepare for 2020’s Strong Finish

By Mark Tosh
Sunday, April 25, 2021 10:56 AM DALLAS—Despite being almost totally shut down for a few weeks in 2020—and yet keeping its entire staff on board and involved in some way—AEG Vision finished the challenging year at or near the targets set way back in 2019, and has rolled into 2021 with continuing momentum, according to chief executive Eric Anderson.

VSP Ventures Creates Patient-First Alternative for Indy ODs

By Mark Tosh
Sunday, April 25, 2021 10:55 AM RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif.—The sentiment at VSP Ventures is that it’s a busy period, but it’s a good kind of busy, with ongoing efforts to help the practices now under its operating umbrella continue their recovery from COVID-19’s impact while working with prospective ODs who want to become new Ventures practices. This combination produced a busy fourth quarter for VSP Ventures, a unit of VSP Global, and expectations of an active year on the partnership front in 2021.

Total Vision Sets Goals Around Improving Patient, Team Member Experience

By Mark Tosh
Sunday, April 25, 2021 10:54 AM MISSION VIEJO, Calif.—As is often the case, it was the behind-the-scenes work of its employee team that enabled Total Vision to quickly regain its footing in 2020 and finish the year with a strong surge. These efforts included securing PPE and facilitating vaccinations for team members, working with the California Optometric Association on practice and safety protocols and helping patients feel comfortable about their in-office experience at practice locations across California, according to Total Vision executives.

Clear Sight Partners to Blend Ophthalmology, Medical Optometry and Retail Services

By Mark Tosh
Sunday, April 25, 2021 10:53 AM TAMPA, Fla.—The transactions that led to the launch of Clear Sight Partners (CSP) closed last November, chief executive officer Brian Hauser took the helm in December and in February 2021 a few key executives came on board to further kick-start the process of building a new management services organization. The goal of the new group, which is backed by San Francisco-based investment firm Spanos Barber Jesse & Co. (SBJ), is to become “West Central Florida’s premier destination for fully-integrated ophthalmology, medical optometry and optical retail services.”

Meet the New Office: Out Go the Desks, In Come the Breakout Spaces and Armchairs

By Mark Tosh
Friday, March 26, 2021 8:30 AM NEW YORK—Many Americans have been working remotely for much of the past 12 months. But recently there has been much discussion about how and when those who have been out of their offices will begin the process of re-entry and what the office will look like when they arrive. The return to work in New York City took a step forward this week when mayor Bill de Blasio said city employees would begin making a return to their offices beginning May 3. “We’re going to make it safe, but we need our city workers back in their offices where they can do the most to help their fellow New Yorkers,” he said. Read on for a look at how some of the country’s biggest employers hope to get their workers back to life in the office.

After What We’ve All Been Through, the Optical Industry Is Pining for Baseball to Begin

By Mark Tosh
Tuesday, March 2, 2021 8:30 AM NEW YORK—Spring is in the air—at least we can hope. Yes, it does appear the tide is finally starting to turn against this awful year-long pandemic and perhaps even the harshest days of winter are winding down across the country. But another sure sign that a new spring isn’t far off is the start of the Major League Baseball season. Those magic words—pitchers and catchers are reporting—resonated against a wintry backdrop just two weeks ago and, thankfully, the real spring training games began this past weekend.

Health Care Gets a New Look

By Mark Tosh
Monday, February 8, 2021 12:00 AM There are times in life when we get caught up in places where we can’t see the forest for the trees. Chalk it up to outside distractions, a fixation on a single issue or, perhaps more likely in the current climate, a preoccupation with a global pandemic.