Ali Mostaghimi, president (l) and Greg Watson, executive director.

HOUSTON—Today’s Vision Licensing Corporation (TVLC) has changed leadership for the first time in its 15-year history and has named Dr. Ali Mostaghimi as president. At 39, he is one of the youngest doctor presidents of a major U.S. optometry group, the company pointed out. Dr. Mostaghimi succeeds Dr. Donald Glenz, who founded Today’s Vision in 1984 as a franchise group. Dr. Glenz continued as the TVLC president after he and partner Stig Pederson sold to the original 22 doctors who founded TVLC. After 42 years practicing in Houston, Dr. Glenz recently sold his practice.

With $38 million in revenue, TVLC ranked 26th among Vision Monday 2018 Top 50 U.S. Optical Retailers, based on 2017 sales. It presently has 53 licensees, primarily in major Texas cities. It is in negotiations to add six more licensees by mid-year 2019, the company said. Licensees own their own offices and make their own decisions, but work together like an association to further their collective interests.

Dr. Mostaghimi and two other younger optometrists now make up the TVLC board majority. The younger leadership is reflective of the fact that almost 60 percent of TVLC offices have joined during the past decade. All new TVLC offices have been start-up practices.

“Today’s Vision helped young OD’s like me quickly become million-dollar plus practices, and we hope to continue that tradition of expertise sharing to guide the next generation of new TVLC licenses,” Dr. Mostaghimi said. “TVLC’s unique sharing model—the only one of its kind in the U.S.—will continue to improve.”

TVLC licensees have always paid a flat rate (now $500) for their monthly dues. “Those dues and financial incentives with various lab, frame and contact lens vendors generate the budget,” Dr. Mostaghimi said. “But instead of each member earning a small piece of the pie like being a part of a buying group, we aggregate all the co-op funds. After operational costs, the board utilizes profits to purchase programs and services equally for each licensee —regardless of time within TVLC or years of operation. And our discounts are the same for each licensee whatever their revenue."

“We believe that sharing in a larger pool of dollars benefits all,” he said. As TVLC has grown, so have the benefits such that these benefits are now almost double what a licensee pays in annual dues. And TVLC has other programs that pay licensees directly depending on their selling of premium products.”

Examples of TVLC-paid benefits include managed care credentialing; Solution Reach; Vue Care; Frames Data; Eyes on Hold; I Matrix (individual office websites), and YEXT (web directory listings for search engine optimization). TVLC conducts quarterly CE meetings and an annual meeting each year (and pays for doctor’s airfare and hotel—the 2019 TVLC Annual Meeting will be Memorial Day weekend at the Ritz Carlton in New Orleans). For the past five years, TVLC has provided a minimum of $1,500 to each office to spend as it desires.TVLC reimburses doctors for their annual optometry license fee and pays for various marketing materials. Each location has its own section on the Today's Vision website. And TVLC has an owners-only Facebook page for clinical and business information sharing.

“These are annual benefits,” Dr. Mostaghimi said. “But the real value for a new start-up practice is our special site selection model and demographics to determine a prime location; securing financing; finding a contractor and advising on construction; sharing financial data such as budgets and pro forma documents; guiding the doctor through vendor setup and frame selection as well as providing discounts on equipment and other items.”

“Most important, our executive director, Greg Watson, is hands-on throughout the process sharing his knowledge and connecting resources internally and externally,” said Dr. Mostaghimi. “Mr. Watson has been involved in every new Today’ Vision licensee start-up and begins his consultation typically six months before an office even opens.”

In addition to implementing more technological advances, the new TVLC hopes to continue its recruitment of a culturally-diverse group of success-oriented doctors, said Dr. Mostaghimi. “With our younger leadership, TVLC can understand their challenges and be more responsive than a good old boy network. And new licensees can trust they will be joining a dynamic group of their contemporaries.”