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.

Time to Pick a Side: Are You a ‘Go Tigers,’ or a 'Geaux Tigahs’ Fan on Monday?

By Mark Tosh
Friday, January 10, 2020 11:00 AM NEW YORK—Are you ready for the college football season to end? Well, Monday night is your night. That’s the day of the much-anticipated championship game showdown between this season’s two college football heavyweights. The undefeated Tigers of LSU (14-0) take on the undefeated and defending champion Tigers of Clemson (14-0). It’s going to be a cat fight, no doubt, once the game gets started shortly after 8 p.m. (ET) at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

Social Purpose

By Gwendolyn Plummer and Mark Tosh
Monday, December 16, 2019 12:30 AM It’s been 50 years since the renowned economist Milton Friedman published his signature 1970 essay, “The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase its Profits,” in The New York Times. The world has certainly changed over the past five decades, as has the view of the role business should play in a more socially conscious, consumer-empowered world. But one thing has remained fairly consistent: businesses are powerful. Indeed, perhaps more powerful than ever, according to a Kantar Consulting report, “Purpose 2020 – Inspiring Purpose-Led Growth.”

Acuity Eyecare Group Rebrands to Reflect Evolution and Growth

By Mark Tosh
Monday, December 16, 2019 12:00 AM DALLAS—As it completes the year with strong and steady growth, Acuity Eyecare Group has set its sights on continuing its success in 2020, but with an updated name, brand identity and company logo. The firm, which operates leading eyecare groups across the U.S. and has backing by private equity group Riata Capital, early this month announced a new name, AEG Vision, along with other corporate updates. The company, based here, said the rebranding reflects its evolution and its commitment to full-scope medical optometry. The changes were effective December 2, and include a redesign of the company’s website, logo, graphics and communications, according to the announcement. The new website address is: www.AEGVision.com.

Historic First: Seven of 10 Students Who Entered Optometry Schools This Fall Are Female

By Mark Tosh
Wednesday, November 27, 2019 2:22 PM For what is believed to be the first time, the percentage of women who entered North American schools and colleges of optometry this fall increased to the 70 percent plateau, Women In Optometry reported this month. The publication cited data from the 25 optometry schools surveyed for its report, which also found an overall increase of 28 students in optometry schools this fall compared with a year ago.

Specialized Optometry

By By Marge Axelrad, Andrew Karp, Mark Tosh and Brian Dunleavy
Monday, November 11, 2019 12:30 AM NEW YORK—We are living in an age of specialization. Today we can get virtually anything we want from a business whose only business is delivering a certain type of product or service, whether it’s a vegan restaurant or Victoria’s Secret. Optometry, like many medical professions, is being reshaped by the specialization trend. Modern living has changed the way we use our eyes, and many optometrists, particularly those in private practice, have responded by developing specialties to address specific patient needs. Some specialties, such as pediatrics and low vision, have been long established in optometry, while others, like dry eye management and neuro-optometry are more recent additions. Yet all seem to be benefitting from the advent of new technologies and treatment methods which are bringing exciting changes to vision care.

Digging into Digital Ad Trends

By Mark Tosh
Monday, November 11, 2019 12:00 AM From a media perspective, staying on top of internet advertising trends is a “must-do” today. But marketers, too, have more reason than ever to be aware of the developments taking place in digital advertising.

Tricks, Treats and Tweets from Optical's Halloween

By Mark Tosh
Friday, November 1, 2019 4:00 PM Halloween may date back almost 2000 years, but as holidays go it certainly has aged well. Indeed, one might say Halloween is looking better than ever. The proof is all over social media. And the optical community – judging by the numerous posts we spotted on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter – appeared to have an outrageously good time celebrating Halloween this year. Costumes, cookies and comic images were ubiquitous on social media for many eyecare practices and their staffs, from New York to Los Angeles and just about everywhere in between.

Dashboard Data

By Mark Tosh
Monday, October 21, 2019 12:30 AM From health care to retail, data has become an invaluable resource for businesses and practitioners. It’s what many see as the key ingredient to better meeting, and exceeding, consumer or patient expectations, and it provides a critical yardstick for measuring success across a variety of metrics. In eyecare and optical retailing, the growing interest in data also has led to an increase in the number of options partner companies are developing that collect, track and analyze the data for ECPs to draw upon to manage their practice. From software and tech companies to alliances and large retail groups, a dashboard or other analytical tools have become part of the de facto offering to member ECPs.

Talking Baseball, Eyewear and the World Series: Five Stories for October

By Mark Tosh
Friday, October 4, 2019 8:00 AM Spoiler alert: at the end of this story, we pick the likely winner of this year’s World Series. Hint, it won’t be the Red Sox. (Or the New York Mets.) But that’s getting ahead of the point here in this Today’s Read feature. Since it is October and World Series season, baseball seems like an appropriate topic to address. Also, it’s a perfect topic because almost everyone loves baseball and its lore, or at least a large group of us over the age of 40 still do.

TSO Finds Success by Focusing on Convenience for the Patient

By Mark Tosh
Monday, September 16, 2019 1:00 AM HOUSTON—There’s really no secret sauce or magic ingredient that goes into Texas State Optical’s (TSO) formula for success, according to president John Marvin. It all comes down to a “pretty basic” approach to managing a business on the foundation of sound core values and a resolute mission statement. And, perhaps most importantly, serving patients as effectively as possible—with plenty of emphasis on meeting the patients’ needs even as they evolve in a digitally driven marketplace.

Looking to the Future of Contact Lens Development With BCLA Medal Winner Lyndon Jones

By Mark Tosh
Friday, September 6, 2019 8:00 AM It’s been a busy 2019 for the contact lens sector of eyecare. Alcon once again became an independent company (following its spinoff from Novartis) and Johnson and Johnson debuted Acuvue Oasys with Transitions lenses, a first-of-its-kind contact lens that can sense lighting conditions.