VSP Vision Care Announces Winner of First-Ever Marvin R. Poston Leadership Award
Award recognizes leadership and diversity in optometry efforts
Rancho Cordova, Calif., August 18, 2014 – 59 years ago near Oakland, California, Dr. Marvin Poston and several of his fellow optometrists formed California Vision Services, now known as VSP® Vision Care, one of five innovative businesses comprising VSP Global®. With Dr. Poston’s entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to help others as inspiration, VSP is pleased to announce the VSP Marvin R. Poston Leadership Award.
The first-ever recipient of this annual award is Alexis Broussard, a 2nd year optometry student and president of the National Optometric Student Association (NOSA) chapter at Nova Southeastern University, College of Optometry in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Ms. Broussard was presented with the Award during the National Optometric Association’s 46th annual conference in Washington, D.C. on July 26, 2014.
“I am extremely grateful and thankful for being selected as the first recipient of the VSP Marvin R. Poston Leadership Award,” said Alexis Broussard, president of the NOSA chapter at Nova Southeastern University, College of Optometry. “Receipt of this award has strengthened my confidence and will allow me to take on other leadership roles in the future without fear or hesitation.”
Jim McGrann, president of VSP Vision Care said, “VSP was founded in supporting growth and diversity in optometry. The VSP Marvin R. Poston Leadership Award is one more way we can invest in the future leaders of optometry as they pursue a career of leadership and service to help others see what’s possible.”
Qualification criteria for the Marvin R Poston Leadership Award include:
- Optometry student in in good academic standing with a minimum GPA of 3.0.
- Active member of NOSA, serving in a leadership role with the national organization or local chapter.
- Committed to a career of leadership and service to the profession of Optometry.
- Business-minded student who is preparing for a career in private-practice optometry.
The VSP Marvin R. Poston Leadership Award is determined by a committee of VSP employees at the NOSA Leadership Academy, who evaluate the leadership characteristics of NOSA chapter officers. Along with the recognition, the recipient receives a one-time financial award of $2,500.
Dr. Marvin Poston (1915 – 2002) was the first African American individual in optometry to achieve: Admission to the University of California, Berkeley School of Optometry; graduate from University of California, Berkeley School of Optometry in 1939 (the second African American optometrist to graduate was in 1962); licensed to practice optometry on the west coast of the United States; and, honored as the Optometrist of the Year by the American Optometric Association and California Optometric Association.
Dr. Poston was also appointed to three terms on the California State Board of Optometry by Governors Edmund G. “Pat” Brown and Ronald Reagan.
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About VSP Global
VSP Global® unites industry-leading businesses to bring the highest quality eye care and eyewear products and services to help people see across the globe. VSP Global businesses include not-for-profit VSP® Vision Care, the largest vision care company with more than 71 million members and a network of 30,000 eye doctors in the U.S., Australia, United Kingdom, Canada and Ireland; Marchon® Eyewear Inc., one of the three largest global manufacturers, designers and distributors of quality fashion and technologically advanced eyewear and sunwear; Eyefinity®, the largest EHR and premier practice management software company for the eye care industry; VSP Optics Group, industry leaders in new lens technologies, production processes, service and logistics; and VSP Retail, delivering a memorable consumer experience through a variety of channels that meet the diverse needs of VSP customers. VSP Global businesses operate in 100 countries on 6 continents.
The National Optometric Student Association (NOSA) is the student extension of the National Optometric Association (NOA) and is a service organization dedicated to providing the delivery of effective and adequate eye care to the minority and underserved communities. In addition NOSA creatively markets the field of optometry in an effort to increase recruitment and retention of underrepresented minorities into the profession.
There are several NOSA chapters across the country and we are continuing to grow tremendously. Each chapter works toward increasing awareness about the field of optometry. A few examples of ways in which we participate in various activities include our ODs of Tomorrow initiative. Though this initiative, chapters speak to students at various levels in their academic education about the importance of minorities in Optometry.
The National Optometric Association (NOA) was founded in 1969 in Richmond, Virginia, as a not-for-profit corporation The NOA is comprised primarily of minority optometrists from throughout the United States. Activities are administered through a board of directors and regional officers.
The recruitment of minority students into the schools and colleges of optometry and their placement into appropriate practice settings upon graduation are two priorities of the NOA. Coincident with these priorities is the underlying purpose of the NOA -- advancing the visual health of minority populations through the delivery of effective and efficient eye and vision care services to the minority community.