Dreaming Big

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They say you can get a glimpse at your future by looking at who your friends are. Raised by hardworking parents who emigrated from Norway and became professional fishermen, my one goal growing up was to go to college. Getting a college degree was expected of me, and I thought that was as far as I’d go. When I got to college, however, I became fast friends with some kids who came from professional families, all with goals beyond college. I looked at my new friends and looked at myself and thought, “I’m just as smart as they are; why can’t I go beyond college too?” Those friends, who went on to become doctors and lawyers, encouraged me to dream bigger and to pursue a career in optometry. Like my friends, I went on to achieve my dreams, building a successful optometry practice.

A career in private practice optometry gave me the professional success I had dreamt about. It also brought personal fulfillment beyond my wildest dreams. As a people person, I love caring for my patients and staff, and I get to do that every day. In our practice, we use the servant style of leadership, with the owners at the bottom of the pile, supporting the staff, who in turn support the patients at the top. Every decision we make takes the patients’ needs into account, from participating in the VSP Vision Premier Program, which provides cost-saving benefits to patients and the practice, to ensuring our employees are engaged and empowered to provide the best care. Patients coming into the practice sense they are the top priority, and they refer their friends and families to us because of the positive experience they have.

It recently became time to look at the next chapter for the practice, which has been in business for 63 years. With the partners at or nearing retirement age, we wanted an exit strategy that preserved the legacy we and the original owners worked so hard to build. What had started as a small office had become a popular, multi-location practice known for its high-quality care of patients and the community, and we wanted that to continue.

Based on our long-standing relationship with VSP and their steadfast commitment to private practice optometry, VSP Ventures was the only option we considered for the practice transition. We knew VSP Ventures would ensure our patients and staff continued to receive the level of care they had grown to expect, and that we could be comfortable knowing our legacy was preserved. The transition to a VSP Ventures partnership was seamless, and today, I get to spend my days focusing on what I love most—caring for my patients while the practice continues to flourish.

I’m still good friends with those kids from college who showed me how to dream big. “As Eye See It,” the dreams just keep getting bigger—for myself, as I enter this new chapter in life, and for the practice, which will continue to care for our community in the way I dreamt it would.

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