Fifty-nine years ago near Oakland, CA, 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 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.

“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 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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