PLEASE LET ME INTRODUCE MYSELF

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This is my first column as the new owner of First Vision Media Group and publisher of VCPN, OLP and Optometric Office. However, I’ve written hundreds since 1999 when I first became a publisher. My passion has always been in the marketing communications field, and after college I worked for a B2B advertising agency for several years.

However, an offer from a large trade publisher lured me away. I worked there for the next 20 years. In 2005, I saw an opportunity to start my own company and have been leading it ever since.

For the last dozen years we’ve specialized in writing about business management topics for owners of small, medium and large mechanical systems companies. Many of the topics we cover would also be relevant for owners in the vision care industry, including strategy, leadership, finance, marketing, social media, hiring, sales and much more. And, I hope to incorporate some of those topics into what we do here at FVMG. We’ll also get back to our roots, “products and news.” We were founded on this category, and according to recent research we’ve conducted, this is the type of content you want more of—and we’ll deliver.

Of course, your input is always welcome. In fact, we’ll be conducting readership studies over the course of the next year, inviting your comments about exactly the type of content you are looking for in optical trade publications. The VCPN readership study will be conducted in February, and the Optometric Office readership study will be conducted in March.

Frank, Shawn and I have been working on this deal for just over a year. That may seem like a long time, but when you stop to consider all that goes into a sale and acquisition, it’s difficult to imagine doing it any more quickly than that. I’ve acquired two companies and have learned there are several very important steps that need to be taken. Most notably, however, there has to be some chemistry between the buyer and seller or negotiations can easily get bogged down and go into stalemate. So, I’m thankful we had that working for us throughout the process.

No matter the size of the company, the discovery and due diligence process is just that, a process. Neither side wants to get burned; as a result, it simply takes time. From a seller’s perspective, you’re hopeful to attract a buyer who will build upon the blood, sweat and tears you’ve poured into “your” company (in this case, for the last 17 years). From a buyer’s perspective, you look for a good company with a solid foundation you believe can go to the next level. I believe we all found what we were looking for.

I’m looking forward to meeting our subscribers at the many upcoming industry events such as Vision Expo East and West as well numerous others. And, to our many advertisers, I’ll be seeing you soon—based on my itinerary I’ll be moving up a level on United’s frequent flier program.

Should you like to reach out before we meet in person I would welcome your call or email and can be reached at 440.471.7810 and TTanker@FVMG.com.

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