EXECUTIVE TEAM BIOS
Tom Tooma, MD, Founder
A pioneer in the world of LASIK surgery, Dr. Tooma was a principal investigator in the field of laser vision correction in 1993 and 1994. He helped several excimer laser manufacturers obtain FDA approvals for their lasers in the United States. He holds the record for many firsts. He was the first doctor in California to perform LASIK surgery and was the first to perform Custom Wavefront Guided LASIK. He was also the first to use the FemtoSecond Laser (IntraLase FS30 – All Laser LASIK), which is safer and more precise than a traditional blade and also increases the patient’s chances of achieving 20/20 or better vision. He was the first in California to use the Ziemer FEMTO LDV™ Crystal Line laser, currently the most advanced laser available for LASIK surgery.
In 1999, Dr. Tooma partnered with TLC Laser Eye Centers. In 2010, Dr. Tooma was TLC’s largest franchisee with 10 locations in California. At that time he separated from TLC and rebranded under the name NVISION Laser Eye Centers. This separation has enabled Dr. Tooma to develop new product lines and expand into new geographic markets. NVISION now provides LASIK, but is the first eye center in California to perform cataract surgery with the LenSx Laser, bringing increase safety and accuracy to the procedure. NVISION also offers laser treatment for dry-eyes, and Glaucoma surgery. Dr. Tooma has developed relationships with 1,700 eye doctors in California and Nevada who choose NVISION for themselves and for their patients who need surgery.
Dr. Tooma received his M.D. from Loma Linda University School of Medicine, where he also completed his internship in internal medicine and residency in ophthalmology. He completed his fellowship in Corneal Surgery and External Disease at the Emory University Department of Ophthalmology in Atlanta, Georgia. He has been board certified in ophthalmology for more than 25 years.
Dr. Tooma has done medical teaching missions to Romania, Bulgaria, China and Fiji, helping teach local ophthalmology doctors about LASIK procedures. In 2008, he and his wife, Maria Tooma DDS, founded the Mission at Natuvu Creek in Fiji. The Mission provides medical care to the 250,000 local people, with dental and ocular care provided by visiting physicians, including the Toomas.
Todd Cooper, Chief Executive Officer
Todd Cooper joined NVISION as Chief Executive Officer in 2011. Prior to joining NVISION, Todd served as a General Manager at Henry Schein, a $7.8 billion healthcare company. In his role, he was responsible for their $400M medical surgical business. While there, he helped drive strong growth even during the recession of the core surgical business, the private brand business and the growing services/e-commerce business.
Previously, Todd served as the Senior Vice President of Discus, an aesthetic dental company, where he played an important role in growing an entrepreneurial based company from $60 million to $165 million in sales over a five-year period, including helping build the #1 professional teeth whitening system in the world and acquiring their key competitor, Brite Smile. He also helped drive other acquisitions, strategic alliances and global expansion into 90 countries.
Todd also serves on the Board of Ortho Accel, a medical device company and has previously served on the Board of the Health Care Distributors Association. Over his career, Todd has held General Manager, business development and marketing roles in medical devices, surgical, medical aesthetics, dental, consumer products and healthcare technology.
His accomplishments include strategically defining and leading very substantial growth in revenues and profits, hundreds of new product launches, strategic partnerships, acquisitions, financing, organizational and company change management, building global teams, establishment and rapid expansion of international operations.
Mimi Somerman, VP Marketing
Prior to joining NVISION Laser Eye Centers, Somerman was Senior Vice President of Marketing for the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board where she led marketing initiatives that drove an incremental 500,000 visitors to Los Angeles who spent an incremental $200 million.
She has also held roles as Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Johnny Rockets, Del Taco and Mimi’s Café. Early in her career, Somerman progressed from marketing management and field marketing positions to General Manager during her 12-year tenure at PepsiCo.
Somerman has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business, Magna Cum Laude from Cal State Dominquez Hills, and an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Business.
Catharine Giles, Vice President of Affiliate Relations
As vice president of Affiliate Relations for NVISION, Catharine Giles is responsible for galvanizing NVISION’s sales team and creating a sense of excitement in the ranks. “I’m here to introduce best practices to our sales efforts and operations,” she says. “My greatest challenge is to take a strong team and motivate them to be even better.”
Catharine is approaching her task of changing the face of the sales team by focusing on creating a positive outlook and enthusiasm. Her goal is to set the tone herself and propel the group to be responsive, available, personable, and informed health care professionals who know their craft and provide a valuable service to NVISION’s network of referring eye doctors.
Catharine has over 13 years of consultative medical sales management experience.
Prior to joining NVISION, she was with Addus Healthcare, a national provider of post-acute care services, where she served as Interim Senior Vice President, managing both sales and operations. In her role, she managed a one hundred million dollar business with 48 sales managers in 19 states while concurrently managing the operations function. Catharine holds a Bachelor Degree in Biology and a Bachelor Degree in Psychology from UC Irvine.
James Pereyra, Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Planning
As vice president of business development for NVISION, James Pereyra’s mission is to form new opportunities for the company, including mergers and acquisitions and relationships with large accounts. “I work with corporations, referral networks, hospital systems and insurance companies,” he says. “I cultivate relationships to not just build business, but to build the right kind of business.”
Having done mergers and acquisitions from “both sides of the table,” James says that integration is always the biggest objective, specifically ensuring that the employees of the acquired company feel like they have a new home and are assimilated into the processes. Cultivating a sense of belonging is the key to a successful merger.
James is genuinely interested in people and their stories and relies on his natural curiosity and intuition to understand what people need when doing business with NVISION. Being successful in new business requires sensitivity, empathy, and emotional intelligence – all gifts that James demonstrates on a daily basis.
Originally from Texas, James moved to Orange County in his teens and has lived in California most of his life. He and his wife travel the world and have the goal of visiting every country. But despite his wanderlust, James is a homebody and at the end of every trip, he relishes coming home to his two Chihuahuas.
James knows that cultivating symbiotic relationships is key to strategic growth. “Business development is the successful marriage of analytics and humanity,” he says. “The personal side of the business helps ensure the success of the financial side. Without both you cannot unlock the true value of acquisitions.”
Laura Sullivan, Vice President of Operations
Laura joined NVISION Laser Eye Centers‘ executive team in 2012. Laura oversees operations for all 17 Center locations throughout California and Nevada. Laura has significant experience in integrating acquired locations via training, work flow, rebranding and on-boarding of new surgeons and clinical staff.
Prior to joining NVISION, Sullivan was head of operations for Bosley, a hair replacement company with 23 surgical centers. She has a bachelor of arts degree from UC Berkeley and her law degree from Hastings College of Law in San Francisco.
Paul Craig, Chief Financial Officer
Prior to joining NVISION, Craig was Chief Budget & Planning Officer of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, located in South-Central Los Angeles.
Craig has more than 30 years of financial and operational leadership experience, as a CPA and as CFO of medical services management, marketing, insurance/financial services, and technology companies.
He has developed young entrepreneurial companies and improved mature organizations by introducing financial and operating discipline or infrastructure during periods of rapid growth or change, working closely with operating management as a fiscal partner. His expertise includes financial procedures and controls, capital raising and performance reporting.
Craig has a Bachelor of Science degree, Magna Cum Laude, in Accounting from Loyola Marymount University, and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).