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 1,300 eye doctors in California 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.
Sandra Sellani, VP Marketing
Prior to joining the team at NVISION, Sandra Sellani served as VP, Marketing for Sperry Van Ness International, Inc. The company grew from $14 to $140M in revenues, transitioning from a local Orange Country brokerage firm, to one of the top five commercial brokers in the nation. Sandra spent more than 15 years in healthcare marketing including six years Charter Medical Corporation, a Fortune 500 company and the largest for-profit psychiatric and substance abuse hospital system in the world. She also oversaw the sales and marketing functions of CosmetiCare Plastic Surgery Specialists, Newport Beach, United Western Medical Centers Psychiatrics Services Divisions, Orange County, and Oakview Healthcare Corporation, Glendora, California.
Sandra released her first book, “What’s Your BQ?” (Brand Quotient), (WBusiness Books, 2007) which received positive acclaim from critics including best-selling author and world-renowned brand guru Laura Ries, author of “The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding.” The book launched to #2 in Marketing/Product Development on Amazon.com. She has been quoted by more than 50 publications on her branding methods including Investors’ Business Daily, Yahoo! Finance and Sales and Service Excellence Magazine. The same year, she was listed as one of Orange County’s “Top Women to Watch” by OC Metro Magazine. She is currently working on a second branding book scheduled to be released in late 2012.
Sandra has an Executive MBA from Pepperdine University, Malibu, California.
Gil Villavecer, Vice President of Sales, NVISION
As vice president of sales for NVISION, Gil Villavecer is 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,” he says. “My greatest challenge is to take a strong team and motivate them to be even better.”
Gil is approaching his task of changing the face of the sales team by focusing on creating a positive outlook and enthusiasm. His goal is to set the tone himself 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.
Gil holds degrees in biology and chemistry and was considering a career in health care when he discovered his natural skills in sales. His minor in psychology has come in handy every day when evaluating what motivates people to action. Most recently, Villavecer spent 13 years in sales in the dental industry. “I’m moving up in the world,” he says. “I’ve gone from teeth to eyes.”
After years of extensive national and international business travel, Gil is happy to go home every night to his family in Orange County. He relaxes by mountain biking and playing basketball, and annually takes his two sons to Alaska for some salmon and halibut fishing.
“My job is to fire up the sales team because they are the engine of the organization,” he says. “I motivate them to be both professional and fun because without that, how do you get the customer excited?”
James Pereyra, Vice President of Business Development, NVISION
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‘s executive team in 2012. Laura oversees operations for all 17 Center locations throughout California. 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 Berkley and her law degree from Hastings College of Law in San Francisco.
Wendy Burden, Chief Financial Officer
Wendy has joined NVISION Laser Eye Centers to oversee NVISION’s finance, IT and HR functions for the company. Wendy has a tremendous track record in all of these areas as well as operations and strategy.
Burden began her career at Pepsi and was promoted several times to her taking on the position of CFO for Eastern Europe, and ultimately VP/General Manager of a $630 million business for Pepsi.
Prior to joining NVISION, Burden was CFO/EVP of CLRS Technology and IVIU Technologies – two early stage medical device/technology companies in Costa Mesa, Calif.
Burden received her Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics, Computer Science from The University at Albany and her MBA in Finance from New York University.