VSP'S History

In 1955, a small group of optometrists had a vision to provide access to affordable, high-quality eye care to the world. They formed the first prepaid, not-for-profit vision benefit company, California Vision Services, the precursor to Vision Service Plan (VSP).

Over the past 60-plus years, that vision has evolved into VSP Vision, a doctor-governed company that exists to create value for members and opportunities for VSP network doctors.

1950’s-1960’s

With a dream to offer affordable, accessible, high-quality eye care insurance, a group of optometrists in Oakland, CA, form the first prepaid, not-for-profit vision benefit organization – CVS (California Vision Services), the precursor to VSP.

1955

A group of optometrists in Oakland, Calif, form the first prepaid, not-for-profit vision benefit organization – CVS (California Vision Services), the precursor to VSP (Vision Service Plan), and ultimately VSP Vision.

1965

The idea of pre-paid vision care catches on and CVS signs a significant client, the Western Conference of Teamsters.

1968

With a growing client base and rapid business expansion, CVS moves its headquarters from Oakland to Sacramento, CA, under the leadership of John O'Donnell, the first president and CEO.

1970’s-1980’s

VSP reaches 100 employees and is available in four states: California, Oregon, Nevada and Hawaii. VSP signs its first major health plan client, marking VSP's entrance into the managed care market.

1972

CVS opens its first optical lab in Sacramento, CA, to better serve its members and network providers with a wide range of products and specialized services.

1976

CVS officially becomes Vision Service Plan (VSP) when it registers the VSP service mark.

1979

VSP signs its first major health plan client, marking VSP's entry into the managed care market.

1980's

VSP officially becomes a national company, with plans to expand to all 50 states.

Throughout the decade, the company continues to experience growth with 2.4 million members and a provider network of more than 5,000.

1990's

Vision care benefits grow increasingly popular among employers as they recognize the competitive advantage of providing their employees with a complete benefits package. As a result, membership increases 11 times to more than 31 million. By the end of the 90s, VSP earns $1 billion in revenue.

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1992

VSP launches Altair® Eyewear, a private-label frame company with a unique consignment business model, selling its products exclusively to VSP network providers.

1993

Roger Valine becomes president and CEO of VSP and the company moves its headquarters to Rancho Cordova, CA, where its campus is still located today.

1994

VSP's employee population reaches 1,000.

1995

VSP covers 25 million Americans and logs nearly 1,000,000 calls a month at its call centers.

1997

The Sight for Students® program launches, launches at America's Promise, delivering free vision care to thousands of children in need annually.

2000's

During the first decade of the millennium, VSP celebrates its 50th anniversary, launches Eyefinity, a business solutions company for practices, and buys the frame company Marchon. Additionally, VSP Optics Group opens three new optical labs and introduces the first UNITY product. With these endeavors, VSP vastly expands its footprint in the optical industry.

2000

VSP launches Eyefinity®, a company that provides business solutions and software to VSP network doctors.

2003

VSP opens its second high-tech optical lab, located outside Columbus, OH.

Eye Make A Difference, now a VSP Eyes of Hope® eyewear donations program, is introduced, offering VSP members the opportunity to donate their gently used glasses for VSP network doctors to take on global mission trips.

2004

VSP is recognized by J.D. Power and Associates, which ranked the company “Highest in Member Satisfaction Among National Vision Plans” three years in a row, 2004-2006.

50-years

2005

When Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the Gulf Coast, VSP was on the scene to replace lost or damaged eyewear and help doctors continue to provide care. The response, which provided eye care for 11,175 people, would lead to the development of the VSP Eyes of Hope® mobile clinics program.

In September, VSP celebrates its 50th anniversary. VSP also ranks 10th in Fortune Magazine's "Best 100 Companies to Work for."

2006

Rob Lynch takes the helm of VSP as president and CEO.

2007

VSP launches our first mobile eye care clinic, now a VSP Eyes of Hope® program, with eye exam rooms and a full eyewear dispensary. When not responding to disasters, the clinic will travel the U.S. to provide no-cost eye care and eyewear for people in need.

VSP begins offering a "direct to consumer" comprehensive eye care plan to those who don’t have access to vision coverage through an employer.

VSP purchases its third optical lab, Legends 4.0™, located in Lewisville, TX.

marchon

2008

VSP expands its existing frame and practice solutions business and goes international by acquiring Marchon, an industry-leading manufacturer, designer, and distributor of quality eyewear and sunwear. OfficeMate, Marchon’s practice solutions business, merges with Eyefinity to create Eyefinity/OfficeMate, and Altair becomes an eyewear division of Marchon.

VSP purchases its fourth optical lab, Ultra Lens, in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

2010's

VSP marked its 60th "Diamond" anniversary in 2015, celebrating the 80+ million members, 57,000 clients and 37,000 network providers we serve worldwide.

2010

VSP launches the VSP Eye on Diabetes campaign which provides free comprehensive eye exams and health risk assessments for diabetes and high blood pressure to at-risk populations in key cities across the U.S.

Vision Monday names VSP Labs the "Top Lab of 2010."

2011

VSP responds to the destruction caused by 358 tornadoes in 21 states with mobile eye care clinics to help survivors regain their sight after losing or breaking their glasses. VSP also provided the American Red Cross with 3,000 gift certificates valued at $1.15 million to distribute to community members affected by the destruction.

The VSP Eye on Wellness program launches, helping doctors achieve their annual continuing education requirements at no cost to them, while empowering them with the latest research and data on important subject matters impacting the profession.

VSP Optics launches UNITY® Performance Optics.

2012

VSP Vision provides disaster relief for survivors of Superstorm Sandy with two VSP mobile eye care clinics and gives the American Red Cross 2,100 gift certificates, valued at more than $800,000, to distribute to those in need.

Marchon acquires Dragon Alliance, one of the world’s leading goggle and performance eyewear brands in the action sports market, and Scandinavian Eyewear, which has a 65-year history of designing optical frames for the Nordic region.

Inc. Magazine names VSP Vision a top job creator in 2012, ranking it 11th in its inaugural "Hire Power Awards" which recognizes businesses that are adding jobs and rebuilding the economy. Further, the organization was ranked 4th in California as a top job creator.

In December, VSP Vision forms an innovation arm, designed to embrace disruption and test new products and business models—The Shop. (The Shop evolves into the Global Innovation Center in 2020.)

2013

VSP Vision launches Eyes of Hope®, a global corporate social responsibility initiative to increase access to eye care, eyewear, and disaster relief where it's needed most. The launch unites multiple charitable programs, including our mobile eye care clinics, gift certificates, eyewear donations, and disaster relief.

VSP Vision introduces the Premier Program, a national community of private practices that offer the best patient experience, where VSP members can maximize their benefits and Premier Program practices have access to valuable opportunities.

glass

2014

VSP Vision creates a new Retail division to give consumers more choice in eye care, eyewear, and shopping experiences.

VSP announces a partnership to provide prescription lenses for members who use Google Glass and introduces a training program for optometrists to become certified as VSP Glass Preferred Providers. Marchon and The Shop (now the Global Innovation Center) also team up with licensor Diane von Furstenberg and Google to launch the DVF | Made for Glass collection.

2015

VSP welcomes its fourth president and CEO, Jim McGrann.

Through The Shop (now the Global Innovation Center), VSP Vision debuts "Project Genesis," the first wearable tech prototype from a healthcare company to seamlessly integrate health-tracking technology into an optical frame.

2016

VSP Vision achieves a huge milestone — helping 1 million people see through Eyes of Hope® programs and announces the A Million More initiative to provide no-cost eye care and eyewear to an additional 1 million individuals in need by 2020.

The Shop (now the Global Innovation Center) collaborates with Nike Vision and Zeiss to create a new, innovative line of running eyewear that combines Nike's expertise in athletic performance and VSP Vision's expertise in eyewear design.

2017

VSP Vision and the U.S. Conference of Mayors renew their partnership to increase access to vision care for thousands of adults and children in need.

In response to natural disasters, including Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, VSP Vision supports 18 VSP network doctors, and provides access to care to more than 11,000 individuals.

2018

Michael J. Guyette takes the helm as President and CEO of VSP Vision.

Level Glasses

VSP Vision launches Level smart glasses, featuring activity-tracking technology seamlessly embedded inside the temple of an optical frame. Level was designed and developed by VSP's Global Innovation Center with frames produced by Marchon Italy.

VSP Eyes of Hope® introduces Odyssee our newest mobile eye care clinic, as part of our commitment to provide no-cost vision care for 3 million people in need by 2020.

VSP Eyes of Hope® teams up with GLAM4GOOD and Dr. Héctor Santiago to provide disaster relief to hundreds of pediatric cancer patients and other Hurricane Maria survivors in Puerto Rico.

Following the Camp Fire that devastated the community of Paradise, Calif., VSP Vision provides disaster relief for nearly 900 survivors and supports local doctors whose practices were damaged or closed.

2019

We See, a multiyear project, successfully concludes with a donation of optometric equipment to increase ongoing access to vision care in Soweto, South Africa.

Nearly a year after the Camp Fire, VSP Eyes of Hope® and GLAM4GOOD return to Paradise, Calif., for the reopening of the local schools, treating more than 300 teachers, staff, and students to an unforgettable back-to-school experience.

2020's

VSP clarifies its purpose to empower human potential through sight and evolves with a new brand name – VSP Vision.

VSP Vision logo

2022

Over the years, VSP Global has continued to evolve, but one thing that has always stayed the same is a focus on care for everyone we serve: providers, members, clients, and consumers. With so much more to offer than ever before, VSP Global rebrands as VSP Vision to clearly convey our emphasis as a health-focused vision company. Curious about our logo? Watch how the new logo was born from our brand’s rich history.