Sue Downes, president of MyEyeDr and
Lurue Lord, owner of Lord Eye Center.
Statesboro, GA. – MyEyeDr is continuing its expansion path with the acquisition of Lord Eye Center, based here, one of the country’s largest independent practices, with eight locations throughout Georgia, in a transaction completed last week. The terms of the deal were undisclosed. This follows closely after MyEyeDr’s acquisition of Doctors Vision Center on Jan. 2, 2014, as reported by VMail, all of which has been financed by an infusion of private equity capital from Monitor Clipper Partners in December 2012, as reported by VMail March 13, 2013.
Lord Eye Center has been owned and operated by Robert Whitman Lord, OD, along with his wife, Lurue, since its founding in 1978. Dr. Lord passed away on Jan. 7 after an extended illness caused by a brain tumor. Lurue Lord will continue on with the business and has joined MyEyeDr full-time. She will focus on strategic partnerships, identifying and assisting with integration of new acquisitions, and other ongoing operational responsibilities.
Lord said, “When we’d gotten the news about Whit’s diagnosis, it was devastating, of course, and we decided to look to the future because we wanted to be sure that what we’d worked so hard to build would be able to continue. We found that our two organizations were very like-minded. We felt it was the right choice for us, to enable us to help with our operations and carry on the culture and success we’d experienced at our organization.”
Sue Downes, president of MyEyeDr, told VMail, “MyEyeDr has been in discussions with Whit Lord and Lurue Lord for over a year. The talks began after Whit was unfortunately diagnosed with brain cancer and was looking for the right fit for the practice, staff, and patients he and Lurue had worked so hard to build since founding the organization in 1978. MyEyeDr is truly honored to have been selected by Whit and Lurue as the right culture fit and long term solution.” She noted that the two companies signed a purchase agreement in December and ultimately partnered on Jan. 31, shortly after Whit's passing.
With the addition of Lord Eye Center's eight locations in Statesboro, Savannah, Augusta, Martinez, Dublin, Kingsland, Rincon and Brunswick, MyEyeDr now has 91 offices and will be looking to actively expand further in Georgia by partnering with additional doctors who are interested in securing an attractive strategy for transitioning ownership of their practice, while continuing to provide high quality patient care in a group practice setting.
Added Downes, “Whit Lord and Lord Eye Center have such a respected name and legacy in the state of Georgia and across the industry, so our intention is to co-brand with MyEyeDr. We are so impressed with the organization that Whit and Lurue build and want to continue to honor that legacy.”
Whit Lord was born in Dublin, Ga., on Oct. 29, 1951 and grew up on the Lord family farm in Laurens County. He was a 1969 graduate of Dublin High School, attended the University of Georgia and received his doctorate of optometry from the Southern School of Optometry in Memphis, Tenn. At the time of his death, Dr. Lord was the longest serving member of the Georgia Board of Examiners in Optometry. He was a member of a national group of optometrists, VEC (Vision Enhancement Council) and was recognized on a national level for his affiliation with optometry leadership groups.
The family requests that memorial contributions be made to The Preston Tisch Brain Tumor Center, for GBM Research, Duke University Medical Center, DUMC Box 3624, Durham, NC 27710; or www.cancer.duke.edu/btc. Friends may sign the online registry book at the Joiner-Anderson Funeral Home of Statesboro.
EVP of Corporate Development