Thomas A. Fessler
Caruso School of Law | JD 1983
Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel, VSP Global
Thomas Fessler has successfully led the legal department for VSP Global for 14 years. VSP Global, with revenues of seven billion, celebrated its 65th anniversary in 2020 and offers a suite of vision care services and products to its vision care members and clients.
What does being an honoree of the Outstanding Alumni in Healthcare campaign mean to you?
It reinforces my decision to join VSP Global in 2006 and enter the healthcare industry for the first time in my professional career of more than 25 years.
Describe your road to success.
Be prepared to take career risks such as accepting a foreign assignment, learning a second language, pursuing a non-legal business role or working in a different industry. There is no substitution for experience.
Who has helped you achieve success in your career?
At this point in my career, I now have an executive coach to augment my leadership skills but heretofore the CEOs I served did much to advance my business acumen, professional reputation, and legal career.
Describe a lesson you've learned from a challenging time in your career or life.
Never take yourself too seriously – learn to be humble and act as a steward to the stakeholders you serve, represent or lead.
How do you prepare for a busy day?
Identify and address two or three critical matters that require my immediate attention. In short, learn to prioritize.
"Be prepared to take career risks such as accepting a foreign assignment, learning a second language, pursuing a non-legal business role or working in a different industry. There is no substitution for experience."
Thomas Fessler (JD '83)
What's next for you?
Dedicate my best efforts to raise my two young children so they can make a real difference no matter what path or career they choose in their adult years.
What is your mantra or favorite quote?
Recognize you can make a difference every day.