Dr. Soto was born in Tampa, Florida but moved to Sarasota as a child when his father started working for Loewe Optical Company. His father, Fred E. Soto, Sr., would purchase Loewe Optical and change its name to Soto Opticians. Eventually, he owned 9 stores along Florida’s west coast, one of which would become Soto Eye Center. Soto, Sr. went on to serve 12 years on the Sarasota City Commission and then become Mayor of Sarasota.
Frederick E. Soto, Jr. graduated from Sarasota High School in 1972. As a sousaphone player in Meredith Wilson’s 1,076 piece marching band, he played at the grand opening of Walt Disney World. He continued this passion at Florida State University where he played in the Marching Chiefs. A highlight was traveling to Amman, Jordan and Damascus, Syria to play for King Hussein of Jordan. He received an Associate of Arts Certificate from FSU in 1974.
He wanted to follow his father’s path in the eye industry, however, Soto, Jr. had aspirations to go a step further. He attended the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee. In 1977, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in biology with a minor in physics and in 1979, a Doctor of Optometry degree. Dr. Soto came back to Sarasota to open his private optometric practice in September 1980.
After years of working, Dr. Soto went back to school and received a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Sarasota (now Argosy University) in 2000, a Master of Public Health degree from the University of South Florida in 2001, and a Juris Doctor degree from Stetson University College of Law in 2006. He has been a member of the Florida Bar since 2007.
In 2019, Soto Eye Center partnered with Center For Sight to continue providing exceptional eye care to the Sarasota community.
He lives with his wife and their dog and has one daughter who does international marketing in New York City.
Location Served: Sarasota (Soto Eye Center)
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