Michigan's First African-American Optician Named to U-D Hall of Honor


George P. Barnes Jr., president and CEO of Heritage Vision Plans and Michigan’s first African-American optician to own and operate a full-service optical dispensary, will be inducted into the University of Detroit Mercy College of Business Administration Hall of Honor for lifetime achievement.

The college, which recognizes people who demonstrate professional success, outstanding contributions to society, and embodiment of Jesuit & Mercy values, will host its Business Leadership Awards Ceremony at 11 a.m. Nov. 22, at the Detroit Golf Club.

In the past 40 years, Barnes has established three Heritage Optical Center retail locations in Detroit and expanded his operation to include Heritage Vision Plans, which offers managed and fully covered vision care programs through a nationwide network of nearly 20,000 providers

. HVP is the only minority-owned enterprise to hold an Alternative Financing Delivery System Certificate of Authority from the State of Michigan, a designation the company earned in 1991. HVP administers vision care programs for many Fortune 500 companies based in Michigan.

Barnes also supports local communities through scholarship and job opportunities, and free vision care and eyewear programs for Detroit youth.
He began his career at Metropolitan Hospital in Detroit after serving in the U.S. Army.