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.
He lives with his wife and their dog and has one daughter who does international marketing in New York City.
- American Optometric Association
- Diplomate, American Board of Optometry
- Southern Council of Optometrists
- Florida Optometric Association
- Manasota Society of Optometrists – Past President
- American Academy of Optometry – Fellow and Diplomate in Public Health
- Beta Sigma Kappa International Optometric Honor Society
- Sigma Alpha Sigma Optometric Honor Society
- Omega Delta Optometric Fraternity
- Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity
Past Community Involvement:
- Past President of the Sarasota Jaycees
- Past District Director of the Florida Jaycees
- Past President of the Sarasota Hi-Noon Lions Club
- Past Vice President of the Florida Lions Eye Bank
- Past Director of the Sarasota County Chamber of Commerce
- Past Exalted Ruler of Sarasota Lodge #1519 BPOE
- Past District Vice President of the Florida State Elks Association
- Past District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler of the Grand Lodge BPOE