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APOMA Member News

JENOPTIK Optical Systems Announces Ronald Moore as Vice President of Sales & Marketing

June 29, 2017

Industry expert Ronald Moore joins Jenoptik Optical Systems’ North American management team as the new Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Moore will develop and execute sales strategies to sustain Jenoptik Optical Systems’ continuing growth, as well as manage all aspects of the business unit’s North America marketing and communications.

The company is excited to welcome Moore’s proven leadership abilities and enviable track record.
Read the full press release.


Remembering Cody Kreischer

June 16, 2017

cody-kreischer-optics.jpgIt is with great sadness and regret to inform the optics industry of another pioneer that recently passed away. Cody Kreischer’s battle with cancer came to end Tuesday, June 13, 2017.

Before becoming President of Kreischer Optics, Ltd., Cody started working for his father, Emil, as early as the fifth grade. Through hard work, determination and brilliance, he went from mopping floors and cleaning machinery, to becoming one of the most influential lens manufacturers in the United States. As technology advanced, so did Cody’s knowledge. He was able to combine the conventional methods of lens production with the current CNC and MRF platforms to create exceptional optics. Cody is the true definition of a Master Optician.

With his passing, the industry mourns one of the all-time greats. Besides his knowledge of aspheres, his presence and personality will be greatly missed. Cody was always first in line to help, to share and to crack a few jokes. The only thing larger than his heart, was his laugh. 

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Cody’s family: Tina, Tristan, Alta, Ben, Rebecca and Anna. Although Cody will be missed, Kreischer Optics and their customers are in good hands. Tina and Tristan will be continuing Cody’s legacy with help from all their dedicated employees.

Remembering Cody Green

March 17, 2017

remembering-cody-green.jpgCo-owner of PFG Precision Optics and former APOMA President, Colin 'Cody' Green was an integral member of the optics industry.

PFG, a 3rd generation family run business, has been a significant leader in high quality custom optics. Cody, along with his brothers, helped PFG build an exceptional reputation for manufacturing and coating precision optical components.

Beyond his devotion to the optics industry and PFG, Cody loved skiing, boating, and woodworking but his greatest joy was his family. Cody will have a lasting impact on the optics industry and all those who knew him, he will be deeply missed.

"Cody was a great friend and industry colleague; my words can’t do him justice." – Kirk Warden, LaCroix Precision Optics, APOMA President


Improving Optics Sales & Marketing: Launch Team President to Present Short Course at Photonics West 2017

December 19, 2016

Launch Team Inc. President Michele Nichols will present a short course at the 2017 Photonics West conference to discuss inbound marketing and sales strategies for optics companies.

The course, "The New Sales Model: How to Bring Customers to You," will explore inbound marketing best practices, metrics and sales tactics that have helped companies in the optics and photonics industry grow their revenue base. Nichols will share benchmark data and examples from Launch Team clients, as well as specific recommendations for improving marketing ROI. Participants will also have the opportunity to compare their marketing wins and lessons learned with industry peers in a roundtable discussion.

The short course, which will take place Tuesday, Jan. 31 from 12:15 to 3 p.m., is designed for CEOs, vice presidents of marketing or sales, product managers, marketing staff and others in customer development responsible for ensuring a healthy pipeline.

Read the full press release here.

Gillespie Associates Addresses Workforce Skill Gap with Launch of Gillespie Nimble

December 19, 2016

Gillespie Associates is proud to announce the launch of Gillespie Nimble, a comprehensive training program to reduce the cost and increase effectiveness of training for key workforce skill sets.

Gillespie has been creating customized training programs for organizations for over 25 years through their team of instructional designers and leadership coaches. They noticed that a significant weakness of current online training offerings is that training is considered a one-time event where you complete a short course, click exit, and are then expected to deliver the skill.

“We all know, and have known for a long time, that adults don’t learn that way,” said Gillespie CEO Geoff Barrow, “and that’s why Gillespie Associates believes skill development is accomplished through a training process, not a single training event.”.

Read the full press release here.

Optimax Launches Precision Optics Manufacturing (POM) Apprenticeship Program

June 7, 2016

Optimax is proud to announce the official certification of the (Precision) Optics Manufacturing Technician (POM) occupation and the launch of their POM apprenticeship program.

The program, which began this month, was developed due to a need for increased earning potential within the optics and manufacturing industries. The three year program combines educational course work with on-the-job training and will be led by Optimax journey workers.

“By creating a certified program, we are hoping to start the movement that can be endorsed and replicated by other companies in the industry to continue developing the opticians of the future,” said Mike Mandina, President of Optimax.

Read the full press release here.


Äpre Instruments Introduces New Affordable, High Performance Interferometer

June 2, 2016

Äpre Instruments, a leader in interferometry for research, quality control and high volume production, introduced today their new S100 | HR high performance laser Fizeau interferometer for optical manufacturing.

The new system offers the affordability of a classic continuous zoom interferometer with the performance of a modern imaging system. It is ideal for optics professionals requiring accurate metrology of highly sloped surfaces and fine resolution of mid-spatial frequencies.

“For companies looking to scale up, metrology is a serious investment, and the S100 | HR helps break down the barriers to producing more, higher quality optics. We’re excited to offer a system that meets the demands of today’s optical manufacturer without breaking their budget,” ÄPRE President Robert Smythe said.

Read the full press release here.


Rochester Precision Optics Names New President

May 24, 2016

RPO is proud to announce that Dane Hileman has been named president of the company, effective June 13, 2016.

Hileman brings to RPO more that 25 years of engineering and management experience in the optics industry. As president he will focus on enhancing the technical capability and production execution for existing and new customers, as RPO works to become the go-to supplier for companies seeking high performance lenses, lens assemblies and subsystems.

“I look forward to bringing my capabilities in design, development and manufacture of optics and optical products to RPO, to help realize RPO’s full potential as a world-class optics company,” Hileman said.

Read the full press release here.


Jenoptik announces ISO 13485:2003 medical device registration

March 1, 2016

Jenoptik Optical Systems, LLC (JOSI) is pleased to announce the registration of its quality management system to ISO 13485:2003 for medical device manufacturers or service providers. The certification covers both design and manufacture of medical devices.

The company successfully obtained the registration through Intertek on its first audit attempt, complementing existing registrations to ISO 9001:2008. JOSI completed the audit in late January, 2016 and received the official certificate of registration in March, 2016.

Read the full press release here.


Launch Team to Present Sales & Marketing Strategies for Optics at Photonics West

January 20, 2016

Michele Nichols, president of Launch Team Inc. (formerly PLS Launch Solutions), a marketing and IP development company specializing in technical industries, will present at Photonics West a workshop and roundtable discussion on marketing strategies for optics companies.

The workshop, "Inbound Marketing: How to Bring Customers to You," will explore how inbound marketing strategies apply to the optics and photonics industry. Nichols will share best practices, metrics and tactics that have helped companies with which she has worked to grow their revenue base.

Nichols will facilitate a roundtable discussion after the workshop in which she will share data, lessons learned and specific recommendations for improving marketing ROI. Participants will have the opportunity to compare their marketing wins and lessons learned with industry peers.

Both events will take place Monday, Feb. 15 in Moscone Center Room 102.

  • "Inbound Marketing: How to Bring Customers to You" — 10:30 a.m.–12 p.m.
  • "Marketing Roundtable: Wins and Lessons Learned" — 1–2:30 p.m.

Launch team has a 30-year history of helping optics leaders grow company value through marketing and IP development. 

PLS Launch Solutions Rebrands as Launch Team Inc.

October 14, 2015

PLS Launch Solutions, a marketing and IP development company specializing in technical industries, announced today that they have rebranded as Launch Team Inc.

The change marks the company’s focus on helping tech companies launch new products, enter new markets and grow sales in times of change. The new brand reflects movement and action – the commitment Launch Team makes to clients.

"As a team we’ve always been committed to smart, immediate action and sustainable long-term growth for our clients,” Launch Team President Michele Nichols said. “Our expertise in optics and other engineering-driven fields helps us develop the right approach and content and create winning marketing strategies."

Read the full press release.

Launch Solutions President to Present SPIE Course in Sales and Marketing at Photonics West

(Jan. 19, 2015) – Michele Nichols, president of PLS Launch Solutions, a marketing and IP development company specializing in technical industries, will teach a combined short course and roundtable discussion on marketing and sales strategies at Photonics West 2015.

Changes in medical device and other markets pose new opportunities for the optics industry; however, many companies have found that traditional marketing and advertising are no longer effective. The workshop will explore highly targeted skills and strategies needed to attract technical buyers.

Today’s engineers, scientists and program managers prefer do their own research before they engage with a new company. The short course, “Inbound Marketing – How to Bring Customers to You,” will present inbound marketing tactics that have helped optics and photonics companies attract and connect with new customers. The following roundtable will allow participants to compare their own marketing successes and challenges with their peers in the optics industry. Nichols will facilitate the discussion, sharing lessons learned and benchmark data, along with specific recommendations for improving ROI.

“This industry is changing. Many of the business leaders we work with are ready to try something new but don’t know how to measure success. This workshop gives them quantifiable goals,” Nichols said.

The workshop will take place Wednesday, Feb. 11 from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Moscone Center, Room 101. CEOs, VP of marketing or sales, product managers, marketing staff and others who interact with customers and are responsible for ensuring a healthy pipeline are encouraged to attend.

Nichols will also be offering attendees a free Marketing Assessment & Consultation after the show. Normally $2,950, the full assessment includes a comprehensive report reviewing a company’s inbound and outbound marketing strategies.

Nanophase Technologies Celebrates 25 Years of Nanomaterials Innovation

(Nov. 18, 2014) – Nanophase Technologies, a global leader in engineered nanomaterials for a range of applications, announced that the company is celebrating its 25th anniversary this November.

Nanophase Technologies grew out of Argonne National Laboratory in 1989, where some of the earliest research in the nanotech space was taking place. Nanophase began as a small group of scientists who were using an inert gas condensation system to produce three to four grams of nanoparticles a day. They were looking for a way to commercialize this new technology.

Over the next decade, the company transitioned from a purely conceptual space in Evanston, Ill. to a lab in Darien, Ill. to meet the need for a fabrication capability. Nanophase then created its patented PVS technology, which made it possible to efficiently produce meaningful volumes of zinc oxide for the personal care market. This led to the opening of a new plant in Burr Ridge, Ill. The company went public in 1997, and research on coating and dispersion technology began shortly thereafter.  

The company then began its foray into other elements. Principal Scientist Harry Sarkas, Ph.D., said, “We needed a new process to give us access to the rest of the periodic table.” This new plasma process soon led to the opening of a new plant and headquarters in Romeoville Ill. Nanophase began producing hundreds of metric tons of nanoparticles each year. The company had transitioned to a manufacturing enterprise.  

Today Nanophase continues to evolve, tackling new engineering challenges and leveraging its dispersion and particle production expertise to enter new markets with a portfolio of products.

Mohammad Ali, one of Nanophase’s first employees who now serves as the Director of Quality Assurance and Regulatory Compliance, believes the company has a bright future. “We have the right business plan and the right people,” Ali said. “Right now we are a very lean, very efficient company.”

Nanophase CEO Jess Jankowski said, “The history of nanotech is littered with failed startups, but Nanophase has turned this niche science into a commercial franchise with real production, real volume and globally significant customers. The company’s 25th anniversary is a testament to our staying power.”


OptiPro Systems Acquires Glassmaster Fabrications

(Sept. 5, 2014) OptiPro Systems, LLC has acquired Glassmaster Fabrications, a leader in continuous planetary polishing equipment. With the acquisition of Glassmaster, OptiPro is positioned to serve the precision flat optics market, furthering their mission of helping companies prosper through innovative optical manufacturing solutions.

Glassmaster's industry-renowned Plano Pro planetary polisher, which will be rebranded as the OptiPro Glassmaster 520, incorporates patented technology to ensure consistent flatness and finish of glass, ceramic, silicon, crystal, or metal parts. The Glassmaster 520's optimal performance allows the platform to fit seamlessly into OptiPro's lineup of leading-edge machines for precision optics fabrication.

"Glassmaster is a trusted name among companies fabricating precision flat optics," said Mike Bechtold, President of OptiPro. "The impressive features and attention-to-detail are a reflection of the countless R&D hours invested to make it the finest pitch polisher in the market. OptiPro is excited to have the opportunity to service and support existing customers in addition to growing the Glassmaster brand."

"OptiPro is the perfect company to drive the future success of Glassmaster," said Dan Ficarro, founder of Glassmaster Fabrications. "Their highly experienced team of engineers and technicians will keep Glassmaster ahead of the technological curve, ensuring that it continues to outperform the competition for years to come."

OptiPro will immediately begin manufacturing, selling, servicing, and supporting all Glassmaster 520 planetary polishers.

Glassmaster Fabrications was founded in 1995 as a manufacturer of continuous planetary polishers and precision glass cutting saws. Based in Ontario, NY, the company's inception was the result of the combined expertise of a master optician and master machinist with the goal of designing the most effective and maintenance free line of optical equipment in the world.

Congratulations to Sydor Optics on 50 Years 

(Feb. 10, 2014) At Photonics West in San Francisco, 250 people attended a celebration in honor of Sydor Optics' 50th anniversary. 

Stefan Sydor founded the company in 1964 at age 50, after 15 years with Kodak, working as an optician on projects that included Mt. Palomar Observatory’s 200-inch telescope mirror and the Baker-Nunn Satellite Tracking Network.

Stefan was a craftsman with a passion for optics. At the forefront of the optical experts of 


his generation, Stefan could make anything from a piece of glass.  Jim Sydor joined the company in 1978, after working as a Methods Engineer at American Optical and an Optical Fabrication Department Foreman and Production Planner for American Cystoscope Makers.

Since Stefan's passing, Jim has led the company through tremendous growth and leaps in capability. Twenty three years later, Sydor Optics is the largest optics company in the US making flat optics utilizing double-sided lappers and polishers.

Jim’s commitment to relationships with employees, vendors and customers has made all the difference. His sons, Jonathan and Matthew, have now joined the company to carry on this tradition. 




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