April 2021
Welcome New APOMA Board Members!

Thank you to our members who recently participated in our 2021 APOMA Board elections and adoption of the revised 2021 APOMA Bylaws. We are very excited to welcome our newest Board members and announce changes in position for two of the current Board members. Our newest At-Large members are pictured at left:

Navid Entezarian, Thorlabs (top left)
Navid graduated magna cum laude in applied physics with a minor in applied mathematics from New Jersey Institute of Technology in 2013, the same year he began his career in optics as a manufacturing engineer for Thorlabs. In his time at Thorlabs he has worn many different hats and is currently the product line manager of CNC Optics. In the past year he has worked with local industry partners from New Jersey (ESCO, Coherent, Inrad optics, Thorlabs) and Alexis Vogt from Monroe Community College to develop an optics program at Sussex County Community College to empower the next generation of optical fabricators.

Mara Pagano, PR Hoffman (middle left)
Mara has worked with PR Hoffman since 2012, joining as a process engineer. She worked for five years alongside production and quality managers assisting in continuous improvement projects and learning about PR Hoffman’s diverse customer group. She has attended APOMA Conferences and Optifab Trade Shows and has had the distinct opportunity of working directly in customers’ facilities for educational and sales purposes. As Quality Manager she is now overseeing all quality activities occurring in the plant. This includes continuous improvement activities that will help customers reach their most stringent quality requirements. Mara has a BS from Smith College in Engineering and a M.Eng. from Pennsylvania State University in Engineering Management.

Dr. Shai Negev Shafrir, Corning, Inc. (bottom left)
Shai Shafrir, PhD., is the Finishing Technology Manager for Precision Glass Solution Business Unit of Advance Optics, Corning Inc. Shai’s body of work at Corning has gained him worldwide experience in glass manufacturing and acknowledgment for providing leading technology solutions implemented in mass production. His current focus is on precision glass wafers and panels fabrication for high performance consumer electronics and IoT applications. He has also held positions at L3Harris, OptiPro Systems, and the Materials Group of the Laboratory of Laser Energetics, University of Rochester. Shai holds PhD (2007) and MS (2005) degrees in Materials Science from the UR, and a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineer from ORT Braude College of Engineering, Israel (2003). He is a primary author/co-author of four US patents and has authored/co-authored multiple journal publications during his career.
In addition to these three new Board members, APOMA welcomes two current members to new responsibilities on the Board: 

Justin J. Mahanna, Universal Photonics - Treasurer
David Mohring, OptiPro Systems - Secretary

APOMA would like to thank Walt Czajkowski (outgoing Treasurer) and Jim Sydor (outgoing Secretary) for their many years of service to APOMA!

Members interested in a copy of the newly updated 2021 APOMA Bylaws can request a copy by contacting the Board at apoma.org@gmail.com

Congratulations to LaCroix Precision Optics!



LaCroix Precision Optics has become the first Nationally Registered Sponsor for the U.S. Department of Labor approved Optics Manufacturing Technician Apprenticeship.

LaCroix Precision Optics’ partnership with Monroe Community College (MCC) began in the summer of 2020 when MCC delivered a series of customized virtual training presentations for the LaCroix workforce. LaCroix decided to pursue an Optics Manufacturing Technician apprenticeship program as a long-term solution to ensure a skilled workforce of Optics Technicians for the future. Working in conjunction with Ross Micali, MCC National Work-Based Learning Coordinator, and Randy Prather, USDOL Arkansas State Director, LaCroix reviewed and modified the manufacturing work processes, technical skills, and classroom courses required for the apprenticeship. LaCroix prepared and submitted a Registered Apprenticeship Standards application which received approval from the US DOL on February 4, 2021.

Kirk Warden, President of LaCroix Precision Optics stated, “LPO has developed this program with two goals in mind, first to help facilitate the efficient transfer of institutional knowledge from our experienced employees to our next generation technicians and second, to better prepare the LPO workforce to meet the challenges of technological demands.”

Dr. Todd Oldham, Vice President, Economic and Workforce Development and Career Technical Education at MCC stated, “Registered apprenticeship is a beneficial workforce development tool that combines on-the-job training with classroom and technical instruction. MCC’s partnership with LaCroix Precision Optics helps address the growing need for a skilled workforce, and we are pleased to assist LPO in building a pipeline of workers, while at the same time offering an accessible career pathway to apprentices.”

Experienced employees at LaCroix will become mentors to the apprentices as they rotate through the various departments and learn all the steps in the LaCroix production process. LaCroix will partner with University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville, and Monroe Community College in Rochester, NY to deliver the required Related Technical instruction.

Dr. Alexis Vogt, Professor and Endowed Chair, Optical Systems Technology at MCC said, “Apprenticeships benefit employers and provide long-term career opportunities for apprentices. We are thrilled to be partnering with LaCroix Precision Optics on this important workforce building initiative.”

Contact Ross Micali, (585) 202-1118, rmicali@monroecc.edu, if you are interested in starting a Registered Optics Manufacturing Technician Apprenticeship for your workforce.
OPTIFAB 2021 Call for Papers - Now open!

18 - 21 October 2021; Rochester, New York, USA


The SPIE Optifab 2021 Call for Papers is accepting submissions of both academic and commercial papers. Present your research at the largest optical manufacturing conference and exhibition in North America! Organized jointly by SPIE and APOMA, it is the premier event to share your research, meet with top companies, and to learn about the latest optical fabrication technologies.

Although much in the world remains uncertain, the one constant is that your work is important. SPIE remains committed to providing a forum for information sharing, collaboration, and advancing research. Submit your latest findings and plan to attend and network with your colleagues!

Member note: At this time we are planning for our next in-person APOMA General Meeting to be held in conjunction with Optifab 2021 in Rochester. We will keep you posted as plans continue to develop.
Member News

Congressman Joe Morelle Announces Creation of Congressional Optics & Photonics Caucus

This bipartisan, bicameral caucus will promote and advance the optics and photonics industry. Monroe Community College Professor Dr. Alexis Vogt was among the invited speakers at the February virtual launch.

More information on the caucus can be found at the following link: MCC News

For eNews and website submissions or general member questions, please contact: apoma.org@gmail.com .