Listed below are the current 2021-2022 APOMA Board members. Most members are elected for two-year terms and are chosen by their peers to represent the APOMA organization.
APOMA BOARD MEMBERS
Mike Mandina is President of Optimax and a master optician and entrepreneur. He started two precision optics manufacturing businesses, then joined Optimax in 1991. He serves the local community and global industry through roles in various organizations. Mike is involved in steering the MCC Optics Department Advisory Board Hiring Committee and the Rochester Regional Economic Council’s Photonics Work Group.
Kirk Warden is the President at LaCroix Precision Optics. Kirk has been with the company for over 10 years, during which he has served on the Optifab Steering Committee as well as working as a co-founder of the Arkansas Photonics Industry Alliance. Educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Arizona and an MBA from Oklahoma City University.
Lee Steneken is President of Esco Optics in Oak Ridge, NJ. Lee grew up in the family business and developed a passion for optics, working in the fabrication shop early on. He has worked hard to refine the business from the ground up. His best achievements come when employees and customers succeed together. Lee loves a challenge and thrives when pushing boundaries in optics.
Justin Mahanna is a vice president at Universal Photonics, a global manufacturer and distributor of optical surface preparation materials and machinery. With almost 30 years of diverse polishing experience, Justin has been involved all aspects of the business from hands-on manufacturing, facilities management, to supporting the highest technology applications being performed by world leaders in optics.
David Mohring is the Metrology Coordinator at OptiPro Systems. He has over 30 years of experience in the precision optics industry. He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology. David has designed precision automated manufacturing systems and developed advanced fabrication and inspection techniques to address the challenges of making precision optics.
AT-LARGE BOARD MEMBER DIRECTORS
Navid Entezarian 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. 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 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 B.S. from Smith College in Engineering and a M.Eng. from Pennsylvania State University in Engineering Management.
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.
Alexis Vogt, PhD is Endowed Chair and Associate Professor of Optics at Monroe Community College in Rochester, NY. In addition to teaching responsibilities, Dr. Vogt was appointed to her role at MCC in September 2015 to strengthen and grow the optics and photonics program – the nation’s oldest two-year degree program for training technicians to work in the optics and photonics industry. Dr. Vogt received her B.S. and Ph.D. in Optics from the University of Rochester Institute of Optics where her research focused on polarization engineering, coherence theory, and microscopy. Prior to joining MCC, Dr. Vogt was the Applications & Business Development Manager at Melles Griot and previous to that, designed contact lenses and intraocular lenses for Bausch + Lomb.