Board Members


Listed below are the current 2023-2024 APOMA Board members. Most members are elected for two-year terms and are chosen by their peers to represent the APOMA organization.


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.

Mike Mandina


Mike Mandina has recently retired from his role as President of Optimax Systems Inc. and is 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.


Travis Green is currently President of Alpine Research Optics in Boulder, CO and has been in that position since its acquisition in 2011. As a third-generation family member in the precision optics manufacturing industry, Travis also served as President of PFG Precision Optics, Inc. in Ocean Springs, MS from 2002 through 2022. Prior to 2002, Travis had a 20 year career in the financial industry. He holds an undergraduate degree in business from Emory University and a graduate degree in international business from the University of South Carolina.

David Mohring


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.


Zachary Hobbs is Director of Engineering at Sydor Optics; having been with the company since 2008. Zach has been in the precision optics industry for over 20 years; beginning as an optical technician before transitioning into mechanical and process engineering. He holds a B.S. in Electrical/Mechanical Engineering Technology from the Rochester Institute of Technology, as well as completing a New York State Toolmaker Apprenticeship. Zach has also been a co-author on multiple journal publications, technical presentations, and white papers.


Mitzi Brennan has been with Pureon Inc. for the last 3 years, and was previously at Eminess Technologies Inc., which was acquired in 2020 and is now Pureon. Pureon is a global company based in Lengwil, Switzerland and manufactures polishing consumables for high tech materials. Their products range from slicing, grinding, lapping and polishing applications across many different materials. Mitzi has had a  consumable polishing focus for the last 12 years. Eminess was founded on semiconductors, but she began meeting and calling on optics customers, learning and building relationships to understand where they could provide value. They realized that their company could provide products to the optics community, and this realization led them on a journey of product development for the optics market. Mitzi is currently Pureon’s General Manager of North America Sales.

Tim Kennedy is the Sr. VP of Global Sales & Marketing for Edmund Optics. He has a global mindset and cultural awareness developed from spending nearly 20 years living and developing operations in various countries across Asia. One of his key strengths is his ability to communicate on a more personal level with native speakers in Japanese, Mandarin and Thai. He is hard working, always available for his team, and committed to the stakeholders of the organization. Tim graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Optical Engineering from the University of Arizona Optical Sciences department in 1999. He then continued his education to receive a Global Executive MBA from INSEAD in January 2021.

Christopher Russell is a Field Application Engineer with a demonstrated history of working in the precision optics industry and has worked for Universal Photonics for almost 20 years in various positions. He works all over the world with small to very large optical, IR, crystal, plastic, and many other polishing industries. He has countless hours of hands-on experience with machining, grinding, lapping, and polishing glass, crystals, ceramics, and metals, and is skilled in relationship building, troubleshooting, problem management and containment, manufacturing, lean manufacturing, continuous improvement, project management, and general engineering practices. Chris graduated with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Chemical Engineering from Clarkson University in 2005.

Alexis Vogt


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.