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Mike Mandina: 2009 RRPC Entrepreneurship Award

Mike Mandina, President of Optimax, Ontario, NY, has been awarded The 2009 Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster Entrepreneur of the Year Award. The award is based on “creativity, innovative spirit and drive in pursuit of the dream of creating an industry-leading company in the Optics, Photonics, and Imaging Industry”. This has been a life-long trend for Mandina.In 1976, Mandina started his first optics fabrication company, Cormac Industries. This company was sold to Melles Griot in 1980 and is now part of CVI/Melles Griot in Rochester. In 1991, Optimax began in a barn and Mandina joined the team. Since then, Mandina has provided the leadership needed to build the company up to 150 employees, including 100 opticians, all in a 40,000 square foot advanced manufacturing facility.His entrepreneurship has also extended to the Finger Lakes Advanced Manufacturers’ Enterprise (FAME). In 2007, by Mandina’s initiative, this non-profit organization was founded to create awareness on behalf of local manufacturers, provide support for their mutual needs, and build an educated regional workforce. FAME has recently expanded to cover a nine county area.

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