Building the Workforce
of Tomorrow
Each year Optimax commits to hiring
5% of its current workforce as interns.
We believe strongly in educating and
mentoring the future workforce.
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Growing Our Team
Since 1991
We are currently 350+ employees
with more than 200 opticians. The
largest prototype optics manufacturer
in the United States.
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High Tech
Manufacturing
Combining technology and a lean
manufacturing model creates the
speed and precision that allow
Optimax to reliably deliver high
precision optics with superior quality.
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Learn More With a Teal philosophy that empowers
everyone to be a leader...
Empowering Team
Leadership
Optimax manufacturing the future logo Manufacturing the leaders of the future
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Optimax

History

Optimax was founded in 1991, in a barn in Webster, New York. Since that time, optics have been behind enormous progress in technologies as diverse as fiber optic telecommunications, solid-state lighting, digital photography, displays, and diagnostic medicine. From humble beginnings to a currently 120,000 sq. ft. the state-of-the-art facility, it has been a continuous journey of culture, technology, engineering, and capabilities that have made us the largest high precision optics manufacturer in the United States. Our optics are used in key programs in aerospace, government research, and defense, and our customers’ successes have fueled our growth.

That growth has meant continual investment in:

Optimax Innovation
Technical Expertise
Capabilities
Our Culture

Did You Know?

Our story began in 1991, and like many success stories, Optimax was not built overnight. Many different milestones throughout our journey and the support from our exceptional team, customers, and community partners have led us to where we are today.

We bet a few of these stories and milestones below you didn't know.
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Optimax Corporate Uniform

In 1996, Optimax corporate culture began to form, starting with Optimax official corporate uniform. During this time, our workforce encompassed many musicians who loved the Grateful Dead, allowing tie-dye to become the official Optimax corporate uniform.

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Optimax acquired Gould Precision Optics

In 2001, Optimax acquired Gould Precision Optics. There were 80 employees in Rochester and around 30 employees in Binghamton, New York. Al Gould, one of the original Gould Precision employees, pictured here, still works at Optimax today.

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Optimax Angel

In 2004, Optimax Angel's message provided the workforce with a message centered around hope and prosperity.

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Self-Led Culture

Optimax embraced a self-led culture, which means the organization is shaped by the people and not the objectives of the leaders.

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Rochester Business Hall of Fame Inductees

Rick Plympton and Mike Mandina inducted into the Rochester 2018 Business Hall of Fame.

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Wayne County Billboards

In 2019, Optimax leaders Mike and Rick were featured on billboards throughout Rochester supporting Wayne County.

Groundbreaking Ceremony

On September 26th, 2018, Optimax’s Groundbreaking Ceremony marked the beginning of another facility expansion as part of Optimax’s continuing growth.

Optimax Facility Expansion

In 2019, Optimax doubled its size and added 60,000 sq. ft. to its current facility in Ontario, NY. In addition, more than 59 new jobs in the next five years as part of our dedication to growing our workforce.

Optimax's Journey

  • January 1, 1991

    Optimax Journey Begins

    Optimax was founded in 1991, in a barn in Webster, New York. Mike Mandina was the first official Optimax employee.

  • January 1, 1996

    Tie-dye becomes the official corporate uniform

    In 1996, Optimax expanded its workforce to 20 employees and its facility to 5,000 sq. ft. During this time, our workforce encompassed many musicians who loved the Grateful Dead, allowing tie-dye to become the official Optimax corporate uniform.

  • January 1, 2001

    Prototype Optics in 1 Week!

    In 2001, Optimax employed 80+ employees and expanded its facility to 40,000 sq. ft. Optimax also officially launched its famous tagline of “Prototype Optics in 1 Week,” differentiating itself from the market place.

  • January 1, 2006

    VIBE Patent Award

    Mike Mandina, Optimax President, set out to develop a new process for rapid polishing of surfaces that had to be adaptable to uniformly sloped surfaces and those with non-uniform slopes, such as aspheric surfaces. In 2006, the process known as VIBE was conceived, tried, refined, and put into limited production and was awarded a United States Patent.

  • January 1, 2010

    Optimax Awarded Best Small Workplace

    Optimax continued expanding its workforce to over 160 employees and its facility to 60,000 sq. ft. In 2010, Optimax was recognized as one of the “Best Small Workplaces” in Rochester, NY.

  • 05/11/2012

    SBA Top Business Award

    In 2012, Mike Mandina and Rick Plympton, Optimax Systems leaders, were awarded the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2012 New York State Small Business Person of the Year Award.

  • January 1, 2016

    Optimax Celebrates 25 Years

    Optimax celebrates 25 years in 2016, with 270 employees and continual growth.

  • January 3, 2016

    The RRPC Leadership Award

    Rick Plympton, CEO of Optimax Systems, received the RRPC Leadership Award for working with fellow members and the community to promote the Rochester Region’s Optics, Photonics and Imaging Industry. In his position as a board member with the New York Photonics cluster, Plympton has initiated strategies, helped fund initiatives and promoted New York’s OPI industry for nearly two decades.

  • October 25, 2018

    Rochester Business Hall of Fame

    Rick Plympton and Mike Mandina were inducted into the Rochester 2018 Business Hall of Fame.

  • 10/31/2018

    RBJ Manufacturing Workforce Development Award

    Optimax received a 2018 Technology & Manufacturing Award. The Rochester Technology and Manufacturing Awards recognizes and honors organizations and individuals who lead the manufacturing industry.

  • 01/01/2020

    Optimax Doubles its Facility Size

    In 2020, Optimax completed its expansion and doubled its facility size to 120,000 sq. ft in Ontario, NY. In addition, Optimax committed to adding 59+ new jobs in the next five years as part of our dedication to growing our workforce.

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