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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:
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.
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.
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.
In 2004, Optimax Angel's message provided the workforce with a message centered around hope and prosperity.
Optimax embraced a self-led culture, which means the organization is shaped by the people and not the objectives of the leaders.
Rick Plympton and Mike Mandina inducted into the Rochester 2018 Business Hall of Fame.
In 2019, Optimax leaders Mike and Rick were featured on billboards throughout Rochester supporting Wayne County.
The year 2021 marks the 30th Anniversary of Optimax. We have come a long way from starting in a barn in Webster, New York, to becoming the largest optics manufacturer in America. To all our employees, customers, and friends – We thank you for your continued commitment to Optimax.
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.
On September 26th, 2018, Optimax’s Groundbreaking Ceremony marked the beginning of another facility expansion as part of Optimax’s continuing growth.
The year 2021 marks the 30th Anniversary of Optimax. We have come a long way from starting in a barn in Webster, New York, to becoming the largest optics manufacturer in America.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Optimax received a 2018 Technology & Manufacturing Award. The Rochester Technology and Manufacturing Awards recognizes and honors organizations and individuals who lead the manufacturing industry.
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.