RRPC Announces 2013 Election Results

The Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster (RRPC) announced the addition of seven new members to its Board of Directors at its annual meeting earlier this month. Rochester is in the national and international spotlight, and is seeking significant federal funding for optics R&D. The new Board reflects a broader range of expertise needed to establish Rochester as the global leader in optics.

“The new Board of Directors of RRPC has further been strengthened to include subject matter experts in marketing, competitive government grants, optics industry expertise and intellectual property development,” said John Hart, Board President, and President and CEO of Lumetrics.

In addition to Hart, three existing members will continue their positions on the Board: Paul Dewa, applied technology manager at Corning; Paul Tolley, executive director of STC MEMS at the CNSE Smart System Technology & Commercialization Center of Excellence; and Christopher Cotton, president of ASE Optics.

The new Board members are:

Michele Nichols, PLS Launch Solutions

As owner and president of PLS Launch Solutions, Michele helps to define winning go-to-market strategies for technology companies. She creates programs Nicholsfor optics, photonics and services companies looking to grow sales and profits and enter new markets. Her team also helps companies develop and leverage their IP portfolio and create competitive advantage from innovation. With an MBA and fifteen years’ experience in improving sales and service delivery, Michele brings practicality and perspective to her work with other business leaders in the optics industry.

Rick Plympton, Optimax Systems

Rick began his career at Optimax in 1995 managing the sales and marketing activities as well as the QA department. Rick has Plymptonre-engineered the optical fabrication process for speed, based on hands-on experience as an assembly/test technician, QA manager, and sales engineer in the United States and Europe. Rick holds degrees in business administration, computer science and engineering science from Finger Lakes Community College and was recently awarded the Distinguished Alumni award. He furthered his education at the University of Rochester with a Bachelor of Science degree in optics and an MBA. In 2012 he received the Small Business Administration (SBA) New York State Small Business Person of the Year award. He also sits on the Board for the Optics and Electro-Optics Standards Council.

Chuck Synborski, GS Plastic Optics

Chuck is the vice president of sales, marketing and business development at GS Plastic Optics. With a master’s in optics Synborskifrom the University of Rochester and 30+ years in the industry, he has played key roles in a number of optics enterprises, most recently as general manager of the Rochester division of CVI / Melles Griot. Chuck has extensive experience in precision optics (components and systems), electro- optics, microscopy, factory automation, semiconductor capital equipment, and laser technology. He has developed and marketed numerous commercial optical instruments, advanced modular robotic assembly automation technology, and a new, patented method of using ultraviolet light in the manufacturing of insulated electrical wire. He also authored and edited ASTM/NIST national test standards as a member of the F-1 Committee on Electronics Technology. Chuck is a member of IEEE, SPIE and OSA and sits on the board for the Rochester Business Alliance, International Business Council.

Paul Ballentine, UR CEIS

As deputy director of the Center for Emerging and Innovative Sciences (CEIS) at the University of Rochester, Paul is responsible for strategic initiatives and Ballentineday-to-day operations. Paul is also the Director of the Rochester Regional Photonics Accelerator, a federal program sponsored by five different agencies to strengthen the Rochester optics cluster. Prior to joining CEIS, Paul spent 25 years in the semiconductor industry, most recently as director of the Clean Energy Incubator at Freescale Semiconductor. His primary research focus is semiconductor processing and thin films. He has a PhD in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Rochester, an MS in mechanical engineering from MIT, and a BS in physics from Siena College. While pursuing his doctorate at the University of Rochester, Paul co-founded CVC Partners, which eventually went public and was acquired by Veeco Instruments.

Brian Carroll, The Superior Group

As an account executive at The Superior Group, Brian provide clients with temporary and direct staffing solutions in the Carrollclerical, technical, financial, engineering and IT fields. With more than 8 years of experience as a workforce management consultant, Brian’s expertise includes a thorough knowledge of staffing, payroll and human resources, labor management, tax compliance, and benefits administration.





Mike Richardson, RIT

Mike is a distinguished researcher at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where hisRichardson work focuses on remote sensing. Mike co-authored the paper, “The Role of Physical Modeling and Scene Simulation in Support of Space Based Remote Sensing,” which was part of the proceedings of Core Technologies for Space Systems Conference in 2001. Mike is also Project Manager for a collaborative initiative between RIT and industry partners to improve 3D imaging technology. The project, funded through a $1 million National Science Foundation Accelerating Innovation Research (AIR) grant and matching funds from corporate partners Exelis, Pictometry International and Lockheed Martin, aims to create novel ways to capture high-quality 3D images from remote-sensing technologies.

Neal Slifkin, Harris Beach

Neal is a member of the firm, Harris Beach, Attorneys At Law; leader of the Intellectual Property Practice Group; and co-leader of the Internet Law PracticeSlifkin Group. He also serves on the Science and Technology and the Telecommunications and Media Industry teams. Selected as one of the Best Lawyers in America, he regularly litigates various types of intellectual property actions including patent, trademark, copyright, and trade dress infringement actions. Neal also serves as local counsel in numerous intellectual property actions pending in the United States District Courts for the Western and Northern Districts of New York. Neal represents technology companies in negotiating and documenting intellectual property transactions; he also prepares and prosecutes patent applications in a wide variety of technologies including medical devices, complex mechanical systems, and optical technologies. Neal is also actively involved in the community, providing guidance to participants in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy.

Guided by the newly elected board, the RRPC will undertake a significant update to their strategic plan. Said Hart, “Over 10 years ago the Cornell University department of City and Regional Planning studied the RRPC and helped direct its early formation and strategic plan. We may have an opportunity to again work with this prestigious organization to memorialize our progress and map out the next 10 years—a critical time of growth for the optics industry.”

Four new members were elected to two-year terms:

• Christopher Cotton, ASE Optics (reelected)

• Michele Nichols, PLS Launch Solutions

• Rick Plympton, Optimax Systems

• Chuck Synborski, G-S PLASTIC OPTICS

Elected members stepping down are:

• William Hurley, Rochester Precision Optics

• Michael Mandina, Optimax Systems

• Michael Naselaris, Sydor Optics

The board appointed the following members to one-year terms:

• Paul Ballentine, University of Rochester CEIS

• Brian Carroll, Superior Group

• Mike Richardson, Rochester Institute of Technology

• Neal Slifkin, Harris Beach

Appointed members stepping down are:

• Richard Demartino, Rochester Institute of Technology

• Damon Diehl, Monroe Community College

• Thad Schofield, City of Rochester

• Xi-Cheng Zhang, University of Rochester

Elected members with terms expiring in 2014 are:

• Paul Dewa, Corning

• John Hart, Lumetrics

• Paul Tolley, College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at Albany, STC MEMS

The 2013 RRPC Board of Directors is:

• Paul Ballentine, University of Rochester CEIS

• Brian Carroll, The Superior Group

• Christopher Cotton, ASE Optics

• Paul Dewa, Corning

• John Hart, Lumetrics

• Michele Nichols, PLS Launch Solutions

• Rick Plympton, Optimax Systems

• Chuck Synborski, G-S PLASTIC OPTICS

• Mike Richardson, Rochester Institute of Technology

• Neal Slifkin, Harris Beach

• Paul Tolley, College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at Albany, STC MEMS

The Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster (RRPC) is a not-for-profit organization founded to promote and enhance the New York State Optics, Photonics, and Imaging Industry by fostering the cooperation of business, academia and government.

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New York Photonics is a not-for-profit organization founded to promote and enhance the New York State optics, photonics and imaging industry by fostering the cooperation of business, academia and government.


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