Summer 2020

Congressional Optics and Photonics Caucus Formed - Needs your support by 8/21/20!

The new Optics & Photonics Caucus (OPC) is being co-led by Representatives Morelle (D-NY) and Mast (R-FL) and Senators Sinema (D-AZ) and Daines (R-MT). Choosing the initial members was a strategic decision, with the intention of supporting AmeriCOM, the American Center for Optics Manufacturing, growing optics education nationwide, and increasing the number of trained technicians entering the workforce.

As the idea has grown, the O&P Caucus has become a vehicle to educate members of congress and their staff regarding the importance of light-based research and technologies to the United States. We are excited that there will now be a member-led organized voice via this caucus speaking about the importance of optics and photonics in Washington, DC.

The Congressional Optics & Photonics Caucus is set to launch on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 2:30pm ET via a virtual event.
(registration link available HERE)

As part of the ramp-up to this launch event, the National Photonics Initiative has drafted a letter (template - click HERE) that we would like you to send to your representatives in both the House and Senate (excluding the OPC co-chairs). The letter requests that they tune in to the live launch event to learn more about the Optics & Photonics Caucus (OPC), and that they join the O&P Caucus as a member. We encourage you to customize the letter and highlight the great work you are doing in your state and district. Please send your support letter via email to your representatives no later than August 21st. Email is necessary given the heightened security procedures surrounding paper mail for congressional offices.

To look up your representatives, please use these links:

Thank you for your support!
Update on APOMA Bylaws revision and upcoming election from Mike Mandina (APOMA President)

APOMA members,
The board hopes that all of you are weathering our collective situation stoically. We have been working to better position APOMA for the future during this pause of sorts and hope that you will find our work to your liking.

The board has been working to update the Bylaws to better reflect our membership needs. Key changes are:
1.     Affiliate classification removed.
2.     Corporate and Associate members have same voting rights.
3.     All positions (other than Academic) can be held by either a Corporate or Associate member.
4.     Board must consist of at least 3 Corporate members.
5.     Nomination for Board membership now requires only 3 sponsoring members.
6.     Past Treasurer position created to maintain oversight of new Treasurer for 2 years.
7.     Email voting added.

Another change that is not a Bylaws change, but will impact many members, is the dues structure for Corporate and Associate members that is scheduled to take place for 2021.

Copies of the old and proposed/revised APOMA Bylaws can be found at these links:
Revised APOMA Bylaws (rev Aug 2020)

We will begin operating to the proposed Bylaws immediately, and will look to vote and ratify at our 2021 annual meeting. Anyone who has questions or concerns are encouraged to contact the Board at Barring any adverse responses, we will proceed assuming the changes will be ratified.

Officer Nominations/Elections
The Board is recommending to the APOMA membership that the current officers stay in their respective positions throughout 2020. The significant changes to the Bylaws combined with the COVID-19 pandemic have slowed our processes to a point where we have missed the historical nomination and election window.

It is the Board’s intent to seek nominations for 3 Board positions this fall. Secretary, Treasurer and At-Large members are currently open for nomination. The following year (2022) 4 more positions will open up: President Elect, 2 At-Large members and Academic member.

The Board is most interested in broadening industry participation on the Board. We would like to see numerous applicants for each position from across the USA. For many years the Board make-up has been relatively narrow given the limited number of nominees that have been put forth. Going forward, it is our intent that a much more diverse and numerous panel of candidates be offered to our membership for election.

We ask that you consider throwing your hat into the nomination ring by submitting yourself or convincing a colleague to apply. The nomination process is currently open and will close February 16, 2021. Nominations can be sent to Jim Sydor, APOMA Secretary, at email:

At this point we are proposing that elections take place at our upcoming annual meeting at Photonics West (approx. 8:30am, Wed. March 10, 2021).

General Comment
Your Board has been meeting via ZOOM regularly in an effort to keep us all moving forward in the face of unusual headwinds. It is our belief that the work that has been going on during this time of isolation will pay dividends to our membership in the long run. We are making progress in areas of grant funding for optics manufacturing research and workforce training. We will be providing more information on these initiatives as advances warrant. Outreach to us is encouraged at and we look forward to your enthusiastic engagement in 2021.
Monroe Community College (MCC) is expanding opportunities for virtual optics training!

Dr. Alexis Vogt at MCC is currently in the final stages of interviewing candidates for the National Work-Based Learning (NWBL) Coordinator position associated with her ONR Optics Apprenticeship grant. They are on track to have someone in place by mid/end-August. 

They are also having conversations with companies interested in pursuing the optics apprenticeship program, and were recently able to do some virtual optics training with member LaCroix Precision Optics to produce a 3 part training series that included the following subjects: conventional optics fabrication, material handling, and metrology. 

From Kirk Warden at LaCroix, "Alexis Vogt and Michael Pomerantz were instrumental in putting together this customized series in a very short amount of time. We viewed this as a test case for future online learning for our technicians. Because of the overwhelming positive feedback we received from our employees, LaCroix will be cooperating with MCC to implement an Optics Technician Training/Apprenticeship program."

For more information, please contact Alexis at email:
Send us your Member News!

We invite you to take advantage of your new APOMA website and send us your news so we can post it on the site! The new site features sections for apprenticeship, ISO 10110, and compliance updates from our respective committees doing work in these important areas.

It also features a new form for posting your job opportunities. We will be using these sections more frequently moving forward. Check it out today!
For eNews and website submissions or general member questions, please contact: .