Photonics association hires director, celebrates ten years

DENVER, CO-The Colorado Photonics Industry Association (CPIA) has rung in its 10th Anniversary under new leadership.

DENVER, CO-The Colorado Photonics Industry Association (CPIA) has rung in its 10th Anniversary under new leadership. Barbara Ihde, appointed in May, is the first executive director of the CPIA. Ninety people gathered for the tenth anniversary celebration of the organization at the Radisson Graystone Castle in Denver on September 13. The organization, formed by sixteen industry members in 1997, honored the eleven organizations that have maintained their membership for all ten years. “The industry weathered some extreme cycles in the past decade, and this organization would not have made it without these companies’ continuous support,” said Ihde.

Colorado-based companies with a ten-year membership in the CPIA include: Ball Aerospace & Technologies; Boulder Nonlinear Systems; CDM Optics; ColorLink; CVI Melles Griot; Meadowlark Optics; Oerlikon Optics USA; Rocky Mountain Instrument Co.; University of Colorado at Boulder-Business Research Division and the Dept. of Electrical & Computer Engineering; and Veeco Instruments.

The CPIA also recognized seven individuals who have volunteered for the organization continuously over the past ten years: Joyce Colson of Colson-Quinn, Garry Gorsuch of Meadowlark Optics, Brian Hooker of University of Colorado, Gary Horvath of University of Colorado, Kevin Keilbach of CardioOptics, Robert Owen of Extreme Diagnostics, and Mary Ann Roe of Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

Garry Gorsuch, president of the CPIA, said that along with the appointment of Barbara Ihde to the position of executive director, CPIA has also joined the Advance Colorado Center, a partnership between the Colorado Economic Development Commission (EDC), the Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), and the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Science Center (UCDHSC) to provide a common headquarters and logistical support for nine non-profit associations and organizations. “These two actions are sure to aid CPIA in helping the industry grow and prosper as our organization enters its second decade,” said Gorsuch.

Ihde has worked in the Colorado photonics industry for 25 years, in management, sales, product development, marketing, and manufacturing. She has worked for major corporations as well as small start-ups. Most recently, she was self employed as a manufacturer’s representative for lasers, laser diagnostic instrumentation, and optical components. She also has extensive volunteer experience with non-profit organizations, including numerous leadership roles with the Business and Professional Women organizations of Boulder and Colorado. Ihde has an engineering degree with distinction from Iowa State University and an MBA from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.

-Valerie C. Coffey

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