Photonics Industry Association Grows into Tenth Year with New Director

Sept. 21, 2007
September 21, 2007, Denver, CO -- The Colorado Photonics Industry Association has rung in its 10th Anniversary with a new executive director.

September 21, 2007, 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. Ihde reports that close to ninety people attended 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.

Companies with a ten-year membership in the CPIA include:
Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.
Boulder Nonlinear Systems
CDM Optics, Inc.
ColorLink A REAL D Company
CVI Melles Griot
Meadowlark Optics
Oerlikon Optics USA, Inc.
Rocky Mountain Instrument Co.
University of Colorado at Boulder - Business Research Division
University of Colorado at Boulder - Electrical & Computer Engineering
Veeco Instruments, Fort Collins

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 Colorado Photonics Industry Association (CPIA) said, with the appointment of Barbara Ihde to the position of executive director, CPIA will now be part of the Advance Colorado Center. "These two actions are sure to aid CPIA in helping the industry grow and prosper as our organization enters its second decade," said Mr. Gorsuch.

Barbara Ihde has worked in the photonics industry for almost 25 years, all of it in Colorado. She has been involved in almost every aspect of photonics including 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 Boulder Business and Professional Women and Colorado/BPW. Ihde has an engineering degree with distinction from Iowa State University and an MBA from
the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.

Said Gorsuch, "Barbara demonstrates clear passion and commitment to the Colorado photonics industry."

The CPIA (Colorado Photonics Industry Association) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the photonics environment in Colorado and globally. By uniting industrial, academic, and governmental objectives, CPIA encourages cooperation, collaboration, and partnering to enable growth and expansion. Founded in 1997, CPIA now includes over 75 members representing manufacturing, research, technology, development, and governmental programs. The photonics industry in Colorado includes over 250 companies, four national laboratories, and at least eight research and educational institutions. The last three Nobel prize winners in Colorado have won for photonics-related research.

Colorado companies research/design/manufacture such diverse products as telescopes, data storage devices, medical devices and instrumentation, space exploration, remote sensing, telecommunications systems, solar energy systems, and consumer electronic components. More information is available at

The Advance Colorado Center (ACC) is 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). It provides a common headquarters and logistical support for nine non-profit associations and organizations that, in turn, provide a variety of services and programs to companies, entrepreneurs and individuals in order to stimulate job growth and promote a sustainable corporate environment in the State of Colorado. The advantages of co-locating in the ACC include: office space and support; introductions to a variety of officials and VIPs from Colorado and around the world; dynamic partnerships and common interests that emerge among members; facilities for meetings and seminars; and a supportive atmosphere that bolsters non-profit initiatives. More information is available at

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