Circle Optics culture is built on know-how | synergy | innovation. That is from the inside out and we apply the same filter with our customers, vendors and community at large. Vertex Optics has been an ideal vendor partner with Circle Optics We appreciate their Mission: Vertex Optics partners with its customers to build strong, mutually prosperous relationships while providing high quality vitreous components with expedited deliveries. "In spec and on time" is their mantra.
Circle Optics culture is built on know-how | synergy | innovation. That is from the inside out and we apply the same filter with our customers, vendors and community at large. Vertex Optics has been an ideal vendor partner with Circle Optics We appreciate their Mission: Vertex Optics partners with its customers to build strong, mutually prosperous relationships while providing high quality vitreous components with expedited deliveries. “In spec and on time” is their mantra.
We see this mission in action as Circle Optics Senior Optical Systems Engineer Robert Metzger comments,“We have greatly enjoyed our relationship with Vertex due to their versatility and commitment to supplying high quality optical components to us at competitive prices with on-time delivery, often coming in ahead of their promised delivery dates.”
We wanted to take a deeper dive with Vertex Optics Vice President Joe Serio and hear a bit more about the company.
Is there an origin story or when you know that you wanted to be in the field of Optics?
I have always been into taking things apart, putting them back together. When I was twelve years old I disassembled my dirt bike and rebuilt the engine. It worked! In high school I took a carpentry class and helped build modular homes. Working with my hands and building things has always been something I am good at and I like to do.
When I was in high school I got the opportunity to meet Mike Mandina, Founder of Optimax Systems Inc., and began my career in optics. I was able to grow my skill as Optimax grew. Not only did I learn technical skills there but I also grew up a leader.
What did you learn at Optimax Systems Inc.?
I had 24 years with Optimax Systems Inc. and was able to grow as an individual and as a technician. That culture really invested in both leadership development and technical capability. I was keen to take advantage of as many opportunities as possible. Ensuring that our team is capable as leaders and as technicians continues to be a core aspect of our growth strategy. Over the years I have built and maintained strong relationships in this optics ecosystem.
What is your leadership point of view?
Leadership in my view consists of three aspects – leadership capability, confidence and technical skill. Our core business is making high precision prototypes and there are three primary attributes required to be successful in our work: leadership, confidence, and technical skill. We have a flat organization. Leadership here is about identifying what is needed and helping it happen. My job is to empower team members to lead and manage themselves. Our team is extremely self directed and that requires a great deal of trust and communication. To have a vision and start a company takes an enormous amount of confidence. Our customers come to us because they have confidence that we are the ones that can build what they need. Most of our orders are high precision, low volume. And finally none of this could happen unless our team was extremely skilled – wanting to build things no one else can build.
How do you design for scale?
From the beginning we wanted to do things systematically and in a way that is respected in manufacturing excellence. We are ITAR certified as many of our customers require that designation. We are working on getting our ISO Certification and our Cybersecurity Certification by the end of the year. The protocol for these types of certification allow us to get extremely clear at what we do, how we do it and how we account for our internal resources. Those certifications also open many doors for us with new customers. Optics is a multi-billion dollar industry and as technology advances there will be more and more need for highly technical components. Our team is up to greater and greater challenges and loves to build optics that have never been built before. The market keeps us motivated, engaged, and challenged.
What do you like most about working with Circle Optics?
We like working with Circle Optics. They are very understanding of the issues which can arise in optics manufacturing, and immediately ask “How can we help”. Additionally, they understand how complicated their parts are. Many companies don’t appreciate how difficult the work is. Circle Optics is interested in partnering with us and solving design problems together. There is a lot of mutual respect and we are open to each other’s suggestions.
You can catch up with Joe Serio and Vertex Optics at SPIE Photonics West coming up in January in San Francisco.