Simon Business School

Optimax Group 730x400

The Simon Community at Optimax

Looking through the lens of business. Optimax Systems, Inc., is a Rochester-based manufacturing firm that produces precision optics. The company is a true success story, with a number of Simon graduates serving as active members of its upper management team. Here’s a look at how they are using their degrees to drive the success of skilled manufacturing in today’s global economy.



Josh Dennie

Executive MBA, Class of 2013

Manufacturing Manager

“One of the benefits of the Simon coursework is interacting with the other EMBA students. It was so helpful to get real-world feedback on my issues. Our study group became very close and I’m certain we’ll remain great friends. Professor Ron Schmidt challenged us to think from different perspectives. He liked to argue both sides of an issue to open our minds to how other people think and to work toward the best solution.”

>> See the full profile for Josh Dennie


Jessica DeGroote Nelson ’07 (PhD)

Executive MBA, Class of 2013

Research and Development Manager

“ The MBA program was very demanding. I enjoyed the emphasis on teamwork and the diversity of the students I worked with broadened my perspective. I also learned to approach problems differently, to see the larger picture, and to become more knowledgeable about the financial and strategic aspects of business. It’s important to realize what a small business goes through, especially since most of us here wear more than one hat.”

>> See the full profile for Jessica DeGroote Nelson

Tom Kelly EMBA profile photo

Tom Kelly

Executive MBA, Class of 2010

Chief Financial Officer

“The focus on finance in the Simon program proved very beneficial and the international aspect was an eye-opener. Those of us who have been through the program came away with a better understanding of what’s really happening behind the scenes and how to question what the media puts out to the public about business. I can’t say enough about how well we were supported at Simon.”

>> See the full profile for Tom Kelly

Rick Plympton EMBA profile photo

Rick Plympton

Executive MBA, Class of 1999

Chief Executive Officer

“We were put on teams of four or five students in the EMBA program and we worked on projects and homework together. I also studied in Paris for a week where we collaborated with students from the sister program in Bern, Switzerland. Through it all, we were practicing collaboration, which has served me well throughout my career.”

>> See the full profile for Rick Plympton


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