SPIE Member Rhonda Albrecht, a marketing and communications manager for several photonics companies and a member of the SPIE Corporate and Exhibitor Committee, died 6 April in Santa Clara, California, from complications of ALS.
Albrecht had worked in advertising, marketing, and communications for more than 30 years with such companies as Melles Griot, 4D Technology, Spectra Physics/Thermo Electron/Newport, and most recently as senior project and media manager at Coherent, Inc.
Early in her career, Albrecht accepted a starting position with Melles Griot while working her way through community college as a single parent. She was soon working with the company’s marketing communications manager on special projects, and her interest in advertising, promotions and how products factored into the scientific and OEM communities grew.
She focused her studies on advertising and marketing, and was promoted to department head, launching her career in the optics and photonics industry. She earned a bachelor of science degree in business marketing from the University of Phoenix.
Appreciated by coworkers as inspiring, open-minded, organized, and a seasoned marketing professional, colleagues also found her to be as responsible, intelligent, and highly-motivated.
Following her ALS diagnosis, Albrecht moved to Arizona to be near her son, Cory. Via her LinkedIn profile, she asked friends and family to sign a petition requesting earlier access to medicines which may extend and improve the quality of life those with ALS.
Albrecht was among outstanding women in optics and photonics featured in the 2013 SPIE Women in Optics Planner.