Amy Eskilson

Amy Eskilson - 2014 SPIE Women in Optics Planner

President and CEO, Inrad Optics
Country of Birth: USA

Educational Background: BA Communications, Montclair State University, USA

Amy EskilsonI have always loved science; my father was an accomplished vacuum scientist and engineer, and he was a great influence. The basement of our home was a jumbled and exciting laboratory of science and industry. Over the last 20+ years I have been extraordinarily  fortunate to have had many opportunities to work with and learn from inspiring people in all areas of photonics.

As President and CEO of a small but publicly held company, I have a responsibility to the business and to our shareholders. It's my job to create a vision for our organization that will provide sustainable growth and return value; I am constantly assessing our capabilities and resources in terms of building and executing on that vision. I also serve as our CCO-Chief Culture Officer-and I work hard in that role to mentor younger employees, as well as challenge and excite our longtime contributors. My team and I spend time figuring out how to be competitive and profitable while delivering products with extraordinary optical specifications, including developing new optical materials for applications in growth areas like nuclear threat detection.

Don't be in a rush to get to the top, but most certainly be in a rush to learn. Listen, absorb knowledge and challenge yourself to connect the dots. Don't preconceive limitations based on gender. Assume any barrier you face is addressable with training, education, experience or grit. Pay attention to those you respect and consider successful, and emulate those behaviors. Look outside yourself and strive to make a contribution.