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SEO Announces New Management Team.

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ORLANDO, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 15, 2000

Schwartz Electro-Optics (SEO), Inc. announced today a new management team and a new member to its board of directors, according to recently elected Chairman Darrell Kelley. Kelley, a SEO board member since 1998 who currently serves as president of the Economic Development Commission of Mid Florida, replaces founder Bill Schwartz as Chairman. James M. Sellers, an SEO board member since 1998, has agreed to serve as interim CEO of the corporation. Jeff Saunders, formerly SEO's Orlando general manager, was named President of SEO's Orlando operations.

Additionally, Pat Schwartz, community leader and wife of SEO founder Dr. Bill Schwartz who died July 23, was elected to the board of directors. SEO, a privately-held company headquartered in Orlando, is recognized worldwide as a designer and manufacturer of military and commercial lasers and advanced laser systems.

"While we are all saddened by Bill Schwartz' death, we are determined to continue with the implementation of his vision for SEO. It is our intention to continue to grow SEO's financially secure core business while executing Bill's strategy of acquiring companies that provide SEO with the technology and intellectual property to build on our success as a premier provider of laser-based systems and software," Kelley stated. During the past year, SEO acquired Applied Optronics, a New Jersey manufacturer of laser diodes, which are a key ingredient in the cost-effective production of laser systems. SEO also formed GigaNet Technologies, which is developing critical technology for the world's telecommunications infrastructure.

The SEO family of companies also includes Photera Technologies, a San Diego-based subsidiary exploring new markets for tunable microlasers used in fibre optic and microwave systems, and Q-Peak, a Boston subsidiary focused on government laser applications research and the development of advanced laser systems in a variety of commercial markets.

SEO's Orlando division includes research, engineering, and production operations with strong competitive positions in laser weapon simulation, traffic management, precision farming laser systems in addition to a number of cutting edge government research projects.

Senior management background:

Darrell Kelley, board chairman, retired from Sprint Corporation after completing nearly 40 years in the telecommunications industry including president of Southern Operations, is currently serving as the president of the Economic Development Commission of Mid-Florida. Kelley's vast experience in the management of large corporations combined with his telecommunications background and industry relationships throughout the United States, will provide the leadership required to successfully continue SEO's growth.

James M. Sellers, III, President and CEO will be responsible for the corporate strategy, business planning and oversight of SEO's operating divisions and subsidiaries. Sellers brings a strong background in general management, strategic planning, marketing, and sales. His career includes senior management positions with Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, Federal Express, and the Royal Bank of Canada. Sellers earned an MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Business at Northwestern University.

Jeffrey Saunders, President of Orlando Operations, joined SEO in 1998 as vice president of Business Development. In this capacity, he was responsible for sales, marketing and strategic planning of SEO's weapon simulation, traffic management and precision farming sensors as well as government research. Prior to joining SEO, Saunders was a director of business development for Airport Systems International, Inc. (ASII) of Overland Park, Kansas. Before ASII, Saunders held various program management and engineering positions with Harris Corporation in Melbourne, Florida.

Pat Schwartz has served the Orlando government and community for over 30 years. Schwartz is a member of a number of civic, financial and healthcare boards including Lochaven Savings and Loan and Rollins College. Schwartz was also one of Orlando's first female City Commissioners, serving for two terms.

"Bill Schwartz had developed and begun to implement a far-reaching strategy to grow SEO's business, building on its core strengths to enter new markets for laser-based technology. While his vision and leadership cannot be replaced, we have a healthy core business and a deep and talented management team in place that can continue to grow this business exactly as Bill would have wished us to," commented Kelley.

Founded in 1984, Schwartz Electro-Optics, Inc. is recognized worldwide as a leader and innovator in solid state laser technology. SEO designs, manufactures and markets laser systems, components and other peripheral equipment for use in the military, commercial and telecommunication markets.

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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:4EUFI
Date:Aug 15, 2000
Words:748
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