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Inside Optima with Tony Schmitt


Tony Schmitt has been a constant contributor to the growth of Optima since we started supplying the Trade Show Industry with Graphics. As one of the originals over 24 years ago his experience on all things Optima is staggering. He has rolled up his sleeves to work hands on or has been at the leadership of most anything new. Tony has a practical and focused approach that never wanders from the customer expectation. He knows his stuff, knows the industry, knows what Optima is capable of and he knows how to lead high performing teams. Everyday customers benefit from the result of Tony’s efforts, as he brings order to what is sometimes a crazy, frenzied world of deadlines and custom creations. I asked Tony Schmitt if he would share some of what goes on… Inside Optima.

Inside Optima with Tony Schmitt


What is your current role at Optima?

TS I currently manage our Digital Imaging Pre-Press, Traditional Graphics and Metal Frame departments. (Frames include Aluminum Tube and Extrusion Structures both built/inventoried at Optima and supplied frames of all style and manufacturer)

What does a current week for you look like?
TS A mix of working on; future development/improvement in the Metal Frame area, one of our fastest growing areas, keeping tabs on some critical or unique jobs, questioning and refining procedures and meetings – lots of meetings.  Fortunately I have a great team of supervisors who handle the bulk of the day-to-day job flow.

What improvements/developments has your team worked on that significantly benefit our wholesale customers?
seriesTS Most of that would relate to the Metal Frame area with Panoramic customization and the addition of the H-Line product. Between the two, our customer can cover the gamut of highly customized solutions and easy to use modular options. We create display options for every size trade show space, 10×10, 20×30 and beyond to the larger exhibits spaces.

Along with those I would say the continuous growth of customization in the Aluminum Tube Frame area. We are currently developing both custom and off the shelf Navigator (floor) and Aviator (hanging) structures as well as a new modular systematized line coming in first quarter of 2016.

With so much emphasis on products being produced overseas and imported, Customers are often surprised that Optima Fabricates and Builds their own Tube and Tension Displays right here in St. Louis Missouri, USA. What are your thoughts on the quality and custom capabilities that your team brings to the table?
TS This is something I am always excited about, we have staff and knowledge in place right now that allows us to look at most any shape and provide a good solution. Best of all they can make these custom designs in such a quick time frame – they are pushed weekly and I am amazed at what they can pull off within such a short window.

Is there anything specific you would want the Trade Show Industry and our customers to know about Optima? Something maybe that one would not expect?
TS So much more than banner stands. Optima has grown so much in the custom realm of trade show and we have at least 3 teams who spend the majority of their time designing and building custom displays.

Thanks Tony!
This is the second in a blog series based on some customer inquiries – What’s going on inside Optima these days. We have a history of taking on most anything with turnaround per our customer’s request. Pulling off what others refused because it couldn’t be done. There is really no mystery or magic – just a bunch of hardworking people, rolling up their sleeves and doing their best to meet and exceed our customers expectations.
Thanks for taking an interest in who we are!
~ g
Have Questions or Comments email me at gcamarato@optimagfx.com 

About our Author

Gary Camarato is the Vice President of Marketing & Creative Development at Optima™ and has been in the Trade Show industry since 1992.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, other Authors, Optima Graphics or Taylor Corp.

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