The Meade Instruments executive team meets with Astronomy on December 19, 2013. // Credit: All images by David J. Eicher
Every amateur astronomer on the planet knows about the telescopes, binoculars, and accessories from Meade Instruments Corp., one of the largest telescope manufacturers our hobby has had ever since its founding four decades ago. As most amateur astronomers know, Meade has undergone a challenging time over the past few years with a variety of issues in the company, but I can tell you that the business is on the verge of making an enormous comeback. In mid-October, Meade announced the completion of a merger agreement with Sunny Optics, Inc. (SOI) and Sunny Optics Merger Sub, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of SOI, both of which are affiliates of Ningbo Sunny Electronic Co., Ltd., collectively (Sunny).
The Meade headquarters building in Irvine, California.
Last summer, I had the opportunity to attend a festive event hosted by Celestron, the other major California telescope manufacturer, in celebration of the company’s 40th anniversary and the retirement of its longtime CEO, Joe Lupica. Now, just a few months later, Lupica has come out of retirement to become the CEO of the new Meade! It is really a remarkable chapter in the telescope industry, and I can tell you that a spirit of friendship and close association exists between the two companies, with everyone wanting to grow the hobby and see all brands thrive.
New Meade CEO Joe Lupica in his office in Irvine, California.
On Thursday, Astronomy
’s Publisher Kevin Keefe, Ad Manager Jeff Felbab, and I had a wonderful long meeting with Meade’s executives, led by Joe, in their Irvine, California, headquarters. Among the folks from Meade on hand were Vice President of Sales Victor Aniceto, who also came over from Celestron; Marketing Services Director Brent Kikawa; Vice President of Support Services Chris Morrison; Engineering Manager Gary Creason; and Full Stack Web Developer Griffin Shope.
It was an exciting meeting with numerous ideas flying around the table, and I can tell you that Meade is on the cusp of storming back to life with an entirely new era in the company’s history. As the largest brand in the hobby of astronomy, Astronomy
magazine will take a leading role in working with Meade on a wide variety of exciting projects that you’ll be hearing about over the coming months.
I left the meeting with a renewed vigor and an anticipation of seeing Meade return to a position of strength and leadership in this hobby, and you will be impressed, I can guarantee, with what we have to come.