Introducing the Robert E. Koski Center of Engineering Innovation
Sun Hydraulics recently honored the legacy of founder Robert Koski in a dedication ceremony, marking the company’s first 50 years in business by naming its new engineering research and development facility in Sarasota the “Robert E. Koski Center of Engineering Innovation.”
The newly named Koski Center will serve as the global headquarters of the company’s R&D efforts. It will provide expanded hydraulics and electro-hydraulics testing capabilities intended to serve the company’s own product innovation and development efforts and to support its global customers, testing the latest technologies and Sun solutions with machines and equipment.
Due to coronavirus concerns, the event was attended by only a few individuals, including Mr. Koski’s wife, Beverly Koski, his daughter and long-time board member, Chris Koski, and sons Bob Koski and Tom Koski. Also in attendance were senior leaders from Sun Hydraulics and parent company, Helios Technologies.
Speeches by the Koskis, Helios’s CEO Josef Matosevic, CFO Tricia Fulton and board member Greg Yadley marked the small, socially distanced in-person event.
“I was surprised and I am touched by this gesture to honor my husband’s legacy,” said Beverly Koski. “He was a remarkable man and an inspirational leader who believed in the company and its products. But most important to him were the people, the ideas and the innovation that built such a strong company.”
Daughter and former board member, Chris Koski, echoed her mother’s sentiments.
“My father was curious, inventive and always open to new ideas, and he valued his relationships with everyone at Sun Hydraulics. For those who knew and worked with him, he was a mentor who always challenged them to think for themselves and take ownership of their ideas and decisions.”
President and CEO of Sun’s parent company Helios Technologies, Josef Matosevic spoke about Koski’s legacy. “We are here to recognize the accomplishments and contributions Mr. Koski made to this company, to the hydraulics industry and to the concepts of leadership.”
Matosevic continued, “He touched many lives along the way—mentoring and challenging those he worked with—and provided an environment that fostered the innovation he believed in so strongly.”
The event closed with the unveiling of the sign above the doors of the newly dedicated “Robert E. Koski Center of Engineering Innovation” and a plaque commemorating his contributions in the lobby.
To watch the full event, click here.
And to see tributes and hear stories from long-time partners and employees, check out this video.
Bob Koski & Sun Hydraulics
Fifty years ago, in 1970, Bob Koski left the security of a job in a large, traditional company with a promising future to pursue a new organizational vision at his own company, Sun Hydraulics. Initially fueled by the innovative product designs of Mr. Koski and co-founder John Allen, the company’s dedicated focus on collaborative innovation attracted engineering talents that fed that vision, working together to rethink cartridge valve technology and the fundamentals of manifold design.
This bold new approach left behind the limitations of the industry common cavity to advance fluid power technology in ways that still drive the company’s leadership in load-holding technology today. Sun’s counterbalance valves are recognized worldwide for their safe, reliable load control and are the go-to solutions for quality-conscious OEMs in all hydraulic equipment markets.
Bob Koski’s entrepreneurial spirit was equally important in his vision for the company’s organization. The open, horizontal structure at Sun led to contributions from everyone at the company, creating a process that fed continuing innovation and helped drive the company’s success. By helping colleagues make their own decisions instead of telling them what to do, he enabled a culture of empowerment and innovation at Sun.