April is Internship Awareness Month

8-koi and CDE are celebrating Internship Awareness Month by recognizing our hard-working student employees, some of whom have gone on to be full-time permanent members of our team. According to the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM), the retention rate of hired interns is higher than other entry-level employees. 

“These young people are a highly valuable asset to our success and longevity,” says company President Inga Young. “It’s important to help shape the next generation of professionals by allowing them to contribute in meaningful ways while imparting our core values of passion, excellence, dependability, and thoughtfulness.” 

“Internships are not meant to be free help. They are not meant to replace an employee. And they shouldn’t be used for busy work.” 

Roy Mauer, SHRM

At 8-koi and CDE, this guidance is definitely taken to heart. Below you will read more about our exceptional interns and student employees who play and have played a significant role in helping to meet company objectives while also honing their skills to be top-notch business leaders in their own rights. 

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8-koi Names Robert M. Sullivan, P.E. as Vice President, Engineering Division

Robert Sullivan is a Licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Florida who enthusiastically accepted the position of Vice President for 8-koi’s Engineering Division, effective March 11th. In this leadership position, Robert will be taking the lead for current and future projects at Cape Design Engineering Co. (CDE), a wholly-owned subsidiary of 8-koi.

Robert joins the team in Merritt Island with over forty years of experience as an innovator in the fields of capital project contracts management, civil environmental, structural, and construction engineering, planning, forensics, emergency and reconstruction management, expert litigation support, and safety.

With over 25 years of service with the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department FEMA response team, Florida Task Force One (FL-TF1), Robert’s work as a Structural Specialist with this international response rescue team has been integral in the development of his operations management skill set to include accurate rapid assessment and detailed analysis to achieve mission-critical goals when time and resources are not always optimum.

“Robert brings a high level of industry expertise and keen understanding of senior/executive management to 8-koi and CDE. His multi-disciplinary experience and background in Earned Value Analysis (EVA) will be an asset to growing our Design Engineering capability for years to come,” stated Dean Rosenquist, 8-koi’s Chief Operating Officer.

With a portfolio that includes work on special capital projects related to construction of unique buildings/facilities, airport and airfield upgrades, harbor dredging, environmental and hazardous waste system upgrades, value engineering, roadway and bridge transportation project management, Robert will be tasked with aligning business development strategy to CDE’s in-demand capabilities.

“My motivation and motto is: Plan the Work – Work the Plan,” says Robert. “I’m really looking forward to making the most of the next chapter in my career with this dynamic small business.”

Please help us welcome Robert to the Team and be sure to connect with him on LinkedIn to learn more about his work.

8-koi Joins Forces with Women in Defense and Brevard County Sheriff’s Office for the Holidays

Sheena Heitzman’s SUV was packed with toys and gifts when she arrived at Cocoa Village on December 1st. She came dressed in the holiday spirit with her co-workers from 8-koi, Maidilia Rilo and Carlos Badillo, to deliver the load to the Great Brevard Toy Drop. Carlos channeled his best Santa under the Central Florida sun to show support for the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Charity. The gifts will be given to infants, children, and teens throughout Brevard who are in-need of a little cheer this Christmas season.

8-koi’s Sheena Heitzman and Maidilia Rilo deliver toys and gifts to the Great Brevard Toy Drop in Cocoa Village

8-koi’s team of elves helped to collect the toys that were donated by other employees at the company’s three locations and by members of the community across Brevard. They worked to ensure that the goodies were delivered with care to the community event at Riverfront Park in time for the “Reverse Parade” to begin and follow the countywide route to pick up more toys.

“This was truly a team effort,” says Carlos Badillo, 8-koi’s Corporate Recruiter. “Our COO Dean Rosenquist received donations from business associates across the community and brought in a box full of toys the night before the Drop. Our engineering project coordinator Sheena did a wonderful job orchestrating the overall operation, and my fellow recruiter Maidilia was instrumental in coordinating with the Sheriff’s Office and establishing our collection point at our new headquarters building in Suntree.”

8-koi Corporate Recruiter Carlos Badillo having fun with Cocoa Police Officers at the Great Brevard Toy Drop

8-koi’s Melbourne and Merritt Island offices also served as collection points for the donation drive that was supported as a community initiative of the Space Coast Chapter of Women in Defense. 8-koi President Inga Young serves as the 2021-22 SCWID Board President and Sheena is Past-Treasurer.

“This was a fun endeavor and gave each and every one of us far more than we contributed. It truly captured the spirit of the season and embodied our company’s ‘human touch’ to business and to community outreach,” reflects Carlos.

8-koi delivers holiday smiles to the Great Brevard Toy Drop

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8-koi Honored with HIRE Vets Gold Medallion

On November 10th, 8-koi was recognized during a virtual ceremony as a Gold Medallion Awardee for the Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing American Military Veterans (HIRE Vets) Medallion Program by U.S. Secretary of Labor Martin J. Walsh. A total of 849 organizations across the United States received awards.

Implemented by the requirements of the HIRE Vets Act of 2017 (Public Law 115-31), the HIRE Vets Medallion Award is the only federal award recognizing exceptional achievement in veteran employment. By meeting the criteria required for a Gold Medallion Award, 8-koi “demonstrated both patriotism and recognition of the value veterans bring to the workplace.”

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Students and Lifelong Learning a Priority for 8-koi, Helping Interns Startup

“My parents set a strong example for me,” says 8-koi Founder and President Inga I. Young. “They emigrated from China and earned advanced degrees with scholarships that eventually led them to make careers working at NASA. They met at the University of Texas in Austin where my dad was obtaining a PhD in Electrical Engineering and my mom a Master’s degree in Chemistry. I never had to pay for my education or take out a loan.”

Mr. and Mrs. Young during their college years at the University of Texas Austin

“It’s important for me to pay it forward and give back what I can so that others can do the same.” 

Inga Young

This is the premise that guides Inga in deciding to support local scholarship funds and organizations that value education on behalf of her government contracting business. In 2021, the company gave financially to no less than four college scholarship funds and contributed to other notable local non-profits providing support to students in need of educational support. 

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Rich Kube Named as Vice President of Design Engineering Division

Effective today, Rich Kube is part of 8-koi’s leadership team serving as Vice President of the Design Engineering Division and will provide oversight for the programs of Cape Design Engineering Co. (CDE), a wholly-owned subsidiary.  

An Air Force Veteran and lifelong Florida resident, Kube brings decades of experience in complex engineering and compliant operations for the government contracting industry to include aviation and aerospace. He is the former Director of Engineering and Senior Program Manager at Craig Technologies, and he supported NASA Shuttle systems engineering and maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) with United Space Alliance in Cape Canaveral for over a decade. 

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8-koi Founder Inga Young: 13 Things I’ve Learned About Business

President Inga I. Young founded 8-koi on August 8, 2008. The number 8 represents the cyclic nature of systems. The koi fish represents embracing adversity through persistent focus on positive outcomes. Inga built the company to be different – to do better than others, and to offer an easier and more efficient option to the government. With her decades-long background in DCAA-compliant contract accounting, Inga’s astute knowledge of finance allows her to perform more cost-effectively across multiple disciplines with consistent quality-driven results. Since startup, 8-koi has increased its revenue every year and employs an effective team of highly qualified personnel around the globe.

This year, 8-koi celebrates its 13th Anniversary and Inga has learned some things along the way. Read on to find out more about her reflections on her entrepreneurial journey…

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8-koi Supports STEM Scholarships and Women in Defense on the Space Coast

With help from dedicated volunteers like 8-koi’s Project Coordinator Sheena Heitzman, Space Coast Women In Defense (SCWID) raised $8,500 in STEM scholarships at the 4th Annual Space Coast STEM Sandbagger Invitational Golf Tournament on May 7th. The sold-out event was held at the beautiful Baytree National Golf Course in Melbourne and the 8-koi ‘A-Team’ foursome joined Sheena on the greens for some good-hearted fun in the sun.

(L to R): Michael White, Les Daniels, Sami Mized and Trevor Baumann.

Putting on a golf tournament is no easy task. Sheena, who is also the treasurer of SCWID’s board, arrived in the early morning hours with other volunteers to setup and greet golfers coming out to support STEM scholarships for local students.

SCWID volunteers and golfers greet the day to raise money for STEM scholarships.

The Women in Defense Space Coast Chapter is one of 8-koi’s sponsored community organizations. Giving back to support education and women pursuing careers in national defense is very important to our company. 8-koi President Inga Young serves as vice president of the SCWID board and 8-koi was named the 2019 SCWID STEM Business Innovator of the Year.

Eyes on target
Teamwork

With our team working together and keeping their eyes on the target, twelve deserving Space Coast women will be presented with scholarships at the STEM Scholarship and Innovator Awards Presentation on Wednesday, June 23rd at the Courtyard by Marriott in Cocoa Beach with featured speaker Elaine Larsen of Larsen Motorsports.