8-koi Named to University of Florida 2022 Gator100

8-koi was named to the University of Florida’s 2022 Gator100 during a ceremony on April 22 in the Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center on UF’s campus.

Each year, the Gator100 recognizes the world’s fastest-growing Gator businesses owned or led by UF alumni. Ernst & Young, independent accounting firm of the Gator100 since the program began in 2015, verifies financial information submitted by each company and calculates the rankings based on compound annual growth rate over the past three years. The 2022 honorees have a cumulative revenue of $3.9B.

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8-koi Wins Place on SB100 List for 2021 Best of Small Business Awards

8-koi™ is recognized as one of the honorees for the 2021 Best of Small Business Awards™! The awards program is America’s most prestigious honor that recognizes and celebrates the BEST Small to Mid-Sized Business Visionaries.  Ranked #79 on the “SB100 List,” our company joins the most elite small businesses in the Country that demonstrate exceptional growth in the marketplace, diversity, A+ Customer Service, leadership, a positive workplace environment and a profitable business model. 

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8-koi Celebrates 14 Years on August 8th

“Often one finds one’s destiny just where one hides to avoid it.”

-Chinese Proverb

After years of helping other businesses succeed as a DCAA-compliant contract accountant, Inga Young was fueled by her inquisitive nature and desire to be different to start her own company, one where she could do better than others and offer an easier and more efficient option to the government.

She reflected in her thoughts about the start of her entrepreneurial journey while enjoying the peaceful company of gracefully swimming fish at her favorite koi pond. In watching the fluid motion of the koi in quiet surroundings, Inga was inspired to dive-in to the next chapter in her life.

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Carlos Badillo to Lead 8-koi Veterans Employee Resource Group

In a memo from 8-koi COO Dean Rosenquist (USAF ret.) dated June 14, 8-koi’s Corporate Recruiter Carlos Badillo was formally recognized as the Program Manager for the newly established Veterans Employee Resource Group (VERGe).

The memo states that the VERGe initiative helps to “codify a framework attracting, hiring, retaining, nurturing and developing veterans within our organization” and was written on the date that celebrates both Flag Day and the birthday of the US Army as a symbolic gesture to commemorate the impact of our veterans throughout our nation’s history.

Carlos is a veteran of both the US Navy and the US Army and has concentrated his expertise in talent acquisition to help 8-koi strategize an approach to making the company a veteran employer of choice. Under Carlos’ direction, 8-koi was able to advance related policy and programming that garnered the HIRE Vets Gold Medallion recognition received in November 2021.

Carlos Badillo, 8-koi Corporate Recruiter and Veterans Employee Resource Group Program Manager

“As a service-disabled veteran, myself, and a product of the Vocational Rehabilitation and Education program, I am a direct beneficiary of such partnership efforts between government and industry,” says Carlos. “I see the intrinsic value.”

“Carlos’ work to establish this employee resource group for 8-koi will help us to leverage some of industry’s emerging best practices to provide the resources for not only attracting our future team members, but also to continue to evolve our collective employee labor experience,” says Dean Rosenquist.

Headquartered on Florida’s Space Coast near NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and Patrick Space Force Base, 8-koi is part of a larger ‘Great American Defense Community’ that is actively working towards creating a more supportive environment for veterans and active-duty families to live and work in Brevard County. In April this year, Hiring Our Heroes designated Florida’s Space Coast as a Military Spouse Economic Empowerment Zone (MSEEZ). 8-koi has been a member of the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) since February 2018.

8-koi Founder Inga Young serves as President of the Women In Defense Space Coast Chapter, and the company participates in DoD Skillbridge and the Veterans at Work program with the Society of Human Resource Management. 8-koi and subsidiary Cape Design Engineering (CDE) currently employ about a dozen veterans and military spouses in total.

The objectives of the 8-koi Veterans Employee Resource Group include the following:

  • Enhance awareness and increase access to career opportunities for veteran job seekers
  • Facilitate and enhance transition from military service to corporate environment by helping to remove barriers, mitigating challenges, and maximizing opportunities
  • Provide professional and “life coaching” and mentoring to our veteran employees
  • Foster communication and collaboration between veteran employees, their colleagues and the leadership of our company
  • Help to identify technical, industry, and community service resources available to veterans

Carlos will be working with a team to develop internal and external resources for the VERGe to include an internal channel for employees to find and engage with veterans’ support assets as well as an external promotional campaign to help to position the company as a veteran and military friendly contractor in the eyes of potential candidates and customers.

Reflecting on his employment with 8-koi that he started in September 2021, Carlos says, “8-koi has seen the value in me not just as an employee, but as a whole person. They have welcomed me with open arms and always encourage me to tap into my fullest potential. This exemplifies the company’s value of thoughtfulness to provide full-spectrum solutions with a ‘human touch.’  The establishment of the VERGe is just another example of our company translating ideals and intent into action.” 

View more about 8-koi careers for veterans and military spouses at https://www.8-koi.com/careers/

8-koi Supports Opening of NASA Lunabotics Competition Arena at Kennedy Space Center

The NASA Lunabotics Competition Arena is open for the first time to students after a two-year delay caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency. Designed and constructed in 2019 by 8-koi, the Lunabotics Artemis Arena at Kennedy Space Center in Florida serves as the venue for the fourth and final competition event of the year-long challenge. Lunabotics challenges college and university teams of students from across the United Sates in a full-on engineering exercise where participants receive practical experience in the full engineering lifecycle process from concept development to system closeout.

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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 Wins Place on 2022 Gator100 List

Today, Brian K. Danforth, Assistant Vice President of Development & Executive Director of the UF Alumni Association sent notice that 8-koi made the 2022 Gator100. The Gator100 List is compiled annually to recognize high-performing businesses around the world that are founded and owned by University of Florida Alumni.

“You serve as an inspiration to your fellow Gators and the UF Alumni Association is proud to recognize you and your company’s success with this award,” said Danforth’s letter.

Nominations were open from August to October last year. 8-koi Founder and President Inga Young is a 1991 UF graduate, earning a Bachelor of Applied Science in Accounting. Inga incorporated as a consultant in 2008 and now employs 150 people across the US.

“My UF education was very rigorous and prepared me for the complex world of government contract accounting,” says Inga. “After I worked with several large aerospace and technology businesses, I believed I had the skills to startup and offer niche accounting to companies contracting to the government at a better cost with more attentive service. This Gator100 recognition really means a lot to me.”

8-koi now works as a prime contractor with federal agencies such as Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (NAWCTSD), Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and Army Corps of Engineers. In 2019, 8-koi acquired Cape Design Engineering Co. on Merritt Island as a wholly-owned subsidiary.

The official rankings will be revealed at the Gator100 Awards Ceremony to be held on Friday, April 22, 2022 at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center on the University of Florida campus.

8-koi ranked on the 2022 “Gator100” List

Read more about The Gator100 and join us in celebrating the WIN for 8-koi™!

See the coverage in Brevard Business News. Download the article PDF.