OGDENSBURG, NY - Frank Koch, President and founder of DeFelsko Corp., died on August 8, 2011, at the age of 77.
Born and raised in Germany, Koch was formally trained as a tool and die maker before emigrating in 1956. In the 1960’s, Koch’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to Ogdensburg, NY, where he started several successful businesses including DeFelsko Corp.
It was his involvement with coating thickness and test instruments that most defined his career. Koch began importing and selling inspection instruments from Germany in the early 1960’s and soon moved into manufacturing, beginning with the PosiTest mechanical pull-off gage and continuing with the ever-expanding PosiTector series of inspection instruments.
Koch’s extraordinary combination of a bright mind, outgoing personality, dedication and tireless work ethic influenced the products he made and the business relationships he developed. He traveled the world developing a network of dealers, and he attributed much of his success to his loyal customers and dealers across the globe.
His ability to understand the needs of the inspection community and to make instruments that were rugged and easy to use set Koch apart from his peers. Under his leadership, DeFelsko pioneered many technologies, including hand-held ultrasonic coating thickness gages, auto switching ferrous/non-ferrous coating thickness gages and unique self-aligning adhesion testers.
Through his vision and the team he inspired, his company evolved from a one-man operation to a world leader in the design and production of quality, hand-held test equipment. Today, the company he started employs over 50 people at its facility in Ogdensburg, NY, and houses research, manufacturing, sales, shipping and service departments.
Koch’s son-in-law, David Beamish, has assumed the responsibilities as President of the company. Koch’s daughter (and David’s wife), Linda Koch Beamish, retains her role as Vice President.