Goleta-based endoscope producer Karl Storz Imaging celebrated its 30th anniversary on Thursday with a socially distant celebration at its facility on Los Carneros Road.
Formed in 1990 when Karl Storz purchased the Goleta-based startup medical concepts, KSI now employs almost 400 team members, according to a press release.
Streamed online with a handful of employees in attendance at the company’s facility, the event looked back on the history of KSI and was attended in person or virtually by local officials, such as Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte, 1st District Supervisor Das Williams, and 37th District Assemblywoman Monique Limón.
It also celebrated the company’s work during the COVID-19 pandemic. As he said a few words to employees, KSI President and General Manager Miles Hartfeld complimented everyone for their resilience, especially to those who work in production since building endoscopy equipment required them to personally go into work rather than work remotely.
“We should give special thanks to those in production and service who came in every single day to meet our customer needs, customer needs that include saving the lives of some of the sickest COVID patients through our airway management products,” he said.
Since the company has successfully been able to navigate the rocky year that has been 2020, Mr. Hartfeld spoke optimistically about the company’s future.
“If we can do all of this, we can overcome the next inevitable challenges, and they will come,” he said.
Mr. Hartfeld is a relative newcomer to the company, having worked as its president and general manager for four years. He pointed out that KSI has 17 employees who have been there since the beginning, which he called “a real testimony to the company.”
Happy with the way the company has handled the COVID-19 crisis, Mr. Hartfeld believes the pandemic has improved unity among the Karl Storz team even though its 100 employees working in product assembly have been separate from the company’s 300 other employees working remotely.
“We’ve been able to manage through the COVID crisis and I’m very optimistic that it actually brought us closer together even though we’re remote distanced,” he said.
As he gave his closing comments to the KSI team, Mr. Hartfeld said he hopes he’ll be able to see KSI grow even more over the next three decades.
“God willing, I’ll be here 30 years from now. (I) look forward to seeing the future successes of this family at that time,” he said.