- Also known as U Tin Myint
- Graduated with Mechanical Engineering from RIT in 1967.
- Worked at Sittaung Paper Mill.
- Moved to USA
Became a successful Entrepreneur and Philanthropist
- Co-founded “M & Ko”
Employed several Burmese (including RIT graduates) in the SF Bay Area.
Sponsored “Ya-han-khan” (ordination) ceremonies for his employees.
- Did not forget his roots.
Golden Sponsor of SPZP-2000.
Donated $3000 to SPZP-2012.
Donated to NorCal RITAA and sponsored table for the Annual Dinner.
- Donated to the general and building funds of various monasteries in the Bay Area.
One was in memory of his spouse Daw Sein Yone.
- Played Table Tennis
- Built audio equipment to play Vinyl Records with high fidelity
- In later years, became a Vegetarian
- Retired after Serial Entrepreneurship
Joined the Bay Area Retirees’ monthly lunch gathering.
- Passed away on February 22, 2021.
- Mavis Ko donated $2000 to NorCal RITAA in David’s memory.
Article from BAPS Newsletter
- Edison Paw wrote “the [struggle and] success” story of two RIT alumni:
David Ko (M68)
Benny Tan (M70)
- Thanks to Maurice Chee (Past President), Henry Lim (Former Chief Editor) and Edison Paw (Author) of BAPS for permission to reprint the articles.
Mr. David Ko (U Tin Myint, M67) has a successful mechanical components manufacturing firm in Union City. He co-founded the business back in 1978 with a partner from Croatia. The two partners have since expanded their business. With approximately 100 employees, they currently occupy 72,000 sq. feet of space for their warehousing and manufacturing operations. The company is continuously growing at a rate of 5-25% per year. Ninety percent of their employees started out as trainees in their shop. BAPS [and RIT Alumni International] would like to congratulate Mr. Ko for his hard work, his dedication to his employees and his contribution to the community.
Besides his successful business, David and his late wife, Daw Sein Yone, have three wonderful and promising children, two daughters and one son in all. The eldest daughter is working on her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of California at Santa Barbara and is expected to start her internship this year. Their second child is in his second year at the Stanford University Medical School studying for his MD and Ph.D. program. Their third daughter is studying hair design at the Vidal Sassoon Academy.
Mr. Ko emigrated to the U.S with his family in 1973 and they have been living in Fremont since 1976. He worked at the Raychem Company for five years before opening his own business. His interest in machining and tools started early in his life when he read Popular Mechanics and Mechanics Illustrated. He graduated in mechanical engineering [in 1967] from the Rangoon Institute of Technology (RIT) in Burma. He is one of a few Asian Americans who are not only trained machinists but also professionals in their own right. Inspired by their keen interests in mechanical devices and accessories, they learned, for the most part, on their own and developed their skills. However he had to overcome many obstacles that other minorities and immigrants encounter. In the late seventies, there were few Asian American machinists. David was constantly asked by his customers whether he was a machinist, if he knew how to operate a machine, and where he acquired the skills.
David and his partner continue to thrive in this very cyclical business mainly because they take good care of their employees, re-invest their earnings into their business, re-invent themselves, and expand their business cautiously. Competition in the mechanical components business continues to be fierce because of new improvements in technology. In many ways, David compares technological advances in the machine industry to those of the software industry. Every year new models come on the market. These new products work faster and give you a whole lot of functions and features. Just as David manages his family and nurtures them carefully, he manages to nurture his business relationship with his partner and his employees quite successfully.
David, Congratulations to you and your family!!! You are a role model to everyone! It shows that the United States is truly a land of opportunities. Hard work and perseverance can and do lead to success. David and his company are always looking for trainees.