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Al Carlson

Regional Director @ UF Innovation Station

Allen “Al” Carlson is the Regional Director for the UF Innovation Station in Sarasota County., retired CEO of Sun Hydraulics, joined the new UF Innovation Station Sarasota County this week as its regional director.

The UF Innovation Station Sarasota County is the first physical extension office of the Florida Engineering Experiment Station, or FLEXStation – an arm of the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering that is dedicated to strengthening Florida’s role in the global innovation economy. Carlson will be based in Sarasota and will work closely with the leadership team at UF.

For the past 16 years, Carlson has served as president and CEO of Sun Hydraulics, one of the largest NASDAQ listed companies in Southwest Florida, founded and based in Sarasota County. He has over 40 years experience in the fluid power industry and is one of the most recognized leaders in the region’s business community.

He is active on the boards of Sun Hydraulics Corp., Tervis Tumbler and Mayville Engineering Company, Inc., and is a regent at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. He also serves on local and regional boards for Junior Achievement. Carlson is a graduate of the Milwaukee School of Engineering and the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School.

In addition to building student talent pipelines with companies in the region, Carlson will lead efforts to engage the entrepreneurial community with UF technology, link local companies to student design projects and prototype development programs, and build collaborations with the region’s existing academic institutions. His primary responsibility is to drive economic impact.