On September 12, 2016, Jose (Joe) Merino, founder of UNIPOWER, lost his fight with cancer while surrounded by his family and friends.
A longtime resident of Coral Gables, Joe was born in Havana, Cuba on July 26, 1949 and immigrated to Miami at the age of 11. He received his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering and his MBA from Florida International University. After having several key positions with Burger King and Coulter Corporation, Joe accepted an executive operations position at the Power Products Division of Computer Products, Inc.
The highlight of Joe’s career was his orchestration of a management buyout of the Power Products division and the founding of UNIPOWER Corporation in November 1988. Joe’s vision convinced 49 people to take pay cuts, many of them also investing their life savings in this spinoff company. In 1993, UNIPOWER was named on INC magazine’s list of fastest growing privately held companies and was the prestigious winner of the Florida Governor’s Sterling award for quality.
Joe was intensely proud of UNIPOWER and everybody who worked for the company. Many viewed Joe as a father figure as well as their boss. His zest for life and the bond he created with customers guided the company and all of its employees through good and bad times alike. In addition to his passion for UNIPOWER, Joe enjoyed a love for the ocean and an enthusiasm for collecting antique cars. He was an integral member of his local church for many years and was driven by his strong devotion to his faith and his family. His favorite quote was “God is in control.” Joe is survived by his wife, three daughters, and a granddaughter, as well as his sister, mother, and several other close family members. We share in their joy for Joe’s life and sorrow in his parting. Joe forever will be cherished by countless friends and colleagues who were blessed to have known him.
A mass for family and friends is to be held in Joe’s memory at his local church on Friday, September 16 at 9:30 am, followed by a celebration of his life on the church’s premises.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the La Liga Contra el Cancer Miami, Florida.
Personal messages and condolences for Joe’s family can also be included on www.ferdinandfuneralhomes.com.
Messages to the UNIPOWER family may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or left on our social media sites.