Peter Gifford, longtime leader of Cryomech, passed away on Jan. 29 at home surrounded by family and friends. His father, a cryogenic expert, was brought to Syracuse University to teach and do research. William E. Gifford was a talented inventor and started the company Cryomech to commercialize his inventions in the realm of low temperature science.
Without any formal training, except for the apprenticeship with his father, Peter eventually took over Cryomech in 1978. He was very proud that he was able to take Cryomech from a small company with a handful of employees into a world-leading technology company that designs and manufactures cryorefrigerators for use in cutting-edge research.
Peter was especially proud of keeping Cryomech in Syracuse, relying on his team to grow this global business at a time when manufacturing in Central New York was declining.
Peter was more than a “boss” – he was a teacher, a mentor, and a friend. He loved those he worked with like family. Peter’s leadership was inspiring, dynamic, and energized. He recently turned Cryomech into an ESOP company so that his employees could continue on in Syracuse to nurture the next generation of entrepreneurs and dreamers.
Peter made Cryomech successful by doing things no other company would. He felt very strongly that you should be partners with your customer and always be poised for the next challenge. That spirit of adventure and challenge defined all aspects of his life and approach to business. Peter will be most remembered for his kindness, genuine curiosity, and unwavering passion for life. He was immensely proud of his involvement in the scientific community and was honored to participate in a variety of conferences, scientific review boards and industry events. Peter was awarded three patents related to the design and manufacturing of cryorefrigerators.
Peter was a seasoned world traveler who loved to immerse himself in the local culture wherever he was, an avid fly-fisherman and had great appreciation for the outdoors.
He was loved by all who knew him.