Don Craighead has been selected as the 2019 J. Stanley and Doris Hill Legacy Award recipient. Established by the Century College Foundation, the Mahtomedi Area Educational Foundation and the White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation, the award honors the memory of Stan and Doris Hill for their remarkable commitment to community service. Craighead was recognized for his extensive volunteer service to the White Bear Lake area and beyond its borders.
Craighead, 85, grew up in St. Paul and graduated from Monroe High School. He received his Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Minnesota in 1957. He and wife, Sandy, have been married for 52 years and live in North Oaks. They have four children, Janine, Jim (deceased), Dan and Wendy.
Craighead founded his business, Power/mation, in 1960. The company distributed electric motors, machine clutches and brakes to the industrial market. It later expanded to sensor switches, motion technology and industrial PCs. When he sold the company in 1990, it had annual revenues of $30 million. After the sale of his company, he shifted to his “give-back mode.”
Craighead served on the Century College Foundation Board in many capacities for 16 years, including fundraising, business liaison, champion of innovation and advisory committee member. He became an emeritus board member in 2011. He was a founding member of the Hennepin Technical College Foundation in 1998, served as board president and is now an emeritus board member.
Craighead was an instructor at Anoka Hennepin Technical College, adjunct faculty member at the University of Wisconsin-Stout and taught automation hardware to engineers at 3M for five years.
Because of his special interest in science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM), Craighead has participated in many organizations that promote involvement in these areas. This includes participation on the boards of Robotics Alley, Positive Coaching Alliance, AirSpace MN, Grass Roots Innovation Team, National Youth Leadership Council, Minnesota Institute for Talented Youth, Junior Achievement, American Institute of Motion Engineering, Hugh O’Brien Youth Foundation, Jobs in Transition, and as an advisor for engineering education at the University of Minnesota. He also served as an industry liaison to the University of St. Thomas connecting business and industry professionals to the university outreach activities.
Craighead has been active in both White Bear Lake Rotary and Roseville Rotary. He was honored as the St. Paul Winter Carnival Prince of the West Wind in 1989.
When interviewed, Craighead stressed the importance of networking and connecting businesses and people to causes, organizations and civic engagement. He has a talent for connecting nonprofits and business leaders and letting anyone he meets know how they, personally, can make a difference.
A reception honoring Craighead will take place on Tuesday, May 21, at Century College - East Campus in the Library Fireplace Area. The event is open to the public and will begin at 7 p.m.