Don presently serves as President and CEO of Plastics Machinery Group (PMG), this title brings with it his personal journey of being involved in every facet of the plastics processing business; from developing skills for creating long lasting relationships to learning the importance of quality in one’s product. It has been a business career in the making, beginning at the age of seven.
Neil Kruschke Sr. set the seed that began the lifelong interest and curiosity about the plastics industry. Don has fond memories of his father Neil Kruschke Sr. taking him and his brother Neil Kruschke Jr. to visit the Brown Manufacturing company’s operation. Neil Sr. took time out of his busy day to explain to his sons about the different ways that plastic was made, and after visiting the facility, the three went fishing behind the plant. These memories are deeply cherished and gives Don a better appreciation of what his father was trying to teach him at such a young age.
In 2009 Don’s business life changed with an unpredictable turn in the economy and plastics industry. It was during this time of uncertainty the formerly known company, Stopol went into receivership, and the business so carefully built, was now divided. Throughout the years Don came to rely on his “never give up” attitude; and that, along with the lessons instilled into him by his father, and the business relationship he had with this brother was what got him through the recession in the economy. Then by forging ahead to keep his commitment to the industry, he formed Plastics Machinery Group.
Don has taken the Solon-Ohio based company from a start-up used plastics equipment merchant and helped it evolve into a multi-million dollar, technologically advanced, full-service plastics industry broker and consultant. As a vital member of the leadership team, he is responsible for overseeing and driving the overall direction of the Plastics Machinery Group’s related activities, which includes developing and implementing sound business strategies, managing equipment sales, scouting opportunities, guiding the acquisition of assets, and representing the company’s overall interests to ensure sustainable growth.
Today, Don is proud to say that Plastics Machinery Group is experiencing continued growth in all areas of their plastic processing divisions; Thermoforming Machinery & Equipment, Extrusion Machinery & Equipment, Blow Molding Machinery & Equipment, Rotational Machinery & Equipment, and has recently brought back in house, the Injection Molding Division. More staff has been added to handle its expanded operations, which now includes the sale of new machinery. Plastics Machinery Group also specializes in comprehensive liquidation services by conducting appraisals, and mergers and acquisitions consulting through its Business Services division. Through this division Don utilizes his expertise and industry knowledge, contacts and relationship-building abilities to bring business partners together. Standing firm on his commitment to keep Plastics Machinery Group an industry leader and innovator, he continues to push his boundaries into new markets by going international with opening offices in England, Italy and India. Plastics Machinery Group’s industrial reach and personal relationships are now global.
Don is a member of the Society of Plastics Engineers and has served its Thermoforming Division in a variety of leadership roles and high-profile capacities. He currently is the Chairman of the SPE Machinery Committee and also serves on the Awards Committee. In addition to his official SPE duties, Don also actively markets and sponsors the SPE Annual Thermoforming Conference by providing monetary and advertising support, as well as promoting the conference during his day-to-day interactions with customers and business partners.
Don lives in Ohio, with his wife and two children.