Don is an entrepreneur with expertise in the plastics molding industry. Since 2003, he has been responsible for the start-up and growth of Hurricane Kayaks, a premium brand of thermoformed, lightweight kayaks sold through specialty dealers throughout the U.S., Canada, Japan, and Australia. In 2015, he acquired Native Watercraft and Liquidlogic Kayaks. These complementary brands focus on fishing and whitewater markets. He is also managing partner of a custom rotational molding and thermoforming business serving military, marine, heavy equipment, and wastewater applications.
In 2002, Don founded Blue Ridge Plastics, LLC, a plastics recycling company processing difficult-to-recycle plastics from post-consumer and post-industrial sources. As CEO and Co-Owner, Don developed and implemented a strategy and operating plan that resulted in Blue Ridge becoming a major processor of scrap plastics at 30 million pounds per year and a fixture in the industry nationally. Blue Ridge Plastics was purchased by a division of ITW in 2008.
After graduating from The Fuqua School of Business in 1990, Don spent 10 years with the Cherokee group of companies based in Raleigh, North Carolina. Cherokee provided diverse operating experiences in environmental remediation, brick manufacturing, private equity, and metal finishing.
Don lives in Durham, North Carolina with his wife and has three children. He has served on the board of Reality Ministries, a Durham-based Christian ministry to the special needs community. In addition to holding an MBA from Duke, Don earned a BS in Civil Engineering from Bucknell University in 1986.