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The History of Falcon Industries

The Early Days

Falcon began operations in October 1981 when the company was formed in Hector, Minnesota by Jim Larson, who had worked for another auger fabrication company, along with two partners.

After the first year, the partners decided they had had enough and wanted out, but Jim wanted to keep Falcon going. He remembered a sales rep for his previous employer who had been the one to find new applications and customers and reached out to Don FitzGerald.

Bringing in a new partner

Don FitzGerald, Falcon’s current CEO, agreed to join Jim when he reached out and purchased 50% of the company.

Don FitzGerald had wanted to own a manufacturing company since his youth, when his father shared with him that he wanted to buy a company where he could work with Don and his younger brother when they were older. Unfortunately, Don’s father passed away at an early age, so Don took up the mantle to pursue their shared dream.

Don held many jobs before he started on the path to becoming a manufacturer’s representative. This role was well suited for Don, who was always interested in solving the next issue for customers. The lines he took on were diverse, from fiberglass piping and heating elements to water treatment components and augers. The auger market was what interested him the most as there were so many applications already using augers and many more new and interesting ones that customers were coming up with.

His attention to customer needs became one of Falcon’s greatest strengths, and that strength has significantly contributed to the company’s success. Falcon has been a partner with their customers and has found that the key to its success is the success of its customers.

A New Era of Leadership

Once joining Falcon, Don set out to make the changes that had frustrated him as a rep for other companies. Don believed that customers needed to be adequately served by the companies he represented–and he was determined to do that with Falcon. This was one of the driving forces behind his decision to become part owner of Falcon.

In 1984, Falcon opened a plant in Bedford, OH, to better serve the Eastern side of the states. The operations grew steadily to the point where it was relocated to a larger facility in Medina, OH, in 1987.

In 1995, Jim Larson decided to sell his portion of Falcon and retire, but at age 68, Don was not ready to retire. Don found a partner to buy into Falcon in early 1996, but by the end of 1997 that partner had realized that manufacturing was not for him. Don purchased the remaining 25% in early 1998, taking full ownership of the company.

Falcon outgrew its Hector, MN operations and moved to a new facility in nearby Cosmos, MN in 1998. This location has been expanded twice, in 2006 and 2012 to its current size of 33,000 sqft. Falcon’s Ohio operations moved in 2008 into a new 34,000 sqft facility in Medina.

Encouraging the Whole Team to get Involved.

Another goal of Don’s in owning a company was ensuring all employees shared in its success. So, in 2000, Falcon implemented its ESOP, Employee Stock Ownership Plan, by acquiring a 30% interest in the company. This was a great success, and in 2005, the ESOP purchased an additional 10%. As a result, the employees of Falcon Industries currently own a 40% interest in the company.
At age 94, Don works daily on Falcon sales and looks forward to the continued growth of the company.