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Don Craighead Powermation1025

Obituary: Power/mation Founder – Don Craighead Passes On

Dec. 22, 2020
EW’s staff met Don at one of the first meetings of the Association for High Technology Distribution, and he impressed us with the passion for the industrial automation industry, sense of humor and magnetic personality.

Don Craighead, the founder of Power/mation, St. Paul, MN, passed away on Dec. 18. He founded the company with his father, Jim, in 1961, and since that time was a mentor and inspiration for many salespeople and managers in the industrial automation market.

A note from the company announcing his passing said he left a legacy of “creativity, inspiration, service, and a fanatical passion for networking.” The note from the company’s board of directors also said in part:

“Don Craighead’s unique combination of engineering skill, relentless energy, and commitment to the automation distribution industry are still at the core of the Power/mation organization today. Don sold the company in 1990 to a group of his energized senior salespeople so he could allegedly “kick back and enjoy retirement.”

“Amazingly, Mr. Craighead achieved more in retirement than most do in an entire career. He remained committed to the industrial distribution industry and to many organizations in the Twin Cities. He served as a board member for AirSpace MN, an advisory member for Robotics Alley, a board member for Positive Coaching Alliance, an Industry Liaison for St. Thomas University, a board member for Century College, and was a founding member of the Association for High Technology Distribution.

 “These are just a few of the organizations to which he provided his incredible energy and volunteer commitment, always with a positive attitude and a sincere willingness to help and mentor. He was a humble and kind servant to those organizations in which he participated for these past 30 years.

 “Everyone who had the pleasure to meet Don would certainly acknowledge that he was the epitome of the ultimate ‘networker’ but many of us will remember him as the ‘ultimate mentor’ who would give selflessly his vast knowledge of physics, engineering, and one-of-a-kind style in dealing with people. He was connected to so many individuals throughout the community and the industry, there were few people not touched by his connections. Don could truly get people involved with others in their industry through his networking opportunities.

 “Don Craighead was a great founder and leader for Power/mation and will always be remembered fondly and profoundly missed. He provides a tremendous example for the future of our company and industry.”