Graduating from Moses Lake High School in 1982, he headed off to Washington State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Microbiology. This immediately netted him a job at Columbia Crest/Chateau Ste Michele Winery as a lab technician/chemist, appreciating the art and science of winemaking.
In 1988 he married the love of his life, Betsy. They moved to western Oregon where Don went to work as assistant winemaker at Elk Cove Vineyards in Gaston.
Feeling the pull of Moses Lake, he returned in 1992, joining international airbag producer, Takata Industries, as Laboratory Supervisor. A motivated family man, he worked his way up through Chemist, then Laboratory Manager, all the way to Plant Manager in 2011. He had the tough task of guiding the Moses Lake facility through a worldwide product recall, followed by a transition to new ownership under Joyson Safety Systems.
After spending a total of 28 years in the airbag industry, he was given the opportunity to go from running a plant in the Port of Moses Lake Industrial Park to actually becoming the head of the Port itself. In January of 2020, he was selected by Port Commissioners as the Executive Director of the Port of Moses Lake, which he calls “a dream come true for someone growing up in Moses Lake.”
Don and Betsy have been together 33 years and counting. While Don leads the Port, Betsy is Chief Financial Officer for a large farming operation in Moses Lake. They are proud of their two daughters, Hannah and Sarah. Hannah has chosen to stay in Moses Lake and has become an English teacher at Chief Moses Middle School. Sarah is in her second year of graduate school at Eastern Washington University pursuing a Masters in Fine Arts and Creative Writing with a concentration in Poetry, a natural talent she inherited from her mother, Don is proud to point out.