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Sudbury Mining Solutions

Commentary

Don MacLean inducted into SAMSSA’s Supplier Hall of Fame

February 27, 2017
by Patrick Demers
In: Dick DeStefano
Dick DeStefano Executive Director,  SAMSSA destefan@isys.ca

Dick DeStefano
Executive Director,
SAMSSA
[email protected]

The greatest compliment for entrepreneurs in the mining supply sector comes from peers who applaud and recognize their success in founding and growing a business that creates a product or service that is innovative and creates efficiencies for the industry.

SAMSSA knows the importance of honouring pioneers in the mining supply and service sector. We initiated our Hall of Fame in 2007 to acknowledge members who have made a difference in the marketplace. All of our inductees started with a vision, were persistent and had the guts to take risks in changing markets.

SAMSSA inducted Don (Ducky) MacLean, president of MacLean Engineering as its honouree for 2016 at its annual general meeting this past December.

Don has a history of mining in his blood as he followed in his father’s footsteps working underground and becoming the youngest shift boss the mine ever had. Don’s daughter, Lisa Rennie, said she was told that Don was tough and driven but fair, and wouldn’t expect anything of his shift that he wasn’t willing to do himself.

In 1973, Don decided to be his own boss and created MacLean Engineering. He chose Collingwood for the location and later opened a plant in Sudbury. The first few years were tough, but he was persistent, determined and ensured that his team was prepared to demonstrate the same traits.

Don always focused on innovative designs and taking risks, which no one else would venture to take. This put his company at the leading edge, especially with underground equipment customized for his clients. The first MacLean Engineering pneumatic longhole drill prototype was built in 1974 and demonstrated MacLean’s ability to read the market and needs of mining companies.

One of his first major breaks was an opportunity in 1996 in South Africa that was fraught with risk, but Don took the challenge and the contract opened the door to a global customer base.

Don has come full circle. He now leads the charge at MacLean Engineering to refine their equipment for the new era of battery power for their entire mobile equipment product line. In his 80th year he pulls into the plant with pep in his step and excitement to see what is next.

Following is a complete list of our Hall of Fame honourees:

2007
Fred Castron, founder and president, Cast Resources
Conrad Houle, founder and president, Tracks and Wheels Equipment Brokers

2008
Robert S. Lipic, founder and president, Mining Technologies International
Don Rastall, founder and president, Rastall Tool Corp.

2009
Franz Peter Matusch, founder and president of CCM Group of Companies
Ron Miller, founder and president, Miller Technology Inc.

2010
Ivan Beljo, founder and president, Rematech Industries
Bob Rappolt, vice-president, Stantec

2011
Mark Andrews, president of Wearwize and general sales manager, Carriere Industrial Supply
Bruce Diplock, founder and president, Dixon Electric

2012
Bob Morin, founder and president, Mobile Parts Inc.
Rick Lemieux, founder and president, RDH Mining Equipment

2013
Bill Fuller, founder and president, Fuller Industrial
Darryl Lake, founder and president, NORCAT

2014
Paul Marcotte, president, Marcotte Mining Machinery
Doug Smith, founder and president, Manitoulin Transport

2015
Paul Villgren, founder and president, Sling Choker Manufacturing
Andre Ruest, general manager, B&D Manufacturing

Full profiles of our honourees are available here.

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