Nordson is renaming the $5,000 Nordson BUILDS/PCI Scholarship the PCI/Nordson Ken Kreeger Scholarship to honor Ken’s legacy in the powder coating industry.

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Nordson Renames Scholarship in Honor of Ken Kreeger

Ken_Kreeger1

Ken Kreeger was a Nordson employee for more than 40 years, an icon within
the powder coating industry and a respected mentor for many. 

Ken Kreeger, who passed away this August, was a Nordson employee for more than 40 years, a key leader within the Powder Coating Institute (PCI) and an icon within the powder coating industry. To honor his legacy, Nordson is renaming the $5,000 "Nordson BUILDS/PCI Scholarship" to become the "PCI/Nordson Ken Kreeger Scholarship."

Funding for the scholarship comes from the Nordson BUILDS program, which supports students who live near our facilities in the United States and attend a trade school, community college or university for a major related to manufacturing. Nordson partners with PCI, a non-profit that represents the North American powder coating industry, to review applications for the PCI/Nordson Ken Kreeger Scholarship. Recipients of the award must live near a Nordson manufacturing facility and show an interest in powder coating.


Related: Meet the Nordson BUILDS Scholars We’re Supporting This Year! 

Sue Ivancic, Inside Sales Representative at Nordson and member of the PCI board, helps select recipients of the PCI/Nordson Ken Kreeger Scholarship. She explained that, beyond financial support, the scholarship represents a launching point for a student's career in the powder coating industry.

"What we'd really like to see is for a scholar to intern, or even get a permanent position at Nordson," Sue said.

Greg Dawson, Senior Sales Manager, partners with Sue to select the recipient. He was a close friend and colleague of Ken Kreeger, and it was Greg's idea initially to rename the scholarship.

"I think there was no question that it needed to be named after him," Greg said. "No question, after all he did. What better way to honor him than to name the scholarship after him?"

Ken was a Nordson employee for 40 years before his retirement in 2008, then served another eight years as a consultant. He is credited with shaping the powder coating industry, our powder coating business at Nordson and the way our teams approach sales. He held 20 patents and was well-known as a speaker at technical conferences, trade shows and training workshops. He was also a contributing author to the first edition of the highly-regarded industry manual Powder Coating – The Complete Finisher's Handbook, among other works.

          KenLab2    Ken Sam

                                                    Ken Sam Bob

Top left: Ken Kreeger working in a Nordson lab early in his career
Top right: Ken Kreeger stands alongside Sam Dawson, retired VP of Nordson Finishing, on a platform at a Nordson facility
Bottom: Three colleagues, friends and fellow inductees into the PCI Hall of Fame -- Sam Dawson, Ken Kreeger and Bob Allsop, retired Nordson Worldwide Marketing, Powder 

 

"Ken Kreeger was the epitome of the American dream. He started working in the shop at Nordson at a young age, moving through different positions within the company and worked his way up to global sales for finishing at Nordson," said Phil Bechtold, past PCI President. "He helped Nordson become an industry leader throughout the 90s."

Aside from his professional accomplishments, Ken was a highly respected mentor and inspiration for many – a key reason his legacy is best represented through a scholarship.

"I really owe my career to Kreeger. He taught me everything," Greg said. In a tribute to Ken published in Powder Coated Tough Magazine, many others shared similar sentiments.

See the magazine tribute: Remembering a PCI Icon: Ken Kreeger (Pages 8-9)

"Ken would often tell me 'people make the difference' and he was certainly one of the difference makers," wrote Sam Dawson, Nordson retiree. "Ken was one of the truly 'good guys' and he will be missed."

Ken was also a proud family man. He is survived by his wife, Kathy, and three sons. The family will be present to award the scholarship to next year's recipient.

"This really is an honor," said Erik Kreeger, Ken's son. "It was eye-opening to find out how he affected so many lives. I never knew that about him – I guess we just looked at him as Dad."

"His is the ultimate story of working your way up from an entry level position, which also shows what a great company Nordson is," Greg said. "He showed that the only limitations at Nordson are the ones you place on yourself."