Donald P. Arndtsen, Class of 1950, is Park University’s 2010 Distinguished Alumnus. The Alumni Association presents this award to recognize Arndtsen’s outstanding accomplishments as a businessman, community leader and Park University supporter.
At Park, Don earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry. Continuing his education at the University of Chicago, he added a master’s degree in business administration to his resume in 1963. This impressive combination of skills and education prepared him to take advantage of the business opportunities that came his way, leading to a successful career as a business owner of a multi-million dollar company.
After graduation from Park, Arndtsen was hired by the Delaval Separator Company as a sales engineer trainee with a territory that included Kansas City. During the Korean War, Arndtsen was drafted into the Army and trained as a special agent in the Counter Intelligence Corps. When Arndtsen returned to civilian life, he returned to Delaval, rising through the ranks to an executive level position. In 1975, at the age of 47, Arndtsen was asked to divest one of Delaval’s product lines. Arndtsen saw real growth potential and bought the product line himself, founding Accurate Metering Systems Inc., in Elk Grove Village, Ill. From the small division that he purchased, his company grew into a $6 million business, with manufacturing, sales and service facilities in two countries. The company served as a leading supplier of sanitary flow measurement and control solutions to the North American dairy, beverage and food markets. He sold the company in 2003, at which time he officially retired.
Retirement for Arndtsen may not have the same definition as it does for most people. He currently lists his job title as manager of Arndtsen Cooperative Enterprises LLC. His principal retirement activity is real estate development.
While successfully facing the challenges of business ownership, Arndtsen met the call to serve his community as well. He has served as finance chairman and in other leadership positions in the regional councils of the Boy Scouts of America, in Dutchess County, N, Y., Sinnissippi, Wis., and northwest suburban Chicago. As vice president of the Dutchess County Senior Citizens Housing Corp., he helped sponsor a 135-unit, 12-story housing facility for senior citizens in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. He presided over the Midwest Section of the American Oil Chemists Society and served on the board of the Dairy and Food Industry Suppliers Association. Currently, Arndtsen is an active member and former officer of the Barrington (Ill.) Chapter of Rotary International, which is well known for its philanthropic endeavors; and has served as trustee and elder of the Presbyterian Church of Barrington.
Today, Arndtsen serves as a member of the Park University Board of Trustees, currently in the position of secretary. He also serves on the executive, communication, finance, and trusteeship committees.
Arndtsen is married to Park alumna Nancy O’Neal, ’54. They have five children, all happily married, and they have eight grandchildren. He attributes much of his success to his partnership with Nancy. He proudly professes that he couldn’t have accomplished as much without his wonderful wife.