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Northern Tool + Equipment Announces the Passing of Founder Don Kotula

The passionate entrepreneur is being remembered for the positive impact he made on those who were lucky enough to know him

BURNSVILLE, Minn., Jan. 22, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Northern Tool + Equipment founder Don Kotula passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 20, at the age of 78. The passionate entrepreneur founded Northern Tool in 1981 and built it into a nationwide destination for trades professionals and serious DIYers by focusing on producing an exceptional experience for customers and by running the company with a steadfast focus on remaining true to his values.

Don founded the company out of his garage in Eagan, Minnesota, but his passion for business started well before that and dates back to his teenage years growing up on the Iron Range of Minnesota. Don's father owned a scrapyard, and this is where Don developed his entrepreneurial spirit by making a business of sourcing parts for customers through his travels between Hibbing and the Twin Cities. Don knew early in his career that focusing on the customer and delivering an exceptional experience was the key to a lasting relationship. Don's values are what built Northern Tool and continue to permeate throughout their nearly 3,000 employees to this day.

"Our father will be remembered for his passion, humor, spontaneity and the countless stories he shared showcasing his zeal for life," said sons Ryan and Wade Kotula. "His legacy lives on through the great company he founded and built over 42 years ago. We are excited about the future of Northern Tool, thanks in large part to the solid foundation and values our dad instilled in all of us. He was the true embodiment of what our company stands for and will be greatly missed."

In remembrance of Don Kotula's life, the family asks that any commemorations or charitable donations be made to the Northern Tool + Equipment Foundation benefitting the Tools for the Tradestm program, a program created to inspire the next generation of skilled trades professionals. Remembrances or donations by check can be directed to:

The Northern Tool Foundation/Tools for the Trades
Attn: Accounts Receivable
2800 Southcross Drive West
Burnsville MN 55306


About Northern Tool + Equipment:
Northern Tool + Equipment is a family-owned company serving both DIYers and trades professionals tackling the tough projects. A leading supplier of more than 100,000 high-quality tools and equipment for over 40 years, the company's highly-trained team has an immense breadth of knowledge to help customers in-person at 140 retail stores, online and over the phone through their fully-staffed contact center. From helping customers get the right tool for the job to assisting with parts and repairs that keep tools running at peak performance, customer service is at the foundation of Northern Tool's mission. With a passion for serving their communities and helping to fill the trades labor shortage, the company's Tools for the Tradestm program donates high-quality tools directly into school classrooms, helping teachers show students the value of working in the trades. Learn more about Northern Tool + Equipment at NorthernTool.com and stay connected through social media: Facebook (@northerntool), Instagram (@northern_tool), TikTok (@northerntool), X (Twitter) (@northerntool), YouTube and Pinterest.

Media Contact: Holly Steffl
Phone Number: 612.351.8312
Email: [email protected]
Website: northerntool.com

SOURCE Northern Tool + Equipment

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