Donald R. Shaffer of Sidney, Ohio was born in 1925 and passed away April 12, 2013 at age 87. He spent 3 ½ years as a World War II Navy veteran who served on an aircraft carrier, the USS Cowpens (CVL 25) in the Pacific. He married Sarah in 1948 and they were blessed with four children, 7 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.
After serving in the military, he began his career with Peerless Bread Machinery in 1947. He worked in the engineering department before becoming vice president and general manager in 1961. Thirteen years later Don left Peerless and organized a new manufacturing company by the name of BE/W where he served as vice president and general manager. In 1986, Don decided to start his own company by the name of Shaffer Manufacturing Corporation. His son Dave Shaffer joined the company in the engineering department helping to design the new Shaffer Mixers.
Soon after World War II, Don was approached by a baker in need of a mixer. Like most bakers following the war, he didn’t have any money. Don believed in this individual and the products he planned on baking, so he provided the baker a mixer with the understanding the baker would pay monthly installments, which he did. In 1986, when Don started his own company, that baker (O.D. McKee), placed an order for 10 mixers to help get Shaffer Manufacturing off the ground and eventually bought over 35 Shaffer mixers.
Don possessed an outgoing personality and trust. He had an ability to understand people’s needs and attempted to satisfy their needs through new equipment designs. He earned the title of mixer specialist by building mixers for the largest bakers in the country to the smallest.
Don developed the dual drive, all stainless and open frame horizontal mixers. His designs have always set the trend for faster mixing, better dough development, faster cooling, programmable controls, less energy requirements, confidence of absolute sanitation, dependability and durability. His designs have been the most copied in the industry.
After dedicating over 60 years to the Baking Industry, he retired from Shaffer Manufacturing Corporation and the company was eventually sold to Bundy Baking Solutions who still manufactures Shaffer mixers as it is a name well respected in the baking industry. Don gave freely to the Baking Industry because of his awareness of value and his foresight of the need for personal contribution.
He was a member of the ASB, AIB, BEMA and many other notable Baking Industry organizations. His entrepreneurial spirit and innovations to dough mixing have raised the standards for today’s modern bakeries around the world.
Click on the images below to view .pdf files of the inductee’s biography and plaque.