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Don Ricke to be Inducted into IDEA Hall of Fame

Don Ricke to be Inducted into IDEA Hall of Fame

BEMIDJI MN – March 26, 2014 – Don Ricke will be inducted posthumously into the IDEA Hall of Fame on April 24 at the IDEA Competition Awards Banquet, to be held at the Sanford Event Center in Bemidji. The award will be accepted on his behalf by children Dave Ricke and Deb Matthews.

The IDEA Hall of Fame was instituted in 2009 to recognize and honor the accomplishments of the region's legacy innovators-those within the region who have inspired others with their entrepreneurial vision, leadership and achievement. The IDEA Hall of Fame includes seven other Northwest Minnesota inductees: Andy Wells of Wells Technology; Edgar Hetteen, founder of Polaris and Arctic Cat; Glen and Dennis Brazier, brothers who founded MATTRACKS and Central Boiler, respectively; William S. (Bill) Marvin, Marvin Window and Doors; Mark Larson, COO and President of Digi-Key; and Ron Stordahl, Founder and CEO of Digi-Key.

Ricke grew up near Bagley, Minnesota, where he learned the value of hard work on the family farm and blacksmith shop. During World War II, Ricke served in the U.S. Navy. Following his military service, Ricke married his wife, Bea and they went on to have three children – Debra, David, and Mary.

After receiving an engineering degree from North Dakota State University, he was employed by several companies, including Honeywell, where he worked as an aeronautical engineer on guidance systems for NASA's pre-Apollo program. To be closer to home, Ricke endeavored to start his own engineering and machining company and opened Motek Engineering and Manufacturing in Cambridge, Minnesota.

Ricke's passion for inventing and improving engineering processes led to the expansion of the business, which resulted in the establishment and growth of TEAM Industries with his son David. Ricke always strove for innovation and was quick to utilize cutting edge technologies, improving productivity and increasing the company's capacity. Today, the company has facilities in the Minnesota communities of Audubon, Bagley, Cambridge, Detroit Lakes, and Park Rapids, and another in Andrews, North Carolina.

In the years since Ricke launched the company, TEAM Industries has established a solid position as an industry leader, driving innovation in performance and reliability-enhancing components. The company offers a complete range of services, from collaboration on new product designs to custom contract manufacturing. Primary products include transmissions and transaxles, axles and four-wheel-drive systems, continuously variable transmissions (CVTs), and electric vehicle drivetrains.

In addition to embracing innovation and cutting-edge technologies, Ricke also embraced rural life. He believed in giving back to his community, making many generous contributions to education, healthcare, and various community projects.

Ricke passed away in 1997. The legacy that Don and Bea Ricke left to their children led to the establishment of the TEAM Foundation, a nonprofit organization with a mission of enhancing the quality of life through charitable funding within rural Minnesota by the promotion of education, healthcare, and community. Team Industries continues to provide jobs in rural areas, and Ricke's altruistic tradition is now carried on through the TEAM Foundation.

Don Ricke will be inducted into the IDEA Hall of Fame at the sixth annual IDEA Competition Banquet, to be held April 24, 5:00-8:30 p.m. in Bemidji at the Sanford Event Center. For more information about the banquet or to register, go to

The IDEA Competition is a project of Ingenuity Frontier, a collaboration of partners joined by a common purpose - to grow the economy of Northwest Minnesota by outfitting the next generation of homegrown innovators for success in the global marketplace. IDEA sponsors are 360° Manufacturing and Applied Engineering Center of Excellence, Arvig, Border State Bank, Bremer Bank Crookston and Warren, Northwest Minnesota Foundation, Minnkota Power Cooperative Inc., NID Inc., Northwest Regional Development Commission, Northwest Regional Small Business Development Center, Ultima Bank Minnesota, University of Minnesota Crookston, and Wells Fargo.


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