Don Nowak is NFDA's 2020 Fastener Professional of the Year

The National Fastener Distributors Association’s is pleased to announce the 2020 recipient of its Fastener Professional of the Year award is Don Nowak of Falcon Fastening Solutions (Charlotte, North Carolina).

The Fastener Professional of the Year award was created by NFDA to honor individuals and companies that make a substantial positive impact on people’s lives. The inaugural award in 2017 was presented to Robbie Gilchrist of Capital Marketing (High Point, North Carolina). In 2018 Jim Ruetz of AIS (Franksville, Wisconsin) was honored and in 2019 Kevin Queenin of Specialty Bolt & Screw, Inc. (Agawam, Massachusetts) received the award.

In his nomination of Don to receive this award, Mark Shannon of Tower Fasteners (Holtsville, New York) said, “Don has been a contributor to the fastener industry and its associations for many years. His career has been filled with a high standard of ethics and integrity, and he has led a company that has grown in revenue and stature over the years. Don has been a mentor to many (including myself) and is willing and able to share his sound reasoning and good business sense when asked.”

Don began his fastener industry career at Kar Products (Des Plaines, Illinois) from 1970 to 1987, followed by a ten-year stint with Hoyt Fastener (Niles, Illinois) as president and chief operating officer.

In 1997 Don joined Falcon Metal Corporation (Charlotte, North Carolina). He was brought on board as a minority partner by Bruce Roberts, Falcon’s founder. His charge was to develop a marketing/sales strategy to grow the business, and he has grown the company’s revenues by 500%.

Don purchased Falcon when Bruce retired in 2008. The next year Falcon purchased the assets of C & M Industrial Solutions (Louisville, Kentucky) to expand the company’s geographic focus. Falcon now has five facilities (three are customer specific), including the headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina.

In 2014 the company’s name changed to Falcon Fastening Solutions. In 2018 a generational transfer of ownership to Don’s daughter Carrie Cespedes and her husband Giovanni took place. Don remains as a part-time consultant.

Don served as a Board member and past president of the Chicago Bolt, Nut and Screw Association (now the Mid-West Fastener Association). He also served on the NFDA Board of Directors and the Southeastern Fastener Association Board. Don retired last year from the Fastener Advisory Board, a peer group he started with other fastener industry leaders in 1988.

Don has been married 48 years to his wife, Joan. He enjoys boating, racquetball, keeping in shape, and being a vocal spectator for his granddaughters’ volleyball programs.

Don will be presented his award at the next NFDA event.

Nominations for the next Fastener Professional of the Year award will be open in January 2021.

For more information about NFDA and its programs, visit or call 562-799-5519.


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Ron Stanley - Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Don is an ideal person to select for this award. After working closely with him for 25+ years, he has demonstrated his integrity, professionalism, and class in addition to his thorough knowledge of fasteners and the fastener industry. He has introduced me to his contacts in the industry, some of whom have become life long close friends. He has my utmost respect and I congratulate him with unbridled enthusiasm!

Mark Shannon - Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Congratulations Don! This recognition is well deserved.

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