Kurt M. Duska began his manufacturing business career in 1986 – as he was finishing up his time at Gannon – by starting a plastic molding company. Since then, he has bought, merged and sold multiple businesses and currently helps in the operation of three businesses in the Erie area.
Beginning his Gannon career in 1982, Kurt commuted his first two years to campus from Girard, Pennsylvania. “I would strongly suggest that all students live on campus to get the true feel of college life,” he mentions. Joining the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity brought Kurt onto campus where he was able to expand his mind and experience the world’s diversity, adding that “at the time, I may not have appreciated Gannon’s philosophy of a complete education (religion and philosophy classes), I now understand the impact.”
Crediting Gannon’s industrial management program for giving him the platform on which to base his career, which he describes as “an evolution of opportunities, based on solving problems with technology and service,” he turned to the universirty again in 2008. Working with Gannon's Small Business Development Center, Kurt was able to receive a Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection grant for $500,000 which he used to purchase state-of-the-art recycling equipment. “The equipment allows us to recycle many types of plastics, ranging from flexible food packaging to rigid molded products.”
For Earth Day in 2008, Kurt’s company created and passed out 5,000 frisbees, all recycled from plastic dog food bags, and last year, recycled over 4,000,000 pounds of material. “I hope to grow our regional capability to a national impact,” says Kurt. “My goal is to create sustainability through profitability.”
(Published in 2010. Revised June 2014.)