Chairman & Founding Director
Don Budinger is one of the founders and immediate past President of Rodel, Inc. – a garage start up that grew to become the world’s largest manufacturer of the surface finishing chemicals used to make computer chips, rigid memory disks and specialty optics.
When Rodel was sold in 1999, a significant portion of the proceeds was contributed to create The Rodel Foundations. The purpose of the Rodel Foundations is to improve the pre-kindergarten through 12th grade public education systems in Delaware and Arizona so that they will be widely recognized as two of the best in the nation.
Don is Chairman and founding Director of the Rodel Foundations, Chairman and founding Director of Science Foundation Arizona, founding Chairman of College Success Arizona, a founding board member of Tucson Values Teachers and currently serves on the board of the Grand Canyon Trust, Stand For Children and Basis Charter Schools. He serves as a member of Greater Phoenix Leadership, Southern Arizona Leadership Council, Global Pathways Institute, the O’Connor House Advisory Group and ASU President’s Club Trustees.
Don has been the recipient of several awards including being named one of the Morrison Institute for Public Policy’s Distinguished Associates, the 2010 O’Connor House Community Leadership Award; an Honorary Doctorate degree in Humane Letters from Northern Arizona University; the “Science of Early Learning Award” from New Directions Institute; the “Horace Steele Child Advocacy Award” from Children’s Action Alliance, the “Outstanding Achievement in Higher Education” award from the Arizona Board of Regents; the “Homeroom Heroes” award from Teach for America and the “Distinguished Service” award from the University of Arizona College of Engineering.
Mr. Budinger graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1964.