Co-founder: Rone was good partner, friendPublished 11:09am Thursday, January 3, 2013
The co-founder of Northern Contours says Mike Rone, who died at the age of 63 after a short illness on Dec. 29, was both a great business partner and friend.
Rural Dalton resident Duaine Miranowski with Rone founded the Fergus Falls manufacturing company Northern Contours in 1992. Northern Contours manufactures wood, veneer, and thermofoil cabinet doors and components to a variety of industries.
Miranowski said he met Rone over 25 years ago.
“I had knowledge of the membrane press technology, and Mike was already set up in manufacturing,” said Miranowski, recalling when they started Northern Contours together. “Over all the years we worked together, we never had a major conflict. He was very easy to get along with.”
Rone and Miranowski sold controlling interest in Northern Contours in 2005, but continued to remain involved with the company’s operational management until 2010 while the company continued to invest heavily in state-of-the-art equipment and expand to six locations in three states. The Fergus Falls facility employs around 200 people.
Rone was still on the Northern Contours Board of Directors at the time of his death.
“Mike was not just my business partner, he was my good friend,” said Miranowski. “We agreed early on to treat employees how we wanted to be treated, and Mike did just that. He was really great guy.”
Gordon Hydukovich, Community Development Director and City Planner for Fergus Falls remembers when Rone and his dad George first built their cabinet business in 1983, that was later destroyed by fire in 1984. The city assisted in getting Rone into a new facility, and Hydukovich has had many dealings with him ever since.
“Mike was very easy and capable to deal with, and was really interested in his employees,” said Gordon Hydukovich, Community Development Director and City Planner for Fergus Falls. “Mike really understood the give and take of economic development.”