In the heart of Klamath Falls, Ore., an unassuming yet highly accomplished figure has been leaving a mark on the academic world at the Oregon Institute of Technology for 15 years. Assistant Professor Don DaSaro, with a career spanning over four decades for one of the world's leading heavy equipment and machinery manufacturers, Caterpillar Inc., has become an example of industry experience applied to education at Oregon Tech.

DaSaro's transition from the corporate world to academia was a natural progression driven by his passion for knowledge sharing, dedication to excellence, and mentoring the next generation of business leaders. With a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the Missouri University of Science and Technology and a Master of Business Administration with a finance focus from Marymount University in Virginia, his academic credentials are impressive. However, what truly sets him apart is his distinguished and far-reaching career at Caterpillar Inc. in the U.S., Latin America, and Asia.

While working for Caterpillar, DaSaro excelled in management positions, including marketing, sales operations, dealer development, and establishing new country operations. His diverse experiences made him an invaluable asset to the company's expansion and global operations.

Notably, DaSaro spent five years in Washington, D.C., serving as an International Sales Manager for Caterpillar, where he provided vital coverage to organizations such as the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the United Nations Development Program, and various U.S. government departments, including the Department of Commerce and the Department of State.

During his time in Washington, D.C., DaSaro advised on trade with Asian countries to committees and business councils, including the U.S.-China Business Council, the U.S.-Vietnam Business Council, and the Sustainability Forest Committee of the Smithsonian Organization. His involvement in international relations, including contributions to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on lifting the Vietnam embargo and support for the U.N.'s mine-clearing efforts in Cambodia, showcased his commitment to goodwill and global cooperation.

One of the most remarkable aspects of DaSaro's career is his 27 years of living and working abroad in Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. His responsibilities ranged from marketing and sales to dealer product support strategy, human resources, dealer development, and management development. He served as a key player between Caterpillar and its independently owned dealers, whose businesses ranged from $200 million to $3 billion in annual revenue. His contributions in this region significantly impacted the company's growth and success.

Now an Assistant Professor in Oregon Tech's Management Department, DaSaro uses his experience to teach several courses, including Leadership, Human Relationships, Sales Management, Labor Relations, Advertising, International Business, Global Marketing, New Product Development, and Small Business Management. His industry insights enrich his teaching style, allowing students to bridge the gap between theory and real-world application.

In the ever-changing global business landscape, DaSaro's combination of academic knowledge and extensive industry experience is a valuable asset to his students. His legacy is not just about textbooks and lectures; it's about preparing the leaders of tomorrow with practical skills and a global perspective. Oregon Tech is fortunate to have an educator of his caliber who has transitioned from the corporate world to the classroom, passing on the torch of excellence to the next generation.

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