Q&A with Don Michel

By Pat Nowak

product of NW Ohio, Don attended local schools, Newbury, Jones Jr High and Libbey High School. He went to the Air Force after high school and once discharged, opened his first business, Michael’s Beverage Center in 1960. He operated the business while attending the University of Toledo, graduating in 1962.

He began a career at the Ford Motor Company as a Production and Industrial Relations manager but eventually decided more schooling was necessary. 

He enrolled at Cleveland Marshall College of Law, receiving his Juris Doctorate from Cleveland State University. In 1970 he opened his first McDonald’s Restaurant in Bowling Green.

Over the next 28 years, he opened, purchased  or sold 14 McDonald’s from Rossford to Port Clinton, Tiffin to Archbold. In 1980 he was instrumental in working with other McDonald’s operators and Toledo Hospital to build and open the original Ronald McDonald House on Monroe St., serving on the board as President and Vice President for 10 years.

In 1983, again with other McDonald’s operators, he launched the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic golf tournament, and Don served on the board for 15 years.

Don and his wife, Venice, operated both WOSE FM Port Clinton and WXKR FM 94.5 in Toledo. Married to Venice for 55 years, they have three children and three grandchildren. After retirement in 1999 he built a home in Naples Fl. but after fourteen years, decided that home is where the heart is in Monclova.

He is quite proud of being made an Honorary Alumnus of Bowling Green State University and receiving the Burt Silverman Award from the Toledo District Golf Assn.

Where do you call home? Monclova Twp.

What was your first job? Door to door milk delivery with a Sealtest Milkman driving a horse drawn wagon.

What health or lifestyle tips do you support? Move it or lose it.

Your biggest self-indulgence? Reading.

I have always wanted to …? Golf the top fifty golf courses. I have played about a third of them.

What trait do you admire in others? Honesty and a sense of humor.

Something most people don’t know about you? I am very sentimental.

Words you live by? The Golden Rule.

Your proudest accomplishment? My family.

Person you most respect? My wife, Venice.

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