Malco Products, one of the nation’s leading solution developers and manufacturers of a variety of high-quality tools for the building trades, announced that Phil Sponsler has been named the chair of its board of directors. Sponsler joined the board in May 2022, bringing decades of experience in operational excellence and continuous improvement in the manufacturing space.

Sponsler will assume the position from outgoing chair and long-time board member Don Schmidt, who became board chair in 2019. Schmidt retired in 2014 after a 42-year career at Malco, including serving as Malco’s executive vice president for 18 years.

“We are so thankful to Don for his many years of service to Malco and are looking forward to Phil continuing to serve the board as its chair,” said Malco president and CEO Rich Benninghoff. “Don and Phil have both played essential roles in Malco’s success this past year, and the foundation Don has helped build over the past four decades will help propel Malco into its future as a thriving company for many years to come.”

Sponsler’s appointment to this role is the most recent milestone in Malco’s board transition as the company rolls out the next phase of its strategic growth plan. Malco has enjoyed a sharp increase (to nearly 13%) in annual growth since the start of this decade and has added several new strategic leaders throughout the company and at the board level to support and accelerate this growth as Malco continues to develop new products to serve current and new markets.

“The transition to a strategic board has been taking place as we’ve been adding board members with deep experience and knowledge in manufacturing and business who will help Malco continue to grow and create innovative and in-demand products that our end-users want, and need,” Benninghoff added.  

About Malco Products

Malco Products, based in Annandale, Minnesota, is one of the nation’s leading solution developers and manufacturers of a variety of high-quality specialty hand tools for the building trades. Backed by over 70 years of history, these specialized tools are built to last, rigorously tested and backed by a limited lifetime warranty. Malco is proud to be 100% employee-owned. Malco earned a Manufacturing Excellence Award from Twin Cities Business Magazine in 2022 and was named the 2018 Medium Manufacturer of the Year by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. For more information about Malco, visit