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Charles W. Salanski

Executive Director, The CENTER, a Samaritan Counseling Center
Retired President and COO, Wire Rope Corporation of America Inc.
2008 DESA Recipient
Primary office:



  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, 1957

Salanski joined Wire Rope Corporation of America while still a mechanical engineering student at the University of Kansas, and joined the firm full time after graduating in 1957. By 1995 he was named chief operating officer.

As COO of the St. Joseph, Mo.-firm, Salanski led a growth strategy that increased sales four-fold and generated $200 million in revenue. Salanski has been a leader in wire rope industry groups, been active in international trade issues and served on a U.S. Department of Commerce advisory committee.

He retired from Wire Rope in 2002. He is now executive director of The CENTER, a Samaritan Counseling Center. He also chairs a project to design and implement a new system of care for emotionally disturbed children.

For many years he has chaired the KU Mechanical Engineering Advisory Board. Salanski is a registered Professional Engineer and a member of several engineering organizations.

He has held numerous leadership roles throughout St. Joseph, including with the Allied Arts Council, the Symphony, the City Council, the School District Foundation, the Wyatt Park Christian Church, Heartland Health, United Way and more.

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times