Alumnus Dan Ephraim, Owner Of Chicago-Based Modern Process Equipment, Joins Illinois Tech Board Of Trustees

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By Howard J. Lee

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CHICAGO—Illinois Institute of Technology (Illinois Tech) alumnus Dan Ephraim (MBA ’76), president/owner of Chicago-based Modern Process Equipment Corporation, has been elected to the Illinois Tech Board of Trustees.

“Much of my business success and leadership skills can be credited to the innovative and hands-on education I received during my time at Illinois Tech,” says Ephraim. “Now, as a Board member, I hope to help empower—and inspire—the next generation of business and tech leaders here in Chicago.”

In 1981, just five years after graduating with his MBA from Illinois Tech’s Stuart School of Business Ephraim partnered with his brother Phil to purchase Modern Process Equipment (MPE), which at that time only reconditioned industrial coffee grinders. Today, MPE designs, manufactures, and distributes coffee grinding and food processing equipment around the world including the design and construction of complete factories. Now in its 40th year since initial acquisition—and considered by many to be the gold standard within the industry—MPE has become the global leader in industrial coffee grinding equipment, holding a dominant market share throughout North America and Indonesia, and a strong presence in Europe, Russia, South America, and the Middle East. During that time, they have also expanded the business into manufacturing processing equipment for the food and chemical industries including the design and construction of complete plant processing systems. 

“Dan and his entire family represent so well the entrepreneurial spirit that we aspire to cultivate in all of our graduates,” said Raj Echambadi, president of Illinois Tech. “We are honored to work with Dan as a member of our Board in an effort to help lead the next generation of innovators and visionaries to even greater heights.”

Ephraim is one of three generations of Illinois Tech alumni, including his father Max (ME ’39), brother Steve (ME ’78), and niece Laurel (B.Arch. ’94). Collectively, the Ephraim family has played a pivotal role in the growth and transformation of the university through a legacy of giving. A conference room at the university’s McCormick Tribune Campus Center has been named in Max’s honor, and the Max Ephraim Endowed Scholarship in Engineering was established in 2003 to provide scholarship assistance to an engineering student with a 2.5 grade point average or higher.

“Dan’s legacy and that of his entire family perfectly embody the culture of philanthropy that we are cultivating here at Illinois Tech,” said Ernie Iseminger, vice president for advancement at Illinois Tech. “Their commitment to ensuring new pathways to success for our students is a true inspiration.”

Prior to acquiring MPE, Ephraim honed his business acumen in the coffee business at Richheimer Coffee Company. Richheimer was shortly bought out by the Weschler Coffee Corporation, where Ephraim then led business operations.

“The precedent that the Ephraim family has established is truly a milestone for all future Illinois Tech graduates who are ready to make an impact on the world,” says Michael P. Galvin (LAW ’78), chairman of Illinois Tech Board of Trustees. “I am delighted to welcome Dan to the Board to help us fulfill our founding purpose to liberate the collective power of difference to advance technology and progress for all.”