Retired Champlin businessman takes seat of honor for Father Hennepin parade

Longtime Champlin civic activist and businessman, George Hutson, will serve as the Father Hennepin Festival Parade’s grand marshal this year.


Hutson was born and raised in Chicago, Ill. He enlisted in the Army in 1958 where, after completing basic training, he was accepted into officer’s candidate school. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant Infantry  in 1959. Hutson served in both active and in the reserves, achieving the rank of Major by the time he was discharged in 1969.

Upon leaving the Army Hutson and his family moved to Minnesota. Hutson entered a career with a manufacturer of milk packaging machinery where he rose through the ranks, eventually filling the General Manager role.

In 1982, Hutson started his own company manufacturing dairy processing equipment. Eventually, he began looking for a place to construct a new building for his growing business.

“We rode around the whole upper midwest area and northern suburban area looking for property,” recalls Hutson. “Champlin happened to have the property. It was just developing and very advantageous to buy.”

In 1996, he constructed a new building for his business, Filtration Engineering, in Champlin. Thus, began his fondness for the community.

Since then, Hutson has expanded the company’s plant and international footprint numerous times while becoming a civic fixture in the Champlin business community.

While inventing new filtration technologies and innovations, he has always made time to support local community activities. For years, Hutson and Filtration Engineering have been the chief sponsor of the Father Hennepin Festival’s fireworks show.  He has also been a sponsor and supporter of the Champlin Ice Forum and the city’s Annual Business Appreciation Day.

Hutson sold his business to another company last year, retaining one division that he oversees and relocating it to Plymouth. His son, Todd Hutson, stepped in as president at Filtration Engineering.

Last year, Hutson accepted the role of president of the newly established Champlin Crime Prevention Fund.  In this role, Hutson leads a community effort dedicated to raising funds that support local crime prevention programs.  Some of the fund’s sponsored programs include DARE, Safety Camp, and Cash Reward Programs such as the Quick 25 and the Major Crime Reward Fund. Currently, the Crime Prevention Fund is raising support to acquire a mobile police alarm system that can provide police officers with real-time crime information.

Earlier this year, the City of Champlin bestowed Hutson with a ceremonial “key to the city.”

“George Hutson has unselfishly contributed to the betterment of the Champlin community,” said John Cox, Champlin’s deputy city administrator.

George is looking forward to participating in the parade. He is especially enjoying his grandchildren’s excitement as they will be by his side as they roll down West River Road greeting parade goers from George’s tan convertible Bentley, a splurge he purchased after the sale of his business.

George will be joined in the parade line-up by his son Todd Hutson, daughter Lisa Nelson, and grandchildren, Marco Hutson, Ana Hutson, Jessica Nelson and Max Nelson.


Contact Mindy Mateuszczxyk at [email protected]