He began his career in 1975 as a Design Engineer with Hudson Engineering Corporation Houston, Texas. He was part of the engineering group responsible for the design and management of various phases of engineering and construction of gas plants, off-shore oil production platforms and petroleum loading dock facilities. In 1976 he was employed as a Design Engineer for FMC Corporation at Houston, Texas. At FMC he was a member of an engineering team designing sub-sea oil drilling and production equipment.
n 1977 he left FMC to become a Design Engineer with a K-State classmate at Spring Machine, Inc., located in Arkansas City, Kansas. At Spring Machine he was responsible for the design, manufacturing supervision and installation of special material handling equipment for all types of industrial applications.
He served in this capacity until 1979 when he became the Plant Manager for Ark Manufacturing Company in Sterling, Kansas. As Plant Manager, he was responsible for all manufacturing operations required to design and manufacture OEM front-end loaders for the lawn and garden industry. Direct responsibilities included production scheduling, personnel management, and supervision of all other plant functions, including engineering, tooling, production, purchasing, quality control, maintenance.
He became the Operations Manager for KMW, Inc. in 1983 after KMW Products purchased the assets of Ark Manufacturing Co. and reported directly to the President of KMW Products in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada.
In 1988, the assets of KMW Inc were sold to Ålö-Maskiner, Europe’s largest independent loader manufacturer. As General Manager of Alo USA, he reported to the Vice Managing Director of AB Ålö-Maskiner, located in Umeå, Sweden. From 1990 to 1993, he was also responsible for the manufacturing operations of their plant in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada. In 1997, Mr. Bender purchased the assets of Alo USA.
As President and General Manager, Mr. Bender oversees the operations with the KMW management team. Mr. Bender is also a Director of the First Bank and a member of the Board of Trustees of Sterling College, both located in Sterling, KS. He is a past city commissioner and Mayor of Sterling.