Don Maier is an associate professor of practice in supply chain management. His professional career included roles in the logistics and supply chain management teams at FedEx, Office Depot, Penske Logistics, Monsanto and Merisant (a division of Monsanto). He was instrumental in the strategic design and leadership of the international logistics operation for North and Central America and managed the design and development of the total productive manufacturing quality culture at Merisant, focusing on the principles of 5S and Lean.
During this time, Maier earned a doctorate in organization development and a master’s in organizational behavior from Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois, and taught a variety of management-related courses. At this time, he decided his long-term goal was to teach and help students develop and earn a professional career.
Maier started his full-time academic career as an assistant professor at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois, where he earned tenure, the Excellence in Teaching Award and the Alumni Board Presidential Award. He also was a member of the Will County Health Department’s Emergency Response Team, where he designed and managed the distribution of pharmaceuticals during the 2009 H1N1 influenza outbreak. He served on Will County Center for Economic Development’s logistics advisory board, helping transform Joliet into the inland empire of the Midwest.
He held the rank of professor at two universities and for the past nine years and served as dean for the Maine Maritime and Cal Maritime Academies. As the founding dean for the School of Maritime Transportation, Logistics, & Management at California State University – Maritime Academy, he oversaw programs in marine transportation, international logistics and naval science (Strategic Sealift Midshipmen Program).
Maier has been featured on CNN, CNN-I, ABC-San Francisco, San Francisco Chronicle and Popular Mechanics regarding the container ship Ever Given (the ship stuck in the Suez Canal) and volatility in the global supply chain. He was a keynote speaker for American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), the Marine Insurance Association of Seattle (MIAS), Board of Marine Underwriters of San Francisco, the Inland Rivers, Ports & Terminals Association and the International Association of Maritime Port Executives (IAMPE). He currently serves on advisory boards for the IAMPE and the Containerization & Intermodal Institute.