Dr. Donald Maier, University of Tennessee-Knoxville

In addition to his academic credentials, Dr. Donald Maier has both breadth and depth in the supply chain industry. He has held management positions overseeing over-the-road operations, local route operations, manufacturing operations including maintenance mechanics, as well as international logistics– he has always focused on creating an efficient and effective operation by managing total landed cost with dedicated and well-trained employees. His professional career included managerial roles in logistics and supply chain at FedEx, Office Depot, Penske Logistics, Monsanto, and Merisant (division of Monsanto), where he was instrumental in the strategic design and leadership of the International Logistics Operation for North and Central America and held operational responsibility for the Andean region. He is no stranger to busy schedules as demonstrated by earning his master’s while holding a management position and also earning his PhD while holding his corporate position at Monsanto and teaching part-time at the collegiate level.

Don began his full-time academic career in 2004 at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois (his alma mater and hometown) where he was the 2009 recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award, the 2009 Alumni Board Presidential Award, and received tenure. While at USF, he also was a member of the Will County Health Department’s Emergency Response Team where he designed and managed the distribution of pharmaceutical supplies during the H1N1 incident.

Although he and his wife are both natives of Joliet, where both families still reside, they took a leap of faith by seeing other parts of the country. During that time, he and his family lived in both Maine and California.

Don rose to the rank of Dean and served in that role for nine years in the International Business & Logistics programs at Maine Maritime Academy (MMA), and was the founding Dean for the School of Maritime Transportation, Logistics, & Management at California Maritime Academy where he oversaw programs in marine transportation, logistics, and academic oversight for Naval Science including the Strategic Sealift Midshipmen Program (SSMP-Unit 71), a subset of MARAD’s Military Sealift Command. He returned to the classroom to teach supply chain at the University of Tennessee – Knoxville where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses from an operational approach.

Don has been featured on CNN, CNN-I, ABC-San Francisco, San Francisco Chronicle, and Popular Mechanics as the subject matter expert on the M/S Ever Given, and a contributor to The 2 Conversation and numerous podcasts on the volatility in the global supply chain. He has been a speaker for events with the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), the Marine Insurance Association of Seattle (MIAS), the Board of Marine Underwriters of San Francisco, American Soybean Association, American Agri-Women Association, the International Association of Maritime Port Executives (IAMPE), and the Inland River Ports & Terminals (IRPT).

He served on the Maine International Trade Center, Board of Advisors and continues to serve on the Board of Advisors for the International Association of Maritime Port Executives (IAMPE) and the Containerization & Intermodal Institute (CII) education committee. Don also earned the Accredited Maritime Port Executive (AMPE) certification through the IAMPE.

Joliet is also the hometown of his wife (and best friend), Laura, where their families still reside. They have been fortunate to have had the amazing opportunity to live and work in the Midwest, both Coasts, in urban and rural areas, and now reside much closer to their children. As Don likes to say, he’s just an over-educated truck driver.