As NDM celebrates our 30th anniversary, we would like to pay tribute and honor our founder, Nathan D. Maier, P.E., RPLS.

NDM Founder, Nathan MaierMany know about Nathan Maier, the company. Sadly though, we suspect many of our clients and colleagues know very little about Nathan Maier, the man. While it’s not possible to give those of you who never met Nathan a full appreciation of him in this abbreviated tribute, we hope to be able to give you some sense of what kind of man he was.

The son of an intelligence officer, Nathan was an army brat, attending 10 different schools before graduating from high school. After graduation he enrolled at Texas A&M University. Although he did well academically, at some point he was asked to leave due to a disciplinary issue, which is not entirely surprising. After he served his time in the penalty box, A&M let him back in and he graduated in 1972. After graduation, Nathan went to work for the City of Dallas Public Works Department, where he was responsible for streets and bridges. While with the City, Nathan wrote their drainage ordinance, which would be used in Dallas for years to come and would be adopted, in whole or in part, by many suburban cities. He would later be thought of by many as one of the most well respected water resources engineers in the Metroplex. In 1982 he retired from the City as the Assistant Director of Public Works and joined the consulting firm of Powell & Powell. During this time, Nathan was an adjunct professor in hydraulics and hydrology at SMU.

Standing at 5-foot 5-inches and weighing 135 lbs, Nathan was physically a small man, but he was all muscle. At one point he considered trying out for the Olympic wrestling team although he decided against it, we suspect he would have made it. He loved being around the kids at our company’s family get-togethers. One of his favorite things to do, especially around kids, was to walk through a room on his hands. We used to kid him that he just liked being with them because he was the tallest kid in the group. But the truth is, he liked being with them because he shared their childlike enthusiasm for life.

Nathan was good with his hands, evident by the carvings of fish and birds he created that are scattered around the office, most of which were done in one day. We are pretty sure he had Attention Deficit Disorder. Nathan had an uncanny ability to just know things, he never seemed to study things or learn things, he just somehow knew them. There were no half-way measures with Nathan, he was either all-in or he was out.

Although Nathan was small in physical stature, he had a big heart. Whether or not he liked someone didn’t depend upon their station in life, but what he thought of their character. Faith was important to Nathan and he was thankful to God for what he believed to be God’s blessings on our company. That is one reason why we have always hired seminary students (from Dallas Theological Seminary) as couriers. Nathan saw that as a way to give back.

Tragically Nathan passed away in a car accident April 1997. Many grown men cried the day of his funeral. The City of Mesquite dedicated a tree to him with a memorial plaque outside the convention center by the rodeo arena. A client dedicated a neighborhood park to him with another plaque in the LakeSide development in Plano. Jean, with the help of friends, created an endowed lecture series and scholarships that are given in Nathan’s name each year at Dallas Theological Seminary.

Nathan was a friend to many…the kind you can count on, no matter what…and we miss him.