Former Schneider National president Don Schneider dies
January 13, 2012
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Donald Schneider, chairman emeritus and former president and CEO of Schneider National, has died. The company's Web site said Schneider died today after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer's disease. He was 76.
Former Schneider National president and CEO Don Schneider, 76, died earlier today after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer's disease.
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Donald Schneider, chairman emeritus and former president and CEO of Schneider National, has died. The company’s Web site said Schneider died today after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 76.
Born in 1935, Schneider started working for the family business while in high school in the early 1950s, first as a mechanic’s helper and then as a truck driver. He continued in this capacity while attending St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wis., in the late 1950s, using the job to fund his college education.
Schneider graduated from St. Norbert College with an undergraduate degree in business and married his wife, Patricia, in 1957. After serving a 13-month military tour of duty in Korea, Schneider returned to the US and enrolled in graduate school at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Upon earning his master’s degree from Wharton, he returned to the Green Bay area in 1961 to join his father’s trucking company as a manager. He also taught finance at his alma mater, St. Norbert College, during this time. In 1976, Schneider officially became president of the company.
Schneider led the family business for more than 25 years, a span which included deregulation in the early 1980s and saw the carrier become the first to adopt satellite-based communications and positioning in its trucks.
In 1993, Schneider founded Schneider Logistics to help customers to manage the flow of materials, funds and information throughout their supply chains. He also formed Schneider Communications, a regional telecommunications company, in 1982.
Schneider retired from the day-to-day responsibilities in 2002, selecting then chief operating officer Chris Lofgren to succeed him as president and CEO. Schneider continued on as chairman of the board for the privately held firm until 2007 when he reached the board’s mandatory retirement age.
“Don Schneider was one of the finest individuals I have ever known,” said Lofgren. “He was true to his convictions and committed to his values. I will be forever grateful that I had the opportunity to work for and be mentored by Don. He entrusted our management team to continue his vision of providing exceptional transportation and logistics services at a fair price while enhancing the standard of living worldwide. Our Schneider National family of associates shares our deepest sympathies with his wife, Pat, and the entire Schneider family during this sad time.”
Schneider also shared his time and talents with a wide range of academic, industry, business and community organizations. Most notably, he served as chairman of the Business Advisory Committee for Northwestern University’s Transportation Center, was a member of the Advisory Board for the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, was a director on the Federal Reserve Board in Chicago and served on the Board of Directors at Fort Howard Paper Company and Franklin Electric. He was also a member of the Board and Executive Committee of the Green Bay Packers and sat on the Board of Trustees for St. Norbert College.
Schneider was also an active philanthropist in the Green Bay area, having chaired the capital campaign for Notre Dame Academy, the annual campaign for United Way of Brown County and provided the lead gift for the St. Norbert College athletic complex – Donald J. Schneider Outdoor Athletic Complex – in 2008. In 1982 Schneider founded the company’s charitable arm, the Schneider National Foundation, which has donated millions of dollars and thousands of volunteer hours to charities in need since its founding, according to officials.
Schneider is survived by his wife of 53 years, five children, 13 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and 18,222 members of his Schneider National family around the world.
Schneider National has created a site to share memories about Don Schneider here.
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