Karen Maier (BS/JEM ’74), recently retired vice president of marketing and board of director’s member with Frisch’s Big Boy Restaurants in Cincinnati, received the UT Accomplished Alumni Award on September 24, 2015 from CCI Dean Mike Wirth. The ceremony took place at UT’s Tyson Alumni House.
After graduating from UT in 1974, Maier returned to Cincinnati to begin work as a manager trainee at her family’s business, Frisch’s Big Boy Restaurants. She worked her way up to shift manager and then unit manager at the company before transferring to the advertising department in 1975 where she became director of advertising and marketing in 1978 and vice-president in 1983. During her 36 years working for and helping to lead the company, Maier became aware of the limitations other employees faced because they did not have a college degree. As a result, she decided to create the Karen Maier Scholarship Fund within CCI to provide financial support to enable non-traditional students to earn a college degree.
Jessica Puckett, a communication studies student and recipient of this year’s Karen Maier Scholarship, attended the ceremony and witnessed her benefactor receiving the Accomplished Alumni Award. It was the first time Puckett and Maier had met.
In addition to her many corporate successes, Maier also led Frisch’s community involvement programs with the Cincinnati Museum Center, the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Cincinnati Ballet and the Cincinnati Reds.
She has been very active personally in her community by serving as a director of the Free Store Food Bank and as a member of the Tourism Ohio Advisory Board. She was also the initiator of Taste of Cincinnati, an annual event that offers many small restaurants the chance to showcase their culinary work to a wider audience.
“It was an honor to have Karen Maier on campus and to present her with the UT Accomplished Alumni Award,” said Dean Mike Wirth. “Having the recipient of the Karen Maier Scholarship, Jessica Puckett, join us for the celebration made the occasion extra special. We congratulate Karen on her many career successes and her community involvement accomplishments. Likewise, we are very grateful to Karen for her commitment to CCI and UT and for investing in the future of our students!”