Remembering Don Maurer

Don Maurer, say those who knew him best, was defined by his two loves: for advertising—which he pursued with the same cool ferocity that made him a standout quarterback in high school—and for his teen age daughters. At a bittersweet memorial service on a bright autumn afternoon last week, those who knew him best also recalled Maurer’s humor and vitality, and his mix of strength and compassion.

Maurer, 47, president and CEO of McKinney & Silver in Raleigh, N.C., was killed in a single-car accident on Oct. 20. Hundreds of mourners joined his parents, Jerry and Marilyn, and daughters, Rachael and Sarah, at the Raleigh service.

Maurer was “one of the most ap proachable, down-to-earth straight shooters I’ve ever known,” Ken Kaess, president and CEO of DDB, told Adweek. “He made you feel proud to be in advertising.”

There was one thing that took precedence over work for the 24-year adman. “His girls were everything to him,” said McKinney creative director David Bald win. “He was the busiest guy I ever met, the most driven guy, but he would interrupt the most im portant meeting if one of his daughters was on the phone. Of all things, Don was best at being a dad.”

Joe Grim aldi, CEO of Mullen in Wenham, Mass., said he most remembers Maurer’s leadership ability. Maurer was director of client services at Mullen in the mid-1980s. “He saw himself as a general,” Grimaldi said. “Some people envision themselves that way, others aspire to the position, get there and do everything necessary to survive. Don was not that way. He was a general.”