CIM Program’s National Steering Committee Announces Appointment of Interim Executive Director

The National Steering Committee (NSC) for the Concrete Industry Management (CIM) program is proud to announce that Nicole Maher, the former chief operating officer at the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA), has been appointed as the interim executive director. Maher officially assumed her new role on May 1, 2024, succeeding Dr. Rex Cottle, who has led the NSC since July 2022.

Maher brings a wealth of experience and an impressive track record of leadership within the concrete industry. In addition, she has served as the secretary/treasurer for the NSC since 2013. Maher’s vision for the future aligns with CIM’s mission to advance the concrete industry through education, preparing the next generation of leaders to meet the challenges of the 21st century with resilience and innovation.

“Nicole’s appointment comes at a pivotal time for the CIM program and the broader concrete industry,” said Karl Watson, Jr., chairman of the NSC. “Her deep knowledge of the industry, combined with a forward-thinking approach to leadership, makes her uniquely qualified to guide the NSC as we continue to grow and adapt. We are confident in her ability to build on the strong foundation laid by her predecessor, Dr. Rex Cottle.”

Maher expressed her enthusiasm for her new role, stating, “My involvement with the CIM program over the last two decades has been a labor of love and being a part of CIM’s expansion and evolution to meet the needs of a progressive concrete industry has been very rewarding. I’m excited to step into this new role and continue that forward momentum, with deep respect and appreciation for those that led the way.”

“The NSC extends its deepest gratitude to Dr. Cottle for his dedication and leadership over the last several years as executive director and his deep involvement with CIM since 2009,” continued Watson. “Under his guidance, the CIM program has expanded its reach, has fortified the local Patrons Boards to increase funding to each school for marketing and recruiting and shepherded our last two schools to accreditation.”

The CIM Program

Recognizing the need for people with enhanced technical, communication and management skills, the CIM program was developed in 1996. The individuals graduating from this program will have the skill set necessary to meet the growing demands of the progressively changing concrete industry of the 21st century. It is a business-intensive program, providing solid management skills that can be used in any industry, but has been developed specifically for the concrete industry. The program gives students many advantages, including entering the concrete workforce with exposure to the industry early in their careers, unlike others coming in with generic business degrees.

The goal of the program is to produce broadly educated, articulate graduates grounded in basic business management, who are knowledgeable of concrete technology and techniques and can manage people and systems as well as promote products or services related to the concrete industry. It entails a broad range of courses, from English and history to science and mathematics. A series of required business courses such as finance, marketing, management and business law are also taken throughout the length of the program. The concrete-specific courses teach the fundamentals of concrete, properties and testing, concrete construction and more. All these courses utilize practical case studies and an internship to make sure the student obtains real-world experience essential to starting a successful career. Additional opportunities
for growth include on-campus socials and other organized events providing industry networking
and professional development.

About CIM

Receiving tremendous support from the concrete industry, the CIM program is the first of its kind in the United States – a four-year STEM-focused professional business degree preparing technically proficient leaders in the modern concrete industry, allowing them to specialize in a unique career with vast opportunities. The need for such a program was recognized in 1994 and was put into action by the concrete industry. The result was a partnership between the concrete industry and Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) to develop the CIM program, implementing it with its first two students in 1996. Available at MTSU, California State University, Chico, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, South Dakota State University and Texas State University, the program has been successful for both the industry and the
graduates. To learn more about the program, visit

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