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Member Spotlight | Crown Castle & Lonnie Maier

on June 8, 2020 / by Nancy Dahlberg ,


Read Time 4 Minutes

Business: Crown Castle is the nation’s largest provider of communications infrastructure.

HQ: Houston

South Florida offices: 2 in Palm Beach County, 2 in Miami-Dade County, 1 in Broward.

No of Crown Castle employees in South Florida: About 400

Head of Sales, South Area: Lonnie Maier

Website: www.crowncastle.com

 

In this time of crisis, Crown Castle is certainly on the front lines too.

Crown Castle Fiber

Crown Castle Fiber’s national network.

Crown Castle, a national, publicly traded company, provides the underlying infrastructure to cellphone providers, wireless carriers, businesses, governments and other entities that are deploying mission-critical networks.

Lonnie Maier is Head of Sales for Crown Castle’s fiber division in the Southeast region, including Florida, Georgia and Texas. “We provide custom-built networks to businesses hospitals, governments, and financial institutions. We provide the communications infrastructure for them to be able to connect their various offices to serve their employee base and customers,” she said.

Maier is responsible for about 1,700 customers. “My job is supporting my sales team, talking to customers, making sure that we have proposals in front of them and implementation plans for the sales we made. It is always about understanding our customers’ challenges and we’ll work together to offer them connectivity options.”

The sales leader has been looking at the big picture and connecting the dots to solve customer needs her entire career in telecom. Maier was promoted in 2019 to oversee the Southeast and recently celebrated her 10-year anniversary with Crown Castle (in 2017, Crown acquired FPL FiberNet, where she worked since 2010).

Maier is proud to work at Crown Castle.

“We understand – especially now – that the infrastructure everyone is dependent on is an essential part of your daily life. If we take good care of our employees we will be doing a better job of taking care of the customers who depend on our infrastructure.”

MANAGING DURING COVID

Crown Castle, through its Connected by Good program, provides lunches to the nursing staff at Broward Health in April.

Maier, who was born and raised in South Florida, thrives on doing business face to face with her customers, some of whom she has had for 30 years.

With about 100 offices across the U.S., Crown Castle too has a face-to-face culture, but was quickly able to work remotely once COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. Even so, Crown Castle was an early adapter in stopping employee air travel and moving to telework as the pandemic started its spread its the U.S., and Maier says, the 25-year-old company hasn’t missed a beat.

“Now that we are all virtual, it is all about coordinating WebEx meetings to talk to your customers and keep them posted,” said Maier. “It’s been great — you get to see people in their own environment. We have become more understanding as a leadership team, more nurturing.”

Crown Castle is also active in community service through its Connected for Good program; the company most recently serving meals to healthcare workers during the COVID-19 crisis. Maier has also always been passionate about community involvement, particularly economic development.

Maier retired from the Florida Atlantic Research and Development Authority board last year after serving 12 years. That’s when Michael Fowler of FPL gave her a call to suggest joining Palm Beach Tech. Since then, she has been helping Palm Beach Tech with content for meetings and initiatives and sometimes mentors small businesses. She’s also the membership chair on Palm Beach Tech’s board. Maier has also served stints on the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance’s board over the last 20 years.

‘WE AREN’T COMPETING, WE ARE COLLABORATING’

Lonnie Maier Crown Castle

Lonnie Maier

“Our governments are working closer together than ever before,” said Maier. “We are defined now as a South Florida Tech region and definitely work for the betterment.”

Maier says that mentoring and connecting startups to resources is a big need —  especially now. “Every day you turn on the news it is a bad news story. We have to focus on the assets and the support mechanisms in place to help our small businesses.”

Palm Beach Tech, the Research Park at FAU and FAU Tech Runway are all setting an example by helping these young companies stay focused and get resources they need, she said.

For example, she said Palm Beach Tech is asking the right questions — what does the community need? What do small businesses need? What do potential unemployed workers need? Then they look at the big picture and try to connect the dots to bring about solutions.

“We even had a virtual job fair. There are efforts in place that are really focused on who needs the resources the most. It is all about just keep going, don’t get frustrated, don’t get distracted … We are not going to lose hope,” Maier said.

“I feel that South Florida has a way of coming together.”

Crown Castle employees help with a park cleanup project a few years ago.

Pictured at top of post: Lonnie Maier and Crown Castle’s network operations team visit with FAU in 2019.

Member Spotlight | Crown Castle & Lonnie Maier