Donald E. Frieson (’90)

Category: Awards | Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna

2022 Distinguished Alumnus Award Winner

Recognized nationally for his expertise on supply chain operations, Donald E. Frieson has capitalized on efforts to give back to one of the places where his success started. Frieson and his twin brother, Ron, donated $1 million to support UT’s Black Cultural Center, now named after the brothers. A college student who moved from Memphis, Frieson valued the cultural center when he attended UT and wanted students to have a place where diversity is welcomed. He graduated with a degree in operations management from UT’s Haslam College of Business and later graduated from the Global 20/20 Executive Education Program at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business.

Frieson’s career began before he graduated college. At Schneider National Carriers, where he worked for 12 years, he learned operations within one of the strongest national freight networks.

He then dove into the retail industry, holding administrative titles at Walmart in fleet operations, supply chain management, and other core infrastructure positions. As Senior Vice President at Walmart, he was responsible for 30 distribution centers and 1,600 retail locations. Frieson was also Chief Operating Officer for Sam’s Club and responsible for all locations in the United States and Puerto Rico for five years. He is presently the Executive Vice President of Supply Chain at Lowe’s. During a two-year venture a little over a decade ago, Frieson also seamlessly directed Walmart’s first integration into Africa.

As of February, Frieson advises the US Secretary of Commerce on national freight infrastructure and policy decisions to drive success in supply chain and competition from US exports.