Dave Nordel, Founder

The Founder: Dave Nordel

Dave Nordel’s life and career epitomize a profound dedication, resilience, and leadership journey. Retiring as a United States Air Force Command Chief Master Sergeant after over 30 years of service, Dave possesses an expansive and invaluable skill set. His academic acumen is evident with a bachelor’s degree in registered nursing, emphasizing emergency medicine, complemented by a master’s degree in disaster and emergency management.

The realms in which Dave operated span across the globe, from Saudi Arabia, Somalia, and South America to Iraq, Korea, Japan, and Hungary. His valor in the field is undeniably demonstrated as a Bronze Star combat-decorated medic and the recipient of the Legion of Merit – the nation’s 6th highest military decoration.

Rooted in rural Northern California, Dave’s upbringing in a dairy farming family instilled in him values of hard work, community, and commitment. Setting out from home at the tender age of 19, he embarked on an Air Force journey that saw him ascend through the enlisted ranks, ultimately taking on the responsibility as the senior enlisted leader for all nuclear missile forces in the United States.

With a repertoire that goes beyond military service, Dave’s leadership is multifaceted. He has showcased exemplary leadership, managing both small teams and large organizations. Moreover, his prowess as an emergency manager is evident, having led city government activities and extensive organizations through crises such as COVID and other challenging disaster scenarios.

Recently published in the Air and Space Power Journal, Dave is recognized as a subject matter expert on moral injury, further adding to his credentials. His international best-selling book, Giving Back – Life and Leadership from the Farm to the Combat Zone and Beyond and When the Cows Lie Down – Why People Quit You – Their Leader, provides insights into his journey, philosophy, and mission.

Under the banner of Max Fab Consulting, Dave offers keynote leadership, organizational growth, and strategic guidance. Drawing from his battle with PTSD, he remains deeply committed to assisting transitioning veterans and other trauma victims, guiding them toward healthier coping mechanisms. As an active mentor, Dave’s dedication to nurturing young leaders is unwavering, ensuring their holistic development and success.


  • Center for Creative Leadership
  • Gettysburg Leadership Experience Senior Leader Course, Gettysburg College
  • Graduate Certificate Leadership & Management, Mendoza Business School, University of Notre Dame, South Bend
  • Enterprise Leadership, Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
  • Lean Six Sigma Executive Courses, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

In a constantly evolving world, Dave Nordel stands as a beacon of experience, knowledge, and dedication, giving back the myriad gifts and insights he has amassed over the years.

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