For the better part of their lives, the Maidas have been inextricably linked with Lehigh University. In 1985, James earned his bachelor of science degree in computer science engineering from Lehigh. While an undergraduate, James was a member of Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity and resurrected the Sailing Club on campus. James’ father, brother, sister, and two of his daughters all attended Lehigh. Most importantly, he met his wife, Sharon, at Lehigh, and they were married in the university’s Packer Memorial Church in 1986. Subsequently, James attended Rutgers Law School, where he earned his J.D. degree with high honors and honors in taxation. James has legal expertise in numerous practice areas, including gambling, Indian gaming, gaming regulations and standards, electronic game testing, and tax.
James is the founder, president, and CEO of Gaming Laboratories International (GLI), which is the global leader in testing, certification, and professional services for casinos, land-based gaming, lotteries, and iGaming. Founded in 1989, GLI now serves more than 475 jurisdictions on six continents and employs more than 900 people. A recognized pioneer and figurehead in the gaming industry, James was recently recognized as one of the “Ten Most Influential People in the Gaming Industry” by Global Gaming Business Magazine. Dr. Sharon Maida is a pioneer in orientation and mobility of blind and visually impaired children and has received national recognition for her work. Sharon maintains a private practice, Maida Mobility, which provides mobility consulting services to children with visual impairment from months after they are born through their college years.
An active alumnus, James sits on Lehigh University’s Board of Trustees and has served on the advancement, academic affairs, and audit committees. In addition, he has served on the Computer Science and Engineering Advisory Council and Lehigh Leadership Council. James and Sharon are members of the Lehigh University Parents’ Council.
In addition to being long-time members of the Asa Packer Society and Tower Society, the top-tier giving societies, James and Sharon have launched numerous initiatives to benefit Lehigh University students. They have provided opportunities for students both inside the classroom and out with The Maida Foundation Scholarship, The Maida Foundation International Internship Fund, and The James and Sharon Maida Data X Graduate Fellowship. Finally, the Maida’s generosity allowed for the transformation of historic Williams Hall into Lehigh’s global hub with the Sharon O. Maida and James R. Maida Family Terrace.
James and Sharon’s philanthropy further extends beyond Lehigh’s gates. They are trustees of the James and Sharon Maida Foundation and created the Maida Public Interest Scholars Program at Rutgers Law School which provides thousands of hours of pro bono services to families in need of legal services. Finally, James is chairman of the Monmouth Medical Center–Southern Campus Foundation Board of Trustees.
Sharon and James live in Newtown, Pennsylvania, and Lavallette, New Jersey, and are the parents of Nicholas, Lindsay, Lauren ’17, and Alexis ’19.