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Student Made Good Comes Back Home

By Michelle C. Lyons
The Huntsville Item

He is a former Sam Houston State University student made good--reportedly one of the top insurance product people in the industry. And he will be making a stop at Sam Houston State on Tuesday to talk to students about his experiences out in the world of business.

Charles E. Amato, a 1970 Sam Houston State graduate, is the scheduled guest speaker at the College of Business Administration's Executive-In-Residence Program scheduled at 9:45 a.m. Tuesday. Students and faculty from the college of business are welcome to attend the program, being held in Mafrige Auditorium.

Jim Bexley, a former bank president and chair of the university's Smith-Hutson Endowed Chair of Banking, formed the residence program last year, with the goal of bringing chief executive officers from major American corporations to Sam Houston State to visit with students.

The program is beneficial, he said, because it not only allows students to gain a unique perspective of the business world, but it also allows major corporate executives to become familiar with Sam Houston State.

"We see this as a real benefit to the students because they get exposure to top executives ... (and the executives) get to see the caliber of young people we turn out at this university," he said, adding that last year's speaker, Phil Simpson, CEO of Republican Gypsum - a "Fortune 500" and "Forbes 200" company - was so impressed with one SHSU student that he ended up hiring her.

Bexley added that not only is Amato a successful businessman, but he also is a SHSU graduate, which brings a new perspective to the program. Not only will he be able to tell students about his experiences in the business field, he also will be able to relate stories of his own days at their school, Bexley said.

"We were really hoping to find someone who was a distinguished alumnus," he said, "Someone who can show the students, 'Hey, SHSU people do well out there.' "

Amato's other business experience includes a stint as president of Employees Life Holding Company, regional representative for the Kenny Corp., and assistant vice president of Bay City Bank & Trust.

Among his many affiliations, Amato is a board member of the Santa Rosa Children's Hospital Foundation, Children's Miracle Network, the University of San Antonio Development Board, Texas Business Hall of Fame Foundation, the Alamo Bowl and the Christus Santa Rosa Health Care Corporation.

He also is a board member of the San Antonio Spurs Foundation and Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, where he is chairman of the Military Affairs Committee for 1999.

Amato has received a number of honors including 1992 South Texas Entrepreneur of the Year and was named a 1990 Society of International Business Fellow.

He and his wife, Cathy, live in San Antonio and have two children, Marcus and Allison.

Bexley said that aside from speaking to a group of students and faculty, Amato will make himself available Tuesday to visit with students one-on-one. He also will be visiting SHSU classes before returning to San Antonio.

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SHSU Media Contact: Frank Krystyniak
April 5, 1999
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