Entrepreneur Michael Melio has been selected by the University of Connecticut to speak at the 2015 General Studies commencement ceremony. He will be delivering his commencement address on May 9 at the Jorgensen.
“Commencement speakers are nominated from all walks of life due to their accomplishments in particular fields or the compelling personal experiences they can share with our graduates,” UConn spokeswoman Stephanie Reitz said.
Melio is one of nine commencement speakers that were selected this year. Each of UConn’s colleges will have their own commencement speaker.
“Michael Melio is a Waterbury, Connecticut native who built two North Carolina-based companies, Western Piedmont Metal and United American Steel Company,” Reitz said.
Currently, Melio serves as the president and CEO of Western Piedmont Metal Incorporated, and he has had considerable success building his own business despite setbacks due to the turbulences of the 2008 market crisis. The focus of Melio’s two companies is recycling asset management systems for industries dealing with scrap metal. Combined, his businesses report estimated revenue of $50 million.
His personal experiences, which ultimately led to his business success as well as his friendship with esteemed life coach Tony Robbins, have been the subject of a segment on the CNN talk show program Piers Morgan Tonight.
“Life is fragile. Tomorrow is never guaranteed. Forgiveness-Compassion-Mercy. That is the Critical Lesson,” Melio said via twitter.
Aside from his professional career, Melio has been an avid fan of UConn athletics, and has been particularly enthusiastic about its basketball program.
“At eight years old, I was listening to UConn on AM radio. At eight, my son’s been to two Final Fours,” Melio said.
For the last 20 years he has been a committed donor to the university’s athletics programs, and has been especially generous in providing scholarships for student athletes. He currently serves as a member of the UConn Athletics Campaign Steering Committee and has pledged $500,000 to developing the UConn Basketball Champions Center.
In thanks for his support, UConn has named one of their athletic development fund scholarships in honor of Melio’s son, Enzo Anthony Melio.