Mays Transformational Leaders
Charles “Chaz” Neely ’62 understands the importance of applying leverage. During his successful career, the former CEO of San Antonio Steel Company (SASCO) focused on creating maximum value that helped his company grow into the largest wholesale distributor of cattle, ranch, range, game, and wildlife fencing in the United States.
Chaz and his wife, Trisha, have taken the same approach in creating maximum value with their philanthropy over the years. They make giving a priority, and they look for ways to leverage their gifts to help others. In addition to their financial generosity, they are generous about sharing their time, knowledge, and experiences – including Chaz serving on Mays Business School’s Dean’s Advisory Board.
The couple strives to make these decisions using both their head and their heart to support non-profit organizations that align with their values. “Sometimes when groups seek a donation, we find ourselves saying, ‘We don’t have a heart for that,’” Chaz said. “We also may not know enough about them – their values, their intent, or how they will use the money. We give to organizations that we know well and that share our core beliefs and values.”
The couple also builds relationships with the organizations’ leaders. “We get to know these people on a personal level and give because they are doing the right thing and are using the resources they receive wisely.”
The San Antonio couple appreciates when organizations utilize their gift to increase their programs’ quality and enhance their visibility. For example, the Neely’s endowed two Mays Business School chairs in support of the Marketing Department and the Hagler Institute for Advanced Study. “Chairs bring some outstanding faculty members to Texas A&M who otherwise wouldn’t know about the university,” Neely said. “Oftentimes, these top professors decide to remain because they’ve learned that Bryan/College Station has a great quality of life and that Texas A&M is an amazing institution.”
The Neely’s generosity enables Mays to attract the best and brightest students and faculty, maximizing teaching, research, and student experiences at Mays Business School.