Entrepreneur Michael Melio to speak at 2015 General Studies Commencement Ceremony

  • APRIL 20, 2015

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.

UConn Names 2015 Honorary Degree Recipients

  • May 1, 2015

A Nobel Prize winner, National Education Association Foundation leader, and infant development expert are among UConn’s honorary degree recipients this year. Each year, the University bestows honorary degrees in recognition of extraordinary and lasting distinction that represents the highest intellectual and moral values.

This year, honorary degrees are awarded to Timothy Scott Case, doctor of science (engineering); Helen Hays, doctor of science (biology); Barbara Medoff-Cooper, doctor of science (nursing); Michael A. Melio, doctor of humane letters; Harriet Sanford, doctor of humane letters (education); Robert J. Shiller, doctor of science (business); Anne C.R. Tanner, doctor of science (medicine); Leslie Uggams, doctor of fine arts,; and Peter J. Werth Jr., doctor of science.

Michael A. Melio, Doctor of Humane Letters, Humanities, General Studies
Michael Melio is a Waterbury, Conn., native who grew up with modest means, but built two prosperous companies that provide jobs for people, and wealth that enables him to give back philanthropically to the institutions and communities he is connected to.

The two North Carolina-based companies, Western Piedmont Metal and United American Steel Company, were successful until, in 2008, the nation’s metal market dried up during the recession. In light of the circumstances, Melio reeducated himself, retooled his businesses, and then rebuilt their combined coffers to $50 million. Melio’s ambition wasn’t to accumulate wealth but to triumph over adversity, to ensure that was the experience his young son would witness, and to protect the livelihoods of the men and women who work for him.

When he had his first small business, Melio noticed a staff member struggling with drug addiction. Most small business owners would have fired her, but Melio’s instinct was to help. He connected her with a program run by his longtime mentor and friend, Tony Robbins, the internationally known motivational speaker. He didn’t know that this act of kindness would lead to another mentor and a new career in metal recycling. With awe and gratitude for helping his daughter find the strength and courage she needed to enter recovery, the woman’s father offered to take Melio under his wing to teach him the metal recycling business and offer financing for Melio to go out on his own.

C'mon.... A Scrap Metal Guy getting an Honorary PhD from a top 20 research university??


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Meeting Mike Melio – A Conversation With Lewis Schiff

March 23, 2015

Not long ago, several Members took a trip together to “Unleash The Power Within” – a Tony Robbins event designed to teach people to unlock their full potential. While there, the Members were treated to a surprise visit by Tony’s associate, Mike Melio.

Mike is an inspirational figure in his own right, and he related his own personal story to our Members over an early breakfast on the Saturday of the event. Lewis Schiff recounted his own experience of the talk.

“Mike is a true fan of Tony Robbins,” Lewis explained in an interview. “He met him at a program years earlier, when he didn’t have much of a career going. He’d been homeless, but found his way into sales and working in scrap metal because of something nice he did for someone. He found his way to Tony Robbins by volunteering for years for security, one of the guys who watches the stage and the entrances, and one day Tony took a liking to him and started giving him business advice. Ever since then, Tony has been his mentor.”

“He built up a great business over the years, right up until 2008. In one of their sessions, Tony let him know that he thought that the economy was in big trouble in 2008, but Mike didn’t react fast enough –  and his businesses were demolished by the recession. But now he’s back and running with very successful businesses.”

“He uses some unique techniques from Tony, including being especially focused on net cash rather than on topline sales – so the money you take home at the end of the month. So he works to be very creative in incentivizing sales forces to sell by tapping into that net cash.”

“He described some mechanisms for doing that which Tony had been using in his own businesses, and which Mike was starting to implement. So he sees Tony as this thoughtful business operator, and on top of that Tony’s network is made up of so many sophisticated business people, so he feels that Tony is a conduit for some of the best business advice in the world.”

“The thing Mike is known for is building this very successful business enterprise, but he also considers his life to be very balanced, he has a great family and he’s very proud of how it all came together.”

“We all thought his story was really interesting – he’s such a passionate guy – but it got especially interesting when he started to describe the value of net cash, and we were reminded that  top line revenue isn’t the full story and doesn’t mean that much if you’re not taking home any money at the end of the day – an important lesson we all need to be reminded about sometimes. Then he brought up some very creative business ideas for incentivizing sales forces and that’s when people really started taking notes.”

UConn Athletics Celebrates Endowed Scholarship Donors

Posted on November 11, 2014 by Jennifer Doak-Mathewson

Nearly 250 donors, student-athletes, coaches and administrators gathered inside Rome Ballroom in October for the UConn Athletics Annual Endowed Scholarship Dinner. Throughout the evening, which featured a social hour, dinner and speaking program, those in attendance heard about the importance of endowed scholarships on the lives of UConn’s student-athletes and the success of its programs.

“The Endowed Scholarship Dinner is a special night for UConn Athletics,” said Director of Athletics Warde Manuel. “Each year I really look forward to this event because it’s a great opportunity for our student-athletes to come face-to-face with and get to know the individuals who support their education. By endowing a scholarship, our donors are providing our student-athletes with a great education, which is a gift that will benefit them for a lifetime. ”

For over 20 years, Mike Melio has been a loyal donor to UConn Athletics. During that time, he has supported numerous initiatives, but for him, there is something special about making a gift to support the education of student-athletes.

“It’s all about education, without it we would be nothing,” Melio said. “We have so many wonderful student-athletes representing UConn. Personally, it’s very fulfilling to support these young people academically. I strongly believe we have student-athletes here at the University of Connecticut who will one day go on to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems.”

Mike Melio on Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN


Business owner Mike Melio overcame the 2008 market crash to run 2 businesses with revenues of $50 million annually; learn how Tony help find Mike a path to recovery. Learn how to take your business to the next level with Business Mastery: http://www.tonyrobbins.com/events/business-mastery


My first venture onto a National Stage taught me a valuable lesson- DRAMA SELLS! As all of our loyal customers know, we did not go out of business, nor did we loose everything in the 2008 Market Collapse. As Piers makes this statement, watch my eyes shift back and forth in disbelief!

We were put into the same position as most businesses in this country- the difference is, we made a decision to push forward by SERVING HUMANITY. The results have been amazing.

I would like to personally thank Anthony Robbins for his amazing guidance and education throughout the past 20 years of our relationship... Mike