“Be proud of Drury, and know that you have received an excellent education.”
Michael Homeyer, ’93, shared these words of advice as guest speaker for this year’s Breech School of Business Graduating Senior Dinner.
During his remarks, Homeyer focused on the importance of humility, networking, and perspective, and how a Breech education helped him along the way.
“When I started my career in banking, I was one of five recent college graduates hired for a Corporate Banking training program in St. Louis,” he said.
He said his future classmates included graduates from Washington University, St. Louis University, the University of Michigan, and Moorehouse College in Atlanta. Two of those students later went on to graduate from top business schools and lead very successful careers on Wall Street and at a global telecommunications firm.
“I was intimidated,” Homeyer said. “How could a guy raised in Salem, Missouri and educated at a small college in Springfield hold his own against that group? Well, I quickly realized that I was just as prepared as any of the others, thanks to my four years at Drury.”
Those beliefs were solidified years later as Homeyer obtained his MBA from St. Louis University.
“Our class of 100 or so students hailed from all over the U.S., Europe, and Asia, with diverse educational and professional backgrounds,” he said. “Again, I quickly realized that Drury had prepared me extremely well, both for the rigors of the MBA course load and the challenges of problem-solving among teams consisting of people from very diverse backgrounds.”
“Again, be proud of your school,” he said.
Homeyer graduated with dual degrees in business administration and economics. He now serves as the senior vice president for U.S. Bank- National Corporate Specialized Industries- Beverage Group.
He attended the event with his wife, Angie Bullock Homeyer ’94. Angie graduated from Drury University with dual degrees in Business Administration and Communications. She was named Drury’s Senior Woman of the Year in 1994.
The two met while attending Drury University, and now have three children, Grace (13), Alex (10) and Matthew (8).
Angie spent the early part of her career at Boatmen's National Bank, and later the national headquarters for the Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women in St. Louis.
The Homeyers returned to Springfield to raise their family, but the two have traveled extensively which helped broaden their perspectives.
“Our perspectives are shaped by our experiences,” he said. “If our experiences are narrow, then our perspectives will be narrow. In order to be successful in business, you must be able to consider and understand the perspective or objectives of your competitors, your partners, and most importantly, your clients.”
Homeyer’s core team is based in St. Louis, he has an office there, but regularly works from home. His team members are located all over the U.S., from NYC to Seattle, and many cities in between.
He said that he helps secure capital for companies and distributors interested in leveraged acquisitions, buy-outs or capacity expansions for breweries.
In six years, Homeyer and his team have grown the portfolio from roughly $100 million to approximately $1 billion today.
Driving that success, at least partly, is Homeyer’s network.
“Clearly you’re going to have to be good at what you do, but much of one’s professional success relates to his or her personal network,” he said to Breech seniors.
“Network, network, network,” he said.
Homeyer learned that lesson early on when his first job after graduation resulted from his friendship with a Drury Alumnus.
“To this day, the overwhelming majority of my clients were referred to me by another client or some other source,” he said. “Remember how important it is to constantly expand and use your personal networks.”
Even through all his success, Homeyer reminded students the importance of humility and giving back to others less fortunate.
“Be confident in your skills, and celebrate your successes, but never become arrogant,” he said.
And he added, “Do good things with your life.”
He and Angie regularly talk to their children about their potential to do good and even great things with their lives.
“There are so many ways we can do good things,” Homeyer said. “Throughout your lives, never take for granted what you have, remember that you have been blessed, and share your blessings with those in need.”
He closed by reminding the students that they’ve returned to the same starting point. Just as they were when they came to Drury, they are now all recent graduates.
“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you go; they merely determine where you start,” he quoted.
“As you graduate and enter the so-called real world, hold onto this- ‘It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.’ “