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Distinguished UT Dallas Alumnus Built His Own Network of Success

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Each day on his way to work, Chuck Butler BS’91 drives by the location where he used to live while in college – now a long-gone little room outfitted with a bed and mini frig at the childcare center where he worked while attending UT Dallas. He was paying his way through school, working after class as the accountant for the daycare center. The free room maximized his earnings.

Chuck Butler speaking at Alumni Banquet 2018.

Fast forward more than 25 years and Butler, who completed his accounting degree at what was then the School of Management, is now founder and managing director of Palomino Capital where he leads management teams, lenders and investors through the private equity investment process, providing merger and acquisition advisory services to middle market clients.

Butler received the 2018 UT Dallas Distinguished Alumni Award. Active with philanthropies across North Texas, Butler serves on the Cattle Baron’s Ball board, the Ann & Nate Levine Academy, Temple Emanu-El and Heroes for Children. At UT Dallas, he mentors MBA students and, in 2017, established the Palomino Capital Opportunity Fund for Entrepreneurship.

While studying at UT Dallas, based on encouragement from professors, Butler joined the student chapter of the Texas Society of CPAs. “It was my involvement in that group that allowed me to build a personal network, which connected me to a Coopers & Lybrand manager,” Butler says. That manager was critical in getting Butler one of just three job offers made to UT Dallas accounting grads that year.

“It was that moment where I realized that life was way more than grades and technicals. Those were important, but it was ultimately going to be relationships and genuine connections that would lead me to a more purposeful life.”

Butler admittedly had horrible grades at The University of Texas, his first college destination. “UTD took a chance and enrolled me,” he says. “Without it, I would have had a terribly difficult climb. And to land a position at Coopers & Lybrand (now part of PwC) during the economic downturn of 1991 was unbelievable. From there, I was able to compete and grow based upon my own merits. That's all anyone could ask for.”

Dallas now offers outstanding opportunities, Butler says. “I think business school provides you opportunity. … Embrace that chance and go for it.”    

Jeanne Spreier

Jeanne is a writer and editor who has worked in JSOM's External Affairs for more than seven years. She is also mother of three college-age kids who were born and raised in Dallas, and gets a lot of her Dallas know-how from them. On any given day, she would rather be outside somewhere. She earned her communications degree from the University of Kentucky. Read more articles

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