Sam Houston State University’s Center for Entrepreneurship offers a unique opportunity to hear from an esteemed entrepreneur and philanthropist whose career success includes 18 years experience managing retail businesses from $100 million to $2 billion in revenue. Aaron Walters, co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer for Altar’d State will serve as a guest speaker, sharing his story with the Huntsville community on March 28.
After attending Sam Houston State University and graduating from Lamar, Walters began a career in retail that led to founding Altar’d State in 2009; opening the first retail fashion boutique in Knoxville, TN. Today, the company has grown to over 100 boutiques in the top malls and shopping centers across the country.
The popularity of Altar’d State continues to grow not only for its boutique-style shopping experience of women’s fashion, accessories, gifts and home decor but also for its emphasis on giving back. Altar’d State has pioneered connecting retail with goodwill through efforts ranging from donations in local communities, offering a generous volunteer program for employees, and funding child-focused, global initiatives that support social development efforts in underserved areas in Peru.
Altar’d State has donated over $10 million to local and global communities through the Mission Monday Program and other partnerships. In 2018, the company committed to a project benefitting over 15 schools, outreach centers and communities in Callao and Peruvian rainforest over the next 4 years.
Joining Walters on his visit to campus will be members of the Altar’d State talent acquisition team. Following the presentation, his team will be on-hand to visit with students interested in store operations, management, assistant management, fashion merchandising, buying, marketing, finance, accounting and internships.
The SHSU Center for Entrepreneurship promotes entrepreneurship, free enterprise and a capitalist market economy. Providing opportunities to share inspiring stories of business success, the program invites esteemed entrepreneurial guests to speak to the campus community. The program began in 2003 and SHSU offered its first major in entrepreneurship in 2012. More than 90 students are entrepreneurship majors, with another 50 participating in the minor program, which is open to any student in each of the seven colleges.
The event takes place on the SHSU campus at 9:30 a.m., March 28 in Haney Auditorium of the Smith-Hutson Business Building. The event, hosted by the College of Business and the College of Health Sciences, is free and open to the public.
The Center for Entrepreneurship is sponsored by: College of Business Administration, College of Criminal Justice, College of Education, College of Fine Arts & Mass Communication, College of Health Sciences, College of Humanities & Social Sciences, College of Science & Engineering Technology and College of Osteopathic Medicine (candidate status-seeking accreditation)