Jamie and William Amelio have made it their personal passion to improve the lives of impoverished children in Siem Reap, Cambodia, through the non-profit organization, Caring for Cambodia (CFC), an organization they founded in 2003. Jamie is CEO of this charitable organization that supports thousands of Cambodian children by providing educational and healthcare services through building schools, libraries, water wells, and homes for needy families. In addition, CFC provides professional training and educational opportunities for teachers and students, pre-school through high school, in the five schools built through this humanitarian effort.
Bill is chairman of the board of directors of CFC and CEO of Avnet, Inc., a Fortune 500 company with revenues of $26.2 billion in fiscal year 2016. Avnet provides design and supply chain services for customers who build, sell, and use technology globally by providing them with a comprehensive portfolio of innovative products, services, and solutions.
Bill earned a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering at Lehigh and a master of science degree in management from Stanford University in 1989. While at Lehigh, he was a four-year member of the wrestling team. His impressive record on the mats included winning three matches at the 1979 EIWA Championships. Jamie earned a bachelor of science degree in finance from the University of Texas, Austin.
Bill has a distinguished record of senior leadership spanning more than three decades in technology industries with prominent companies such as: Lenovo, IBM, Honeywell, Dell, NCR, and Allied Signal. Prior to Avnet, he was president and CEO from 2010 to 2015 of CHC Helicopter, the world’s largest helicopter services company. In 2008, he was named Businessman of the Year by Forbes Asia.
Jamie has authored the children’s book Stumpy the Crocodile about helping neighbors in need and Graced with Orange: How Caring for Cambodia Changed Lives, Including My Own, a memoir about her experiences in Cambodia and the founding of CFC. Jamie received humanitarian awards from the Austin Asian-American Chamber of Commerce and the Network of Asian American Organizations for her contributions to improving Cambodian education.
The Amelios remain active with Lehigh. In 2008, Bill was awarded a Lehigh University honorary doctorate of engineering degree for his commitment to being a responsible and generous global citizen. He gave the 2008 Commencement address and advised graduates that admitting when you are wrong and forgiveness of others are the keys to success in life. In 2009, he served as executive-in-residence at the Lehigh Martindale Center for the Study of Private Enterprise. During a commemorative event celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Women at Lehigh, Jamie gave the keynote presentation titled Navigating Social Entrepreneurship: One Woman’s Impact on Education Development in Cambodia. She has been a guest lecturer in the College of Education graduate course Child Friendly Schooling in Cambodia and presented a TED Talk entitled Be Bothered – Stay Bothered.
In 2010, the Amelios began a partnership between Caring for Cambodia and the Lehigh University College of Education (COE) through the Amelio Foundation/AYCO Charitable Foundation. The collaboration allows students in the comparative and international education graduate program to conduct ongoing fieldwork in the Siem Reap region. Their focus is on teacher training, curriculum development, and community outreach initiatives. Through on-site learning, students gain valuable experience and insights into the socio-political and economic factors that impact education and sustainability. As part of the partnership, Dr. Sothy Eng was hired as a COE professor of practice in international education and development. Jamie and Bill’s generosity also supports Whitney Szmodis, a Lehigh research scientist whose work involves data collection and program implementation for CFC. Both Jamie and Bill serve on the Lehigh University Parents’ Council and are members of the Asa Packer Society, one of the top leadership giving societies at the university.
The Amelios reside in Texas and have six children: Austin, Rathana, Cherry, Riley ’18, Bronson, and Avery.