Ernest M. (Bud) Miller, Jr.
Director, A. Duda & Sons, DKH, Incorporated, D&K Insurance Agency, ECI, Inc.
Bud Miller has over 35 years of experience in real estate, mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructurings, and finance. He has been a senior officer and/or board member of companies ranging in size from Fortune 100 to entrepreneurial start-ups and is, or has served, on the boards of a number of family-owned or private businesses.
Throughout his career Bud has assisted or led efforts that enabled companies to capitalize on opportunities or to solve complex and challenging problems by designing and implementing action plans based on a realistic assessment of a company’s current situation and economic environment, its strengths, weaknesses, and competitive position, and the needs of investors and lenders. His experiences have included involvement in a number of corporate turnarounds, including the Penn Central Corporation (the then largest bankruptcy in US history), leading over 50 corporate and real estate acquisitions, raising in excess of $1.5 billion in debt and over $750 million in public equity. Bud also was the CEO of a major real estate development company with sales in excess of $1.0 billion. In addition, Bud has been the dean of a business school (at Clayton State University) where he assembled an outstanding team of faculty and staff that enabled the school to become one of the top business schools in the southeast. Bud also was on the Board of Trustees of the University’s Foundation and the Board of the Foundation’s Real Estate LLC. As one of the LLC’s Managers, he helped raise over $40 million in a public/private bond issue that was used to fund the design and construction of a dormitory and a student activity center.
Early in his career Bud worked for the Sperry & Hutchinson Company and helped that company expand into the banking, retail, home furnishings, and financial services by leading 10 acquisitions with a total cost of over $200 million. He then joined the Penn Central Corporation as part of a small team that radically restructured the company so that it could successfully emerge from bankruptcy. Bud’s responsibilities included the identification and sale of non-essential assets, acquisitions to enhance core assets, development of a new strategic plan, and leading the successful defense of a hostile takeover.
In 1980 Bud joined Arvida Company where during a 15 year period he rose from CFO, to COO, and then CEO. During this period Arvida became one of the largest and most successful community developers in the southeast and southwest with a reputation for quality and integrity. Arvida also successfully transitioned through several changes in ownership including a LBO with the Bass Brothers, ownership by Disney, and acquisition by JMB Realty and subsequent sale of public limited partnership interests.
Bud also was a co-founder and Chairman of Wilson Miller Capital, a privately held company that specialized in acquiring troubled real estate assets, creating value by solving the problems, and realizing the higher value through sales. In addition, Wilson Miller worked with small and medium sized companies and helped them grow by providing “hands on” advice in developing and implementing strategic plans, restructing balance sheets, acquisitions, management development, and succession planning.
Bud has served on a number of boards of directors of corporations as well as not-for-profits and was the first non-family chairman of a 100+ year old family business. He currently is on the boards of four family businesses and advises other companies on how to navigate change successfully. Bud graduated from Tufts University, received a MBA from Harvard University, and was an infantry Captain in the United States Marines Corps.