Michael J. “Mike” Cemo (’68, Hon ’14)

Michael Cemo Obituary
Michael John Cemo
03/19/1945 – 12/25/2023
Michael J. “Mike” Cemo, 78, of Houston Texas, passed away on December 25, 2023. He is survived by his wife, Rebecca and children, Stephanie and Jason.

Mike was a graduate of St. Thomas High School and earned his degree in economics from the University of Houston in 1968. During his professional career, he spent 18 years as Senior Vice President of Marketing at American Capital Management, followed by 15 years as President and Chief Executive Officer of AIM Distributors, Inc., the retail-marketing arm of AIM Management Group Inc., as well as a director of AMVESCAP PLC. In 1996, Mike received the distinguished national honor in the mutual fund industry of being named Marketer of the Year by the Financial Times.

Outside of his career, Mike had an extreme passion for his alma mater, the University of Houston. He felt it was important that the city of Houston have a top-tier business school to offer its students. With that said, he was instrumental in laying the groundwork that would become the C. T. Bauer College of Business. For those efforts, in 2001 he was appointed by Governor Rick Perry to the UH System Board of Regents where he served from 2002 – 2008 and was Vice Chairman of the Board for two years. In 2002, he was named a Distinguished Alumnus of the Bauer College of Business.

During Mike’s life, he made significant contributions to his community. Those contributions include board memberships in the C. T. Bauer College of Business, Founder of the Cougar Fund, University of Houston Foundation, Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Society of the Performing Arts, the Association for Community Television, Houston House Foundation, MD Anderson Cancer Center, the Houston Center for Photography, and the Ronald McDonald House-Houston. In 2000, he and his wife Rebecca founded the Michael and Rebecca Cemo Foundation donating to causes promoting higher education and aid to veterans affairs, local food insecurities and animal welfare.

In his early years, Mike was a member of two bands, The Jim Askins Combo, started at St. Thomas High School and the Sixpentz, which produced six records, one reaching the Billboard 100. Mike’s probably the only University of Houston regent to ever crack the Billboard Top 100. He always said, “I did it to get girls.”

Mike was a proud man, but never boastful, an incredible storyteller and visionary. He was also a fisherman and outstanding photographer. He was charismatic, with a generous and infectious energy that would command and light up any room. The contributions he leaves behind will be his legacy. He was loved by many and will be missed immensely.

A memorial service will be held at the University of Houston – AD Bruce Chapel on Thursday, January 11th at 1:00PM. There will be a reception to follow at the Cougar Club inside TDECU Stadium. Kindly, park at the TDECU stadium at 3700 Cullen Blvd. in lot 12A and walk over to the chapel. In lieu of flowers, please donate to either the University of Houston Athletics or the C.T. Bauer College of Business. University of Houston System, Gift Processing and Records, PO Box 867, Houston, Texas 77001.

Published by Houston Chronicle on Jan. 9, 2024.

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