Charles Collat Sr




Steps to Success


Anna Skibska

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Charles A. Collat, Sr. is chairman emeritus and is the retired president and chief executive officer of Mayer Electric Supply Company, Inc.

With over $1 billion in annual sales and 1,500 associates distributed across 79 locations in 14 states, Mayer has grown to be one of the largest electrical product distributors in the nation. Collat joined Mayer as an associate in 1953 in its corporate offices in Birmingham, Alabama, soon after serving his country in the U.S. Air Force in Japan during the Korean War. Mayer was - and remains today - a family-owned business: Patsy Weil, whom he married in 1953, was the daughter of the company's founder. Working his way up the ranks within the company, Collat became owner and president in 1979.

Realizing the need for education in the distribution industry, he and his wife established the Ben S. Weil Chair of Industrial Distribution at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. However, their commitment to UAB goes deeper than that: over the years, they have given well over $25 million to the school and are among its strongest supporters. In recognition of their contributions, the business school at UAB is now known as the Collat School of Business. He is also a member of both its Leadership Cabinet and President's Council. Collat has been recognized for his service to the institution with its President's Award and was the recipient of an honorary doctorate of humanities. Collat's personal philosophy is "Do Good and Be Better" which is something he has strived to do all his life. To that end, he has served in a leadership capacity at community-oriented organizations such as the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind Foundation, the Boy Scouts of America and Rotary Club. He was also a past president of Temple Emanu-El in Birmingham and created and chaired the Temple's endowment fund for many years.

Collat was born in Savannah, Georgia. He attended the University of Georgia where he earned an accounting degree. He was married to Patsy Weil Collat for 62 years. She passed in January 2015. They have four children: Nancy Goedecke, Caki Mendel, Susie Collat and Charles Collat, Jr. Collat has ten grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He is currently married to Joanna Gotlieb Collat.


One who wants to achieve success must climb up some metaphorical steps. At least our culture depicts quite frequently our efforts that way. Following that cultural icon I designed flight of stairs - steps to success. Students who would not like to use elevator or regular staircases are more than welcome and encouraged to use the glass ones.  Needless to add that prior to that, they have to possess some basic knowledge how to fly. Another indispensable skill for reaching for success.


Anna Skibska's work sits at the intersection of sculpture, architecture, three-dimensional line drawing, and even storytelling. She uses a powerful acetylene torch to melt and stretch glass rods, creating slender and transparent threads, that are then joined to create perfectly balanced sculptures. Her signature technique, known as the Anna Skibska Technique, was developed in the early 1990s. Skibska graduated from the Painting program at the Academy of Art in Wroclaw, Poland in 1984. She later was a professor of fine arts and architecture at the Academy of Art. In 1988, her work was selected for the respected New Glass Review journal, and the Corning Museum of Glass recommended her as an instructor at Pilchuck Glass School. She was grateful to escape the artistic isolation of communist Poland to teach at Pilchuck. Prior to immigrating to Seattle in 1996, she had already exhibited her work extensively throughout Europe and Japan.