header image
Mobile Menu Area
Main Image

Charlie D. Miller

Year Inducted: 2024

Charlie Miller is a business professional who credits his success to his strong engineering education and the belief that it taught him to find creative and practical solutions to problems. As an executive, he helped start and manage one of the state’s most influential financial firms.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Auburn University in 1980, Miller joined Brown & Root, a global Engineering and Construction firm in Houston Texas, to help project manage large petrochemical and industrial projects. One of those projects was a design-build natural gas refinery outside of Caracas, Venezuela. He and his wife Lisa lived in Venezuela for two and a half years before he got a call from John Harbert with an offer to come and join Harbert International in Birmingham.

Miller joined Harbert in 1985. Five years later, his career took a turn when he completed the Wharton Executive Program on financial management at the University of Pennsylvania and became the chief financial officer for Harbert’s construction operations. The early 1990’s was a challenging period for large construction companies and Harbert was not immune. It was this challenging environment that helped convince the company’s new President, Raymond Harbert, to sell the family’s legacy business that his father had started after WWII. Miller was instrumental in completing the transaction with Raytheon which closed in June of 1993. This was a transformational date in the company’s well-documented history. It also created the opportunity of a lifetime for Charlie to join Raymond in the formation of Harbert Management Corporation (HMC), an investment management company that would focus on alternative assets. The firm recently celebrated its 30th anniversary.

As one of the founding shareholders of HMC, Miller has played an integral role in the firm’s growth and success. His duties centered around the financial side of business, particularly the fund raising and capital formation aspects. HMC has had some amazing accomplishments and at its peak had more than $26 billion in assets under management. Their global client base of institutional investors includes sovereign wealth plans, university endowments, public and private pension plans, insurance companies and high net worth individuals.

Miller has also been very involved with Auburn, serving on the Foundation Board for over 10 years where he was Chairman of the Investment Committee. He has leveraged his business success to bolster engineering education in the state, funding research that helps solve today’s engineering problems and programs that produce tomorrow’s leaders in the engineering industry. In 2014, the Millers made a gift to Auburn’s Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, establishing the Charles D. Miller chair position within the college’s Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. Funds from that donation were also used to bolster the college’s Business-Engineering-Technology minor, where business and engineering students receive the opportunity to balance disciplines and become better prepared for real-world challenges. It also opened the door to the online Master of Engineering Management degree program geared to working professionals.

Charlie and Lisa live in Birmingham. They are the proud parents of two grown children and are blessed to have two grandchildren. Besides his commitment to Auburn, Charlie is involved with several organizations including having had leadership roles with the United Way of Central Alabama, The Monday Morning Quarterback Club and St. Mary’s-on-the-Highlands Episcopal Church.