Amster is co-founder and principal of Retail Technology Group, a leading provider of business process, systems engagement and information systems technology consulting for the retail and wholesale industries. The company serves over 200 retail, wholesale and related industry clients, from Coach, David Yurman, Gucci America and Saks Fifth Avenue to Dollar General, Cost Plus World Market, KB Toys and Staples.
“A summer job with Kmart Apparel is what first brought me into the retail industry and systems information,” Amster says. “At the time I was in graduate school for aerospace engineering at NYU. But when the bottom fell out of that industry, I opted to remain in the workforce, and I did that by getting involved in information systems for the retail industry.”
Amster says the logical thinking and processes workflow he learned in engineering school turned out to be a natural complement to the field. “That’s what drew me in,” he says.
From Kmart Apparel, Amster went on to hold systems management positions for other large retailers such as Waldenbooks and Caldor and served as senior manager with the Northeast Retail Consulting Group of Ernst & Young. After gaining a wealth of experience from a variety of companies and forging valuable business relationships over the years, he founded Retail Technology Group in 1991 as a joint venture of leading retail information systems consultants.
Now a master at helping his clients select and put information systems to work and streamlining processes to create more efficient business environments, Amster has a unique appreciation for the value of getting the most out of every experience and using the information gained to its fullest. In hindsight, he says, it was that ability that paved the way for his own career path and professional success, despite the unexpected turns he took along the way.
“I had a very well-rounded experience at UNH, between playing soccer, being in Tau Kappa Epsilon and studying in the mechanical engineering program,” he says.
Amster came to the U.S. from Argentina when he was 14 and was the first in his immediate family to attend college. The University’s relative affordability and close proximity to his family in Stamford drew him to UNH, along with the mechanical engineering program. “I liked the majority of the courses I took,” he says. “With most of them I had a lot of fun.”
Decades later, that love of learning continues to drive his passion for the information systems field and his success. It’s a lesson that he’s passed down to his two daughters and one he encourages today’s UNH students to embrace as well.
“Make sure you take the work you do in school seriously, because even if it’s not what you do once you get out of school, it will enhance your ability to learn new disciplines and businesses,” he says. “And if you have the option to do anything, why not do something you enjoy?”
Posted Summer 2013