Mike Amato: A Journey of Leadership, Family, and Wine in the New Era of Retirement

Mike with his new grandchild

Newcastle resident Mike Amato, renowned as the author of "The Better Way To Win," leads a life brimming with diverse experiences, from a distinguished career to his profound affection for family and the world of fine wines. Join us as we delve into his life and explore the various facets that define the new era of life after retirement..

Educational and Professional Journey
In 1982, Mike embarked on his professional journey at Washington Mutual, initially taking calls and answering phones. Over time, his career flourished within the bank, ultimately reaching the pinnacle as co-president in 2004. His expertise and unwavering commitment to the banking industry were indisputable. However, in 2006, he faced a pivotal crossroads, opting to leave Washington Mutual due to their aggressive pursuit of subprime lending. This marked the inception of a new phase in his career as he ventured across the Atlantic to assume leadership at Barclays, overseeing operations in the UK, Western Europe, Africa, and Dubai, where he oversaw a massive cultural transformation for a team of over 30,000 people.

After retiring from Barclays in 2012, he joined two bank boards in London. In 2021, he retired from boards and authored his book, "The Better Way To Win, Leading In Times of Crisis." Drawing extensively from his first-hand experiences at Barclays, the book underscores the importance of values in navigating through crises, offering invaluable insights tailored for today's turbulent world.

Retirement, for Mike, is not synonymous with an end to work. He currently boasts a global client base for his executive coaching and mentoring services, with a noteworthy statistic revealing that 95% of his clients are women leaders.

Embarking on a Wine Journey
In 2005, an enticing opportunity beckoned Mike - a partnership in a burgeoning winery christened Ambassador Wines of Washington. The winery has since evolved from its humble beginnings in grape cultivation to a prestigious standing as one of The Top 100 Wineries of the World, according to Wine and Spirits magazine. He, along with his wife Rumi, also helped establish two thriving tasting rooms in Woodinville.

Family and Roots
At the core of Mike's life lies his family. His enduring bond with his wife, nurtured from their days in London, has blossomed as they relocated back to Newcastle together. Mike also has two children: Becca and Tony. Becca, an alumna of Eastside Catholic, recently celebrated the birth of her first child, Marlow. Meanwhile, Tony resides in sunny Los Angeles, accompanied by his loyal dog, Sebastian.

Mike's roots trace back to Denver, Colorado, and he is a proud graduate of Sammamish High School and Seattle University. His residence in Newcastle since 2001 attests to the deep roots he has planted in the community.

Passions and Pastimes
Beyond his professional pursuits, Mike Amato revels in life's simple pleasures. He finds solace and joy in the activities of golfing and gardening. Their second home in London serves as a testament to his enduring love for the city where his romantic journey with Rumi commenced.

The Charms of Newcastle
Mike and Rumi hold a special fondness for their neighborhood, Newcastle, where natural beauty intertwines with opportunities for forest hikes and encounters with diverse wildlife. It's a place they hold dear.

In essence, Mike Amato's life harmoniously blends family, career accomplishments, and personal passions. From his early days in Denver to his illustrious banking career, from nurturing his family to cultivating a love for fine wines, he epitomizes a life lived with unwavering values and a passion for establishing lasting relationships in all his endeavors.