Max Cates received a bachelor of science from Missouri State University and a master of arts from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. He began his professional career with United Telecommunications (America’s third-largest telecommunications company at the time) as Advertising Coordinator. After three years, he joined AT&T and served for 10 years in progressively responsible corporate leadership positions in advertising, corporate communications, and marketing management.
Cates’s next leadership position was with Associated Electric Cooperative, a $2 billion electric power utility. After two promotions there, he became the youngest Division Director in its history, reporting to the CEO. His responsibilities included leading marketing, advertising, and corporate communications, as well as directing consumer sales strategy. During his tenure at Associated, he also completed Executive Development at the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania.
After 11 years with Associated and a number of national awards, Cates returned to AT&T, serving in sales and sales management positions, progressing from Internet Sales Manager to Telemarketing Sales Manager, to Area Sales Manager. Following an award-winning career with AT&T, which included the prestigious CEO Club Award, Cates joined Access Media, where he managed the sales force. He also served as a sales management professor at Webster University.