Name: Kim Amato
Company: Baby’s Bounty
Title: Founder and executive director
What’s new with your company?
Baby’s Bounty recently had a birthday. We celebrated four years assisting babies born into low-income families by providing the most essential items for their health, safety and well-being. To date, nearly 1,900 babies have received clothes, bottles, blankets, diapers and wipes, plus portable cribs, new car seats, infant bathtubs and front carriers.
The Community Associations Institute recently recognized my work at the inaugural luncheon for “Ordinary People, Extraordinary Measures.”
What is the best business advice you have received, and whom did it come from?
Several years ago, when I was still working in the private sector as an art consultant, I was ready to start my own business. One of my clients, Gary Johnson, of Johnson, Jacobson and Wilcox CPAs, recommended that I read “The E-Myth” by Michael Gerber. It’s a great read for would-be entrepreneurs about how to cultivate your idea, start your business and make it thrive.
What challenges do you face doing business here?
I have found this city to be a very inviting environment to start a business. As a small nonprofit, it’s a challenge to raise money to maintain the mission. There are many worthy causes to support in our community and making our voice heard above the rest has been the biggest challenge.
What is the best part about living in Las Vegas?
Since moving here from the East Coast 18 years ago, it has been a pleasant surprise to have access to top executives and policymakers. Doing business in New York, such a densely populated city with people who live in a broad tri-state area, it was unlikely you would run into your mayor or someone you did business with outside of the work day.
If you could change one thing about Las Vegas, what would it be?
The way outsiders perceive how we live still irks me. My husband and I raised two children here in the McNeil neighborhood. They went to both public and private schools, attended church, took ballet and music lessons and lived lives like any other kid in any other city. Although gaming is the engine behind our economy, it doesn’t dictate the way we live our lives.
What are you reading right now?
I just finished “The Shoemaker’s Wife” by Adrianna Trigiani. It’s the story of two people who grew up in the Italian Alps and eventually made their way to America in the early 1900s. It’s a rich story about family loyalty, sacrifice and self-discovery. As an Italian girl from New Jersey who grew up in a big, loud and loving family, I’ve always been drawn to stories about our homeland. I enjoy learning about how our ancestors lived and what propelled them to leave such a beautiful place to start new lives elsewhere.
What do you do after work?
My husband and I love to cook, dine out, go to the movies, and see live music and theater. We live on the edge of downtown and have been excited to see all the new businesses and restaurants coming up.
Blackberry, iPhone or Android?
Describe your management style.
Hire the right people, and let them do their thing.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I miss living near the water. Ideally, we’ll retire and live here, plus maintain a little place on or near the beach in California. An extended stay in Italy is also at the top of my list.
What is your dream job, outside of your current field?
I would love to be a docent at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is my favorite place to visit. I’ve spent many hours enjoying the permanent collections and always look forward to new exhibits.
Whom do you admire and why?
I admire my husband, Guy Amato. He has had a very successful career in management in many different fields. He’s a great mentor and adviser, not only to me but to his employees. I love that they still contact him for advice, and I’m lucky to have his guidance.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
Rude drivers. Such a diverse mix of citizens from all over the world makes for an interesting driving experience. If you see my signal to change lanes, why won’t you let me in?
What is something that people might not know about you?
I like to iron.
Anything else you want to tell us?
Las Vegas has been very good to us. We have wonderful friends and neighbors, and we appreciate all the opportunities that have come our way.