About Peter Holt
Peter M. Holt (born July 26, 1948 in Peoria, Illinois) is a businessman. He is the CEO of HOLT CAT, the largest Caterpillar dealership in the United States and chairman, CEO, and owner of Spurs Sports & Entertainment, which owns the 4-time NBA champion San Antonio Spurs, the WNBA's San Antonio Silver Stars, the AHL's San Antonio Rampage, and the NBA Development League's Austin Toros.
Peter Holt is the great-grandson of Benjamin Holt, who developed the first practical track-type tractor 100 years ago. The Holt family’s history in San Antonio began in 1933, when Peter’s great uncle, William K. "Bill" Holt, moved to San Antonio to start a Caterpillar dealership. He had no heirs, so Bill invited B.D. Holt (Peter’s father) to get involved in the business. In 1961, B.D. Holt moved to Corpus Christi and started his own Caterpillar dealership.
Peter Holt, a Peoria, Illinois native, lived in San Antonio, Texas as a child before moving to Corpus Christi, Texas. After high school in Corpus Christi, Peter Holt went into the United States Army, serving two years, including a one-year tour of duty as an infantryman in Vietnam. He ended his military duty as a Sergeant (E5) with a Silver Star and three Bronze Stars for Valor and a Purple Heart for wounds received.
Upon returning to the United States, Holt went to California, working for an investment banking house and became involved in a bar and restaurant business. Holt rejoined his father in the Holt Companies in 1983 in Corpus Christi. As president and CEO, Holt implemented a strategy to diversify the company’s markets, taking it from one of the smallest Caterpillar dealerships to the largest one in the country today. In September 1987, Peter and his father purchased Holt Machinery Co., in San Antonio, reuniting the original Caterpillar dealership that Bill Holt started in 1933. Holt would later expand the company's Texas presence by purchasing Darr Equipment Company of Dallas, the Caterpillar dealer for the DFW Metroplex.
Not one for formalities and pretense, he set up offices in a San Antonio corporate headquarters building made of metal corrugated siding and dubbed "The Barn."
Business and the Spurs
Holt believes in a values-based management philosophy, in which the community gains benefits from association with a company that is committed to proper business ethics. A company's responsibility leads to the company supporting community projects, leading to mutual benefit for the community and company. These values were one of the primary factors in Holt's 1993 decision to invest in the Spurs. His desire was to keep the team in San Antonio to help the community and vice-versa. He and his wife Julianna Hawn Holt are now the franchise’s principal owners.
Holt and the Spurs later purchased other franchises – the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League, the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League, and the renamed San Antonio Silver Stars of the WNBA. In each case, the team colors were changed to silver and black, the motif used by the Spurs.
In the last several years, Holt has seen his "community project" succeed in extraordinary ways. In June 1999, Holt joined with hundreds of thousands of Spurs faithful in celebrating the team’s first NBA Championship. In order to keep the team in San Antonio, Holt led a successful effort to secure community support to build a new community arena, the AT&T Center. The new home to the Spurs and the San Antonio Livestock Exposition broke ground in August 2000 and opened with the 2002 season. Holt's Spurs secured three more championships in 2003, 2005, and 2007. He is one of the few owners in the league that has not gone over the luxury tax threshold to secure needed talent.
With a long commitment to community service, Holt served as Chairman of the United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County. He is a member of the World Presidents’ Organization, and is a trustee of the Palmer Drug Abuse Program. Governor Rick Perry appointed Holt as a commissioner of the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife. A strong supporter of international trade, Holt is a board member of Free Trade Alliance-San Antonio, as well as the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation. He also served as Chairman of the Board of St. Mary’s Hall, a private school in San Antonio, and is on the corporate board of Chase Bank-San Antonio.
Keeping consistent with his desire to see the Spurs organization lead in the community, Holt has mandated that the Spurs have the first Green facilities in American professional sports.
Holt plans on staying in San Antonio, and active in the Caterpillar business, looking forward to the possibility of welcoming his children into the family business.
Peter Holt was inducted to the Texas Business Hall of Fame in 2004 and information in this article was obtained from a short biography listed on their website