Growing up in Russellville, Trey Srygley has always been a true Razorback fan. Following in the footsteps of his sister, Amanda, a ’01 J. William Fulbright College of Arts & Sciences graduate, he knew that the University of Arkansas was without question, his top college choice.
Impressed by the Sam M. Walton College of Business, Srygley enrolled with an interest in the stock market. “My sister worked as a CPA and I knew if I could have that background, I could do a lot in the business world,” he said.
Opting to major in finance and accounting, he participated in the Walton College portfolio management class. According to the website, the Rebsamen Trust “is a student-managed investment fund.” It goes on to say that, “the purpose of the Fund, which is the third oldest of its kind in the nation, is to prepare students for careers in financial services.” While in the program, students not only manage an equity portfolio, but they travel to New York City for one week to meet with investment firms and employees in the business realm.
Grateful for the opportunity to participate in the program, Srygley credits Dr. Craig G. Rennie for his guidance and willingness to help students succeed, saying, “Dr. Rennie wanted to give students the opportunity to get those jobs. He provided me with the resources necessary to get an interview.”
Graduating in 2006, he took the tools he learned at the University and went to work for Kimberly-Clark as a financial analyst in California. Advancing within the company, Srygley went on to become a business analyst, a business partner analyst and a customer business partner. In October 2011, he joined Abbott Nutrition as a senior national account manager and currently manages the Similac, PediaSure and Pedialyte business relationship between Abbott Nutrition and Walmart.
As a side venture, Srygley and fellow Young Alumni Board member, Troy Gasnier, started the company, OneNightonDickson.com. Seeing a particular print that showcased the bars and clubs along Dickson Street, the two came up with the idea of selling similar prints to those who appreciate Fayetteville’s Dickson Street scene. “We saw the print that read, ‘From Dickson Street On…Party ‘Till The Hogs Come Home’ and noticed that many of the bars in that print were gone. We decided to go out and take photos of the bars and clubs that currently reside on Dickson Street and sell them as prints,” he said.
While maintaining a balance between his current position with Abbott and his own business, Srygley understands the value of time management. Although his schedule may be busy, he devotes his time away from work to volunteering with the Arkansas Alumni Association. As a member of the Association, he remembered, “One of the first things I did when I moved to California was reach out to the Alumni Association to find out if any chapters were in the area.” Joining the Southern California Chapter, he knew of many young alumni in the area and tried to influence them to join the chapter.
“In my mind, I just assumed everyone joined the Association. When I came back to Arkansas, I realized that people don’t just automatically renew or join,” he stated. Learning that a female co-worker was a member of the Young Alumni Board, she invited him to a meeting. Wanting to drive awareness and draw connections between young alumni and the University of Arkansas, he joined the Young Alumni Board and later became ex-officio to the Association’s National Board of Directors.
Dedicated to the mission of the Young Alumni Board, Srygley states that it is “to strengthen the University of Arkansas network by connecting alumni and raising money for scholarships.” Focusing on the 4-P initiative, which include Perks, Professional Development, Pride and Paying it Forward, he believes that it is better for the board to focus on doing four key areas well instead of 100 things not so well. By developing a Young Alumni Handbook, an idea created by the board and led by Young Alumni Board members Kenneth Biesterveld and Tracy Rowan, they hope to make it available to as many recent graduates as possible, providing them with information about the importance of staying connected and getting involved with the Association and Young Alumni Board.
“In the next 10 years, I want to see our board grow to at least 20 members. I would love for us to create an advisory board that we can run ideas by and that will serve as a ‘feeding ground’ for future board members. Lastly, we need to tie in students more. We need to be able to capture them as freshmen and talk to them throughout their college experience,” he said.
When asked what advice he would give to recent graduates and young alumni about joining Young Alumni Board, he remarked without hesitation, saying, “Reach out to your local chapter and tell your friends. The more people we have, the stronger the network.”