July 12, 2016

Start Impacting the World: Betsy Grindlay

Betsy Grindlay
Betsy Grindlay ’07 brings passion to her job every day as brand manager at Speedway Motors in Lincoln, Nebraska. Her inspiration comes from knowing the work she creates directly affects customers of Speedway Motors, which bills itself as America’s Oldest Speed Shop, while tailoring products to hot rod and racing enthusiasts across the country.

“I oversee all the content produced and shared to customers through emails, webpage banners, social media, print ads and event planning,” said Grindlay. “It’s a combination of fun and hard work, which results in a huge reward seeing customers engage with our content. Every day is different and new opportunities are presented regularly.”

Grindlay (second from left) and her T bucket team
Grindlay (second from left) and her T bucket team
A case in point, Grindlay recently took on a promotional project with four other women dubbed The Bucket Beauties. The project involved building a T bucket hot rod using only Speedway Motors parts. The hitch was, most of the women had little experience working on cars. Grindlay used the opportunity to promote the project on a blog to launch a set of new fenders for the car, and demonstrate how virtually anyone can succeed using Speedway Motors parts if they put their heart into it. 

“It was a huge task considering most of us had no idea what we were doing,” she said. “We were able to piece together one of Speedway’s infamous T bucket car kits, and show how we did it on our blog as we went along. We’ve just about completed the project now and were able to express our personalities along with the fun we had building the T bucket.”

Grindlay, who was a finance and marketing major at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business Administration, believes her four years of college set her up for a successful career. Along with the marketing work she performs as brand manager, she also uses her financial background at Speedway Motors.

“I spend quite a bit of time examining and approving budgets and expenses. Dr. Donna Dudney (associate dean for undergraduate programs and associate professor of finance) was one of my biggest influences at CBA for helping unlock my financial prowess. Along with the marketing group projects which taught me how to present a thoughtful marketing plan, I’m using what I learned in college regularly in my job,” said Grindlay.

Grindlay working on the T bucket project
Grindlay working on the T bucket project
In addition, to working at Speedway Motors, she also spent two years in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in charge of public relations for a non-profit. Though, the work was satisfying, she also felt drawn back to Nebraska while there.

“It’s a wonderful time to be in the Nebraska culture. Startups are happening everywhere in Lincoln, companies are seeing tremendous growth and the downtown area is revitalized. The CBA motto of “Start Something” is so relevant to anyone graduating from the college. I started a Speedway Motors fan page on Facebook and we have nearly 500,000 fans, which has turned into a great marketing opportunity for the company. Having an idea and then taking the steps to make it happen is how you start something successful, and that is what I learned to do during my four years at CBA,” she said.

Grindlay, who serves as chair on the Dean’s Young Alumni Board at CBA, believes the future has never been brighter for the college. She is looking to take the “Start Something” message even further into the Nebraska community.

“This fall the Young Alumni Board wants to host events in the Omaha and Lincoln area to provide more opportunities for our alumni to talk to Dean Donde Plowman and hear about the big things happening at CBA. A lot of people know about the new building scheduled to open next year, but the college is adding new business minors, building the CBA Honors Academy and leading the way with the new Clifton Strengths Institute. It all brings so much pride to me as a graduate of the college,” she said.