Sredni accepts Smeal volunteer chair role in new Penn State fundraising campaign

September 06, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Smeal College of Business has announced that Salomon “Salo” Sredni, a 1987 Penn State graduate in accounting, has accepted the role of volunteer chair for the college’s fundraising efforts in “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence.”

“Mitch Cohen did an admirable job as volunteer chair for the last campaign, and I am honored to follow in his footsteps,” said Sredni. “Winston Churchill said that ‘we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.’ Serving as Smeal’s campaign chair for the Greater Penn State campaign allows me to make a life, but more importantly, it helps me enable other people to make a life as well.”

Launched in July 2016, “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence” is a fast-paced campaign focused on the three key imperatives of a public university: opening doors, providing transformative experiences, and impacting the world.

Under the Open Doors imperative, the University will address access and affordability for students through newly funded scholarships and programming designed to help students to graduate on time and on track to success. “Kids today get a great education but end up saddled with so much debt in the process,” said Sredni. “To the extent alumni and friends can help students cover the cost of an education, they are helping to make a stronger Commonwealth and a better America.”

Transformative experiences, from traditional study abroad to new hands-on learning opportunities, will tap the full potential of Penn Staters to make a difference. “As a student years ago, I felt the classroom was great, but nothing beats the real world,” said Sredni. “It’s no longer enough to just be in the classroom. I think it is awesome to help create the experiences for our students that can change their lives.”

The campaign will also help Penn State, its students, and its faculty make a lasting impact on the world through discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship, in fields ranging from human health to water, food and energy security.

“Salo’s ability to think strategically, to help people identify their passions, and to make connections with others is remarkable,” said Michelle Houser, senior director of development and alumni relations for the Smeal College. “His involvement as campaign chair will enhance Smeal’s fundraising efforts by helping our team make valuable and rewarding connections with alumni and friends of the college.”

For more than 20 years, Sredni served as board member, chairman, president and CEO of TradeStation Group, one of the largest online brokers in the United States. Earlier this year, he joined Ocean Azul Partners, a venture capital firm, as partner and managing director, and Chronwell, Inc., a startup focused on reducing the cost of processing workers’ compensation claims, as co-founder and president.

“Salo has been a visionary leader and brings a tremendous depth of experience to his role as campaign chair,” said Charles H. Whiteman, John and Becky Surma Dean of Smeal. “He offers a valuable perspective on the campaign, and I am confident that his involvement will enhance our fundraising efforts and help drive our results.”

Sredni knows first-hand the value of a Penn State Smeal education.

“My daughters, Kayla and Rebecca, are also Smeal graduates, and I know, without a doubt, that students are better off getting a business education at Smeal than virtually anywhere else,” said Sredni.

“I cannot stress enough how important it is for Smeal graduates to own the campaign. We all say ‘We Are Penn State,’ but now it’s truly incumbent on our vast alumni network to do as much as possible to ensure that the college is the best that it can be. There’s nothing more rewarding for me and my wife, Ellen (1988, health policy and administration), than knowing that I can make a positive difference at an institution that I love, simply by being generous with my own time and good fortune.”

To learn more about the Greater Penn State campaign, visit

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated September 19, 2017