Both personally and professionally, Gary Rozier, B.A. (ECON) ’99, takes pride in making good investments. Whether it comes to building a career he loves, contributing to charitable organizations, enjoying life in Chicago with his family, or supporting his alma mater, he’s all in.

Mr. Rozier is Senior Vice President of Institutional Marketing at Ariel Investments, an employee-owned asset management firm. There, he helps clients to market and communicate Ariel’s investment strategy, and develops and services the firm’s client relationships across the country. He absolutely loves the work he does and said he wouldn’t do anything else. 

As someone who is passionate about giving back, Mr. Rozier serves as chairman of the board of Chicago Run, an organization that promotes health and wellness through running programs in Chicago Public Schools. He is also an advisory board member for CeaseFire Illinois, which stops the spread of violence in Chicago’s toughest neighborhoods through direct conflict intervention. In 2011, Mr. Rozier was named a fellow of Leadership Greater Chicago, which works to connect business, public and civic leaders to help them make a difference in the region.

He also makes time to visit his alma mater to meet with Department of Economics students and faculty members, and offer his advice and expertise. Recently, he led a small-group workshop on how to succeed as a student and in building a career in wealth management.

By giving of his time and talents, he is “paying it forward”. Mr. Rozier said that his time at the University of Maryland—particularly his classes and experience within ECON—helped him to forge a career he loves and a sense of adventure and curiosity that drives his personal pursuits.

Making the Most of Maryland

“I had the quintessential college experience. I made a ton of friends, lived on campus for four years and played rugby for the Terps,” Mr. Rozier said. “Coming from Pittsburgh, I was determined not to go to school in my home state. I wanted to go somewhere new and meet new people and have new experiences. I also wanted to be close to Washington, D.C.  That transiency and diversity made my experience ten times better.”

But his positive experience at Maryland didn’t just involve sports and a good social life. He enjoyed academics as well, particularly classes and experiences within his major.

“I have good memories of the department. I remember that my Game Theory class was the last final I took before graduating. It was those classes within my major during my last semester that really drove home how exciting and interesting it was for me to be able to put my internship experience into my course work,” Mr. Rozier said. “When I meet with students and faculty now, I stress how important I think it is for students to be given the opportunity to gain some type of professional experience during that undergraduate career, like an internship, and be able to make that professional, real-world experience a part of what they are studying.”

I only have one regret about my time at Maryland, and that is that I didn’t take advantage of all the opportunities here sooner. My internship experiences had a huge effect on me, but when I came back to school afterward, I only had one semester left. I went all-out during that time, seeing my classes and my studies as steps in my career path. At that point, I craved the opportunity to talk with my professors and to take advantage of all the resources here.”

Mr. Rozier’s advice to current students, therefore, is to take advantage of every opportunity—such as career counseling services and special lectures—and to develop connections with professors, who are experts in their field and who can offer advice on jobs and networking.

Mr. Rozier’s Maryland experience didn’t stop when he graduated. He is a Lifetime Member of the University of Maryland Alumni Association, and has frequently visited campus over the years to stock up on Terps gear and to connect with friends. 

Crafting a Career

After originally thinking that the wanted to pursue a career in medicine or in pharmaceuticals, Mr. Rozier’s internship at a Pittsburgh-based commercial insurance firm HRH and a second internship for Northwestern Mutual sparked his interest in pursuing a different path. He found he was passionate about investments and financial services.

“After my internships and speaking with my professors, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in asset management. Once I got my foot in that door, many folks said I engaged well with others and had a solid investments background, so that put me on the path to marketing and investor relations,” he said.

Shortly after graduation, Mr. Rozier landed a job at Rydex Investments, quickly rising through the ranks due to his hard work and the time he was able to spend with senior leadership. “I lucked out at Rydex. It was boutique firm with, give or take, about 75 people. You don’t always have to think ‘big’ when it comes to the size of an employer. I was exposed to a ton of people and was afforded many opportunities. I could literally talk with the CEO whenever I had a question. I really liked being a part of a small firm when I was learning the ropes,” he said.

Eventually, Mr. Rozier and his wife moved from the East Coast to Chicago to further Mr. Rozier’s career at Rydex Investments. He left in 2006 to join Ariel Investments, and loves being with the firm and supporting his clients.

Despite all the challenges and changes in markets and the economic landscape, Mr. Rozier said he and his firm remain “slow and steady” in their approach to client services and asset management.

“We stay grounded in our foundation and confident in our investment strategy. We know that our strategy delivers over time. We focus on fundamentals and trust the process. We help our clients navigate any changes in the financial landscape by providing thoughtful communication,” he said.

Family and the Future

Mr. Rozier and his wife, Macy, have three children: Dominic, 5; Tyson, 3; and Alison, 1. He and his wife are both committed to family time, to their careers, and to traveling and partaking in fun activities with their children. It’s a busy lifestyle, he said, but he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I’m constantly on a plane, visiting multiple cities across the country seeing our clients. I fly out, do meetings, then fly right back to be with my kids. I don't believe in choosing one thing over another in this life. You just figure out a way to do it all,” he said.

While his wife graduated from Penn State, the couple decided to have their wedding here at the University of Maryland 10 years ago at Memorial Chapel. That unforgettable experience—along with his visits to campus and his continued engagement with the Department of Economics, BSOS and the University—ensure that Mr. Rozier will always be a Terp.

“My love for Maryland has grown and continues to grow over time. After you graduate, when you think about your time on campus, you realize the wonderful things that the University of Maryland did for you. You develop pride in that,” he said. “Visiting campus now is great reminder of those things. My life experiences help me appreciate my time here even more. I’m proud to be a Terp, and I am very proud to have gone to school in the D.C. metro area.”

Reflecting on the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences’ mission to “Be the Solution” to the world’s great challenges, Mr. Rozier said, “To me, being the solution means just that.  In my career, I always try to zero in on what the issue actually is. I help our clients to see the forest through trees, get rid of the noise, and figure out best way to solve a problem.”