Liz and Matt Astridge first met at the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) on Technology Transfer at UB. Matt was a graduate assistant and Liz was working full time.
“About six months after he began the MBA program, he finally got the nerve to ask me out and we have been together ever since,” says Liz.
Little did they know where their relationship—and what they learned at the School of Management—would take them.
Liz served as a market analyst at the RERC for two years after graduating with her MBA in 2008. Today she is director of communications at St. Gregory the Great Roman Catholic Parish in Williamsville, New York, which serves nearly 5,300 Western New York families, 635 students in the school and 1,200 religious education students.
She leads internal and external communications for the parish, school and newly opened Catholic Store and Café, and she recently launched a redesigned website for the parish.
After earning his MBA in 2006, Matt was appointed as an analyst at Evans Bank, a full-service community bank, providing comprehensive financial services to consumer, business and municipal customers throughout Western New York. He began in accounting, where his responsibilities included SEC and internal reporting.
Over the years his role grew to include analysis of business units, product profitability, mergers and acquisitions, and strategic modeling and planning. He currently serves as a financial analyst in the treasury group, working on budget, strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, profitability, internal metrics, asset-liability committee and more.
But the couple hasn’t stopped there. Matt and Liz have taken what they’ve learned in the classroom and on the job and shared it both in the Buffalo Niagara region and around the world.
“One of our priorities as a couple is to use our talents to serve those who may not have had the advantages we had growing up,” says Matt. “Over the past few years we have taken two mission trips abroad to do just that.”
In August 2012, the couple traveled to Kenya to serve a community in the remote mountains of the Rift Valley. There, they worked with the Daughters of Charity to provide summer education for children and hosted a series of small business workshops to assist local entrepreneurs.
They also give back locally, volunteering with many organizations in Western New York including St. Gregory’s St. Vincent de Paul Society, Gilda’s Club of Western New York and Habitat for Humanity.
Matt and Liz say that the experience they gained working in groups during the UB MBA program was great preparation for their careers.
“No matter what company you are working for, you definitely need the skills to work with other people for the benefit of your organization,” says Liz.
When they’re not busy working or traveling the world, Matt and Liz enjoy softball, volleyball, biking and hiking. You can keep up with the Astridges and read more about their missions abroad on their blog at astridowski.blogspot.com.
Written by Kevin Manne