Born and raised into a military family in Oklahoma City, Trey Wilson had big dreams of joining the Air Force, going to college and eventually becoming an entrepreneur. Every generation of Trey’s family has served in the military since the Civil War. With a strong family legacy to inspire him, his family to encourage him and a passion for business to guide him, Trey entered young adulthood and left home determined to succeed.
Trey’s time in the U.S. Air Force paid off in spades.
“You go through high school and life as a kid and you may think you know what it takes to succeed … to stick to a goal,” he said. “But the Air Force took me to another level. It taught me how to be disciplined in my everyday life, how to reach goals, both big and small.”
Trey used that discipline to earn his bachelors and masters degrees in business administration. Thanks to his involvement with the Air Force, Trey used funds from the G.I. Bill to pay for his masters degree from Southeastern Oklahoma State University, a school he was drawn to due to their support of the military.
“Sometimes for those of us in the military, it can be challenging to find a university that’s accommodating. The university’s point of contact for those of us who might need help ensuring our expenses are covered by the G.I. Bill is not always clear,” Trey said. “At Southeastern it was clear from the get-go; the university is incredibly military friendly, they were ready to support someone like me.”
He said he was also impressed by the fact that Southeastern’s masters of business program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), a program designed to acknowledge, strengthen and support international business relations forged in business school. Southeastern is one of less than 200 schools in the United States to have earned the prestigious accreditation, a fact Trey credits for helping launch his career in logistics at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City.
Trey currently serves Tinker as the Logistics Program Manager in the International Engine Propulsion Business Division where his day-to-day operations include checking in on the Air Force branches of America’s ally nations to ensure that they have everything they need to defend their countries and support ours if needed.
While his career has taken him to Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Taiwan, Jordan and the South China Sea, Trey said there’s no place he’d rather be than home in the Sooner State with his wife, Kalei, and their four children.
Trey said his biggest hero is his mom, Sandra, who raised him and his little brother, Michael, on her own and worked as a housekeeper while her sons were growing up so that she could ensure that they were provided for.
“She encouraged me to try my best and work hard. She wanted me to go to college and receive a good education.”
Trey said Sandra is very proud of him and Michael for being the first in their family to graduate with master’s degrees.
“We’re adding to our family’s legacy,” Trey said. “Southeastern changed my life. There’s no way I’d be who I am now without having had the opportunity to earn my degree.”