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Dr. F. Barry Lawrence, Dan Tinker '96 and Dr. Reza Langari.
Dan Tinker ‘96 celebrates the power of an industrial distribution degree and how he applied what he learned to his life and career. From left: Dr. F. Barry Lawrence, Tinker and Dr. Reza Langari. | Image: Texas A&M Engineering/Jesus A. Reina
The Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution hosted a reception to honor Dan Tinker '96, the 2023 Texas A&M University College of Engineering Outstanding Alumni Award recipient. The event recognized Tinker's remarkable achievements as president and CEO of SRS Distribution.
During Tinker's 15-year tenure as president and CEO, he earned a reputation for fostering strong relationships with suppliers, customers and employees, enabling the company to expand significantly. SRS has opened over 200 new greenfield locations and acquired 130 companies, becoming one of the largest building products distributors in the country, with 700 locations, 10,000 employees and a nationwide presence.
Tinker's success story is a testament to the value of an industrial distribution degree. From the moment he graduated, he used the skills he acquired to build a stellar career. He didn't wait to apply his knowledge — he immediately put it to work by buying companies, managing distribution centers and making a name for himself in the industry, using what he learned in his undergrad every day in his work.
"I had a four-year degree from one of the best universities in the world and the best university in the world for industrial distribution. I immediately put everything I learned from industrial distribution to work and moved ahead early in my career because of my degree," Tinker explained.
But Tinker's influence goes beyond his personal success. He has given back to his alma mater in many ways, contributing over $1.65 million to fund research, scholarships and financial gifts personally and through SRS Distribution. He has also served as a mentor to students and young professionals, passing on the wisdom he has gained over the years.
Tinker's impact on the industry is equally impressive. Under his leadership, SRS has expanded to open over 85 new locations and acquire 55 companies in the last decade. He received the 2020 Aggie 100 Summit Award for having the highest average revenue of Aggie-owned businesses over a three-year period. His vision, hard work and dedication have helped shape the roofing industry in America.
Surrounded by balloons, Dan Tinker sits next to Reveille X in front of a backdrop with the Texas A&M University and Texas A&M Engineering logos.
Tinker leads by example and gives back to the university he loves. | Image: Texas A&M Engineering
Tinker's advice to students is simple: think beyond the classroom and plan for your future. Tinker explained, "My advice to all students is to not just focus on your current college situation, but also think ahead, 5-10 years down the road. Consider what size company you want to work for, what type of culture you want to be a part of and where you want to live. It's important to have a keen sense of where you want to take your career and to be intentional about putting yourself in positions to achieve your long-term goals. Don't wait for the 'best job' after college, and hope it leads you to where you want to be. Think about where you want to be in 10-20 years because your decisions will dictate your path and the right company to work for right out of the gate."
By being intentional and strategic about their career paths, students can achieve their long-term goals and positively impact the world.
"I have benefited greatly from the support of amazing mentors from the engineering technology and industrial distribution department like Dr. Reza Langari, Dr. F. Barry Lawrence and Dr. Esther Rodriguez Silva, as well as past professors like Dr. Don Rice, Norm Clark and Jay Johnson," Tinker said. "The industrial distribution program is unique in that the whole program supports its students and industry partners. As a former student, I have always dreamed of giving back to the university that I love so much. It's great that the department encourages a symbiotic relationship between alumni, students, faculty and industry partners to achieve amazing things."
Tinker embodies the Aggie core value of excellence and is a shining example of what an industrial distribution degree can do for someone determined, hardworking and passionate about their field.