Wife, mother, attorney, and now a newly appointed Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Amy Smedley (Class of 2001) joined Savage Companies, a family-owned company that has grown to be a global provider of industry infrastructure and logistics services with approximately 4,000 employees in over 200 locations. With a worldwide network of customers, Savage specializes in moving and managing critical materials in the industrial, energy, and agriculture space. As mentioned in her Twitter bio, Smedley is hoping and working for an “economy of genuine goodness,” as shared by Elder Holland in the April 2021 General Conference.
When asked about the key to her success, Amy described the importance of hard work and endurance. As the eldest daughter and one of ten children, Amy came to know the value of a good work ethic very early on. Even while growing up in a small town in Idaho, Amy understood there were bigger realities outside her own that could be reached with some time and dedication. Greatly inspired by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Amy knew as early as the seventh grade that she wanted to become an attorney. Her inquisitive spirit and determination are what carried Amy through law school and to the top of the corporate ladder.
While describing her law school experience, Amy reminisces on bringing her young daughter to classes and was met with nothing but kindness, encouragement, and support from her professors. Amy notes that this was one of her favorite things about the J. Reuben Clark Law School; she never felt that she was limited to one role. BYU encouraged all of her aspirations as a wife, a mother, and a lawyer. Amy expresses a deep appreciation for the welcoming environment that BYU provides for families and the diverse variety of opportunities that enabled her to nurture all of her passions. Along with looking back at her years at BYU Law with fondness, Amy is a die-hard BYU football fan (her two boys are named Ty and Steve).
Even with the many avenues that BYU Law provides, attending law school while growing a family is no small feat. When asked how she managed to do it, Amy replied with a prompt, “You just make it work!” Amy and her husband, Nathan, whom she met while serving a mission in Sweden, have four children. To women interested in law or business, Amy emphasized that it is possible to do both: you can be a mom and have a successful professional career. In fact, Amy testifies that her career has actually proved beneficial for her family dynamic, positively affecting her children in particular. Her career allows her to demonstrate all the qualities you hope to instill in your children: hard work, self-advocacy, and ambition, among countless others. She also has shared these lessons in her various callings in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Acknowledging that female representation within these traditionally male dominated fields has come a long way, Amy still encourages women to pursue careers in business and law, including in industrial and energy-related fields. They offer interesting work, opportunities to engage with people around the world, and advancement potential. She elaborates by advising women in business to be curious, friendly, open to new opportunities, and always willing to ask questions. Never assume that you are at a disadvantage and be willing to learn and work harder than everyone else.
These qualities proved especially helpful during a particularly interesting fraud case that Amy encountered while working for Huntsman Corporation. Amy describes her role managing that legal team as, “being a conductor in an orchestra,” with many lawyers, experts, and witnesses in multiple countries interrupted by a global pandemic. By the end of the arbitration, Amy and the rest of the Huntsman team had obtained an award of a cool $600 million plus attorney fees. Besides her recent appointment as general counsel for Savage, Amy cites this experience as one of her proudest achievements. Importantly, it reminded her again of how important it is to have integrity in all aspects of our lives – business included. Read more about this incredible accomplishment here and here.
As evident by her continued pursuit of goodness and integrity in her community, Amy Smedley perfectly exemplifies the J. Reuben Clark Law School’s mission statement of, “professional excellence, and promoting fairness and virtue founded upon the rule of law.”