Athlete wins big on UA Little Rock Alumni Board
August 12-18, 2019
By Cait Smith
He shoots, he scores – or lands a financial plan for clients – meet Gus Leeper; the once star athlete now a financial consultant for Stephens Inc. in Hot Springs, Arkansas. After a successful basketball career with UA Little Rock, Leeper has returned to be a part of a different team, the UA Little Rock Alumni Association. “It’s a real rewarding process to be on the board because I get to help with scholarships and fundraising for the school,” he said.
Originally from Austin Texas, Leeper journeyed to Little Rock on a basketball scholarship. With positive support in his circle, he knew what he needed to do to stay ahead on the court and in his classes. “My coaches Steve Shields and Joe Kleine always encouraged me to maintain a solid gpa. Also, I wanted to be the best … whether in sports or academics,” he explained. Driven by this determination, Leeper excelled throughout college. He earned five varsity letters and was named to the Dean’s and Chancellor’s list each semester while at UA Little Rock.
Within the midst of his senior year, Leeper was advised by a family friend to apply for a training program at Stephens Inc. – an independent financial services firm committed to providing quality service to its clients. Thanks to help from athletic director at the time – Chris Peterson – Leeper was able to go through the program. A few months after graduating with his bachelor’s degree in management and international business, Leeper began working for Stephens Inc. “I’ve been pretty fortunate in my professional career. People like Chris and a lot of others helped me get my foot in the door,” he said.
Leeper has now been at Stephens Inc. for almost two years and couldn’t be happier with his position. “I like interacting with individual clients and families … getting to know their backgrounds, lives, jobs … just hearing their different stories never gets old,” he stated. Leeper also enjoys accommodating his clients as well as keeping up with the changing technology in his field. “Stephens Inc. does a good job of adapting to changes. With that being said, I personally try to embrace any new technological change if it can make business easier,” he said.
With a successful career in motion, Leeper has also found a way to contribute back to his alma mater by joining the UA Little Rock Alumni Association. “When asked to join, I immediately said yes because I knew this was a chance for me to remain involved with the school. Being on this board, I’m connected to all the current happenings at UA Little Rock,” he said. And as a former Trojan, Leeper has the pleasure of serving on the Letterman’s Association board. He gets to work closely with the athletic department, former teammates and coaches when planning sporting events and Hall of Fame nominations.
Aside from his work, Leeper has grown to love the Natural State, “coming from a bigger city, it’s a different pace but it’s a pace I like.” With revitalizations happening all over central Arkansas, Leeper is ready for more opportunities to arise in the community. From volunteering at local high school basketball games to spending time on the lake, he’s found a second home.