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Updates and messages from the Grand Alpha and other board members.

 

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Big News

Posted By Mike Palladino, Wednesday, July 5, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Brothers,

 

For this month’s update, I wanted to announce a very exciting piece of news: this summer, we are relocating our headquarters from Chester Springs, Pennsylvania to the Park Place Centre office complex in Carmel, Indiana, about 30 minutes north of downtown Indianapolis!

 

Our new headquarters
716 Adams Street, Suites A & E
Park Place Centre, Carmel IN, 46032

 

The Philadelphia area has been considered our home since our founding in 1850, and acquiring our first headquarters space in 1915. Chester Springs has been our current headquarters location since 1994. Therefore, this was not a decision made lightly.  However, our top priority is to ensure that our chapters, 1,500+ undergraduates, and 30,000+ alumni are supported as best as possible.  This relocation ultimately provides a more functional facility that will help our Fraternity continue to grow and develop its chapters, in a more metropolitan market, that will enable us to attract, retain, and develop the most talented staff possible.

 

The potential to relocate headquarters has been a long time in the making -- meeting minutes in the archives show that the leadership of the Fraternity discussed relocation as early as 1978.  In February 2016, the Fraternity leadership approved evaluating various properties in candidate markets besides Philadelphia including Richmond, Chicago, Indianapolis, Atlanta, Nashville, and Dallas that would better meet our Fraternity’s ongoing professional needs, both present (and most importantly) for our future.

 
 “Today’s news in welcoming another national fraternity headquarters to Carmel is a testament to our city, where we place a high emphasis on higher education. Not only do our local schools excel tremendously in preparing future members of fraternal organizations like Phi Kappa Sigma, we have also attracted a highly educated local workforce, in which nearly 90 percent of our adults have achieved a Bachelor’s or graduate degree," said Mayor Jim Brainard. “We welcome Phi Kappa Sigma and we look forward to growing with them in the future.”

 

There are a number of reasons why moving our headquarters to the greater Indianapolis market provides more value than any other area in the country.  To share just a few of them:

  • In addition to being the heart of the fraternal world, Carmel is a metropolitan location with a very high quality of life at an affordable cost of living.  This will enable us to hire and retain for the long term the quality talent we require to run our day-to-day operations and move our organization forward.  

  • We will be closer to the headquarters of our fraternal trade association (the North-American Interfraternity Conference or “NIC”, located right around the corner from our new headquarters) as well as the headquarters of more than 30 NIC-affiliated fraternal groups and 10 sorority headquarters.  This will provide us significant staff development opportunities, allowing us to dramatically improve the support of our existing chapters and the success of starting new chapters.  It also will allow us to explore sharing staffing resources with other fraternal organizations, allowing us to augment our staff capacity at a reduced cost.

  • Our staff will be closer to a large concentration of future expansion efforts and dormant chapters, as well as our two flagship training events (the Men of Honor Leadership Institute held outside of Asheville, NC and the Carroll K. Simons Institute held outside of Cincinnati, OH).  This will make both expansion and training events easier to plan and execute.

  • We will be able to accommodate volunteer training programs and increased staff interaction to provide both support and innovation.

  • It centralizes our operations and the services that we provide to our chapters throughout the contiguous United States and Canada, in a state that offers significant financial tax incentives for non-profit organizations such as ours.  This lends itself to reduced annual tax costs, as well as reduced annual costs for typical staff travel.

  • Candidate properties within the Indianapolis area are significantly more affordable than similar candidate properties in the Philadelphia market.  As a result, we are able to be in a more metropolitan area at a reasonable cost, without requiring significant future budget accommodations for higher mortgage or leasing costs.

  • Despite moving 650 miles West, the surrounding area around Indianapolis contains approximately the same number of chapters and undergraduate members as the area surrounding our Chester Springs headquarters.

As defined by the Constitution & Acts, the Executive Board consists of the seven elected Executive Committee members, the six appointed Grand Deltas, and the collective vote of the eight living Past Grand Alphas, representing decades of fraternal history, experience, and involvement at the national level.  Based on the above benefits, the entire 21-member Executive Board voted unanimously to approve the relocation to Carmel. The unanimous vote across multiple generations of Phi Kap leadership sends a very positive and very strong message that this is the right move for our beloved Fraternity.

 As we get the new location ready for move-in over the coming weeks, I look forward to sharing pictures, videos, and information about a “ribbon-cutting” event, so stay tuned for future Grand Alpha updates!

In the meantime, I’m sure this news generates many questions, so please read our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for further detail.

 

Fraternally,


Mike Palladino (Alpha Nu ’04)

Grand Alpha


  

2020 Strategic Plan


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Grand Pi Takeover

Posted By Ron Stranix, Monday, May 22, 2017
Updated: Monday, May 22, 2017

Grand Alpha Update
 
Grand Pi Takeover

Brothers,

This is usually the time of the month where you receive a Fraternity update from Grand Alpha Mike Palladino, but with so many great things to share on the educational side, I am taking over this month’s communication!  There are two big items to share, so please sound off in the comments or contact the International Headquarters should you have any questions.

First, as mentioned by Mike in previous updates, the 3rd Carroll K. Simons Institute is happening this summer, August 10th-13, at the Woodland Lakes Retreat Center in Amelia, OH.  The Carroll K. Simons Institute (CSI) is focused on improving the execution of typical Chapter operations, as well as providing team development training that could prove impactful to our members well after college.  If you are a current Chapter officer, looking to become one, or just want an opportunity to network with Brothers from across North America, I highly suggest you consider attending this summer’s CSI.  In addition, if your Chapter sends at least one person, the Chapter will receive a 5% insurance discount for the 2017-2018 academic year!

For a preview of what to expect at this year’s CSI, check out the video below and make sure to click here to register today!  Registration officially closes on July 17, 2017!



We are very excited for the 3rd Carroll K. Simons Institute happening this summer, but we are also excited to announce the location for the 99th Grand Chapter, occurring August 2-5, 2018.  As Grand Pi, I was fortunate to lead a committee to select the next Grand Chapter site.  After speaking with numerous undergraduates and alumni, and touring a few hotel properties, we are ecstatic to announce that the 99th Grand Chapter will be held at the J.W. Marriott in New Orleans, LA!  New Orleans is the epitome of fun and history all in one city, and we couldn’t be happier to host our members here for this event.

As we begin to plan our convention, we are looking for undergraduate members and recent alumni to serve on our Grand Chapter Planning Committee.  This committee gives you the inside track to all things GC, and allows you the opportunity to help make this the best Grand Chapter to date.  If you are interested in serving on this committee, please send me an email directly at rstranix@pks.org.

Thank you all and we look forward to seeing you at CSI and next year’s 99th Grand Chapter!

Fraternally,
Ron Stranix
Grand Pi

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Grand Pi Takeover

Posted By Ron Stranix, Monday, May 22, 2017
Updated: Monday, May 22, 2017

Grand Alpha Update
Grand Pi Takeover

Brothers,

This is usually the time of the month where you receive a Fraternity update from Grand Alpha Mike Palladino, but with so many great things to share on the educational side, I am taking over this month’s communication!  There are two big items to share, so please sound off in the comments or contact the International Headquarters should you have any questions.

First, as mentioned by Mike in previous updates, the 3rd Carroll K. Simons Institute is happening this summer, August 10th-13, at the Woodland Lakes Retreat Center in Amelia, OH.  The Carroll K. Simons Institute (CSI) is focused on improving the execution of typical Chapter operations, as well as providing team development training that could prove impactful to our members well after college.  If you are a current Chapter officer, looking to become one, or just want an opportunity to network with Brothers from across North America, I highly suggest you consider attending this summer’s CSI.  In addition, if your Chapter sends at least one person, the Chapter will receive a 5% insurance discount for the 2017-2018 academic year!

For a preview of what to expect at this year’s CSI, check out the video below and make sure to click here to register today!  Registration officially closes on July 17, 2017!



We are very excited for the 3rd Carroll K. Simons Institute happening this summer, but we are also excited to announce the location for the 99th Grand Chapter, occurring August 2-5, 2018.  As Grand Pi, I was fortunate to lead a committee to select the next Grand Chapter site.  After speaking with numerous undergraduates and alumni, and touring a few hotel properties, we are ecstatic to announce that the 99th Grand Chapter will be held at the J.W. Marriott in New Orleans, LA!  New Orleans is the epitome of fun and history all in one city, and we couldn’t be happier to host our members here for this event.

As we begin to plan our convention, we are looking for undergraduate members and recent alumni to serve on our Grand Chapter Planning Committee.  This committee gives you the inside track to all things GC, and allows you the opportunity to help make this the best Grand Chapter to date.  If you are interested in serving on this committee, please send me an email directly at rstranix@pks.org.

Thank you all and we look forward to seeing you at CSI and next year’s 99th Grand Chapter!

Fraternally,
Ron Stranix
Grand Pi

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Big Month

Posted By Mike Palladino, Friday, April 28, 2017
Updated: Thursday, April 27, 2017

Brothers,

 

Thanks to everyone who participated in our annual March Madness bracket challenge!  This year’s bracket challenge was our biggest yet, with nearly 200 Phi Kaps from almost every Chapter participating. Congratulations to our winners, and also to our brothers at Alpha Eta Chapter (South Carolina) on a great run to the Final Four!  The winner of this year’s Phi Kap bracket challenge was Rob Higdon (F&M ‘94), winning a complimentary $300 full registration to our 2018 Grand Chapter convention which he donated to the Zeta Chapter at Franklin and Marshall!

 

As I mentioned in last month’s update, don’t forget that we have the 3rd Carroll K. Simons Leadership Institute coming up on August 10th-13th.  As in previous years, it will be held just outside of Cincinnati at the Woodland Lakes Retreat Center in Amelia, OH.   The Carroll K. Simons Leadership Institute program is focused on improving the execution of typical Chapter operations, and as you can see in our 2020 Strategic Plan, our goal is to grow this year’s program to 45 attendees.  I would strongly encourage you to attend if you are a Chapter officer or an involved member that would like to improve how your Chapter is operating.  If you are interested in attending, or being a facilitator, please go here today!

 

I am also excited to share some updates about our Fraternity’s growth:

  • In March, we re-Colonized the Delta Eta Chapter at McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. The Colony is actively recruiting, and we hope to see them receive their charter sometime in the 2017-2018 academic year.  Do you know someone that might be a good addition to the Delta Eta Colony?  If so, please let us know!
  • On April 22, we reachartered both Beta Psi and Delta Gamma Chapters.

  • In April, the Executive Committee granted a charter to our Beta Psi Colony at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington!  They were re-colonized in September 2015 and have done an excellent job of meeting the requirements for chartering, led by Alphas Connor Skaggs (Washington State ’17) and Harold Sacket (Washington State ‘19).  Currently, the group has 51 tremendous men, and has recently moved into a house on campus!  Tell them congratulations and welcome the Beta Psi Chapter back to Phi Kappa Sigma!

  • Also in April, the Executive Committee granted a charter to our Delta Gamma Colony at Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey!  They were re-colonized in March 2016, and have also done a tremendous job of meeting the requirements for chartering, led by Alpha Kevin Ewers (Rowan ‘18) and Beta Kevin Medich (Rowan ‘18).  Currently, the group has 62 outstanding men and is continuing to grow.  Tell them congratulations and welcome the Delta Gamma Chapter back to Phi Kappa Sigma!

Finally, we are continuing to interview brothers to join our Headquarters staff for the upcoming 2017-2018 academic year!  If you are interested in working for the Fraternity after graduation, please take a moment to review the positions and apply.

 

Fraternally,


Mike Palladino (Alpha Nu ’04)

Grand Alpha


  

2020 Strategic Plan

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Business as usual?

Posted By Mike Palladino, Monday, February 20, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Brothers,

Lots of things to share with you this time around!

You might have recently seen a news article shared on Facebook about our Delta Pi Chapter at Indiana University, but if not, I wanted to highlight it here.  Led by Chapter Alpha Jacob Olson (Delta Pi ‘19), the Chapter initiated a highly decorated military veteran, Army Colonel Greg Hammond (Indiana ’79), this past week.  Brother Hammond initially inquired with the national organization about becoming a member, and I am thrilled that he found a welcoming home at Delta Pi for him to become a part of our brotherhood.  I am also incredibly proud of Delta Pi’s commitment to our principles of lifelong growth and ‘brotherhood is more than skin deep.’  

I am a strong proponent of alumni initiations in general, as our Fraternity benefits immensely with every involved alumnus; the process is straightforward and meant to be simple, so check with your Grand Delta, if there is a member of your community that you would like to discuss becoming initiated Phi Kap.  

I am excited to announce that the 3rd Carroll K. Simons Leadership Institute (held every other summer in non-Grand Chapter years) will be held from August 10 - 13, just outside of Cincinnati at the Woodland Lakes Retreat Center in Amelia, OH.   While the Men of Honor Leadership Institute focuses on self-awareness and communication skills, the Carroll K. Simons Leadership Institute program is focused on improving the execution of typical Chapter operations.  As you can see in our 2020 Strategic Plan, our goal is to grow this year’s program to 45 attendees, so I would strongly encourage you to attend if you are a Chapter officer or an involved member that would like to improve how your Chapter is operating.  (Also note that it is not a prerequisite to have attended the Men of Honor Leadership Institute before attending the Carroll K. Simons Leadership Institute.)  

If you are interested in attending, or being a facilitator, please go here today!

On behalf of the entire Fraternity, my sincere thanks goes out to the Alpha Epsilon Educational Society, led by president Chuck Beck (Alpha Epsilon ’09) whose generous funding has made the Carroll K. Simons Leadership Institute program possible for the past six years.  

In addition to planning leadership events, this is the time of year that lots of other things are happening “behind the scenes” by our dedicated team of Headquarters staff to keep the Fraternity running.  A few examples of those efforts that I wanted to highlight:

  • Writing and development of this year’s edition of the Maltese Cross annual magazine, which should hit your mailbox sometime in April or early May.
  • Annual review and adjustment of the fee schedule for new members, initiation, undergraduates, and insurance for the upcoming 2017-2018 academic year.  Fee changes are governed by guidelines such as the CPI (Consumer Price Index) and data from FEA (Fraternity Executives Association), so you will hear more specifics about any applicable changes from the Headquarters Staff in the coming weeks after the research and review wraps up.
  • Recruiting and interviewing brothers to join our Headquarters staff for the upcoming 2017-2018 academic year!  If you are interested in working for the Fraternity after graduation, please take a moment to review the positions and apply.

Finally, I have to congratulate all the New England Patriots fans in Phi Kappa Sigma on yet another Super Bowl victory.  As a resident of Atlanta since 1998, it pained me to watch the Falcons’ total collapse, but there is at least a small silver lining: the Foundation of Phi Kappa Sigma received a significant donation as a result of a bet made between Phi Kap alumni from New England and Atlanta.  Thanks to everyone who participated in the wager!

New England  Atlanta 
 Dave Smith (New Hampshire ‘06)  Bruce Curtiss (Georgia Tech ‘77)
 Brendon Egan (UMass-Lowell ‘10)  Wilson Wong (Georgia Tech ‘72)
 Matthew West (Marist ‘04)  Mike Palladino (Georgia Tech ‘03)
 John "JR" Roy (New Hampshire ‘95)  Tushar Thrivikraman (Georgia Tech ‘02)
 Wayne Delia (Potsdam ‘79)  Gunjan Talati (Georgia Tech ‘03)
 Johnny "Big Dog" Miyares (New Hampshire ‘92)  
 Bill Redfern (New Hampshire ‘95)  
 Jake Brokofsky (Southern Maine ‘09)  
 Tom French (New Hampshire ‘92)  
  Yui-Ting Lin (New Hampshire ‘93)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fraternally,


Mike Palladino (Alpha Nu ’04)

Grand Alpha


  

2020 Strategic Plan

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Happy New Year!

Posted By Mike Palladino, Friday, January 27, 2017
Updated: Friday, January 27, 2017

Brothers,

 

Welcome to 2017!  I hope you had a fantastic holiday season and New Year.

 

We just wrapped up our 17th annual Men of Honor Leadership Institute from January 5th to January 8th at the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly near Asheville, NC, where our members spent four days learning and developing skills related to values-based leadership with other Phi Kaps from Chapters across the United States and Canada.  Men of Honor weekend always recharges me to tackle a new year, and 2017 was no different!

 

My sincere thanks to the Phi Kappa Sigma Foundation, whose generous funding makes the program possible each year, as well as our two Lead Facilitators for this year, past Grand Alpha Doug Opicka (Alpha Epsilon ’97) and past Grand Pi Curt Klinkner (Alpha Theta ’94).  I also cannot say enough about the Headquarters staff, led by Executive Director Tim Schug (Alpha Epsilon ‘07), as well as current Grand Pi Ron Stranix (Delta Rho ’12), all of whom were instrumental to the institute’s continued success this year.

 

Additionally, I am very grateful to our stellar team of facilitators, who came from near and far to volunteer their time and work tirelessly over the four days, in order to ensure each of our 90+ participants had an amazing experience.  This year’s small group facilitator team, pictured below, was:

  • Adam Stevenson (Delta Upsilon, Virginia Commonwealth University)
  • Alexander Mitchell (Alpha Epsilon, Illinois Institute of Technology)
  • Cameron Cook (Epsilon Alpha, Tarleton State University)
  • Christopher Zurowski (Alpha Epsilon, Illinois Institute of Technology)
  • Frank Burton (Gamma Xi, George Mason University)
  • Jacob Bates (Beta Eta, University of North Texas)
  • Jacob Kania (Beta Delta, Michigan State University)
  • Jeremy Becker (Alpha Epsilon, Illinois Institute of Technology)
  • Jonathon Peek (Beta Lambda, Northern Illinois University)
  • Kasey Cross (Delta Pi, Indiana University)
  • Kevin Shannon (Gamma Xi, George Mason University)
  • Kevin Zufelt (Delta Rho, Ursinus College)
  • Khiem Tran (Delta Upsilon, Virginia Commonwealth University)
  • Matthew Belter (Beta Rho, University of California- Riverside)
  • Matthew Martin (Omicron, University of Oklahoma)
  • Matthew Schlehuber (Beta Mu, University of South Alabama)
  • Nicholas Oliver (Delta Omega, University of Hartford)
  • Robert Petrowski (Alpha Theta, University of Wisconsin)
  • Ryan Gilson (Beta Delta, Michigan State University)
  • Zachary Jones (Delta Pi, Indiana University)

If you have not been to Men of Honor yet, I strongly encourage you to go in January 2018, as you are missing out on one of the best things we do as an organization!

 

In other news… in my December update, I linked to a professionally produced one-minute introduction to Phi Kappa Sigma on our YouTube channel as a teaser of more news to come in January.  To follow-up on that, I am incredibly proud to share the news that our Fraternity was selected to be the subject of a short-form educational documentary as part of the “Behind The Scenes” public television recurring segment hosted by the legendary James Earl Jones.  Phi Kappa Sigma was selected out of a number of NIC fraternities, largely on the basis of our unique historical commitment to diversity.   We just received the finished product of our organization’s profile video, which I am incredibly happy with.  You can watch the entire seven-minute profile here:

 

 

The one-minute commercial you saw in December will air nationally in primetime, likely on the Fox Business Network in March, then air 400 times over the course of March in a hundred regional markets, reaching an estimated 84 million viewers on networks such as CNBC, CNN Headline News, The Learning Channel, Family TV, Discovery Channel, and more.  Once we have further details about air dates, I will be sure to pass those along so you can tune in. 

 

The “Behind The Scenes” documentary will be distributed to Public Television member stations in all 50 states, airing for one year an unlimited number of times at the stations’ discretion, reaching approximately 60 million households over the course of 2017.   

 

In the meantime, I encourage you to use both videos in your recruitment efforts when talking to parents and prospective new members, sharing it far and wide.   Watching Phi Kappa SIgma’s profile, I could not be more proud of our organization, and I hope you feel the same.


Fraternally,


Mike Palladino (Alpha Nu ’04)

Grand Alpha


  

2020 Strategic Plan

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Happy Holidays

Posted By Mike Palladino, Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Brothers,

 

As the year draws to a close, I wanted to reflect on all that we have accomplished together as an organization over the course of 2016.  I had initially thought about sharing some of those highlights with you in this month’s Grand Alpha update, but then I had a better idea: how about you hear from the entire Executive Committee instead?


I am excited to announce our inaugural holiday thank you, where you will hear from each of our Grand Officers about some of this year’s biggest accomplishments.  I am looking forward to that message from the Executive Committee becoming an annual holiday tradition, as we celebrate Fraternity accomplishments each year that are only made possible through our members’ efforts.

 

 

If you check out our YouTube channel where that video is posted, you might also notice a second video, which is a professionally-produced introduction to Phi Kappa Sigma.  That’s a small teaser of some bigger news that we are going to be sharing in the Grand Alpha update in January, so subscribe to the channel and stay tuned!

 

 

As we wrap up 2016 and look to kick off 2017, I am excited to see everyone at our 17th annual Men of Honor program on January 5th in Asheville, NC!  And speaking of Men of Honor, would you consider making a year-end gift to the Phi Kappa Sigma Foundation? Your generous contribution to the Foundation helps fund educational programs like Men of Honor, the Carroll K. Simons Leadership Institute, scholarships for undergraduates, and more.

 

Thank you again for all that you have done to help make 2016 a success for Phi Kappa Sigma.  Best wishes to you and yours for a safe and happy holiday and New Year!

Fraternally,

Mike Palladino (Alpha Nu ’04)
Grand Alpha

  

2020 Strategic Plan

Tags:  Grand Alpha  Holiday  Thanks  Video 

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A Time to Give Thanks

Posted By Mike Palladino, Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Brothers,

I always try to take a moment during Thanksgiving to reflect on what I’m thankful for, whether it is family, career, fraternity, or friends.  I wanted to use this month’s Grand Alpha update to give thanks to all of the volunteers who contributed to Phi Kappa Sigma’s success in 2016; we are primarily a volunteer-driven organization, with brothers contributing in a multitude of ways.  Every day, an incredible number of Phi Kaps give their time, energy, and support to the Fraternity by serving as Chapter Advisors, volunteering with Housing Corporations, being involved with Alumni Chapters, donating to the Foundation, serving as members of international committees, and more.  I am sincerely thankful for everything that our volunteers do to support Phi Kappa Sigma and our members, and we wouldn’t be where we are today without you.

Along those lines, the positive impact of our volunteer support is clearly visible at our annual Men of Honor Leadership Institute.  The Men of Honor program is Phi Kappa Sigma's flagship leadership development program, hosted each January since 2001, and made possible by generous funding from the Phi Kappa Sigma Foundation and strong participation from volunteer facilitators.  The purpose of the program is to help Phi Kaps refine their leadership skills and affect positive change in their Chapters through facilitated interpersonal and communication training.  Every year, over a hundred (or more) Phi Kaps from all over the country attend to learn from headquarters staff, volunteers, and each other via facilitated leadership training.  Our 17th Men of Honor will be taking place at the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly retreat facility outside of Asheville, NC from January 5th-8th, and I would love to see you there.  I truly believe that the Men of Honor Leadership Institute is one of the best things we do as a Fraternity, and if you have never been, you’re missing out on a powerful experience.  To support this belief in the value of the Men of Honor program, I have asked the headquarters staff to extend the registration without a late fee until November 30th.  Register today at:
http://www.alwaysaphikap.org/event/MOH2017

Finally, as I mentioned in last month’s update, don’t forget that we are working to return to McDaniel College (Delta Eta) and the University of Virginia (Eta) in the Spring 2017 semester!  Do you know someone who could make a great Phi Kap at one of those campuses or any of our others?  Visit http://AlwaysAPhiKap.org/referral and let us know about it!  Every new member recruited gets us closer to our Strategic Plan goal of increasing total active undergraduate membership to 2,200 brothers by 2020.

Best wishes to you and yours for a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday!

Fraternally,

Mike Palladino (Alpha Nu ’04)
Grand Alpha

 

2020 Strategic Plan

 

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Welcome and Happy Founders' Day!

Posted By Mike Palladino, Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Brothers,

 

Happy Founders’ Day from sunny Atlanta, Georgia!


I am humbled and honored to have been elected Grand Alpha this past July at our 98th Grand Chapter in Chicago, Illinois.  Having served on the Executive Committee for the last ten years (Grand Theta from 2006-2008, Grand Pi from 2008-2010, and Grand Beta from 2010-2016), I can tell you that we have come a very long way together, but I know that our best days are still ahead of us.  I am incredibly excited to serve you and the Fraternity for the next two years as we continue to move forward together.

 

Shortly after being initiated at Georgia Tech (Alpha Nu) in 1999, I began receiving the monthly “Grand Alpha Update” that our Grand Alpha at the time, Dr. Ghery Pettit (Alpha Lambda ‘46), would send to all Phi Kaps.  I always appreciated those updates and thought it was important to hear directly from the leadership of our organization about what was going on, what direction we were headed in, and why.

 

I still feel that same way today.  So, the first thing I want to share with you is simple: This message is only the beginning of our conversation.  Our leadership team has some pretty ambitious goals for the next two years, and the only way we will get there is together.  To that end, I don’t want us to talk to you; I want us to talk with you. 

 

We will be transparent, by communicating with you frequently, and in a meaningful way.  You will hear from our Executive Committee every month (if not more often, when we have news to share!) through the rest of our elected term which ends in July 2018.  Those updates won’t just come from me, either – sometimes it will be other Grand Officers, when they have something important they want to share with you.

 

In this month’s update, I wanted to touch on a few different topics:

First, we continue to see great results in the area of chapter expansion thanks to the hard work of our colony members, HQ staff, and local volunteers.  Currently, we have active colonies at:

  • Oklahoma State University with 17 men
  • Texas Tech University with 32 men
  • Rowan University (Delta Gamma) with 56 men
  • Vanderbilt University (Alpha Iota) 30 men
  • Washington State University (Beta Psi) with 68 men

We will also be returning to McDaniel College (Delta Eta) and the University of Virginia (Eta) in the Spring 2017 semester.  Do you know someone who could make a great Phi Kap at one of those campuses?  Visit   http://AlwaysAPhiKap.org/referral and let us know about it!  Every new member recruited gets us closer to our Strategic Plan goal of increasing total active undergraduate membership to 2,200 brothers by 2020.  (We’re at 1,296 today, up from 1,110 in 2011 when we set our goal, so we’re definitely on our way.)

 

Now that I’ve mentioned our undergraduate growth goal, you might be asking yourself, “what else is in our 2020 Strategic Plan?”  Please visit http://pks.org/2020 to see our Strategic Plan and the current status of each objective; make sure to check back regularly as we will keep it updated monthly through 2020.  While you’re there, you can also watch a presentation from a recent “Town Hall” where we shared the Strategic Plan with Chapter Alphas and Chapter Advisors, explaining the purpose and rationale of each objective.  I’m excited to share and promote our Strategic Plan publicly, in an effort to be informative, communicative, and accountable to our membership over the coming years.

 

Along the same lines, I am excited to announce that in the coming weeks we will hold our first annual “State of the Fraternity” address.   Much like the annual State of the Union address that the President gives the country, we are going to invite every initiated member, undergraduate and alumnus alike, to a presentation where you can hear directly from our Executive Committee regarding the course we have charted for the next two years, the goals we have set, and how we are planning to get there.   The date is still TBD (likely early November) so stay tuned.

 

Finally, I wanted to say thank you to all of the chapter officers, Chapter Advisors, and housing corporation members who have put effort in to be prepared for our recent risk management policy change to allow alcohol in our chapter houses as of August 1st, 2016.  Whether you attended the recent risk management training webinars (which our HQ Staff has done a tremendous job in developing and coordinating), completed the GreekLifeEdu training, or reviewed the new policy with our HQ Staff, I am appreciative of everyone’s efforts.  Obviously this is a big adjustment from the substance-free policy of the last 16 years, but I believe that with open and frequent dialogue with our HQ staff, we are well-positioned to make a smooth transition.  That being said, I am looking to each and every member to stay safe, make good decisions, and take care of our fellow brothers.

 

I’m looking forward to being in close communication with our membership, both alumni and undergraduate, over the next two years.  Connect with me on LinkedIn, tag me on Facebook, or drop me a line via email, and let’s do great things together.

 

Fraternally,

Mike's Signature

Mike Palladino (Alpha Nu ’04)

Grand Alpha

Tags:  Expansion  Grand Alpha  Strategic Plan 

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