On behalf of the Grand Council I am pleased to provide everyone an update on many of the topics discussed this past weekend at our first Grand Council meeting following the elections in July.
The first update is that I’ve had the opportunity to visit several chapters over the past few months to get a better understanding of the unique cultures each chapter brings to our fraternity. It’s exciting to know we have such diversity amongst our members and I think this is one of our biggest strengths and assets. Those chapters that I visited so far are:
- Xi Chapter at MIT in Boston, MA.
- Omega Alpha Chapter at Johnson & Wales in Providence, RI.
- Nu Chapter at University of Georgia in Athens, GA.
- Epsilon Iota Chapter at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in Troy, NY
- Alpha Tau Chapter at Rowan University, in Glassboro, NJ.
We have also had two meet & greet events, one in Orlando, Florida coordinated by Member-at-Large Ledewitz and one in Washington, DC coordinated by Past Vice Consul Kirill Reznik. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to attend the event in Washington, DC where we had approximately 20 alumni members in attendance from chapters all over the country. Kirill is working on establishing a regional alumni club for the DC metro area and I encourage anyone interested in helping out or joining to please reach out to him directly for more details. I have also learned that the second meeting of the Central Florida alumni group will be held on November 13th. Please reach out to Alan for more details.
Since leaving our convention in Orlando, we have been working on several expansion opportunities. These include the following campuses:
- University at Buffalo
- University of Indiana at Bloomington
- University of Michigan
- University of South Florida
- University of California at Berkley
- Lehigh University
I have asked Undergraduate Vice Consul Meyer to chair an expansion committee to monitor these opportunities and to advise us as various resources are needed to help turn them into interest groups or colonies. If you are able to help out with these or any other expansion opportunities, please reach out directly to UVC Meyer for more details.
I’m pleased to report that we have made significant progress is working to get shingles and membership cards to all our Brothers who are entitled to them. Thanks to the efforts of Third Vice Consul Broughty, we’ve been working with our vendor to modify and update the dies that are needed to get these printed. In addition to his efforts, Member-at-Large Hurtado has contacted all our chapter Chancellors to provide the current lists of names we have to help us fill in the missing pieces. Once we have all the information needed, we can begin to get these printed for our members. We have also developed a system so that going forward our chapters and newly initiated Brothers should receive these in a timely manner after our notification of the Brothers initiation. We anticipate this all to be resolved by January 2017.
Planning is underway for Grand Chapter 2018. I have asked Alan Ledewitz to chair this committee and he is doing a great job to begin putting the details together. Once everything has been finalized, we will let you know when and where this event will be held. If you’d like to assist in process, please reach out to him.
We have also established serval other committees that will be working on various projects. Here is a list of chairman in case you’d like to participate. Please contact them directly for details:
- Philanthropy – Steve Hale
- Plume – Dave Cass
- Portals update – Dave Cass
- Alumni Affairs – Ken “Gerk’ Hurtado
We are in the process of creating a governance committee that will in part look at all our governing documents as well as the balance of legislation that was submitted during the 2016 Grand Chapter meeting. We have also formed a standing finance committee that will begin work immediately.
We are recommitting to our on-going marketing program though partnering with Jewish Youth Leadership organizations and we are investigating marketing through a partnership with the Boys Scouts of America. If you are interested in participating in either program, please contact Brian Meyer or Dave Cass respectively as chairman of these programs.
Thanks to the efforts of Undergraduate Vice Consul Meyer and Quaestor Panczyszyn we are working to streamline the paperwork and dues collection process from our chapters. This should enable us to provide the best services to our Brothers ensuring that TEP may be around for many years to come and that any issues or concerns are addressed in a timely manner.
We are looking to reimplement the Regional Governor program and will be looking to get advice from the chapters and advisors in various regions to make recommendations of individuals who could serve in these roles. There may be multiple Regional Governors in a region depending upon the different strengths and weaknesses of the candidates. As this is effectively a new program (since it hasn’t been utilized in over 15 years) we ask that you bear with us as we work out the details of how these individuals can best benefit the Fraternity. I have asked Member-at-Large Hurtado, to head up the solicitation of names for this program.
Lastly there is much work to be done, but we have started out on a positive note and I look forward to what we are able to accomplish as a team going forward. I want to thank all those members of the Grand Council who were able to attend. Our discussions were valuable to the long term viability of our organization and I thank you all for your efforts and input as we move forward. I personally am excited for the future of our Fraternity and I hope you are too.
Timothy A. Smith, MBA