When collegiate members of Phi Kappa Theta think of the National Fraternity, they often picture the four or five staff members who work at the National Office in Indianapolis, according to Robert Riggs, CAE, Executive Vice President.
“In reality, the Fraternity is comprised of all 52,000 alumni spread across the United States,” says Riggs.
The Servant Leadership Summit has been organized to figure out how to match passionate alumni with chapters needing specific guidance and that critical personal touch to improve performance to fulfill the Fraternity motto to “give expecting nothing thereof.”
The 2018 Summit will continue to identify, recruit, train and support performance coaches as a way to directly mentor/coach our chapters in operations, recruitment and development (five areas of development) culture.
Riggs said in 2017 various student and alumni leadership groups came together for a day to build a matrix and criteria to prioritize which chapters needed assistance and in what particular areas that service could be provided.
Some of the areas examined include operations, financial stability, recruitment, structure and the development of leadership qualities to serve the mission. Eventually, alumni coaches, talented in specific areas, will be dispatched to various campuses and chapters to help chapters accomplish their goals and improve in specific areas.
“We brainstormed some new ideas for how we can help chapters increase their value and lower their risk, maintaining operational excellence,” says Steve Bye, (University of Wisconsin-Madison, ‘16), who attended the pilot program in 2017. He adds that he appreciated the opportunity to examine the role that alums can play in this initiative. “It was great to network with other alumni, to learn how they’re organized and how their chapters are doing.”
One of the primary purposes of the initiative, according to Riggs, is to identify and renew alumni who have not volunteered previously, with the recognition that they provide the best example of exactly what the Fraternity means through their example of service and commitment to ideals. Establishing a bond with specific alumni coaches not only helps that particular chapter, but also connects the coaches directly with students and their needs.
“It was very enlightening and encouraging,” said Adrian Gonzalez, Fraternity President, (University of Texas at Austin, ‘78). “It gave us the opportunity to really look at where we are going as an institution.” Seeing all the fresh faces with fresh ideas helped him recognize “that we are heading in the right direction.”