BBLA

Why Conferences Are NOT Worth It

Are Conferences Really Worth the Cost?

by Nicholas Reid
University of Iowa, ‘21

From left to right: Nic Reid, Dr. Michael Brown, and Isaac Kracht at the Naperville BBLA.

From left to right: Nic Reid, Dr. Michael Brown, and Isaac Kracht at the Naperville BBLA.

Usually people see conferences as a waste of a weekend. Time spent away from their normal, fun weekends. In all honesty, who wants to sit in a meeting all weekend?

Many members of a fraternity would rather stay home, spend the weekend with their friends and have a good time. What people don’t understand is actually how enjoyable Phi Kappa Theta conferences are.

By having the opportunity to attend our weekend meetings, whether regional or National, I have learned more about myself and have been able to change my life for the better.

The first time I went to a Phi Kappa Theta conference was last August in Orlando. I had recently finished my freshman year, was working full time, taking summer classes and having to finish writing our petition to charter.

My first thought was, “I am the only one who can go to this meeting and how in the world am I going to find the time and money?” The answer of time was helped by my boss, who allowed me to take two days off (when I really wasn’t suppose to have any days off) to go to Orlando. The money aspect was funded by our alumni, who I am so thankful to this day that they did. It seemed as if there was a reason, an outside force that wanted me to go to Orlando, and I am so grateful I got the opportunity.

Travel became a hassle to arrive at Orlando (I had a total of 7 hours of delay), so I unfortunately missed the opening on Friday. The next day, I entered the room with no idea of who anyone was, as I was the only representative from the University of Iowa there (which is the best school in Iowa, but that’s another article).

The first man I met at breakfast was an alumni named Ross Walters (University of Louisiana, ‘02). As he offered me the top-secret, highly classified, shall not be named handshake of Phi Kappa Theta, he did not realize that I was from Iowa and had not yet been initiated.

As I did not know the handshake, he reached back in shock as if he had just touched a leper and started questioning if I was a Phi Kap. I explained that I was from Iowa and we were currently rechartering, and he laughed and joked with me the rest of the weekend.

Over the weekend, I made connections that have carried on throughout my life since. I met BRUCEEEE, legally known as Bryce Frey (Iowa State University, ‘20), the Iowa State representative. We have gone on to continue communicating and planning Iowa vs. Iowa State events.

Another important person I met, who I recently saw again at the Naperville BBLA, was Dr. Michael Brown. If you have not met Dr. Brown, I recommend that you make every effort to. Not only is he the only man I know that puts peanut butter on cheez-its, but he is extremely intelligent and a great brain to pick.

He is also one of the most caring people you will ever meet and always ready to have a conversation. I also was able to meet all the National Staff and several Alumni who I had never met in person, including Johnny Hohenstein, Robert Riggs, Doug Dilling, Adrian Gonzalez, Sarah Everhart and so many more.

The most impactful part of the trip were the meetings, but the most memorable part were the nights. Brothers from all over the country would gather at the pool or in the lounge, telling stories of their own chapters and talking about solving theirs and others chapters problems.

Of course, at the same time joking with each other and becoming close friends. I can honestly attest to that being one of the best weekends of my life, and I am still in contact with many people who I met at IMPACT18 in Orlando, FL.

The reason that I brought up Orlando was that recently my brother, Isaac Kracht from the University of Iowa, and I attended the Naperville BBLA.

I’m sure when I told him to go with me he thought the same thing as me: “oh great a weekend away from Iowa city, why in the world would I want to leave here for Naperville?” But being the kind guy he is, he accepted to come with.

I knew from talking to Johnny Hohenstein, that Dr. Brown was going to be there, and Isaac was going to love talking to him.

The weekend went very much the same way as Orlando, a great experience with a large impact on my life and good times with other chapters. Talking throughout and after the weekend with Isaac, I could see it had a resounding impact on him too.

We talked about deeper things that we had never talked about before, and he seemed energized and excited to start a new approach to life.

If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend making a trip to a regional or national conference. If your chapter can, implement it into dues so that everyone can go! Or, you could plan to have Dr. Brown come for a weekend and speak to your chapter.

Regarding my clickbait story title? Phi Kap conferences are indeed worth it. Whether you desiring to become a better version of yourself, or interested in meeting other brothers from around the country, I promise it will have a lasting impact on your life.


Register for our remaining BBLA:

Marlborough, Massachusetts RLC (March 22-24, 2019)
45.00

Hotel reservations will be made for you upon registering for the event.

Courtyard by Marriott Boston Marlborough
75 Felton Street
Marlborough, MA 01752

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Brother Reid is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering with a focus in Business Management. He is the current Vice President of Fraternal, Recharter Head and Social Media Chair for Phi Kappa Theta Iowa Delta. Nicholas grew up in Peoria, Illinois, attending St. Vincent de Paul grade school and Peoria Notre Dame High School. He was involved and active in many things, including scholastic bowl, numerous sports with his primary being soccer, key club and French Club. Nic also received the Presidental Award, National Honors Society, Old Gold Scholarship and an Illinois State Scholar. He is the first person of his family to move out for college, attend a big 10 school and join Greek life. Knowing nothing of what Greek life is about graduating, Nic has since taken a strong passion towards Phi Kappa Theta and bettering himself, along with his brothers. Nic is also involved in Dance Marathon and Intramural Sports, along with numerous service projects through the Fraternity. In his freetime, he loves to workout, play sports, hunt, fish, play video games and hang out with friends.

Phi Kappa Theta is Creating Life-Changing Experiences at BBLA

Brothers from the 2019 BBLA in Seattle, WA.

At the start of 2019 we have already seen several gatherings of the Boysie Bollinger Leadership Academy held across the country!

Brothers from various chapters gathered in Omaha, NE, Seattle, WA and Bowling Green, OH to hear from our DMB Coaching team.

The Boysie Bollinger Leadership Academy is a bold new spin on Phi Kappa Theta’s Regional Leadership Conferences. Now in it’s second year as the “BBLA’s”, brothers from across the country are gathering around life's biggest questions and coming away with new insights and real solutions!

What else can brothers expect at our BBLA’s this year?

Life-changing Ideas:
Unique content drawing on decades of experience helping young men become the best version of themselves.

Honest Conversations:
No one-way lectures. No fluff. Deep, meaningful dialogue designed to help each brother identify their unique contribution.

Ongoing Relationships:
The most important thing brothers leave BBLA events with is connection. Connection to brothers, to other chapters, and to life coaches.


If you or your chapter are interested in attending of of our remaining BBLA’s, please select one below!

Marlborough, Massachusetts RLC (March 22-24, 2019)
45.00

Hotel reservations will be made for you upon registering for the event.

Courtyard by Marriott Boston Marlborough
75 Felton Street
Marlborough, MA 01752

Quantity:
Add To Cart

Making Our Move

Phi Kappa Theta Teams Up With DMB Coaching To Strengthen Fraternity Curriculum

by Shawn Cramer
Western Theological Seminary, ‘A

Brothers working together at the Austin, TX BBLA this past November.

Phi Kappa Theta runs at the front of the pack in terms of personal development and servant leadership. A large piece of this engine driving that forward is the partnership between Phi Kappa Theta and DMB coaching.

At the core of this partnership lies a story of two men who started as strangers, then moved to acquaintances, then colleagues, now business partners and good friends.

We conducted an interview between Dr. Michael S. Brown of DMB coaching and Robert Riggs, CAE (RPI, ‘02), Executive Vice President of Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity.

Rob, how and when did you meet Michael? What were your first impressions?

Michael and I met at a conference called Connect Marketplace in 2015. Connect Marketplace is a meeting space for those who hold and host conferences. Initially, my first impressions were, “Whoa, this guy has a ton of energy.”

Michael, what were your first impressions of Rob?

My first impression of Rob was he was incredibly thoughtful and inquisitive. He asked some really good questions not only about our campus, but about my personal interests and passions as well.

How and when did the Phi Kappa Theta/DMB Coaching partnership actually transpire and become official?

Rob: We continued to meet at Connect Marketplace over the next few years. I mentioned how much anxiety I would get having to think about writing curriculum and workshops. He told me about DMB Coaching and his specialty in designing curriculum and educational conferences for college-aged men. I was like, “Tell me more!”

Michael: We began talking more about our common interests in the development of college men and began to realize quite quickly that these passions were very similar. Rob asked to view some of my past developmental content and create unique content for Phi Kappa Theta. The rest is history!

Michael, why did you decide to accept Rob’s invitation to partner with Phi Kappa Theta?

Dr. Michael Brown of DMB Coaching speaking at a BBLA.

Dr. Michael Brown of DMB Coaching speaking at a BBLA.

My personal mission statement is clear in that my work and the investment of my life is primarily about helping young men discover a positive and progressive masculinity that will shape every area of their life. It was immediately clear that Rob’s invitation to partner was exactly in line with my passions.

Rob, what has been the most enjoyable aspect of working with DMB Coaching?

For me I really enjoy the collaboration and the full trust that we have in each other with regards to our roles. Michael and I are able to discuss what we’re envisioning for the organization, then collaborate about it, and he comes back with some excellent curriculum that really resonates with our target audience, and that’s the most important thing.

Michael, what has been the most enjoyable aspect of working with Phi Kappa Theta?

Honestly, the question should be, “What has not been enjoyable?”

Every individual I meet - every volunteer, every board member, every alumnus, every collegiate member of Phi Kappa Theta, they are just extraordinary human beings. I absolutely love being immersed in the culture of this fraternity.

Rob & Michael, what do you envision for this partnership and relationship in the years ahead?

Rob: I’m very excited for what the future may hold between us. I am envisioning that we create a situation in which our fraternity brothers are able to work seamlessly with DMB Coaching and Phi Kappa Theta to strengthen themselves as individual men.

Michael: It is my hope that my organization and my coaching team and the fraternity would be connected, quite honestly, for decades to come. We have a common mission, common core values and a common commitment that we share in helping young fraternity leaders become the best version of themselves both now and after graduation.

Rob & Michael, are there additional opportunities for individual chapters, collegiates, alumni, volunteers and/or board members in regards to working with DMB Coaching?

Rob: I would highly encourage other chapters to utilize their chapter endowments to bring in a member of the DMB coaching team to work directly with their chapter.

Michael: The sky’s the limit! Our team is prepared to visit every individual chapter across the country! I would personally prioritize any work that would come through the Phi Kappa Theta brotherhood because of the powerful friendship we have established.

The best days of Phi Kappa Theta are still yet to come. For more information on how you can personally or as a chapter tap into these opportunities, please contact executiveoffices@phikaps.org

Main Image: Dr. Michael S. Brown of DMB Coaching speaks with brothers at IMPACT18 in Orlando, FL this past August where he and his team facilitated.