Monday, February 26, 2007

Photos From Bakersfield LC!

We had an awesome weekend in Bakersfield, California at the Community 9 Leadership Conference! Enjoy these pictures from the wonderful event and check back for a posting from Joanne and Cat!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Newark Leadership Conference -- Wow, What A Weekend!

Dear Sisters,

Newark, NJ was the place to be the weekend of February 9-11, 2007 for the 2nd Leadership Conference of 2007! Executive board members from 23 chapters from Communities 2 & 3 were joined by Zeta Beta (Rowan University) and Beta Alpha (University of Maryland-College Park) from Community 5. Alumnae sisters and fraternity personnel joined us from 14 states: Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin!

We kicked the weekend off with a fantastic Philanthropic Recruitment event – with a twist! Our fraternity personnel worked to recruit our collegiate women to join the Tau Beta (“The Best”) chapter of Phi Sigma Sigma by talking about our chapter’s accomplishments in the areas of Academics, Campus and Community Involvement, Service, the National Kidney Foundation and Philanthropy!

Grand Archon Sandy Grossman served as the chapter archon, while Foundation President Kim Hildred was the chapter’s advisor! Nicci Hollar, Director of Programming and brand new Community Archon for Community 2 served as the membership recruitment chair, while Executive Director Michelle Ardern served as the chapter’s philanthropy chair! It was a wonderful opportunity for our chapters to learn new ideas for philanthropic recruitment, and a great way for everyone in attendance to kick off the weekend and get to know one another!

Once the philanthropic recruitment party fun was done, Sandy Grossman welcomed everyone with a fraternity update and some fun and interesting facts about all of our wonderful fraternity personnel – did you know that ACHIEVE facilitator Fiona Conroy’s favorite pet is a hedgehog?

Friday night ended on a positive note and a good example of what to expect for the weekend, as chapter’s sat one on one with volunteers to review their recruitment plans and ask questions about how to improve their chapter’s recruitment!

Saturday was a busy day! ACHIEVE sessions, officer training roundtables, and an awards presentation recognizing all award winners from Communities 2 & 3 in 2006 only brought us to lunch! Did you know that the 2006 Collegian of the Year was Community 3’s Mary Schurgot of the Delta Zeta chapter at Stevens Institute of Technology?!

We also had the wonderful opportunity to experience an honorary alumnae initiation. Charisse Willis, Dean of Education (among many other roles) at St. John’s University (where our Epsilon Omicron chapter hails from) was welcomed into Phi Sigma Sigma as a Grand Council initiate!

Saturday night was rounded out by the always fabulous Foundation dinner. We saw the touching Transplant Games slideshow and heard from Catherine Paykin, Transplant Programs Coordinator from the National Kidney Foundation.

The dinner was highlighted by the Foundation Raffle and Auction, auctioneered by Grand Vice Archon, Caryn Jacquish! Communities 2 & 3 raised over $5600 for the Phi Sigma Sigma Foundation!

The weekend went by quickly, and before we had time to realize it, it was Sunday morning, our last set of roundtables before we all headed home. We were all so excited to see the enthusiasm of our collegiate women, and our chapter key advisors throughout the weekend. It was so great to see everyone excited to bring everything they learned back to their chapters!

Overall, it was an amazing and wonderful weekend. There were so many memorable moments from initiating into Phi Sigma Sigma a wonderful new sister, to hearing about recruitment success from chapters, to raising over $5600 for the Foundation. We only wished we had more time...

Our advice to all of you who have not yet attended your Leadership Conference – take every opportunity you have to network with your sisters – from all chapters in your community, to every other collegiate and alumnae member in attendance! Take the time to exchange ideas, discuss your chapter’s best practices, and exchange contact info! Oh, and don’t forget to bring tissues and your wallet to the Foundation dinner! The Transplant Games video is uplifting and emotional and will certainly inspire you to give, give, give to the Foundation!

A sincere thank you to everyone who made the Community 2 & 3 Leadership Conference possible, and a success: our OUTSTANDING Fraternity HQ staff (Cat Udell, Lisa Wallace, Nicole Westerfer, Executive Director Michelle Ardern and Foundation Development Director, Rosemary Straub), Supreme Council, Foundation Directors, the ACHIEVE team, and last, but certainly not least, our always amazing Chapter Key Advisors. Thank you all!

We are all looking forward to Conclave this summer at Disney World in Orlando, FL. See you in July!

In Our Bond,

Nicci Hollar
Community Archon
Community 2
Director of Programming

Cat Udell
Membership Manager
Communities 2, 3 & 9

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Next Up: Bakersfield Leadership Conference!

The Foundation is so excited to head to Bakersfield, California this weekend for the third Phi Sigma Sigma Leadership Conference. Want to know how fabulous it is? Be sure to check the blog often as we will be posting pictures and guest stories about the weekend! West Coasters...see you in a few days!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Newark Leadership Conference Pictures

Thank you to all of the collegians, alumnae and fraternity personnel who made the Newark Leadership Conference a total success!

Baltimore Leadership Conference -- A HUGE SUCCESS!

Dear Sisters,

Wow, what a weekend. Baltimore, MD was the site of the first 2007 Leadership Conference for Communities 5 & 6 and it was a fantastic time. Executive board members from 26 chapters attended, sisters flew in from Florida, drove from Delaware, and everywhere in between, fraternity personnel attended from Kentucky, Boston, and New Jersey.

Friday evening started with a Philanthropic Recruitment event where fraternity personnel worked to recruit our collegiate women to join the Tau Beta ("The Best") chapter of Phi Sigma Sigma. Grand Archon Sandy Grossman served as chapter Archon and Foundation President Kim Hildred was our trusted chapter Advisor. This was a great opportunity for chapters to learn a new idea for philanthropic recruitment and we hope that many of our chapters will incorporate this into their next recruitment planning.

Saturday was a whirlwind day of ACHIEVE, officer round-tables, awards luncheon, an alumnae initiation, and finally, the Foundation dinner. The one thing we heard over and over was that there wasn't enough TIME!!! The women soaked up every opportunity they had to network, exchange ideas, and discuss best chapter practices.

Choosing a best moment of the day is nearly impossible, however, the alumnae initiation was a proud moment for many of us as we initiated into Phi Sigma Sigma two fantastic new sisters: former HQ staff member, Adrienne Lawrence and Theta Rho Chapter Key Advisor, Diane Cornett. The Foundation dinner was a smashing success and Communities 5 & 6 set the bar high for future Leadership Conferences raising $10K+. Just a word of wisdom, bring tissue to the Foundation dinner, the Transplant Games video is uplifting and emotional!

Before we knew it Sunday morning arrived. Where did the time go? We were so excited to see the enthusiasm of our collegiate women of the information they had to take back to their chapters all of the great ideas they had learned from the weekend. We only wished we had more time...but we are very excited for Conclave this summer at Disney World in Orlando, FL.

We would like to give a special shout-out to: all of the ACHIEVE Facilitators, Foundation Directors and Rosemary Straub, our OUTSTANDING Fraternity HQ staff, Supreme Council, and finally, to our amazing Chapter Key Advisor's that attend the conference! See you in July!

In Our Bond,

Vanessa Freeman and Katie Vlietstra
Community Archon
Community 5 & Community 6

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Newark, Here We Come!

Tomorrow is the first day of the 3 day Leadership Conference (LC) in Newark! Do you want to know what is going on during the conference or see pictures from the weekend? If so, check back often as we will be posting stories and pictures from Newark -- and all of the LCs!

Future Conferences:

  • Bakersfield
  • Albany
  • Chicago

Monday, February 05, 2007

Baltimore Leadership Conference Pictures

Thank you to all of the collegians, alumnae and fraternity personnel who made the Baltimore Leadership Conference a total success!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Our ‘Phab’ Founder’s Day in Philly!

Melanie, the Philadelphia Alumnae Chapter archon, recently emailed the Foundation to share the details about their wonderfully successful Founders' Day celebration. Congratulations to all on a terrific event!

Here in Philadelphia, Founder’s Day has always been a big deal. I mean a really big deal. We pull out all the stops – with a banquet, speakers, awards and a Foundation fund drive. To us, it’s not only one of the most meaningful events on the Phi Sig calendar, it’s also one of the most fun – and we all look forward to it.

This year’s event was, in a word, “phabulous!” More than 300 women attended, representing not only the Philadelphia Alumnae Chapter, but also eight local chapters: Nu (University of Pennsylvania), Xi (Temple University), Beta Rho (Drexel University), Gamma Xi (Widener University), Delta Lambda (Muhlenburg College), Epsilon Zeta (Bloomsburg University), Zeta Gamma (West Chester University) and Theta Eta (Rider University).

Without question, the highlight of the event was our VIP speaker Veachey R. Bloom, past Grand Archon and author of our ritual manual. Veachey shared her deep love for Phi Sig, especially as the Fraternity approaches its 100th anniversary in 2013. Of course we gave her a standing ovation!

Another wonderful moment: when our very own Lisa Romero, editor of the Sphinx and our Alumnae Chapter’s PR Chair, won the Helen Berkowitz Award, our local honor for sisters who’ve demonstrated outstanding service. For several seconds while I was reading about Lisa’s accomplishments, she didn’t even realize she was the recipient! She was genuinely touched her sisters appreciated her efforts.

To top it all off, thanks to a wildly successful raffle, we raised a whopping $820 for Foundation.

All in all, a great day… and a great way to celebrate the bonds of true sisterhood!


Archon, Philadelphia
Alumnae Chapter

Friday, February 02, 2007

Baltimore Here We Come!

Today is the first day of the 3 day Leadership Conference (LC) in Baltimore! Do you want to know what is going on during the conference or see pictures from the weekend? If so, check back often as we will be posting stories and pictures from Baltimore -- and all of the LCs!