Iowans at GCC

The 49th Grand Chapter Congress was held August 6-10 in Bellevue, Washington. Included in the nearly 800 brothers in attendance were 2 from central Iowa, both members of the Des Moines – Central Iowa Alumni Chapter. Kirstie attended as the Great Plains Regional Vice President (and was elected to another term as RVP). Adam attended as the Des Moines – Central Iowa Alumni Chapter delegate to the Grand Chapter Congress. Both agreed to share some of their experiences in this blog post.

Kirstie mentioned that many brothers use GCC as a way to take a vacation. She certainly did by traveling to Seattle several days before the congress actually convened. She used this time to visit the Space Needle and other tourist sites including a Boeing facility.

Adam got to town before the commencement of GCC as well. Besides visiting the Space Needle and other Seattle sites, Adam was one of many brothers who took some time to visit Vancouver, Canada.

Kirstie estimated everyone attending GCC took up half of the hotel. Word on the street was that Charles Barkley, Patrick Dempsey, and Lebron James were somewhere in the other half, attending some other event. Adam saw Charles in the lobby at one point!

award

As previously reported, the Des Moines – Central Iowa Alumni Chapter won 3 awards: Regional – Outstanding Collegiate Relations, Regional – Most Improved Alumni Chapter, and Provincial – Most Improved Alumni Chapter.

Wednesday featured the opening keynote followed by some break-out presentations. It is LEAD type of stuff. Adam attended an alumni panel break-out session. The loosely structured discussion focused on best practices and experiences that different alumni brothers have had. Adam picked up a few good points from this session.

Wednesday night was the Luau. Kirstie was impressed with the decoration including umbrellas and palm trees. Although it was a little slow at first and Adam said the DJ wasn’t the greatest, a good time was had.

Thursday was the honorary initiation of Ken Denman. Both Kirstie and Adam remarked about his demonstration of his firm’s products that are designed to recognize faces and human emotions. It was a fun show, noted Kirstie.

The Congress gets down to business Wednesday and although they have fun with it, important business is at hand. Kirstie noted how delegates want to make sure to get their names in the minutes. Adam did this as the DSMCIA delegate by seconding Kirstie’s nomination for Great Plains RVP.

Adam noted he made sure to have fun while being the DSMCIA delegate, even being called “obnoxious” by the moderator at one point (though surely in a fun way).

Neither Kirstie nor Adam attended the Leadership Foundation VIP dinner at a winery Thursday night. When they get rich in the future and send the big bucks to the foundation they will surely get invites. Kirstie did take advantage of witnessing a Board Meeting while in Seattle, which she noted was neat seeing the elected leaders take care of business.

No official campaigning can begin until Thursday afternoon once the caucus finishes up. Adam noted it was more important to campaign this year than at the last GCC since there wasn’t an incumbent running for GP and he had a sense the election was going to be close. Adam stayed pretty busy during this time because he was a volunteer in support of the Onuka Ibe campaign.

Kirstie remarked on some of the neat traditions like the Past Grand Presidents leading the current Grand President candidates out of the room before the delegates vote for the election. That is also the time when testimonials are read aloud (similar to the “pass the gavel” tradition the Drake chapter has).

Kirstie noted that she believed Onuka Ibe had a slight advantage going into the election even though the other candidate was the Western PVP and was well-known by delegates from the West Coast. And in what was rumored to be a close vote, Onuka Ibe was elected Grand President. Adam noted that the Grand Chapter felt really good about having 2 strong candidates vying for the position and that he saw Onuka and his opponent chatting it up Saturday night at the banquet after the election.

Besides the Grand President election, Jodi Schoh winning North Central PVP, and Kirstie winning Great Plains RVP, Adam voted in favor of 4 major items of business. These included eliminating the VPOD position, the 10% $15 cap on collegiate dues increases, allowing chairs of national committees to join the Golden Council, and align the procedures to recall a PVP with that of other board members. Adam voted with the majority on each of these, passing all 4.

adam light

Saturday’s banquet had a Seattle theme and had neat backdrops including things like the Space Needle and Public Market. The banquet went long, but was good. Adam even had the opportunity to work a spotlight. Adam particularly enjoyed the Lifetime Achievement Award presentation to Philip H. Turnquist, Onuka Ibe’s speech, and the announcement of the 2015 GCC in Chicago featuring an appearance by the Blues Brothers!

onuka ibe and kg

Grand President Onuka Ibe and Kirstie

Kirstie said that many alumni use Grand Chapter Congress to do many things (and not necessarily attend a lot of educational sessions). There are lots of opportunities to socialize and with so many brother in attendance it is likely you will not cross paths with everyone. Most GCC attendees spend a good amount of time with the same people they room with at the hotel, but with most chapters not sending many people to attend, there are multitudes of opportunities to meet new faces, and most people are open to talking, hanging out, and partying with others they’ve just met.

Adam said that he enjoys GCC so much because it is an opportunity to connect with those brothers that he only sees at GCC. It’s also exciting to elect the new leadership of the fraternity. He took some time at the Saturday night dance to introduce an Iowa State student attending GCC to some of the big wigs that others had introduced him to at the 2011 GCC. That kind of connection and interaction is what GCC’s all about. It is a great example of being part of something that is bigger than yourself and that everyone cares so much about.

Kirstie didn’t want to sound cliché but noted that many people say that GCC is life changing, which she believes to be true. Adam said GCC is an experience everyone needs to have at least once. Both Kirstie and Adam ended their remarks with the same quote… that “the only GCC you’ll regret, is the one you don’t attend”

Mark your calendars for the 50th GCC in Chicago August 12-16, 2015.

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Clive Happy Hour: A Success!

The Des Moines – Central Alumni Chapter held its first happy hour of the 2013-2014 year Tuesday at Phil’s Bar and Grill in Clive, IA. 9 brothers made an appearance and by adding in a wife and friend that tagged along for the after-party, 11 people got to meet and/or catch up.

at happy hour 8.20.2013

We were welcomed to what seemed to be a mostly townie bar and by the time we left appeared to be the only patrons there. The happy hour featured $1 off drinks and there was a good pitcher deal as well. Hot topics included exciting events witnessed at GCC, what people have been doing over the summer, golf and frisbee golf, which state is better (IA vs. MN) and state fairs (including which state fair is the best (IL vs. WS vs. IA vs. MN)). Brothers were also starting to buzz about the upcoming Fall LEAD in Indianapolis. Adam suggested creating a Deltasig Iowa pin that we can sell at national events as a fundraiser. He wants to collect pins from all 50 states and has several already. Several candidates for the Iowa State University District Director were in attendance as was an officer of the Iowa State collegiate chapter (interning in Des Moines over the summer). There were some of the old regulars, a few new faces, and good times all around.

at restaurant 8.20.2013

The night was going so well, several brothers took the after-party to Mazatlan Mexican Restaurant (located in the same strip mall as Phil’s).

6 deer

On the way out, I spotted what must have been 6 deer hanging out in the underdeveloped lot next to the strip mall. However, I don’t know if anyone will believe me because my photo is so poor. Wanted: New photographer to take better pictures at events!

First Happy Hour of the Year: Next Week in Clive

The first happy hour of the Des Moines – Central Iowa Alumni Chapter for the 2013-2014 year is coming up Tuesday August 20 from 5:30 until 7:00 pm. It will be held at Phil’s Bar & Grill (9956 Swanson Blvd. | Clive, IA 50325)

As an aside: At GCC last week, our alumni chapter was presented with 3 annual awards:
Regional – Outstanding Collegiate Relations
Regional – Most Improved Alumni Chapter
Provincial – Most Improved Alumni Chapter
Cheers to us! More information about GCC with an in depth recap of events, awards, election results, and the experiences of our members who attended will be coming soon to this Blog.

We kicked off the new year after our Annual Meeting in June, and this Happy Hour will be our first event since. This will be a great opportunity for longtime members to network and catch up as well as for new members to meet the brothers and learn more about our chapter.

Why get involved with an alumni chapter? Alumni chapters provide a local network for alumni, they act as a resource for collegiate chapters, and hold a variety of events. It is an extension of the collegiate experience with several added benefits including: No CMP, no attendance policies, minimum one chapter meeting per year, more flexible time commitment, a membership base diverse in age and fraternal and professional experience, you choose the events that you want to attend. It is brotherhood adapted to the real world! You can check out more alumni benefits here.

What can I expect at the Happy Hour Tuesday? There will be socializing and each brother purchases his or her own beverages and appetizers/food.

Why attend? Brothers will be able to meet new people (don’t be shy), see old friends, grow their networks, unwind, visit a different place (anybody been to Phil’s before?), get info on other events coming up, and share ideas about future community service, professional, and social events to hold. It’s an open Happy Hour, so even if you are not a dues paying member please feel free to drop by as you please.

How can I find you? Look for a Deltasig T-shirt thrown over the back of a chair and/or the table with a clipboard on it. We will also look like the most welcoming bunch in the bar.

What if I can’t attend? There are many ways to be involved even if you can’t attend this event. Mark your calendar for future events, contact members of the leadership team directly, check out the Facebook page and see what’s going on there.

Top Rankings for Des Moines

This week, many Deltasigs have Traveled to Seattle, WA for Grand Chapter Congress. I’m sure several have fallen in love with Seattle, Tacoma, Vancouver and much of the Pacific Northwest. But as easy as it is to be awed by the cities of GCC, folks may want to give Des Moines a look. Iowa’s capital boasts many recent awards and accolades and it seems like more are being announced every day.

Publicized today, (8/7) Forbes has ranked Des Moines #1 on the 2013 list of the best places for business and careers.
Other items of note include:
being called “fresh, hip, and happening” by the Kansas City Star
David Byrne had some nice things to say after playing 80/35
#8 best city to be “young, broke, and single
#1 best midwest cities for young adults
#1 best outlook for jobs Q3 2013
#2 best cities to start a business
#2 strongest local economy
#3 top 15 U.S. cities’ emerging downtowns
Ten most unexpected cities for high tech innovation 2013
The list goes on and on
and don’t forget about our AAA bond rating!

Being ranked on lists only scratches the surface of what a great place Des Moines is and why we are proud to call it our own. Besides being home to a great Deltasig alumni chapter, blogs like desmoinesisnotboring and eatplaylovedesmoines showcase and review what makes us unique, fun, and a first class community.