From IOWA to NOLA – GCC 2017

Delta Sigma Pi’s 51st Grand Chapter Congress was held in New Orleans, Louisiana August 16 – 20, 2017. Many collegiate and alumni brothers from central Iowa attended this biennial event. Recorded below are the experiences of 2 alumni: Jody, President of the Des Moines – Central Iowa Alumni Chapter, who was the chapter’s delegate to congress; and David, VP-CO of the Des Moines – Central Iowa Alumni Chapter, who was the chapter’s alternate delegate.

Both David and Jody flew to NOLA, David by way of Minneapolis where he happened to share a plane with some Twin Cities Alumni Chapter (TCAC) members and Jody by way of Chicago and some flight delays and an 8-hour layover at O’Hare. But Jody did end up arriving in the crescent city and had an especially memorable taxi ride from the airport to the hotel driven by an extremely Cajun cabbie.

The hotel was the Sheraton New Orleans, and both commented how great of a location this was to the city’s action, being just a block from the famed French Quarter and 2-blocks from Bourbon Street. Throughout the week, Jody and David became well-acquainted with several of the local establishments including The Jimani and The Worlds Famous Cats Meow. There were a few issues with the hotel. More than 1 brother was treated in the hospital for allergic reactions to hotel food. The lack of ventilation in the hotel rooms left pot smoke lingering in rooms and hallways. (It is unconfirmed whether or not it was Deltasigs or other hotel guests passing the doobie.)

Brothers got lucky with the timing of Grand Chapter Congress. Earlier in August the city experienced flooding associated with failures of the city’s storm water pumping system.
Then later in the month after congress had concluded, remnants of hurricane Harvey made landfall in Western Louisiana. During the week of Grand Chapter, the weather was mostly pleasant, hot, with some rain. August is typically a slow month for tourism in the city, so especially early in the week, brothers felt like they had much of the town to themselves. It was not hard to get on tours and see performances. Several TCAC brothers took a bayou tour.

Neither Jody nor David participated in the community service initiative, working on the city’s historic cemeteries, but they did hear that one of the COYs found some bones (not an unusual occurrence) while cleaning up around a grave.

Cajun band (note the woman (center) playing the washboard)

Tuesday night both Jody and David (by invitation) attended the National Officers Appreciation Event, which was held in a bowling alley that also featured live music (pictured) and arcade games. This was a fun time for the 2 bus-loads of brothers who attended.

As the sessions kicked off on Wednesday, David had the special opportunity of assisting with the setup of AV equipment and gaining backstage access to the logical operations of a Grand Chapter Congress. In business, it’s all about who you know, and David’s connections to TCAC President, Adam and Central Office’s Jeremy provided David the ‘in’ for helping things run smoothly and managing activities like estimating attendance during different sessions and setting up projectors.

Jody attended the Alumni Forum session and said that it was good. Linda, the National Alumni Development Committee Chair led the discussions that featured ideas from different alumni chapters from around the country. Jody believes the Des Moines – Central Iowa Alumni Chapter needs to develop and hold an annual ‘signature event’ that it will be known for, much like other chapters do. Also interesting were the comments and experiences by one East Coast alumni chapter that was just starting up, so Jody was able to compare Des Moines’ progress as an alumni chapter to one newly-created.

The Wednesday night’s Grand President’s Dance was good, but neither Jody nor David stayed the whole time. With the hotel being located next to such great night life, often options outside of the hotel seemed just as attractive as the fraternity’s scheduled events. This was a comment that they had heard from other alumni regarding previous Grand Chapters held in NOLA… that those were unique because of the fun location. The space for the Grand President’s Dance was not as large as the 2015 GCC in Schaumburg, but did feature some games and plenty of dancing.

Thursday was the honorary initiation. Both Jody and David were impressed by the story of Honorary Initiate, Alden McDonald, president and CEO of Liberty Bank. Mr. McDonald had an amazing story of coming from nothing to being the owner and CEO of a bank, then that bank being devastated by Hurricane Katrina, and McDonald building it back again.

The business sessions for debate and voting by the Grand Chapter kicked off Thursday. David and Jody described these as intense. Going into GCC Jody believed that the Fraternity and its members were generally of a progressive nature, in terms of thinking about the proposed legislation, especially after talking to many Midwestern alums who often shared her views. But she was surprised to find how passionate others were about tradition and keeping things exactly the way they are now. David was mainly concerned that collegiates might be misinformed either about our history, what these traditions actually mean and whether or not they are important to our future, and what the proposed changes would do in practice to the Fraternity.

There was some legislation that easily passed (having to do with clarifying some policies), but all of the other legislation failed (although 1 piece of it only failed by 3 votes). Part of what made passage difficult was the hurdle of achieving 3/4 of the vote (not just a simple majority).

Jody and David commented that the time for discussion did not seem adequate, but both doubted that more discussion would have changed any hearts or minds. Perhaps delegates were locked into their votes even before arriving at Grand Chapter.

More passion was expressed in the elections for National Officers than in the proposed legislation changes. North Central Provincial COY, Brikken gave the intro speech for Grand President Candidate Jodi (North Central PVP). Both David and Jody thought Brikken’s was a very good speech.
They also believed that it wound up being the best public speakers who came away with election victories. And both believed Grand President Candidate Tricia (Northeastern PVP and GP election winner) gave a great speech.

Nolan at the North Central Province Caucus

They also liked Nolan’s speech (pictured) for Jillian (former Des Moines resident, Great Plains RVP, and North Central PVP candidate). David and Jody heard from multiple brothers that the race between Jillian and Cory (North Central RVP and winner of North Central PVP election) was the toughest vote because they like both of the candidates so much.

Jillian at the North Central Province Caucus

This was a unique GCC experience for the Iowans in attendance as well as many of their Minnesotan friends because they all knew candidates Jodi, Cory, and Jillian and were very invested in the campaigning. Campaigns did not heat up until Thursday, but after that the swag was flying and David and Jody commented on the strong ground-game of Jodi’s GP campaign. David thought that the rules for campaigning are in need of updates especially related to the prohibition of campaigning via social media. David also noted his frustration with the fact that current board members had to stay impartial to all candidates.

The Friday night event was actually 2 events. Due to the record or near-record attendance of the 2017 GCC (about 1,200 brothers) there were too many people to fit onto the planned activity. This was a riverboat cruise. So many brothers, including 2 from Iowa attended a ghost tour (by boat) followed by a dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp. Jody believes that one of the Iowa brothers on the haunted boat tour captured photographic evidence of a ghost (a claim that has yet to be fact-checked).

1,000 brothers parade towards the river boat

The majority of GCC attendees who did not go ghost hunting, started with a parade (pictured) from the hotel down Canal Street towards the river, where the river boat (featuring a dinner cruise) was waiting. Both David and Jody commented about how neat the parade was. Large in size, tossing beads, stopping traffic, drawing much attention… it was quite a spectacle.

But Jody and David were less impressed by the river boat, the cruise, and the Southern cooking served on board. There were some good views from the water, especially of the city as the sun was setting and the town was going up in lights, but the boat felt crowded.

Banquet

Saturday night’s banquet was a good one. The evening’s emcee, Burton, kept things light and fun. This was especially helpful to combat the low spirits of many brothers from the Midwest who were hoping Jodi would have been elected GP. David and Jody also commented on how passionate Lifetime Achievement Award winner Claire Sammon Roberts was and the high quality of her speech during the banquet.

Overall both David and Jody had great experiences and great stories from the 2017 GCC. David (an Iowa State grad) had a neat moment finding and connecting with another Iowa State alum he had previously never met who currently lives in Richmond, Virginia. And one of David’s favorite moments came Saturday night out at the bars for one last hurrah with some of his closest friends and having a great time win or lose.

David (center, white t-shirt), Jody (furthermost right)

Jody did have a funny story about Nolan stepping in a very deep mud puddle that had filled a street pothole. 2017 was a very different experience for Jody compared to her only other Grand Chapter (Orlando in 2007). She was quick to point out that both of these were the highest-ever attended GCC’s. For one she was a collegiate and the other she was an alumni with years of volunteer leadership experience. Jody said her favorite part of the trip was Monday. That was before the official congress had begun and a bunch of brothers took the day to go out as a group to explore the city… with no agenda, before any campaign craziness, just being flexible and doing whatever looked fun. It was a long day and a great day.

David and Jody had a great time at the 2017 Grand Chapter Congress in New Orleans.
Mark your calendars for the 52nd GCC: August 14-18, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Advertisements

Is this website breaking the rules?

The July 2017 issue of “The Deltasig” magazine has been published.
Read it online here.

Be sure to check out page 34 for a picture from Iowa State. Other highlights included a couple entrepreneurial articles, and a preview of Grand Chapter Congress in New Orleans next month.

Very concerning to this weblog was the letter from the Fraternity’s Executive Director on page 38 regarding the protection of Delta Sigma Pi trademarks.
“The Board of Directors, in consideration of protecting our trademarks, recently updated policy so that only vendors officially licensed by the Fraternity (or through its agents) have the right to produce merchandise using the the Delta Sigma Pi name, letters, or insignia.” writes Bill Schilling.
There are new rules relating to products including apparel, glassware, publications, and web pages.
More research will be done to ensure this web page complies with all new rules relating to the fraternity’s trademarked material.

Don’t forget the next happy hour with the Des Moines – Central Iowa Alumni Chapter of Delta Sigma Pi is Thursday 7/20 at Jasper Winery. More info on FB.

Multiple Alumni Opportunities

Save the date for Tuesday April 25.

National alumni day is a great time to participate in the 4.25 drive.

Also check out the calendar page of this weblog to find updates on the events coming up Friday April 28 and Saturday April 29.

Last week was the April happy hour hosted by the Des Moines – Central Iowa Alumni Chapter of Delta Sigma Pi.

The event was held at the newly-opened 2nd location of Peace Tree Brewing. This taproom in the East Village was fun and had good brews available for sale. Sour beers are brewed here, but none of the alumni brothers in attendance went for the sour beers. A fun time was had by all in attendance.

Good times & goodbyes at Spring 2017 LEAD

10 members (approx.) of the Des Moines – Central Iowa Alumni Chapter of Delta Sigma Pi attended the North Central LEAD Provincial Conference & Council Meeting the weekend of February 25, 2017 in Schaumburg, Illinois. The conference overall had good attendance from chapters all over the province and a great time was had by all.

2017-02-il-lead-donation

Several highlights include: (1.) the council meeting where proposed ritual changes were discussed (generally favorably), (2.) a hypnotist was the Friday night entertainment. Many brothers found the show very funny and quite impressive. (3.) good sessions throughout Saturday including a good presentation on generational diversity by Adam Carroll and Tim Augustine. (4.) a great banquet featuring awards, and thanks for volunteer leaders not running for reelection. Especially awesome was a video recognizing Jodi Schoh for her service as Provincial Vice President. To kick off the program portion of the banquet was a Mardi Gras style parade and giving away of beads followed by a mic-drop by the volunteer leaders. (see pic below) (5.) The Des Moines – Central Iowa Alumni Chapter of Delta Sigma Pi made a donation to the Leadership Foundation. (see pic above)

2017-02-il-lead-mic-drop

News:
COY Link
Lifetime achievement honoree Link
2017-02-dsp-news

2017-02-strategic-priorities

2016 Year-end Buzz

Members of the Des Moines – Central Iowa Alumni Chapter of Delta Sigma Pi are buzzing about several things as the calendar year comes to a close.

2016-12-10-ugly-sweater1

The annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Holiday Party was a great success this year. A dozen or so turned out on Saturday, December 10 for great merriment and awful attire. A few brothers traveled from out of town to attend the social. Highlights included some great appetizers and wine at Jillian’s followed by good times at the High Life Lounge in downtown Des Moines.

There is news buzz: The Des Moines – Central Iowa Alumni Chapter’s participation as part of ‘make-a-difference-day’ made national news on the fraternity’s website.

Also buzzworthy was the latest (November) issue of the Detasig magazine.
Featured stories include: “Deltasig Legacies: Fraternal Brothers within Families” and lists of Award Winners and Foundation Donors.

December 10 Holiday Party and other News

Check out Facebook and the calendar page of this weblog for the latest info on the Des Moines – Central Iowa Alumni Chapter of Delta Sigma Pi’s Annual Holiday Party
(an Ugly Christmas Sweater – themed gathering).
Saturday, December 10 brothers are invited to gather at Jillian’s residence at 7 pm. Then at 8:30 pm the plan is to move the party to The High Life Lounge (200 SW 2nd St, Des Moines, IA 50309). See FB or contact Jillian for more information.

2016-11-news

There seem to be many new news posts happening at the Delta Sigma Pi Website. Bookmark this page: https://www.deltasigmapi.org/news

Newsworthy for the Des Moines – Central Iowa Alumni Chapter of Delta Sigma Pi is that the search has begun for a new Chapter President. The previous president respectfully resigned the post earlier this month. Contact other officers if you are interested in stepping up and leading our chapter.

Registration for Great Plains Regional Conference Open

The details of the 4th annual Great Plains Regional Conference have been announced. Find the latest info online here. Alumni can attend this event Saturday, November 5 (held right here in Des Moines) for $10 (registration includes lunch). This event will be a great opportunity to network with collegiate brothers from around the region and learn about upcoming fraternal opportunities.

Immediately following the November 5 conference, the Des Moines – Central Iowa Alumni Chapter of Delta Sigma Pi will be hosting a social/networking event… more details TBA. Stay tuned.

2016-09-strategy-1

http://www.deltasigmapi.org/strategic-priorities
Delta Sigma Pi’s Grand President emailed out a message 9/26 about the new strategic priorities of the fraternity.

2016-09-strategy-2

2016-09-strategy-3

Also there was a recent notice about the Bucks for Brotherhood Program.

2016-10-bucks-for-brotherhood