It is crazy to think that in 154 hours I will be a married man. It is going to be one of those life changing moments that I will never forget. Over the last year of engagement I’ve realized that I could not be luckier of a man to have such a wonderful woman in my life. I’ve watched her go through the up’s and downs of wedding planning while enduring her first year of orientation at work. She is finally settled in the NICU unit at Cook Children’s and seems that she could not be any happier in what she is doing.
I absolutely cannot wait for these next 154 hours to pass. There is going to be a great gathering of family and friends; something that I could have never envisioned as a child. Everyone there will be there because they believe in our future together. I feel so fortunate to become a part of Allison’s family. I’ve learned so much from them in the last five years and cannot wait to continue to learn as my life goes on. One of my favorite hats to wear is my khaki, “Life is Good,” hat. That is exactly how I feel to the tenth degree. Thank you to everyone that has supported us and I look forward to connecting with everyone soon!!!
April 25th was the last time I sat and thought about writing a post. Wow. First thing that comes to mind is pathetic. The second thing I think about is what a waste. The third thing I think about is what has happened between then and now…..
Shortly after the 25th I was asked to expand Beta to a new campus, TCU. I remember the feeling of butterflies mixed with anxiety thinking about what I just agreed to do. Beta will be the first group to expand on campus in over 10 years, so it is definitely ready, but will I be.
Moving to Fort Worth, getting to know the campus, adjusting to my new/beautiful roommate (Allison, unexpected and definitely not planned, but it’s been great,) meeting and greeting anyone that will hear the message of Beta Theta Pi. I grow fond of my excel sheet “Master Tracker” that I frequent at least 10 times a day through the night. The campus affords a lot of talented students and faculty which makes my job incredibly amazing.
My team joins me in September to hit the ground running. Already having 17 new members, we blow the campus up with all things Beta. Three weeks later we produce a Founding Father class of 79 men boasting a 3.65 overall grade point average. I would have definitely brought the average down if I were one of them…I was super proud of my team and how we were efficient in making this happen. To think four men would start the legacy of a great organization on a great campus is pretty profound.
Eight weeks of education seem to fly by only losing six new members. It was a shame to lose those six because each student was selected for a reason and brought something unique to the experience. My guys ended the semester first in grades and winning intermural events. They are making a positive name for themselves as “The Nice Guys that can really sing.” To see them recruit their first pledge class of 22 new members all on their own makes me feel like a proud dad of sorts. They are driven to fulfill the mission of making a positive impact in Greek Life at TCU, and I can guarantee that they will not be denied of achieving this.
Now I am down to 52 days before the BIG DAY! I’m so excited/anxious and yet very relieved that I have found the most wonderful woman in the world to agree to put up with my shenanigans FOREVER! April 14th is going to be a wonderful day of good food, good drink and good people. I cannot wait to share the most important day of my life with so many family and friends. Growing up, I never would have imagined having a wedding more than eight people to witness, but feel so blessed about what is to come. Once I land a job, I will feel a lot more stress free. It is definitely in the works, but I really want to find the right opportunity to match my skill set and interests. I remind myself to remain persistent, determined and positive in this process. Wish me luck!
This felt good to write a bit, hell I should make a habit of it right?
I have the opportunity to work with some pretty amazing people. They challenge me both personally and professionally on a daily basis. I can’t imagine myself in another job where there is the opportunity for this much growth in such a short time frame.
Here is one of many learning moments that recently took place because of this job. I went to pick up a coworker and friend from the airport yesterday. Oxford is conveniently placed between Cincinnati and Dayton, which are both about an hour drive each way. So on the way home from Cincinnati, we had ample amount of time to catch up.
We began talking about people and how their environment shapes their view on life and the way they interact with others. Some people choose to let this influence their interactions more than others. My friend said that there is great opportunity for growth in every situation, but some choose not to be open to or embrace that opportunity. I ask “why though?” Were they raised to not be open for suggestions or different views? Are they programmed to not see this opportunity for growth?
We continued with the conversation on how some people care a whole hell of a lot about societal hierarchy and how this affects their interactions/motivations. It was very interesting for him to say that this was extremely tricky because he has noticed over time that this affects people in such a negative way. People are motivated for success without caring about those around them. If you have to hurt so many people to get where you want in this hierarchy, is it worth it? Does it make you a better person at the end of the day? Would you feel complete?
As the time, passes on and I begin to think about life with my fiancée, Allison; I wonder about my motivations for my life. I have set specific goals for things I want to accomplish with my career and personal life. I think the number one thing that stands out to me in accomplishing these goals though is how I treat those around me when achieving these goals. I always want to be genuine in my motives and support those around me. I feel that if you can base your decisions on the betterment of the people around you, while still progressing the organization or whatever you’re trying to do, you will succeed. This genuine thought of others will lead to success because people will come to trust that you have their best interest in mind.
Thanks Kye Hittle for the great convo my man. I will always, gladly pick you up or take you to the airport.
I went hiking two days ago in the Smokey Mountain National Forrest. It was truly incredible to say the least. The scenery and trails were absolutely phenomenal. I didn’t feel too comfortable going alone, but I met an older couple about half-way up the mountain and they joined me for the rest of the day. Cathy and Dave from Findley, Ohio told me that they have been coming to the Smokey Mountains every year since they have been married. It was where they spent their honeymoon and liked it enough to make it an annual tradition. It was awesome to see the love they shared for each other and for the outdoors.
It got me thinking about my upcoming marriage and the things Allison and I really enjoy doing together. I know that she has a love for animals that is second to none, so I really want us to be involved in an animal shelter in Ft.Worth volunteering in our spare time. I think that this would be a great way for us to give back. I know that I will just need to hold her back from wanting to adopt every little cat or dog that comes through there…haha Another idea I had was that we took an annual trip to Dallas for Ranger games and now that will be in our back yard, I would like to continue this by possibly buying season ticket packages, maybe not an entire season’s worth, but a group of 20 or so games. She knows my love for baseball and I think she also kinda enjoys it as well.
Anyhow, I am excited to begin a life in Ft. Worth around this time next year. In case you did not hear, Allison accepted her job offer to Cook’s Children’s Hospital in Ft. Worth and will be starting work June 6th! I am so proud of her. She is incredibly hard-working and definitely deserves all of the praise that comes her way. When I am back in May, we will be taking engagement pictures along with various other wedding planning things. I am not the most versed person when it comes to weddings, so I am glad that I have her to keep me in the know about everything we need to do. I look forward to moving her down to Ft. Worth and seeing where she is going to be living for the next year!
I’m glad it is finally getting warm outside. I ran my first 5k with my roommate and co-worker Brian Webber this last weekend in Lexington, KY. I’ve been working through this app on my phone called couch to 10k and it’s been nice getting out running a few times a week. This is something I am going to continue throughout the summer. I don’t want Allison to have to marry some guy that is out of shape!
I hope all is well in your world and I hope you’re enjoying the spring weather as much as I am!
So I started to reread one of my favorite books of all time, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” by Dale Carnegie a short time ago because we are having all of our new consultants read it before they come onto staff in June. I decided to take notes throughout the book and within the book. I stumbled upon a short story that I would like to share.
“Many years ago I called on customers for Johnson and Johnson in the Massachusetts area. One account was a drugstore in Hingham. Whenever I went into this store I would always talk to the soda clerk and sales clerk for a few minutes before talking to the owner to obtain his order. One day I went up to the owner of the store, and he told me to, leave as he was not interested in buying J&J products anymore because he felt they were concentrating their activities on food and discount stores to the detriment of the small drugstore. I left with my tail between my legs and drove around the town for several hours. Finally, I decided to go back and try at least to explain our position to the owner of the store.
When I returned I walked in and as usual said hello to the soda clerk and sales clerk. When I walked up to the owner, he smiled at me and welcomed me back. He then gave me double the usual order. I looked at him with surprise and asked him what had happened since my visit only a few hours earlier. He pointed to the young man at the soda fountain and said that after I had left, the boy had come over and said that I was one of the few salespeople that called on the store that even bothered to say hello to him and to the others in the store. He told the owner that if any salesperson deserved his business, it was I. The owner agreed and remained a loyal customer. I never forgot that to be genuinely interested in other people is a most important quality for a salesperson to possess—-for any person for that matter.”
This story hit to the core of my being on so many levels. I have always noticed that my mother was the nicest person to people she had never met before. Be it the clerk at the grocery store or the nursing assistant that helped cleaned my hospital bed. Giving people a sense of appreciation by just showing that you care for them and their livelihood is something that I will continue to try to do everyday of my life.
Wow, goodness me. So much has happened since the last time that I wrote. I guess I should first begin with the most important thing that has ever happened in my life……I ask the most beautiful, smart, funny, sarcastic, loving and hard-working girl to marry me!?!?! The craziest part of the whole thing is that she said yes!!! I keep telling her that she can back out and doesn’t have to put herself through such hell for the rest of her life, but I guess she see’s something in me that I may not see in myself. We have set a date for 4/14/2012. I think it is great that we are keeping the 14th special to us. Allison and I met on January 14th, I proposed on February 14th and we will be married on April 14th. Plus, her parents were married on my birthday, October 14th.
So you may be wondering how I asked…well I flew home in between conferences for just a “visit.” We had planned on going to dinner and then getting drinks at one of our favorite bars in Norman, Blu. So we went to dinner at Charleston’s, it was the first place that we had our first date on, and then after I told her I needed to run a few errands. I had printed off pictures of us from the last four years. I then drove her to different locations that were meaningful for the two of us; where we first met, places of residence, ect… it really played into what I was doing because she thought I was just being sweet for Valentine’s Day. Well at each place I stopped, I gave her a photo, but wrote what was going on in our lives at that time. We both laughed and cried throughout the stops. The last stop happen to be on campus where my good friend, Matthew Athey, had set up candles and roses at a really nice gazebo. We walked up on it and I proceeded to try to hold it together enough to propose. It went amazing. Afterward, she was freaking out about who to call first, so I said we just need to wait to we get to Blu and I will order a bottle of wine and we could both call everyone. So we got to Blu and the manager proceeded to seat us in a back room. When he opened the door, we were greeted by a crowd of family and friends! I pulled it off! I surprised her with an engagement and a reception! She was stunned and we both shed a few tears after seeing everyone that was there. It was a wonderful night that I will never forget.
It is crazy to me, but ever since February 14th when I dropped down on one knee, I have felt this sense of fulfillment in my heart. I have never felt more complete in my life. It is wonderful. I used to be worried about the future with career paths and what I would be doing, but I do not have those concerns because I know that I will be making those decisions with my best friend. I think we make one hell of a team that can and will get through anything that is thrown our way.
In other news…I am still enjoying my work so much. This semester I have challenged more of my students, but have felt that they respect me more for doing so. I hope I can continue to make a difference in those around me and that some of these guys will see the bigger picture of fraternity.
Until next time, Live it, Love it and enjoy all moments with those you love and care about.
Wow! Where have the last six months gone? I have driven to 18 different universities and worked hundreds of hours on this great thing we call fraternity. Connecting with men and women on the motivations of why they do what they do and why they give so much of themselves for an organization has been such a humbling experience. When fraternity is done the right way, it can and does have a profound effect on one’s life. Being a part of a fraternity is not just to make lifelong friendships or to be able to market/network for future successes, but it can help one establish the building blocks of their life. It can give men a medium for establishing their core values and practicing those values on a consistent basis. The question I ask is how can we consistently think/enable these practices with college men without it falling on deaf ears? Is it a maturity issue that we need to address early in the process? Are there often too many environmental factors that hinder this growth too much or can we achieve an organic growth of values with persistence? I don’t know the answers to these questions, but it is exciting to be working toward them on a daily basis.
I am excited to facilitate our Chapter President’s Leadership Academy. This will be the first time I get to set specific expectations with my new guys. I am excited to be a coach for these guys’ development. My goal is that my 18 President’s will have the best possible fraternity experience and feel supported throughout their term. I am going to challenge them to have integrity throughout their term and to not be afraid of making those hard decisions.
To get away from work, I’m personally doing really well. Allison and I have been communicating really well. She is so special to me and knows how to challenge me to be the best version of myself. She was able to come up to Oxford for a week. It is great for her to be around all of the guys. To watch her in a setting interacting with people she is not so familiar with is amazing. She has this ability to make everyone around her to feel comfortable while being very authentic and true to herself. I am one lucky man to have her in my life. I miss her and Berkley constantly, but know that the work I am doing is worth the time away from them. I have learned so much in the last six months.
I am preparing for my next semester and have made it my mission to update my blog at least once a month. I am setting my calendar up to remind me to update it every other week even if it is just a quick update of where I am and what is going on.
I hope your holidays went well and you are excited to what 2011 will afford to you. Make the most of it and enjoy those times around the people you love. I think most importantly, be vulnerable to those around you and open yourself up to personal, challenging conversation.
It has been quite a while since I’ve posted, and Mr. Hittle, Beta’s IT extraordinaire, has been hounding me about not posting, so here we go…
Over the last two months a lot has happened. I spent a full week in Atlanta, spent four weeks in Lexington, KY recruiting men for the Founding Father class at UK and now I am back on the road sitting in a cafe in Miami, Florida.
To start with Atlanta, I loved the city and tried to take advantage of a lot things it had to offer, but I was very limited to my knowledge of the city. I got to see the World’s Largest Aquarium, CNN Newsroom/Production area and the World of Coke. It was quite a great day of museums. I really think the skyline of Atlanta was amazing. I was staying at an older hotel right in the middle of downtown which was surrounded by huge buildings. Talk about feeling like a small-town Oklahoma kid lost in a big city.
I throughly enjoyed my time in Lexington. I worked on recruitment with Allen Hardin, John Reineke and Brian Webber the entire time I was there. One thing that really stood out to me was how much I really valued the idea of a consistent schedule. I knew when I would be going to getting up for work, working out or even simply have dinner. I know that I have always valued being punctual and following a schedule, but it did not hit me until I did not have it for three weeks prior to Kentucky. I really enjoyed Lexington. We had the opportunity to see the World Equestrian Games, Keeneland (Horse-racing) and two Kentucky football games verses Auburn and South Carolina. All of these things are right up my alley as far as entertainment is concerned. One thing that stood out was the Maker’s Mark Distillery tour. It was out in the middle of no-where Kentucky, but set on a beautiful piece of property. I will post pictures of the tour and property as soon as I can.
To touch on the expansion a bit; I loved it. You can see the direct result of your work and effort there whereas on the road it is not as obvious. We signed and gave 47 men the opportunity to be something special at the University of Kentucky. They have the opportunity to change the scope of what a fraternity is at Kentucky. It is awesome to know that these 47 lives will be forever changed due to four men’s work. I will always be somewhat attached to Kentucky due to my experience there, and I think it is cool to know that 10 or 20 years from now, I will be able to go back there to see a Beta chapter that I started.
The next three weeks will be full of travel. I started this stint in Atlanta then down to Gainesville, then to Orlando finishing up the week in Miami to fly home for a much needed vacation. I am currently in Miami for the week working with UM, FIU and Nova SE, but Saturday I am driving to Tuscaloosa to visit Alabama then I’ll be off to Auburn. I will go to Oxford, MS from there and then to Nashville to visit Vanderbilt. I hopefully will finish out having a day in Knoxville with my Tennessee chapter, and the Saturday before I get back home Corey Smith is playing in Lexington, so I am going to stop in for that. It will be my sixth concert and it will be the icing of the cake of my travels.
I am going to be driving miles upon miles. I am looking forward to all of the things that I will be encountering. I am really excited to eat a lot of different foods along the way. It will also be a great time to make plenty of phone calls.
Until next time, hopefully sooner than two months…
I have been extremely busy the past week. Three chapter visits, meeting over twenty people at each visit, engaging in powerful conversation. This is something that I have completely enjoyed. It is a major adjustment though, every day of my life. I have been making a first impression multiple times a day. Through the Phired-Up Recruitment/Expansion training, I learned about the theory of social excellence and presenting the best version of yourself. I agree with this principle, especially in my role as a Leadership Consultant. I am the extension of the General Fraternity and in some cases, I am the only interaction that a student or volunteer may have from the General Fraternity during their entire fraternity experience; so, one can see the pressure of giving the same “experience” or impression of the General Fraternity throughout every conversation. This is only one aspect of the job that I think about. I think about the personal relationships that I need to build to make a sustainable change within each person and chapter I visit. I believe this is the key to my role as an LC: personal, meaningful relationships. To be able to look a man in the eye and challenge the process or actions of the decisions that his chapter makes day in and day out, is something that I can honestly say has already given me the confidence to approach any situation within my professional and personal life.
I guess one might be able to tell that I am really enjoying my experience as an LC. It has been great sitting and talking about life and Beta with men and women, young and old. To see the passion that these people have for our organization is something that keeps me motivated to not think about the hours I put into my job. When I hear that this organization and brotherhood has shaped them as a man and individual, it sends chills down the back of my neck.
So tomorrow I am heading to University of Georgia. I have spent the last week at Furman University and Clemson University. These are two very different chapters but two chapters that have the potential to be award winning chapters both nationally, as well as locally. I really appreciate the men that let me into their chapters with open arms and allowed me to challenge them on the operations of the chapter. I look forward to continued work and progression within both chapters. We have outstanding men at both chapters, and they should to be proud of their accomplishments!
I am looking forward to Athens and Atlanta. These are two places I have yet to travel, much like a lot of places in my region. I get my first taste of SEC football this weekend when University of Georgia plays Louisiana-Lafayette. I am staying with an awesome Friend of Beta, Darren Pierre, and look forward to the fun we will have in Athens!
Until the next update, take care and enjoy the life you are living. Make that difference in the people around you, and be that change agent for them. Personal investments travel a very long way, so take advantage of those opportunities!
My experience in SC has been great! Staying with our Financial Advisor, Bryant Blakeslee, I had the best tour guide a Consultant could have. He and his little dog Otis really made me feel like I was a part of the Columbia community within a matter of only six days. I have thoroughly enjoyed everything about Columbia, well except for the parking. The food, people, sweet tea — everything reminds me of back at home, but in a different way.
Thursday night, I experienced my first pimento cheese burger at a local restaurant called Pawley’s. It was fantastic to say the least. Saturday, Bryant drove me around the different parts of the city and showed me all of the local hot spots. Columbia has been moving through a revitalization effort with their downtown to increase the traffic for the local restaurants and shops. From the progress that I noticed, it seems like this effort is definitely working. Columbia is the capitol city of South Carolina, but it has a very small town feel about it, something that I value very much. I understand what they mean by Southern hospitality, now.
To talk a bit about work here in Columbia: we have an amazing group of men and volunteers. The advisory board is very diverse and they all bring in their own specialties. This is great because each can work off of each other and bring a unique perspective to the colony. The colony itself is made up of student leaders across campus, including the student body president. They are all motivated to live out the values of Beta. This is an exceptional task because the culture of SC is much like that of most southern state schools. The colony wants to be a catalyst of change for the university and bring more relevance to the Greek system as a whole. What a task, huh? They have worked very hard and continue to do so every day. They have a scholarship banquet planned to award their Men of Principle Scholarship, as well as the scholastic achievements of their bothers on September 8th. At this banquet, they will have the University President, Dr. Harris Pastides, present their keynote address. We are hoping that this can become an annual event that Dr. Pastides will participate in. This is huge for Beta and huge for the Greek community! I am hoping that this is the start of academic relevance for the SC Greek system.
I have posted several pictures of the SC campus and several of the Columbia area. Check them out when you get a chance. I have also posted a video of sorority recruitment. This is just fascinating to me. It was a “running of the bulls” type of event. Pure pandemonium! I have never seen anything like this before and it is really different from the way things are done at Oklahoma.
I wanted to give a shout out to my advisory team at South Carolina! We have one of the best groups of advisors in the SE at the Upsilon chapter. Chapter Counselor is headed up by Rachel Westra-Marsh, who lives in Charleston, and she has done a phenomenal job of really bringing the group together and centered to serve the students in their specific roles. They also have fantastic faculty advisors in Dr. Hickey, Katie Coley, and graduate students, Erin Sylvester, Erin Ramaker, and Anna Todora. They have community leaders on the team such as Joel Helm, Ben Herritage, Bryant Blakeslee, and Derrick Nattier. They are in the process of leading a great change and influence on the SC campus. I have been very blessed to have worked with such a wonderful group over the past four days.
I will be off to Greenville, SC to visit the Furman colony starting Wednesday, September 25. I am looking forward to helping the chapter with different recruitment techniques as well as showing them different ways they can live the ritual in their everyday life. Until then, I hope everyone takes care and enjoys what’s in front of them!