To become the best, you have to learn from the best. Through Executive Development, a dynamic new year-round program from the national Fraternity, undergraduate officers have been doing just that — learning chapter- and career-building strategies from alumni who are leading innovation at organizations like Nike, the NFL and Merck.
In these sessions, they met with alumni who’ve achieved professional success in similar roles. During these virtual sessions, alumni shared their professional journeys and insights to help officers maximize success in their chapters. From there, chapter leaders went to breakout rooms, where they participated in training and brainstormed with brothers serving in the same role at other chapters.
Much of the success of SigEp’s Executive Development programming can be attributed to the powerhouse alumni who served as presenters. The group includes the founders and leaders of some of the world’s most prestigious businesses and organizations. These alumni discussed a variety of topics, including helping members reach their full potential, managing chapter communication and growing the recruitment pipeline.
Darron Trobetsky, Indiana of Pennsylvania ’94, was excited to share his experience as global footwear innovation director for Nike’s Jordan brand with vice presidents of recruitment. During his session, he emphasized that SigEp is more than a fraternity — it’s a leadership organization — and that when it comes to recruitment, it’s important for chapters to “look at positioning ourselves and what we really stand for.” Several of the undergraduate leaders in attendance were inspired to continue the conversation and connected with him afterward with follow-up questions.
Connor Young, Old Dominion ’23, said the program helped him make the most of his role as vice president of member development. “Every session that I have been to, I’ve been able to take something from and immediately apply it to the chapter to better it,” he said. Young recently held a workshop on the BMP App for his chapter and has been looking for content experts to facilitate Phi and Epsilon challenge meetings.
Dr. Archie Cubarrubia, American Renaissance, who is currently the deputy director of institutional transformation for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, presented to vice presidents of member development. He emphasized the importance of being confident in your area of expertise, but also being aware of your knowledge gaps. “Admitting you don’t know something may be a sign of weakness to some, but I think it’s a sign of humility. Admitting you don’t know something is just the first step. The next step is to then do something about it,” Cubarrubia stated.
Another alumni presenter, Philip Morabito, Charleston (West Virginia) ’79, was motivated to participate in the program because he wanted to share his wealth of experience with undergraduate brothers. As founder and CEO of Texas-based marketing and public relations firm Pierpont Communications, he has more than 35 years of experience in communications. “I think there are so many brothers who have seen a lot in their careers, and what they can share will make all the difference in the world to chapter officers,” Morabito stated.
Vance Sine, California-Santa Barbara ’22, said hearing how successful alumni like Morabito handle situations has helped him be more confident in his role as vice president of communications. “I now have a better perspective on common issues that occur within chapters and how to communicate with fellow members,” he said.
Morabito has been impressed by the level of engagement he’s seen on the part of chapter leaders. “I think it’s great that chapter officers get to be educated in a program like this. I applaud them for attending because life is about continuous improvement. You always want to be learning, no matter what.”