Preparing to assume leadership of a task force, a committee or an organization demands an individual prepare mentally and sometimes physically for the rigors of that role. In October 2015, I accepted the awesome responsibility of leading the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) as chairman. NPC is composed of 26 inter/national sororities representing nearly 5 million women worldwide, with chapters on over 670 college campuses and more than 3,700 alumnae associations in communities across the globe.
In a large public setting in front of Panhellenic partners, industry collaborators, family and friends, I pledged to lead with courage and conviction during a time when the pendulum has swung to a place where advocating for, defending and protecting the very existence of the sorority membership experience is the rule of the day. With a legion of volunteers and professional staff, NPC tackles the challenges one by one, day by day as women of courage and conviction commit to ensuring a rich, meaningful and value-added sorority membership experience. For the passion and dedication of these individuals, I cannot say thank you enough.
Building on the work of previous courageous sorority leaders, my vision for NPC included advanced training opportunities for skill building and empowerment of young women; enhancing NPC’s partnerships with college and university administrations; continuing a strong partnership with the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC); and most important, seeking proactive opportunities to make the positive case for sorority whenever and wherever possible.
Reflection is only natural as a leader moves to the finish line. Was my vision shared? What was accomplished? Who did I meet along the way to promote change? Were there missed opportunities? When doing a mental inventory of those questions and more, I am reminded of the timeless leadership model of NPC and the expectation a seamless transition will occur from one leader to the next, helping ensure a forward trajectory. That leader, working together with a highly motivated and competent professional staff and alongside a legion of dedicated volunteers, will champion the mission, vision and purpose of NPC. I believe that is the charge framing the service of the NPC chairman; it guides her leadership and is reflected in what shapes her service. Oct. 28 marks the transition in NPC leadership. Please join me in welcoming Carole Jurenko Jones, Alpha Omicron Pi, as she assumes the chairmanship.
My sincere appreciation and special thank you to all who made the journey with me and provided the opportunity to serve the women of the National Panhellenic Conference.