Bro. Kevin Bennett, Executive Director
Welcome to the Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc., Strategic Planning Committee Webpage. Here, we will attempt to keep you, our members and supporters, abreast of the impact being made by many members of the fraternity as it relates to the observations and projections relating to the future of our fraternity. This is a particularly important time in the history of Iota as we gather members from across the fraternity to help crystalize the objectives and tasks to meet if not exceed our vision and mission. This committee will generate the playbook in programming, finance, membership, legal service, manpower, and operations for our fraternity.
Understand this is no easy task, nor will it be expedient and will require brothers like yourself to get involved to support the process and needs of our focus groups. You should find on this site everything you need to get involved and not only be a part of history but help define the future. What greater opportunity will you ever have?
I want to thank our Strategic Plan Chair, 15th Grand Polaris, Hon. Theodore Stephens and both Co-Chairs, 1969 inductee Bro. Sterling Hudson, and 16th Grand Polaris Jerry O. Pittman for their commitment and sacrifice in making this dream become a reality. Equally, I thank and appreciate the time, commitment, and support of our Focus Group Chairs, who you will meet below.
Brothers now is the time, and this is the process by which we address, fix, polish, and reaffirm this thing the Founders named Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. on September 19th, 1963. Ow-Ow!
Alas after many years of attempting to organize our collective thoughts, concerns, and ideas we have pulled together a phenomenal team to help us do just that, even better it is being done.
I want to thank brothers Sterling Hudson and Former Grand Polaris, Jerry O. Pittman for stepping up and taking the major load of moving this initiative forward.
Equally, I want to thank our Focus Group Chairs, Brother/Colonel Eric McCoy, Brother John Davenport current General Counsel, Former Grand Vice John Scott, Former Grand Secretary, Brother Troy James from the outstanding Alpha Xi Omega Chapter in New Jersey, Brother Reginald Williams, Former Grand Secretary, and Former Board Chair of the National Iota Foundation, Brother Karl Price our 20th Grand Polaris and Brother Rondall “RJ” James Former Grand Polaris. Without their leadership and in the trenches efforts we would not be experiencing the progress that we are today.
Bro. Jerry O. Pittman, 16th Grand Polaris
It is truly an honor to serve as one of your Co-Chairs for the Strategic Planning Committee. An awesome leadership team has been put together to perform this task. With the support of each of you, we can take our Fraternity to the next level.
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you too are a leader.” -John Quincy Adams
Remember our commonalities are greater than our differences; therefore, we are one in Brotherhood and one Fraternity.
Sterling Hudson III, Beta – 1969
It is a distinct honor to be a part of what is arguably the most important and ambitious fraternity project of this century!
This brotherhood-wide effort is designed to bolster our organizational effectiveness by developing the plan that ensures a certain, promising, and sustained future. Calling Iotas to this cause! Your support is needed and welcomed.
Greeting Brothers. I am John Davenport, General Counsel. I was initiated at the University of Maryland (Nu Chapter) in the spring of 1974. I am a former Polaris of the Beta Omega Alumni Chapter in Washington, DC, and was the Grand Executive Secretary during the administration of the 14th International Grand Polaris, James F. Martin. Professionally, I was formerly the Director of the Records Management Division, Office of the Chief Information Officer at the U.S. Department of Energy. There, I was responsible for managing and developing records management policy and guidance throughout the Department. I also served as an Assistant General Counsel at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) where I advised NARA on matters involving the Federal Records Act, the Freedom of Information Act, employment law, and copyright law. I litigated matters before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Merit Systems Protection Board, and various United States Courts. It is now my honor to now serve as Chair for the Legal Focus Group. Our goals are to review and revise the Fraternity’s governing document (in conjunction with the Operations Focus Group) and to expand the role of the Office of General Counsel to provide better counsel and representation to the Fraternity in the management of its legal affairs.
Greetings Brothers. My name is John L. Scott. I was initiated as a charter member of the Beta Rho Chapter of Iota Phi Theta. I have held several positions in the fraternity, including national offices of International Grand Vice Polaris and Grand Treasurer. I have also served in the positions of Secretary and Treasurer for the Chi Omega Alumni Chapter. Residing in the Providence, Rhode Island area, I work as Head of the Indirect Lending Department of the Pawtucket Credit Union. I am also a founder and co-owner of the Galilean Ministries LLC, and I am active in various community and religious-based organizations. I am honored to serve as Chairman of the Operations Focus Group of the fraternity’s National Strategic Plan. Guided by the legacy of our five founding principles, the goal of our focus group is to review and redesign the governance model of the fraternity, to include the review of fraternal by-laws, national office growth, and in development, and operational procedures and guidelines. These objectives aim to impact the volunteer arm of the fraternity including the Board of Directors, the Grand Council, and regional-level leadership teams.
Greetings Brothers. My name is Troy James. I am a former Grand Secretary of Iota Phi Theta. I am a Life-Member and currently active in the Alpha Xi Omega Central Jersey Alumni Chapter in the Atlantic Coast Region. I am the leader of the National Strategic Planning Marketing and Branding Focus Group. The mission of our focus group is to create a consistent and dynamic 21st-century Iota brand. Marketing strategies are being developed to advance this brand in a manner that underscores the principles of our beloved fraternity; that exploits all available opportunities for maximum fraternity exposure; and, that enhances competitiveness in ways that attract the talent and support necessary for the fraternity to thrive.
Greetings Brothers. My name is Reginald Williams. I was initiated into Iota Phi Theta in September 1974 at Morgan State University. A Life Member of the fraternity, I am currently active in Beta Phi Omega Alumni Chapter. I have held several positions within our fraternity, including Grand Secretary, and Vice Chairman of the NIF. During my tenure with the NIF, I created a fundraising partnership with GEICO that continues to thrive today and helps provide significant funding for NIF projects. The 2017 recipient of the Distinguished Thomas “Tex” Dean Award for Outstanding Services and Dedication, I am proud to serve as the Chairman of the Program Focus Group. Our purpose is to review the current programming of the fraternity at the national, regional and chapter levels, to determine what existing internal and external programs are viable, and to develop ways to ensure that fraternity programming is meaningful, coherent, and impactful.
Greetings Brothers. It is my pleasure to continue to serve our fraternity. I was initiated into Iota Phi Theta in May 1981, and I have served the fraternity in multiple capacities, including as Chapter Polaris, as Regional Polaris, and as Grand Polaris. Professionally, I have been a practicing attorney since 1990 and I have specialized in civil litigation with particular emphasis on wrongful death cases. For 25 years, I served as an Assistant District Attorney including Special Assistant Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. During my tenure as the 20th Grand Polaris, I had the distinct honor of chairing the Council of Presidents for the National Pan Hellenic Council, overseeing the international activities of the NPHC, and working with the other NPHC presidents to support the unity of our organizations as the Divine 9. I am excited that the fraternity is taking on the challenge of redefining, reshaping, and modernizing our membership initiative, and it is indeed an honor and a privilege to chair the Membership Focus Group in this effort.
Greetings Brothers. My name is Rondall James. A native of Hampton, VA, I was initiated into the fraternity at Eta Chapter, Virginia State University. Since my initiation, I have actively served the fraternity, in several positions, including Chapter Polaris, Regional Polaris, International Grand Vice Polaris, and International Grand Polaris. While in the position as Regional Polaris, I coordinated the fraternity’s first and only offshore National Conclave held in Montego Bay, Jamaica. It is an honor to serve as Chairman of the Finance Focus Group. Our group will examine the fraternity’s complete financial operation, and recommend best fiscal practices that ensure its secure financial future, to include: (1) a review of the Annual Budget; and, of the national fundraising efforts and income-producing activities at the regional levels; (2) the alignment of expenditures to by-laws; (3) a review of accounting procedures and all paid services; (4) reinforcement of regular and transparent financial reporting to the brotherhood at large; and, (5) strategic partnering with the NIF to negotiate better corporate, federal, and state sponsorship and other funding opportunities.
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