Over the weekend of February 14th to the 16th, sixteen brothers from Ohio Theta traveled up to Chicago to attend Carlson Leadership Academy. Out of the sixteen brothers, eight of them were from the current executive board, nine were first years in the chapter, and the last was a Tragos to Greece Finalist. Two of the first years are also members of the executive board.
On Friday after school, the brothers packed into their cars and set out to travel up to Chicago. Upon arriving that night, they quickly changed, and headed over to the convention to make the introductory sessions. Here, the brothers met fellow SigEp’s in their tracks from across the Northeast region. These young men would spend Saturday not only learning together from knowledgeable teachers and industry professionals, but also from one another. They would share their SigEp experiences, from what works to what doesn’t, in an attempt to gain helpful and useful knowledge to bring back and implement in their own chapters.
The next day, the brothers arrived at the convention center ready to tackle the day with eager minds. After breakfast and an opening speech, the brothers split off into their individual tracks, one for every executive position along with a rising and senior leaders tracks. Each of the tracks focused on a variety of useful topics. A few of the tracks include: Communications, Programming, and Chaplin The Communications track focused on how to create and manage a communications committee, as well as learning how to identify the audiences you are trying to reach, and they best ways to reach them. The Programming track focused on how to create, set up, and plan fun and beneficial events for brothers, alumni, and other students on campus. Lastly, Chaplin track focused on how to help brothers within the chapter who are going through a tough time, along with how to properly deal with standards cases. These are just some of the many tracks that the brothers learned about at Carlson.
Half way through the day, the executive board was called into a special conference to meet with some of the national executive members. Upon arriving they were greeted by Brad Nahrstadt, a member of the National Board of Directors, along with Jimmy Miller, Ohio Theta’s regional director. Not really knowing what to expect going into the meeting, the Ohio Theta executive board went in with open ears. Quickly after the meeting started, the purpose was revealed to check in on what the chapter is doing to get back on track to winning a Buchanan Cup. This provided a unique experience to learn what Nationals was looking for in their Buchanan Cup Applicants before it was time to submit the application. It also gave our executive board an opportunity to reflect on what they were doing correctly so far in their term, but also an opportunity to reflect on improvements they could make in the upcoming months.
After lunch and hours of the breakout sessions, the brothers came together once again for dinner and the closing awards ceremony. During this time, our very own Louis Acra was a finalist for Tragos Quest to Greece. This award was the last to be announced, and after a nervous and intense wait, they began describing the brothers who won the award. Once they began to describe the winner as a school tour guide, Ruck scholar, a leader in the schools real estate organization, and volunteer collecting goods for impoverished communities, everyone new Louis won; he was named one of five 2020 Tragos Quest to Greece Scholars from the entire Northeast region. Louis previously served as the Vice President of Communications and is apart of many on campus organizations including: UC Real Estate Association, ROAR, Adopt-a-class, Team Lead. And Students Consulting for Nonprofits. He also interned at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital as a Financial Analyst. There is no brother more deserving of this award than Louis, and everyone is thankful for everything he has done for Ohio Theta and the community around him.
Here at Carlson, the brothers were also able to meet with Ohio Theta alumni including the chapter counselor Bryan Buechner. Ric Sweeney, a renaissance brother and key faculty fellow for Ohio Theta, was also present at Carlson. Ric lead the Vice President of Communications track for the undergrads, and used his marketing background to teach the brothers how to create and manage their chapters brand.
Overall, Carlson was an exciting and eye opening experience for the brothers from Ohio Theta. It gave us a chance to share our knowledge on what we do well with other chapters, but it also allowed us to reflect on what we can improve going forward. Seeing the SigEp experience from brothers in other chapters gives us resources to continue to refine our own SigEp experience into the best it can be. Here is a quote from our Chapter President about the experience at Carlson: “After attending Carlson for the 3rd time this year, it is clear the national organization is 100% committed to allocating time and resources to the development of future leaders. Their passion for connecting with the local chapters to identify ways in which they can assist in our growth is inspiring and I always seem to leave the weekend more proud than ever to be a SigEp“.
Thank you to all of our donors and alumni that make this trip possible every year! Without your support, we wouldn’t be able to send as many brothers as we do to get this valuable leadership training. Carlson equips our brothers to become leaders in our community, and positively impact Ohio Theta.
Brothers who Attended: Jonny Dumoulin, Spencer Monninger, Hunter Crawford, Andrew Dillon, Andrew Ireton, Brock Thompson, Connor Feist, Daniel Herbert, Jake Michael, Jeremy Mussari, Kevin Kuhn, Louis Acra, Nick Clemmons, Paul Dillion, Pete Clemmons, Josh Kreinbrink