TheP i p e rAlpha Omicron Pi | November 2015
AOII & The Jingle Bell Run/Walk
AOII Foundation Scholarship Info
Resources Information & Reminders... and more!
Photo: Beta Zeta (Kennesaw State U) wins
Homecoming for 3rd consecutive year.
SAVE THE DATES BoPardropMerteiesssage
Leadership Jane Tessmer
Academy 2016 AOII Properties President
(Gamma Theta/U of South Florida)
SOEs due Dear Sisters,
February 1 Established in 2001, AOII Properties
supports the Fraternity through the
Alumnae Chapter coordinated maintenance and management
SOEs dues of the facilities and corporations of Alpha
March 1 Omicron Pi Fraternity. The Directors
of AOII Properties are appointed by the
2016 Leadership Executive Board of the Fraternity from
Institute Award qualified alumnae members of Alpha
Submission Omicron Pi.
Deadline I would like to introduce you to the new
March 1 Board of Directors that were appointed
after Convention this past June and tell
you some of the qualifications and skills they bring to the Properties Board and the
Julie Bishop was initiated at our Gamma Theta Chapter at the University of South
Florida and served as their Corporation President during the successful development
of the Greek Village. Julie has served the Fraternity as a Corporation and Finance
Network Specialist and as Treasurer of her alumnae chapter, Tampa Bay. Julie is a
Certified Public Accountant and spent over 20 years at Price, Waterhouse as Associate
Director of Taxation. Currently she is Controller for DF Cypress Golf. Julie is serving
as Vice President of the Properties Board. She also serves as Properties Board liaison
to Networks 1 and 6.
Vice President of Finance, Susan Bonifield, serves as the Treasurer of the Properties
Board. Susan was initiated at our Nu Beta Chapter at The University of Mississippi
where she served as Chapter President. She holds a BS/BA in math and physics as
well as a Master of Health Administration. Currently she is Associate Dean, Finance
and Administration, Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University. Prior to her
election to the Executive Board, Susan served the Fraternity as Network Director of
Krista Whipple is serving as the Executive Board member appointed to the Properties
Board. She was initiated at our Omega Chapter at Miami of Ohio. Krista holds an
MBA in Finance and is currently Director of Product and Research Development for
Kemper Insurance. She has served the Fraternity as an Executive Board Member for
12 years, Treasurer of the Properties Board, Network Director and Chapter Adviser
among other things.
Initiated at our Chi Delta Chapter, University of Colorado at Boulder where she earned her BS and MS in accounting is
Director Lacey Bowman. She also has an MBA in finance and is a Certified Public Accountant for a commercial real estate
finance company. She has served the Fraternity as Chair of the Nominating Trustees, Alumnae Chapter Treasurer and
President and Financial Adviser for numerous collegiate chapters. Lacey serves as Properties Board liaison to Networks 4
Director Caroline Lazzara was initiated at our Lambda Beta Chapter at Long Beach State University. She has 25 years of
investment management marketing (equities, fixed-income, hedge funds, private equity and real estate investing) in both
personal wealth and institutional. Caroline has served the Fraternity on the Foundation Board, on the original Properties
Board and as a Regional Director. Immediately prior to her appointment to the Properties Board, Caroline was Network
Specialist – Finance for Network 1. Caroline serves as Properties Board liaison to Networks 2 and 7.
A little about myself, I have served the Fraternity as a Chapter Adviser, Corporation Board President, Alumnae Chapter
President, Network Specialist and am the current President of AOII Properties. I was initiated at Gamma Theta Chapter
at the University of South Florida. I received my appraisal education and real estate broker’s license at Florida State
University. I was a certified residential real estate appraiser until my retirement. I have held, and currently hold, a Florida
real estate broker’s license since 1972 and my husband and I own a Coldwell Banker real estate and property management
company. I serve as Properties Board liaison to Networks 3 and 5.
I hope this has helped to introduce you to the very qualified sisters that the Executive Board has appointed to lead AOII
AOII FIGHTS ARTHRITIS
Get jingling with the Arthritis Foundation
AOII is excited to partner again with the Arthritis Foundation’s 2015 Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthri-
tis. ALL members of Alpha Omicron Pi are encouraged to participate and help AOII exceed last year’s
impressive fundraising total. To join Team AOII, visit the AOII website (www.alphaomicronpi.org/
jingle-for-arthritis) for a list of event locations. There you will also find a list of links to join the Na-
tional Team AOII, join a local team that has already been started or start a new team. There is also an
option to “Jingle in your Jammies” if you are unable to join a team in person! Encourage your friends
and family to join AOII in this fun event!
Jingle with the Arthritis
While the Jingle Bell Run happens through-
out the United States, the Canadian Arthritis
Society’s Jingle Bell Walk/Run is happening at
the same time in select provinces. Because of
the event similiarities, they are a great way for
AOIIs across North America to take part in
the fight against arthritis together and battle
the number one cause of disability in both
countries. To find an Arthritis Society event,
visit www.arthritis.ca. Whether you’re jingling
in the U.S. or Canada, snap some photos and
share them online using #AOIIFightsArthritis
and #JinglewithAOII to create a buzz!
FOUNDERS’ DAY MESSAGE This year’s Founders’ Day celebrates 119 years of sisterhood based on a lifetime commitment to
love, friendship, leadership and service that has extended from four friends in 1897 to more than
160,000 members today. This time of year gives each member of Alpha Omicron Pi a chance to
pause to remember what inspired her to make this lifetime commitment. For some, it was the
personal connection with like-minded women who supported one another throughout shared
experiences. For others, it was the spirit of philanthropy embodied in our passion for service to
others through our partnerships with the Arthritis Foundation and local service organizations.
Still for others, it was being a part of an organization that continues to provide a forum for women
to enhance leadership and professional skills in each stage of life.
The future of our Fraternity will be guided by the ideals captured in our newly created Culture
Principles: Accountability and Ownership, Collaboration, Engagement, Innovation and Open
and Honest Communication. These Culture Principles will lead us into a future that continues to
enhance and support current and future generations of Alpha Omicron Pi. While these principles
may seem new to us, they are the very embodiment of our Founders and the commitment they
shared with one another, and ultimately with each of us.
Helen, Stella, Elizabeth and Jessie held themselves to the highest level of accountability and
ownership when they made the decision on that cold winter day to meet in the library of Barnard
College and pledge themselves to one another. It was a pledge they would keep for a lifetime; and
during those lifetimes, they set the example of each of our Culture Principles.
While sharing that they themselves could not have imagined the depth and breadth of our
membership and how it would continue to grow in the years following our establishment, their
continued collaboration and open and honest communication – with one another and their peers
– created a foundation that would provide a sisterhood for thousands of initiated members across
North America. Their commitment to our Ritual and its values, as well as to ensuring that every
member of Alpha Omicron Pi has an exceptional membership experience as defined by each
generation, demonstrated their lifetime engagement to our Fraternity and continued innovation
as they worked to shatter the traditional boundaries established for women everywhere.
As we prepare to embrace the Culture Principles of our Fraternity, we should strive to maintain
the highest commitment to accountability and ownership, representing our sisterhood in every
aspect of our character and action; to collaborate with one another to build a stronger foundation
for future generations of our sisterhood; to continually refocus our engagement within AOII to
forever honor the obligations that we have voluntarily taken upon ourselves, always striving to
reflect credit upon our Fraternity; to have the courage to embrace innovation in all areas of our
sisterhood, challenging the status quo and creating value for our members; and to always have
open and honest communication with one another, listening first, practicing inclusivity, and
valuing different perspectives. Our founders would have expected nothing less of the legacy they
created, of the 119 years of shared history, and of a future that is filled with opportunity. Happy
2015-2017 AOII Executive Board
Gayle Fitzpatrick, International President
Susan Bonifield, Vice President of Finance
Crystal Combs, Vice President
Amber Countis, Vice President
Susan Danko, Vice President
Grace Houston, Vice President
Krista Whipple, Vice President
Jessie Wang-Grimm, Vice President
Allison Allgier, Past International President
Happy Founders’ Day!
As we celebrate 119 years of sisterhood, it is imperative that we look at today and the future. Today,
we celebrate 160,000 sisters across the United States and Canada, compared to the four friends who
founded our fraternity more than 100 years ago. As we move forward, we recall our Fraternity’s
newly developed Culture Principles, specifically our accountability and ownership to each other as
As members of the Ruby Fund Committee, we are reminded of the sister who had significant
medical issues and could not afford her medication. Or, the sister who recently received Ruby Fund
assistance, enabling her to get back on her feet, secure a new home and start her own business. As
we think of the future, we wonder what issues our sisters will be facing that will introduce them to the
Unquestionably, the introduction of the Ruby Fund into a sister’s life is not a welcomed one. It
exposes that this sister has fallen on difficult times, maybe more difficult than any of us will ever
experience. It is our responsibility, however, to help that sister. By pledging ourselves to this
Fraternity, we have pledged both accountability and ownership to that sister in her time of need.
Take a moment to think about future sisters who will be in need of the Ruby Fund. Now, take a look
at the sisters around you, or even at yourself. These are the faces of the Ruby Fund, and these are the
sisters to whom we are accountable. We never know in advance which sister will need our assistance.
She may be a sister in your alumnae chapter who has been suffering in silence at the hands of an
abuser. She may be a collegiate sister who is close to graduation, but cannot afford her last semester
of tuition because she is the sole breadwinner in her family, supporting her mom, dad and younger
brother. She may be you. We are accountable to each of these sisters because of the pledge we made
when we were initiated into Alpha Omicron Pi.
Now is the time to be accountable. Now is the time to step up for our sisters with a donation to the
Ruby Fund. You may have helped a sister in the past with a donation at Founders’ Day or directly
to the AOII Foundation, but today we ask you to consider how you can help one of our sisters in the
As you determine how you will support the Ruby Fund, we leave you with the following words from a
recipient of the Ruby Fund this year:
“During a year of difficulty supporting myself and my children, with no one else to turn to, AOII did
more for me than I could have ever imagined.”
The Ruby Fund Committee
Tracy Herand McCarty, Chairman, Upsilon Alpha
Debbie Welsh Koenig, Beta Lambda
Theresa Ludvigson, Chi Psi
Antonia (Toni) Flowers Morgan, Alpha Chi
To be read at your chapter’s Founders’ Day celebration or reprinted in your newsletter. 4
The Foundation Scholarship Applica-
tion is online now! Diamond Jubilee
Scholarships are available for un-
dergraduate, graduate and returning
alumnae; several named scholarships
are also available. Visit the Foundation
website now at www.aoiifoundation.
org for scholarship criteria and eligibil-
Don’t forget to get started early!
All applications must be submitted by
March 1, 2016. Please contact Michelle
Ceylan at mceylan@alphaomicronpi.
org with any questions.
Get Ready for #GivingTuesday!
It’s almost time to join with other AOII sisters to celebrate
#GivingTuesday—a global day
dedicated to giving! On Tuesday,
December 1, we ask that you donate
$18.97 to the Loyalty Fund of the
AOII Foundation for one common
purpose--to give thanks.
Last year, you gave more than $2,500
towards #GivingTuesday! Help us
reach our goal of $3,000 for 2015 by
visiting our website on Tuesday, December 1, and making
your online donation of $18.97!
To donate visit www.aoiifoundation.org and click Donate
Register NOW for Leadership Academy 2016, February 5-7
Collegiate Chapter Presidents, Vice Presidents of Membership
Recruitment and Recruitment Advisers are invited to create
connections at Leadership Academy 2016!
Held February 5-7, the time is now to register for Leadership
Academy 2016! With completely specialized programming
for communication skills, year round planning, membership
selection and much more, Chapter Presidents and Vice Presidents
of Membership Recruitment will gain valuable strategies to
build relationships with potential new members as well as lead
their chapter in the selection of well-chosen members. Officers and advisers will also receive
specialized training for their office. Register online by visiting AOII’s website,
2016-17 ELC TEAM
The application is now open for our 2016-17 Alpha Omicron Pi Educational
Leadership Consultant team! Can you picture yourself working and growing
with a dynamic team of sisters as
ambassadors for the Fraternity? AOII
ELCs serve as a liaison between our
collegiate chapters and International
Headquarters through individualized
chapter support and education. Along
the way, our ELCs create lasting
memories and friendships that make this
an exciting op-portunity full of many
rewarding experiences! More details
including application instructions, a
position description, responsibilities, and
expectations for the role are accessible on
AOII’s website at www.alphaomicronpi.
org/career-opportunities. Get your
application started today!
Three New Educational Webinars Available!
AOII’s Education Committee recently offered three webinars: Life Hacks, Countdown to Jin-
gle Bell Run, and Fulfilling the Promise for Alumnae. Click below to access recordings of these
1 Life Hacks 2 Countdown to the 3 Fulfilling the Promise
Jingle Bell Run! for Alumnae Webinar
Do you feel as though you’d like to be
more efficient in your daily life? In this Planning is already underway for the Arthritis If you are an alumna unfamiliar
session, originally presented at AOII Foundation’s 2015 Jingle Bell Run/Walk for with Fulfilling the Promise or if
Convention in Los Angeles, Nevena Pehar Arthritis series, with the first events starting in you need a refresher on the site’s
of the Education Committee discussed early November. In 2014 Team AOII raised over features, review the recording of
new tricks or “life hacks” to utilize $100,000 total for the JBR! During this webinar, this webinar. Kimberly Sons, AOII’s
technology and enhance your life. She Lori Goede and Nevena Pehar of AOII’s Education Assistant Director of Education and
also talked through ways to be successful Committee shared tips and tricks for fundraising Resource Development discussed
and efficient and how these hacks can lead for your local Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis, all the site has to offer and provided
to more FUN! Check out this recording whether you are participating as a collegian or time for live questions.
to learn some tips and tools that will help alumna, individual or a team. Lori and Nevena also
you in work life, general productivity, discussed ideas for training for the events to help
entertainment, and volunteer work! you become physically prepared.
Resource Reminder: Share your best practices!
Elections and Officer Transitions are Quickly Approaching
Have you or another officer created a
It’s time for class caucus, elections and officer transition! Make sure you useful document or resource to help
are prepared for your role during this transitional time by reviewing with new member education, elections,
the Elections Manual in the Manuals tab and the additional resources officer transition or other office-related
in the Elections and Officer Transition tab of the ORL on Fulfilling the topics? Send your best work and ideas
Promise. The Chapter President is responsible for appointing a Nominating to aoiiresources@alphaomicronpi.
Committee Chairman (with the approval of Leaders’ Council) who leads the org. Many of our resources are inspired
chapter through Class Caucuses and Elections. by the work our chapter members are
Each and every officer should be preparing now for her officer transition. doing and have been based off resources
When an officer’s term is nearing its end, it’s easy to focus on reaching members have shared with the Education
the finish line and forget about the journey her successor will soon begin. Committee and staff. Let us help you
It is important to understand that a well-planned and thoughtful officer show off your good work!
transition is vital to each office’s continued progress and success. Officers
finishing up their terms can help new leaders succeed by passing on the
valuable resources, information and insight they gained in the past year. Give
the incoming Leaders’ Council and Cabinet the head start you would have
desired for yourself by following the steps provided in the Officer Transition
Guide. An online training reviewing this guide can be found on the Officer
Resource Library under the Elections and Officer Transition tab.
Request a Training or
Recruitment Ambassador Visit
VOLUNTEER FOR AOII
The Human Resources Committee always
accepts applications. To speak to a member of International Standing Committees
the HRC team about which position is right Public Relations Committee (vacancy 1/1/2016)
for you, please email hrc@alphaomicronpi.
org. To complete a volunteer application, Rituals, Traditions, and Jewelry (vacancy 1/1/2016)
visit www.alphaomicronpi.org/volunteer- Network Teams
opportunities1 and click on the link at the Network 4 Network Director (vacancy 1/1/2016)
bottom of the page. Network 5 Network Director (vacancy 1/1/2016
The following positions are currently open Network 7 Network Director (vacancy 1/1/2016)
- HRC is actively recruiting to fill these Network 7 Network Specialist–Recruitment
vacancies: Network 8 Network Specialist–Recruitment (vacancy 12/15/2015)
New Chapter Development
Network Specialist-Development – Delta Nu (U of Nevada, Reno)
STAY CONNECTED! Perry Award Committee (vacancy 1/1/2016)
AOII’s social media outlets are the best way to stay up-to-date on AOII 8
news - from recruitment results and photos, to Strike Out Arthritis! and
other philanthropic events, to notes of congratulations to exemplary
members and chapters for accomplishments and good works in the community, we are always
sharing the latest information. If your chapter has news or photos to share with us, please send them
to [email protected]! Photos to be considered for To Dragma should be sent to
[email protected] and must be 1MB or larger in size.