I have so many people to thank who have helped me get to this place. It is cliché, but I am very thankful I had the support of my parents; Lynn and Daryl in this journey. They were always supporting my decisions to make trips to convention or traveling to other chapters. I remember calling them and telling them I’ve decided to join a fraternity, and to my surprise, they were completely supportive. It wasn’t until I joined AZO that I found out my father was a charter member of his fraternity chapter at Ball State and has recently become more active as an alumnus.
I of course have to thank my fellow Sigma Alumni who were so welcoming and always there for support. Several of these amazing fraters are some of my closest friends to this day. Now being the second Supreme Directorum from Sigma, I hope I can make Sigma proud.
I know in full confidence I would not be here without the younger alumni from other chapters who showed me the value of fraternalism by driving across the country to visit on multiple occasions.
It is without question that PSDs who have come before me have made an impact on my AZO journey. All the PSDs have spoken to me about offering their support in anything we need to make this a successful year, so I very much appreciate it, and will be utilizing them in the future. I’m thankful to have you all in my corner and hope to have a successful year as we have had in the past under their leadership.
Lastly, I of course cannot leave out my wife, Alyssa. The support she has provided over the last almost 10 years together has been amazing. There were many frustrating times as an officer, but she was always right there with me to help in any way she could. And we didn’t kill eachother during COVID, so I think it’s a sign we’re meant to be.
I have some high expectations for my administration this year. There are a few primary objectives I’m setting that we plan to accomplish. First and foremost, I’ve tasked the 1st Sub-Directorum Nicole Hodgdon with creating a communications schedule so we can have planned, detailed communications to ensure we meet the demand of everything going on without overwhelming our inboxes. Supreme will be taking over the AZO Philadelphia ACPE accreditation and will be running more CE’s. Jessica Caberwal has graciously volunteered to take on this large task with the help of her committee, and I’m looking forward to the positive outcomes at the end of the year. Additionally, we have a lot of data cleanup to do. One of my goals this year is to ensure our master roster and website contact information is up to date and clean. Nicole DeFeo, as Supreme Associate Signare will be working on roster cleanup and Nicole Hodgdon will be looking at future communication tools as part of her objectives. Kelly Garrity will continue as signare and work off the base she has built this year to be even stronger next year. Alyssa Schweitzer has a really important job this year to ensure we are retaining our alumni and undergraduates moving into alumni. There were some great ideas presented by the retention committee this year, so I’m hoping we can put these in place and build our alumni presence even higher. I know Alyssa will create a smooth transition to ensure our new Excheque Nicole Cammarota has the most accurate reporting so our members can feel confident in our financials.
With each year, the Bellarum has been provided with more responsibility, and I’m excited to see Kevin Izzio grow in this role and knock it out of the park. I’m very much looking forward to working with our Undergraduate Representatives: Oli Horyn, Sean Rupple, and Beau Croxton to make sure our undergraduates get the most value from Supreme as they can.
I am very thankful to Izzat Janajreh who will serve as my Deputy this year. I know with his guidance, we will have a successful year. Vince Paul has accepted the position of Chaplain for another year. Darius Papulis and Terence Natt will put together an amazing AZOan next year. Lauren Neese will be managing Good & Welfare for the year, Morgan Quigley will be working on the Retention Committee with Alyssa as the AZO Direct Chair. Brittany Henault will be the Sydney R. Rome Newspaper Cup chair to ensure our chapters are providing updates via newsletters and to their websites. Casey Fisher will be my Historian, which she has already done a fantastic job of so far at this convention. Joanna McCormack will be our Sless Scholarship Chair, helping our undergraduates apply for internal scholarships.
Jon McLachlan will take on full ownership as Director of Fraternal Affairs, and Bruce will continue forward with the title Emeritus Director of Fraternal Affairs. I’m sure he will always be available to clarify any points if requested.
Jace Swingle and Carmen Witsken will lead our Professional Affairs and Mentorship activities. I’m excited to see what kind of ideas they can come up with for our Fraters looking at professional opportunities in the future. Alex Serafino and Katelyn Parsons will be external and internal Directors of Development, guiding potential new chapters and helping current chapters update their constitutions if requested. Tiffany Janajreh will be leading Fraternal Mentorship again with the support of Alyssa Schweitzer and Haley Guarriello. Harjeet Caberwal will be taking over the Nominations committee at the next convention. Additionally, the Awards committee will have 2 new members in Vince Paul and Tiffany Janajreh this year replacing Mike Seidenman and Bruce Strell. I want to sincerely thank Mike and Bruce for their time on this committee over the past years. Mike will remain on the EG Sless Memorial Fund in his second term, and Bruce will now share the responsibilities of Resolutions as co-chairs with Carmen Witsken. Bruce will also be taking over the Archives committee, so I’m hoping we get that “100 years of AZO” book soon.
Kevin Izzio will chair Electronic Communications. Casey Bates will chair Fundraising again. Matthew Buchfellner will chair our Advocacy committee. Carmen Witsken will chair DEI and Taylor Botelho will chair Philanthropy.
This year, I have decided to continue our Philanthropy efforts in support of the Lustgarten Foundation. With so many Fraters, Friends, and Family being impacted by Pancreatic cancer, I think it remains an excellent philanthropic initiative.
On a more personal note, for those who were not around at the time, we lost an amazing young frater, Nicholas “Kappy” Kapusniak of the Rho chapter on March 1, 2014 to an act of gun violence. He was a bright light and was always looking to put someone in a better mood. You can tell by his famous expression “Kappy makes you happy”. As it marks the 10 year anniversary, March 1st of next year, I’d like to dedicate the month of March to special initiatives and hold a special donation opportunity in memory of Kappy to Kappy’s Kampaign, which is an initiative started by his parents. Rho Fraters Sam Keeven, Mike Haare, and Nick Woodard will lead this initiative.
You never know where you’re going to end up. Pharmacy school out of state. AZO. Left pharmacy but stayed involved. Met a girl from across the country then moved to a place where I knew few people.
When I became a Frater 14 years ago, I never thought I’d be here. I literally had to be dragged to our rush events. But it ended up being one of the best decisions of my life. That one decision led to meeting the best man at my wedding, being in several weddings, including Tyler and Savanna’s in September, the opportunity to travel, standing up here, and most impactful to me, my amazing wife. I am looking forward to seeing you all at the winter convention, if not sooner!
Cheers to a successful year!
Supreme Directorum 2023-2024