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Zach, Inc. has a rich history of managing our house, mentoring our chapter, and leading a thriving alumni organization. Our long-term success has been thanks to the men “behind the scenes” – our volunteers who have given their time to help build a quality organization that provides many benefits to undergraduate and alumni members. We are at a pivotal point in our history, and are in need of more volunteers to step up and lead the charge for the future of our fraternity. In this Q&A, Zach, Inc. President Doug Bodner ’87 explains the rewards of being a volunteer, why he takes pride in his role, and what could happen to ZBT if it weren’t for alumni volunteers.

Q:  Why do you volunteer for Zach, Inc. as an alum?
A:  For many reasons.  I take pride in helping build a quality organization that provides many benefits to undergraduate and alumni members.  I’ve learned plenty of new skills along the way.  And I take it seriously as a responsibility.

Q:  Why is it important for more brothers to get involved in their alumni years?
A:  Everyone says that “giving back” is important.  Alumni have skills learned since graduation that can immensely benefit the fraternity organization, and they gained the base for many of those skills from the fraternity.  But being involved is more than that.  It’s a chance to meet new people, both the young men of the chapter and other alumni, and to learn new skills in a non-profit, volunteer context.  It’s also a chance to leave a legacy.  

Q:  Even if alumni graduated before Phi Epsilon Pi became ZBT, can they still make an impact? How/why?
A:  Certainly.  We’ve had many Phi Eps involved as volunteers after the merger with ZBT.  Brothers from that era have business skills, life skills and connections that can be very beneficial to the house corporation and chapter.  It’s also a way to demonstrate the Phi Ep legacy.

Q:  What are the negative ramifications the chapter could face without more alumni involvement?
A:  If ZBT wants to compete with fraternities that have built new houses and such, we must have the same alumni involvement as they do.  That’s the upside.  The downside is that we need alumni to manage the current property and advise the chapter – more than we have now.  Do you want a chapter and house on campus?

Q:  What is the most rewarding part of your volunteer experience? The most challenging?
A:  The most rewarding is helping provide a fraternity experience for a new group of undergraduates each four years and seeing them grow, develop leadership skills, and graduate with the benefits that come from ZBT.  The most challenging is finding time for all the projects that need to be done to make ZBT first class.

Q:  In your opinion, how have past and current volunteers made a positive impact on the future of ZBT at Tech?
A:  We have a rich history of alumni volunteers who have made a difference for Xi Chapter.  Our first advisor served for almost 40 years, helped the chapter get several houses, and arranged building the current house.  Since then, we can highlight key roles alumni played in the transition of the house to local control after the ZBT – Phi Ep merger, the renovations of the house in the 1980s and 1990s in preparation for the lease with the 1996 Olympics Committee, and the re-establishment of ZBT on campus in the 2000s.

Q:  What is the involvement/time commitment required to be a volunteer?
A:  It depends on the role.  We can loosely distinguish house corporation trustee from advisor.  Trustees meet monthly and address facility and business concerns.  Each role has outside responsibilities that take several hours a month.  Advisors interact with chapter officers and brothers on a weekly or bi-weekly basis and report to the main advisor.  Just as important as the time commitment is the need for initiative on part of the volunteer.

Q:  What does your ideal alumni association look like?
A:  We would have active volunteers in advisory positions – recruitment, programming, risk management and finances, plus house corporation members addressing finances, facilities and alumni programming and development.  We would also touch the many different eras of our chapter – Phi Eps, ZBTs from the 1970s through the1990s, and ZBTs from the new chapter

Q:  Is there anything else you’d like to add?
A:  Yes, just one additional thought.  Everyone thinks that “someone else” will take care of things.  As in life, that is not a good assumption with ZBT.  If you want something from ZBT, you individually must ensure that it happens.

Contact Doug at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Douglas Bodner


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