State of the Sorority

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International Council (IC) met February 8 and 9, 2019, in Atlanta, Georgia, in conjunction with REAL Leadership Conference (RLC) for Regions 2 and 3. Being in Atlanta during RLC gave us the invaluable opportunity to spend quality time interacting with collegiate members and volunteers – from meals to leadership education and ritual. We all enjoyed the conversations and sisterhood that make Gamma Phi Beta so special. RLC represents an amazing leadership opportunity for our members and seeing it in action reminds us of why this organization is so important.

We also had the pleasure of enjoying dinner with Atlanta-area alumnae. We thank them for welcoming us to Atlanta and for taking time out of their busy schedules to celebrate sisterhood with us. In between our time interacting with sisters, we did take time to conduct business! The following are highlights from our meeting. 

Quarterly Updates: At every IC meeting, we review reports of our board and standing committees that allow us to track committee updates, progress toward developed goals and give us a snapshot of the operations of the Sorority. In addition, we hear in-person updates from National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) Delegate Sandy Burba and our staff managing directors. This quarter’s reports included updates about membership statistics, the dedication of the Eta Xi (Florida) Chapter facility, progress on our rebrand and an update about the work being done by the Facilities Management Company and the Gamma Phi Beta Foundation. 

Convention 2018 Feedback: Every Convention 2018 attendee had the opportunity to provide feedback about their Convention experience. This feedback is an invaluable resource in our planning and execution of future Conventions. IC reviewed the feedback received and discussed opportunities to enhance and improve the Convention experience as we begin planning Convention 2020 in Palm Springs, California. Thank you to all who shared their thoughts and opinions!

Discipline Process: Over the past several months, IC has had many discussions that led us to making a decision about International Council’s role in member discipline. As a result, we established IC’s vision for and role in determining disciplinary action. We determined that updates would be made to our Rules and Procedures in the coming months that would designate further authority in individual member discipline to the Membership Review Committee, with oversight from the committee’s staff liaison. Using the Bylaws, Rules and Procedures and Collegiate Operations Manual as a guide, this group will be able to exercise their authority in the individual member discipline process. The process will not change for our members or our chapter executive councils, but the role of Council will be adjusted to better fit the practices of a governing board of directors. As per our normal process, the Rules and Procedures will be posted for comment after updates have been approved by IC later this spring.

Financial Update: Chief Financial Officer Laurie Meili and Finance Committee Chairwoman Fraya Black presented a review of the 2017-18 audited financials. Per the recommendation of the Finance Committee, the 2017-18 audited financials were approved by IC and the organization received an unqualified audit opinion. An unqualified opinion is an independent auditor's judgment that a company's financial records and statements are fairly and appropriately presented, and in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

Additionally, Chief Financial Officer Laurie Meili provided a year-to-date financial update, including an overview of year-to-date spending and revenue. The Sorority and FMC are operating within approved budgets for the year. Revenue, particularly in the area of membership fees, is being closely monitored as we track membership numbers and trends.   

Investment Policy: Gamma Phi Beta’s Finance Committee has been working on an updated investment policy for the Sorority and Facilities Management Company. An investment policy is a written policy that sets out what Gamma Phi Beta is aiming to achieve through our investments. A written policy provides a framework for making investment decisions, helping the board manage the Gamma Phi Beta’s investment resources effectively and demonstrate good governance. Our current investment policy encompasses both the Sorority and FMC’s investments and an update would dictate the management of each entity’s investments, allowing the Sorority and FMC to manage investments in line with business priorities and needs. The Finance Committee aims to have the policies complete by the end of the fiscal year.

Strategic Priorities: As Gamma Phi Beta moves into operating as one, cohesive entity with one executive director and shared staff resources for the Sorority, FMC and Foundation, it is important that we solidify and clearly define our priorities so that our workforce can efficiently and realistically operate per the vision of International Council, the FMC Board of Managers and the Foundation Board of Trustees. IC began a discussion of our strategic priorities and began to define where we want to see Gamma Phi Beta in five years. Our robust discussion set a foundation for our executive director to identify the priorities of our workforce for the current fiscal year. In addition, she will use the outcomes of this discussion to begin strategic planning for the next phase of Gamma Phi Beta’s strategic plan. We look forward to sharing updates about the future of the strategic plan in the coming months.

From Your IC Archive

This archive of From Your IC will be updated on an annual basis.

November 2018 - International Council met November 2 and 3, 2018, to discuss board development, sisterhood research and our insurance.

August 2018 - Welcome to a new biennium! In this issue you'll learn about our newest International Council (IC).

May 2018 - Our meeting was primarily focused on strategic planning and setting the course for the operations of the workforce in the next fiscal year. 

January 2018 - In this issue you will read about membership statistics, the role of the NPC delegate and the strategic plan.

September 2017 - Read about submitting Bylaws ammendments, insurance renewal, membership statistics and Convention 2018.

June 2017 - Read about the Board and Standing Committee update, personal and Council enrichment, Sorority Growth strategy and a recap of the REAL Leadership Institute.

May 2017 - In this issue you will read about membership statistics, distributed workforce survey results, strategic plan review, Foundation Chair appointment, Transition update and more.

January 2017 - The following topics were reviewed and discussed in this issue: Academic philosophy, alcohol policy update, Rules and Procedures, sisterhood research update, strategic plan update, transition, etc.


REAL Leadership Conference, Regions 1 and 4 (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania): February 22-24, 2019

International Council Meeting (Centennial, Colorado): May 2-4, 2019