Board Meetings Page Title



Theta Elders Association, Inc.
Annual Corporation Meeting Agenda
July 28, 2019

The meeting was called to order at 4:00 PM by President Doug Donaldson.

Roll Call by Ron Niederwerfer.

  • Secretary called the role by passing a sign in sheet.

  • Directors in attendance: Don Burr, Ron Niederwerfer, Doug Donaldson, Bob Kravecs, Shelly Katz, Bill Ruggles, Michael Joyce, Al Smith.

  • Directors not in attendance: Ed Dimock, Jim Henderson Jr, Chris Heacox, Curtis Halla, Cal Lord, Earl Ott.

  • Voting Members in attendance: Tim Vellrath, Fran Cook, Russ Bowen, Bob Kelley, Bob Bentley.

  • Non-voting members in attendance: none.

Declaration of a Quorum by Doug Donaldson.

  • President Donaldson reviewed the role call and declared that a quorum was present.

Opening Ode

  • All the Brothers joined in a spirited rendition of our gathering song.

Appointment of Parliamentarian.

  • President Donaldson appointed Al Smith to serve as Parliamentarian.

Approval of Minutes from the last annual meeting.

  • The minutes of the 2018 annual meeting were approved as distributed without revision
    following a motion by Michael Joyce; Second by Don Burr: Carried

President's report

  • President Donaldson thanked the Directors and Officers for their service during the past
    year. He explained that he was moving to Florida and would be willing to serve as a Director
    and a liaison with the University but felt that he should no longer serve as President of the TEA. He referred to the meeting minutes from 2001 and praised Brothers Burr and
    Niederwerfer and Vellrath who have been Directors since before that date.
    Bill Ruggles moved acceptance of the report and Michael Joyce seconded. Carried.

Secretary's report:

  • Brother Niederwerfer chose not to submit a report and began drinking heavily.

Treasurer's report:

  • Don Burr submitted a detailed written report of the fund balances:

  • General Checking Account $ 8,016.94 (was $ 7,895.41 in 2018)

  • Fidelity Investment Account $ 193,740.44 (was $ 186,161.69 in 2018)

  • Our annual distribution from the Zete For Life program has not yet been received.

  • Don Burr and Bob Kravecs remain the authorized signatories on the accounts.

  • Bob Bentley moved acceptance of the report; Bill Ruggles seconded: Carried.Housing Committee Report

Investment Committee:

  • Bob Kravecs (Chairman), Don Burr, Tristan Lawrie, Jeff Davis, Al Smith. The
    membership continues to be pleased with the work of our investment advisor. He continues to
    work with no fee as a courtesy to Bob Kravecs.

  • There were no changes in our investments in 2018/2019 to date but the committee
    reported off line that we may reduce our exposure to the market if a downturn seems likely.

  • Jeff Davis sold his home in Connecticut and now lives as a globe trotting RVer. His offer
    to leave the committee was accepted with thanks for his many years of service.

  • Bill Ruggles moved acceptance of the report; Bob Bentley seconded: Carried.

Website Report:

  • Michael Joyce submitted an extensive written report that detailed the following:


  • 720 members are listed in the TEA database
    188 of the 720 are “lost Zetas” (no known snail mail or email address)

  • There are 220 active email addresses in the TEA gmail account (no bounceback errors)


  • Several pages need to be updated.

  • There is a Facebook group for Theta Elders. Instructions for how to join the group are outlined on the photo album page

  • There has been no activity reported for inclusion in the Zete News page.

Dues Notices:

  • Per the vote taken at the 2018 Annual Meeting, dues notices for $20 are being produced to send to the TEA membership via snail mail or email. The plan is to distribute them in October.

  • Don Burr moved acceptance of the report; Al Smith seconded: Carried.


Active Chapter Update:

  • The Chapter is closed and there are no Active members at the University. We believe
    that Greek life at the University is good.

  • UConn has a new President and a new President of the Foundation. Their positions on
    Greek Life are not known at this time.

  • Representatives of the Grand Chapter have been lobbying Jamel Catoe (UConn Greek
    Life) and we believe he will be more receptive than in the past.

Theta Fund at International Headquarters: 

  • Restricted funds have been established at the Grand Chapter. Brothers who make gifts to
    the International Fraternity may wish to earmark their gifts to the Theta Fund.
    Gifts to the Educational Foundation are tax deductible but they can only be used for IRS
    approved educational expenses.

  • Our best estimate of the Foundation Theta Fund balance is ~$43,000 following a large
    contribution in 2017. Foundation funds can only be expended for educational expenses as
    approved by IRS regulations. The amount in the Fraternity Theta Fund is ~$11,700. Fraternity Funds can be used for a broad variety of Chapter support.

  • UPDATE: Doug Donaldson contacted Tony Hodgeson, Gamma Alpha, to request fund
    balances. He found the line item for the Fraternity Fund and pegged it’s value at $12,000. He
    could not locate the Foundation line item but agreed to work with Executive Director, Lauck
    Walton, to research the status. Brother Walton confirmed that he remembers past conversations with Brother Donaldson regarding this matter.

Zete 4 Life Update:

  • A program unveiled at the 2011 convention designed to provide long term financial
    support for the Chapters.

  • All graduating seniors will be asked to sign up for the Zete 4 Life program. In it they authorize the Grand Chapter to charge a credit card a preset amount per
    month (minimum $13 per quarter).

  • One half goes to the Grand Chapter and one half would be
    sent to the TEA to support the Active Chapter.

  • We currently receive approximately $600 per year from the ongoing donations.

Dues Notices:

  • Notices were printed and mailed through the good efforts of Jeff Davis and Michael
    Joyce. We received several gifts for much more than the billed amount.

  • Dues notices are to be sent out annually, not because we need to money, but to maintain
    contact with our membership.

Membership Eligibility and Gender Identity Study Committee:

  • The Committee consisting of Cal Lord chairman, Bill Ruggles, Jim Henderson and Ron
    Niederwerfer) met, debated, sought input, conducted a survey and issued a report with the
    following recommendation:

  • Proposed amendment to the By-Laws to read, “Membership in the Theta Chapter shall be
    limited to males or those who identify as “male” and who regularly utilize HE, HIM and HIS as
    their preferred gender pronouns.”

  • Bob Kravecs moved acceptance of the report. Shelly Katz seconded.

  • The motion carried and the motion will be placed on the agenda of the next TEA meeting
    with advance notice transmitted regarding a proposed by-laws change.

University Liaison Committee

  • The Chapter is eligible to apply for reinstatement.

  • The Grand Chapter is supportive and ready to assist as needed.

  • In 2017 the Committee met with the University’s Greek Life Director, Jamel Catoe and expressed our interest in “getting on the list.” He acknowledged receipt of our materials package requesting a slot for reactivation but his response was very disappointing. He referred to “letting us know when we could apply after the IFC decides that the campus is ready for expansion.” He never made contact.

  • At the request of TEA officers, Zeta Psi’s Grand Chapter staff made contact with Mr.
    Catoe at two national meetings of Greek Life professionals (2018 and 2019). They report that
    expansion may begin in the near future and we should renew contact.

Convention Report:

  • The 2019 convention will be in Baltimore, MD hosted by the Phi Epsilon Chapter from
    August 14 to 17. Brother Peter S. Slomianjy will be the TEA delegate. Brothers Steve Rogers
    and Doug Donaldson will serve as alternates.

  • The 2020 convention will be in Seattle, Washington and 2021 will be in New Orleans.


Moment of Silence:

  • The entire Brotherhood stood for a moment of Silence to honor the departed Brothers of
    Zeta Psi as well as those service men and women killed defending our country.

Approval of Actions Taken by TEA Board since last meeting: 

  • Ron Niederwerfer made a motion to approve all of the actions taken by the Officers and
    Directors since the last annual meeting.

  • Michael Joyce seconded and the motion carried.

New Business from the floor:

  • Motion to direct the incoming officers place the proposed by-laws change on the 2020 agenda and give notice for the 2020 annual meeting.

  • Bob Kravecs moved acceptance of the motion. Shelly Katz seconded. Carried.

  • Motion to expend up to $150 to the Grand Chapter to update our mailing lists.
    Ron Niederwerfer moved acceptance of the motion.

  • Shelly Katz seconded. Carried.

  • Motion to buy a $200 gift card at a Glastonbury restaurant as a thank you to Panfilo Guglielmi
    for his volunteer service maintaining our investment account.

  • Ron Niederwerfer moved acceptance of the motion. Michael Joyce seconded. Carried.

  • Motion to allocate up to $5,000 to fund a 60th Anniversary celebration if a suitable chairman can be located.

  • Ron Niederwerfer moved acceptance of the motion. Michael Joyce seconded. Carried.

Election of Directors: 

  • The following Brothers were nominated to serve as Directors: Don Burr, Ron
    Niederwerfer, Doug Donaldson, Bob Kravecs, Shelly Katz, Michael Joyce, Al Smith, Cal Lord, Harvey Beinstein, Bob Bentley.

  • A motion to cast a single affirmative ballot for the 10 nominees was made by Ron
    Niederwerfer and seconded by Michael Joyce. The motion carried.

  • NOTE: 10 Directors were elected. They choose the officers from amongst their group
    which reduces the number of Directors to the mandated range of 3 to 8.
    Election of Officers:
    PHI: Bob Kravecs
    ALPHA PHI: Shelly Katz
    SIGMA: Ron Niederwerfer
    GAMMA: Don Burr

  • It was decided not to elect the optional officers at this time: Beta Pi, Alpha Sigma, and
    Alpha Gamma.

HA Plaque:

  • Brother Doug Donaldson was nominated and unanimously elected for obscene
    transgressions against humanity and for abandoning the TEA before he completed his pledge
    period as TEA President. He was elected over all the other nominees whose offenses were judged serious but less

Good and Welfare:

  • Newly elected Phi, Bob Kravecs passed the gavel and all Brothers present expressed their
    pride in being Zetes and part of the Theta Chapter.

Holiday Party:

  • The Holiday Party date was not announced but will once again be at Dakota’s in Rocky
    Hill. Cocktails at 4:00 PM on the first or second Sunday in December.

  • UPDATE: A December blizzard forced the cancellation of the Holiday Party.

Closing Ode and Adjournment

  • The meeting was adjourned at 5:27 PM with the singing of the “Farewell Ode.”
    Following the meeting a steak dinner BBQ was enjoyed by all.

Respectfully submitted in Tau Kappa Phi,  

Ron Niederwerfer


Email Webmaster
This site is maintained by Iota Rho of Theta
Click on our mail icon to contact the webmaster
© 2002 Theta Elders Association, Incorporated