Another exciting National Convention in the books! Current students and alumni traveled to the city of bridges – Pittsburgh, PA – to write another chapter in Our Story of Alpha Phi Omega.
Conference-goers had the opportunity to experience a wide variety of workshops catered to every interest and level of involvement in the organization. From roundtables to Volunteer University courses, brothers had the opportunity to learn more about chapter improvement opportunities and ways to stay involved after graduation. Presenters from across the country showcased their expertise, including many from Region II! For the first time ever, all five APO LEADS courses were offered, allowing many to achieve APO LEADS All Star status.
After four years of service, Region Director Rich Koval completed his term. During his time as Region Director, Rich oversaw many successful extension efforts and fostered a strong and dedicated staff who supported the Region’s goals. He was awarded a Regional DSK in 2014 and has also been recognized by the Alpha Beta chapter (Chapter DSK) and Section 90 (Sectional DSK) amongst other awards. Most recently, Rich had taken on the added responsibility of chair of the Regional Realignment Task Force, a topic highly discussed during the Legislative Session. Although he is Region II’s final Director, Rich will continue to participate in Regional events and support its goals moving forward.
With a new board structure, Aaron Knight was elected Region II’s first Region Chair during National Convention. Previously serving as Executive Coordinator, Aaron has been an active member of Region II since he pledged the Phi chapter in Spring 2006.
The excitement continued with Region II award distribution, including recognizing Section 88 for the greatest percent increase over the last year with the Section Membership Growth Belt. The following chapters and students were recognized:
Outstanding Service Project
Alpha Beta Xi – STEAM Fair
Lambda Lambda – Fall Section 90 Day 2016
Xi Iota – Party4Life Fundraiser
Outstanding Chapter Service Award
Outstanding Student Service Award
Amy Van Tassel – Xi Iota
Emily Herschbein – Alpha Beta Xi
Along with these chapter and individual awards, Region II has its own way of recognizing those who have shown spectacular dedication to the Region over an extended period of time with the Warren Weidman Award. This year, it was given to Rich Koval and Andrew Moser, who both had the opportunity to pose for a picture with Warren himself, who attended the conference.
Region II had a strong showing on the legislative floor for two days of discussion and exciting changes, including creating 18 new geographic regions through realignment. The Toast Song’s “Men of Alpha Phi Omega” verses were also examined, considering its potential exclusivity. The proposal was passed, changing these verses to “True to Alpha Phi Omega,” which had gone into effect at the close of the National Convention.
The APO LEADS curriculum was also discussed on the floor, considering how it can be further developed and incorporated into the Pledge Program of Excellence. With the recent proposal, chapters applying for the PPOE must have 25% of pledges complete LAUNCH by initiation to receive blue level, 50% for gold, and 75% for diamond.
Between the exciting workshops, service projects, and fellowships, Region II’s suite was fully stocked with food and fun for students and alumni to relax and network. The Albany Area Alumni Association and Central New York Alumni Association hosted a Dessert Party (aptly asking, will we be CNYAA at the Dessert PAAAArty?) to foster fellowship and opportunities to learn about how to stay involved with Alpha Phi Omega after graduation. Throughout the conference, Region II was selling its signature wedge pin for the conference amongst others – a steel grey pin reminiscent of the many steel bridges in the exciting city of Pittsburgh.