Discover Your Power

We could all use some positivity and motivation right now, and you’ve come to the right place. Author and speaker David Gibson joins the podcast today to teach our listeners how to use their innate abilities and strengths to become self-reliant, powerful community members. “If you want to go to sleep with satisfaction, you have to wake up with determination.”

What would your life look life if you broke the rules of your limitations, envisioned greater possibilities, and committed to a greater reality? David Gibson is on a mission to help individuals do just that as the founder of Elevation is a Must, a personal development company focused on providing leaders with the tools to improve the quality of their lives. David is an author, speaker, and the host of the DreamCatchers Worldwide Broadcast. He is also a coach that guides leaders on how to establish empowered beliefs and develop the successful habits that lead to living an extraordinary life. One philosophy that he lives by and encourages others to adopt: “The goal is not to be known, but the goal has always been to become somebody worth knowing.” David has dedicated his life to helping others become individuals of value so that they too can bring value to the world. He is driven to help others unleash their greater potential in life.

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Connect with David Gibson

Values. Culture. Success

Former staff member, Lane Velayo, Cincinnati ’00, visited the Heritage Center to discuss business ownership and core values. Lane tells Chrissy and Desiree about his experience purchasing an Association Management Company, transforming it into his own, and building a healthy company culture.

Lane Velayo, Cincinnati ’00, is the owner and Chief Executive Officer for Synergos Association Management Company.  Headquartered in Indianapolis, Synergos Association Management Company also maintains a presence in Saint Paul Minnesota providing outsourced headquarters services and other operational and strategic services to trade and professional associations.  Lane has been recognized by the American Society of Association Executives as a member of its Diversity Executive Leadership Program (2015) , by the Association Forum as a Top 40 under 40 association professional (2016) and by the Indiana Society of Association Executives as Association Executive of the Year (2011).  Lane was initiated into Alpha Kappa Psi at the University of Cincinnati and later became the fraternity’s first Director of Alumni Development.  Lane has also served the fraternity as a volunteer including as chapter advisor at Butler University and as the Convention emcee in 2017 and 2015. 

External Links:

Connect with Lane Velayo

Synergos AMC

It’s All About Respect

Eileen Howell, Wisconsin ’78, joins the show today to discuss her climb up the ladder at multiple companies within the oil and gas industry, and her many firsts as a female in her professional career as well as her fraternal experience with AKPsi. Eileen also walks listeners through her own acronym and other tips about leadership.

Eileen is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, holding a master’s in Tax. Eileen recently retired as the Director of Tax at Powell Industries Inc., an international electrical power equipment manufacturer headquartered in Houston, Texas. Prior to that, she spent six years with Paradigm, an international oil and gas software company starting as the VP of Tax and moving into the CFO position. Eileen spent the major part of her career, over 22 years, with Schlumberger, an international oilfield service company, holding numerous tax positions in the US, Singapore and the UK. She began her tax career in Milwaukee at Arthur Young and Company. 

She joined Alpha Kappa Psi’s Delta Phi chapter at UWM in 1978 and eventually became its first female chapter president. She joined the AKPsi Foundation Board in 1987 where she became its first female president. Eileen was elected to the Fraternity Board of Directors in 2001 and served as Chairman of the Board during 2005 and 2006. She is a proud recipient of the Silver Distinguished Service Award and the Gold Distinguished Services Award, the highest honor bestowed on a member by the fraternity. Eileen currently resides in Missouri City, Texas with her husband. She is a fan of golf, college football but most of all, her granddaughter. 

External Links:

Connect with Eileen Howell

Tribute to Women

This year we celebrated the 45th anniversary of AKPsi allowing women to join the fraternity!  But did you know, it took several years before the opposition was finally defeated?

In 1972, President Nixon (and AKPsi brother), signed Title IX, which states that no person, on the basis of sex, can be excluded from participation, or denied benefits, under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

A Title IX exemption was introduced and in 1973, the Fraternity Alliance for Inalienable Rights, a 17 member organization which AKPsi was a member, was formed to oppose Title IX for professional fraternities.

During Convention in 1975, Alpha Kappa Psi initiated a fundraiser to combat Title IX, and a write-in campaign to attempt to sway legislators also began. A committee for female membership was created and proposed the Fraternity should bar women due to the Title IX exception legislation.

However, when it became apparent that non-inclusive legislation would not be approved, it was actually the Board of Directors that voted on August 7, 1976, to admit women into the Fraternity.

“Given the exposure we had to the business community-at-large, we could no longer deny women the same right to learn as we had learned.” John Eppinger Jr, Jacksonville ’75 Life

The Fraternity’s growth is directly linked to the admittance of women and makes up roughly half its membership. Women are chapter Presidents, Vice Presidents, and Pledge Educators. They are Chapter Advisors and Regional Directors. In 1985, AKPsi elected the first Female Fraternity Vice President, in 1991, the first Female Foundation Chairman, in 2003, the first Female Fraternity Chairman, and in 2007, finally, the first Female Fraternity President.



A Guide to Difficult Conversations

It’s Friday morning. Everyone else in the office is finishing up projects, filling out timesheets, planning a lunch with coworkers, and looking forward to the weekend. But not you. No, you are anxious and worrisome, staring at the appointment on your calendar scheduled for 2 PM – you’ve got a tough conversation coming up.

Maybe you’re in a management role and you have plans to discipline or even fire an employee. Perhaps you had a disagreement with a coworker and need to squash it. Or maybe you’ve had a tough quarter and have a one-on-one with your boss that you know will be difficult. Tough conversations are part of the workplace and everyday life. Though they are uncomfortable, speaking your mind and communicating needs to others can be incredibly valuable.

So, in order to bust through the anxiety that accompanies these conversations, it’s a good idea to prepare accordingly. Here are some examples of common tough conversations and some great ways to keep the chat on track.


Examples of Tough Conversations 

Tough conversations can come in many forms, especially in the workplace. While conversations should be a two-way street, with both or all parties having the chance to be heard, most discussions will be fairly direct. For example, you might be discussing:


  • Poor overall job performance
  • Issues on a specific project
  • HR issues, such as attendance or workplace ethics
  • Interpersonal issues
  • Disciplinary action, like suspensions or probation
  • Employment termination


Just looking over that list is enough to give anyone a sense of mild panic. However, when you know these discussions are on the horizon, there are some excellent ways to prepare.


Tips for Tough Conversations

At work, it’s rare to be truly blindsided by tough convos. Sure, being fired abruptly does happen, or you may have offended someone in a workplace dispute without even realizing it. But generally, you’ll be able to prepare for the upcoming talk whether you scheduled it or were invited to the conversation.


  1. Identify Your Objective


What do you want to accomplish with this discussion? Are you looking for someone else to take responsibility for their words or actions? Do you want to see a specific behavior change? Do you need to let someone go? Whatever your goal, these talks are best if they’re kept short and sweet, and guided toward a single point. Otherwise, it’s likely to turn into a back-and-forth argument


  1. Plan Ahead


Scheduling a conversation is far superior to surprising someone with a tense discussion in the middle of the workday.You can speak to them about it, but their curiosity or anxiety may lead to questions, and therefore lead you to having the discussion right at that moment. Send an email invite with a brief description. Not only will this help to nail down a time, it also creates documentation in case management or HR needs it for later uses. This also ties back to the idea of identifying an objective, as some conversations like firing someone should happen later in the week, and others such as one-on-ones are better suited for Mondays so that the recipient can apply the feedback to their work immediately.


  1. Center Your Emotions


There’s no space in effective conversations for yelling, crying, or otherwise emotional expressions. You’re already going up against another party who will likely want to argue or at least express their rebuttals. Before beginning a conversation, check in on your emotions and keep them from entering the dialogue. Now, that doesn’t mean speak to them like a robot; empathy and kindness can go a long way, especially when you’re trying to convince someone of a change. However, be aware that these feelings can also make you susceptible to manipulation.


  1. Speak Clearly and Concisely


“I don’t quite know how to say this, so I think I will just drag it out…since the dawn of time…” – Michael Scott


During the conversation, it’s important that you don’t mince words. Unlike Michael Scott in the above quote, get right to the point. Though the topic might be delicate and you feel as though it deserves a wind-up, you’ve already scheduled the conversation. This means everyone involved has been agonizing over the discussion, and a straightforward manner will be much more appreciated. Additionally, when we start to ramble on or let conversations go longer than needed, it’s more likely we will backtrack or start to negotiate with ourselves. Say what you mean in as few words as needed, and then let the other person speak or be comfortable in the silence.


Make the Most of Difficult Conversations

They say the devil is in the details. While this adage might cast a negative light on difficult conversations, the truth is that preparing for these discussions is essential to making them productive. By taking time to consider your objectives and centering yourself emotionally, you ensure that chats will accomplish goals, not become a fight or argument.