With bags under my eyes and my BYX tie around my neck, I trudged to the elevator and headed for the Dallas Room on the first floor of the Marriot. The fun and games from the first night of board meeting were over. Monday was all about moving the fraternity forward and tackling all the remaining items on the agenda.
The hotel set up a breakfast buffet for us, but, more importantly, they hooked us up with a large jug of coffee in the room to ensure our minds were firing on all cylinders throughout the day. Caffeine is always the MVP of board meeting.
We loaded up our plates and jumped right into our first discussions. The board and staff opened with prayer before hitting on some housekeeping items early on. Some faithful brothers will be rotating off of the board after this spring, opening positions for other alumni to step into. It will be no small task to replace these brothers.
The board presented possible solutions and discussed the process for appointing the next board members. The board functions like it’s own local chapter of the fraternity to a certain degree. There is a special bond that comes with serving on the board. They desire to bring in men whose gifts and experiences compliment the men already on board while meshing into the brotherhood seamlessly. The leadership at the top of the fraternity must operate in one accord.
National Director & CDO Brian Lee took the floor next, leading discussions on new chapter development and strategic ministry partnerships. Brian shared a number of prospective campuses and estimated the probability of starting chapters at each of these campuses. During the discussion, the board approved for Elon University to continue moving through the phasing process to start a chapter.
Lee shared how BYX is striving to develop partnerships with other ministries in an effort to continue expansion to new campuses. In his first three semesters on staff, Brian has attended a number of conferences, spoken at Christian camps and collaborated with different causes to help the fraternity gain notoriety.
I followed Brian’s presentation to speak on my responsibilities in the realm of communications. I updated the board on how we’re striving to improve our presence on social media. The most evident improvement has been the increase of likes on our Facebook page, which has grown from 1,300 likes to over 3,400 likes over the course of 14 months. Engagement and reach is at a high.
We distributed the recruiting materials to the board to show how we’re helping the local chapters continue to grow. The board members provided constructive feedback. They continually push the fraternity to move from good to great by sharing their insights and feedback with the staff.
Before relinquishing the floor, I shared with the board our idea for potentially publishing a 30th anniversary magazine. A number of details need to be worked out prior to committing to such an undertaking.
The staff left the room for lunch and cut up in the hallway for about an hour while the board talked through some items without us. Maybe they were discussing the performance of the staff. Perhaps they were discussing a violent overthrow of the government. We may never know. What I do know is that the staff enjoyed being able to shut down our brains and goof off for a little while.
Once we stepped back into the Dallas Room, Board Member Brett Williams shared a story of a friend’s son coming to Christ through a relationship with an OU BYX alumnus who shared the Gospel with him.
“It encouraged me that the tentacles of BYX are a lot bigger than we think,” Brett said. “Doing BYX right and having guys grow in their faith, living out that faith. That’s why we do what we do.”
We dove back into the topics of board meeting. We once again turned our attention to the local chapters, devoting much time to what our men are dealing with specifically on their campuses.
As I listened and chimed in, one thing became clear: every idea, position and decision was rooted in a deep love for the men of BYX. This is not just some business transaction for the men that lead BYX. Their emotions and body language indicated that they know the gravity of the situation and the importance of their roles.
We are abundantly blessed to have these men lead the fraternity. They won’t say it themselves, but I will.
Discussions turned toward the future of the National Staff. President & COO Jason Hoyt presented his projections for fraternity growth and optimum staff size based on the number of BYX chapters.
The discussion took an interesting turn as we began talking about the most cost-effective way to provide housing for the national advisors and office space for the staff as a whole. Jason presented information on a large piece of land with a house on it and room for expansion. Some board members threw out the idea of building a larger development that BYX would lease a portion of. Each route would likely involve board members and investors purchasing the property and leasing to the fraternity.
After a discussion on the current financial standing of the fraternity, Chairman of the Board Wendel Weaver, whose tendency to dream big is well-known within the board, threw out his first wild idea of the day. In the wake of the success of the COR Leadership Retreat, Wendel suggested starting a summer leadership program for younger BYX brothers that would also provide school credit. The university he works for has already given him a tentative nod to explore the idea.
The conversation picked up steam despite meeting nearing its close. The end result was a more refined idea that, best cased scenario, might just debut in summer of 2015. However, it’s too early to know if this is truly an option for the fraternity.
I look forward to board meeting every year. It’s a privilege to build relationships with these wise, older brothers and to work alongside them as we continue to make BYX the best college experience a Christian man can have.