PEP House Corporation Report

Phi Epsilon Phi Annual Meeting & Elections held August 24, 2018

Phi Epsilon Phi (PEP) Corporation held its annual meeting of members and elections on August, 24, 2018, preceding the 13th annual Work Party at the Pomeroy House Corporation at 58 Pinewoods.

Elected at the meeting were John Pfaff ’71, Jim Campbell ’71 and Tony Morelli ’90.

Annual Meeting 8/24/18 Minutes from Dan zuber:

Meeting is being held at the chapter house at 58 Pinewoods Ave Troy, NY

Present: Dan Zuber, Mike, Beo, HJ, Justa, Bill, Mike, Foss Hopper, Jim M, Larry, Alex, Gary, Undergrads

Meeting started at 6:30pm

Motion to approve the minutes from last Annual meeting – Motion Passed

  1. Presidents Report
  • As President of the House Corporation, I am reporting that the House Corporation and its major responsibility, 58 Pinewoods Avenue, are in excellent condition. This has been verified informally during the last year by frequent visits and reports from our undergraduates and alumni. Formally, we have conducted end of semester inspections in December and May in order to verify the house’s condition. The following is a summary of the actions taken by the HC Board during the last year, as well as comments about the chapter house.
    • The driveway was widened las August along the west side to eliminate ruts on that side.
    • One of the shower stall bases in the 4-man suite was replaced.
    • Three worn handle assemblies on the fire doors in the stair towers were replaced.
    • A large maple tree which was overhanging our neighbors property on the east side near the garage was taken down.
    • The hardwood floors on the first floor and front stairs were refinished as per our annual maintenance.
    • Ace carpenter, Alan, “HJ” Hanbury ’75, installed a chair rail in the living room at last year’s work party and he plans to add cove molding this year.
    • Thanks to Treasurer, Mike Greenberg ’15, sending the required report, Phi Eplison Phi House Corporation has been awarded the 2018 Gold Outstanding House Corporation Award by the Grand Trustees.
  • The current Board of Directors consists of President John Pfaff ’71, Secretary Dan Zuber ’10, Treasurer Mike Greenberg ’15, Jim Campbell ’70, Thom Kouletsis ’76, Jim Rossetti ‘ 79 and Tony Morelli ‘90

Motion to approve president’s report– Motion Passed

  1. Secretary’s Report
  • Successfully completed responsibilities of:
    • Updating brother database with Pennington and Sigma Chi International Fraternity on a bi-monthly basis.
    • In these updates I include new addresses, updated email addresses, graduation status and chapter eternal status.
    • We have over 1000 members on this database
    • Taking and distributing minutes in a timely manner after every house corporation meeting.
    • Managing email distribution list by adding newly graduating brothers, reaching out to alums that have been missing for some time, moderating the messages to ensure the 585 email address don’t get spammed.
    • Reminder to graduating seniors that I need your information so I can ensure you are on the email distribution list.
    • Thank you Pete Wurst and Mike Greenberg with their help moving us to a new email domain
    • This will help keep us off of RPIs servers. We do still have the RPI alum email server but are not using it for many emails anymore.

Motion to approve secretary’s report– Motion Passed

  1. Treasurer’s Report
  • PEP has ~$31k in checking account, ~$36k in savings (alumni reserves)
  • PEP money is used for alumni events including work party as well as for the fall/spring newsletter; PEP also is responsible for Mike’s (the chef) payroll and insurance but then gets reimbursed by the actives
  • PEP is the acting landlord for 58 Pinewoods, PEP is responsible for general maintenance and upkeep of the chapter house supported using PEF funds
  • PEP receives an annual lump sum of ~$10k from PEF to be used towards alumni events/newsletter
  • PEP sent 2 additional brothers to BLTW this year so give more brothers (not just the EC) an opportunity to participate
  • PEP received the “gold” house corporation award at BLTW this year

Motion to approve treasurer’s report– Motion Passed

  1. Pinewoods Education Foundation Report
  • Overview of PEF for new Brothers
  • Fundraising
    • We have closed out the initial capital campaign that raised over $1.7 million to expand and improve your chapter house, making it the safest, and most up to date and comfortable on campus. If you ever wonder why the alums are very concerned or interested in how you treat and maintain the house, remember that it was their money that paid the cash part and that we still have a large mortgage on the house that I will come back to later.
  • We still have the early 1855 pledges from the actives which are now coming due for initial payments until they get real jobs. The MoonClerk payment system set up by Ken Sobel seems to be working well for those who use it.    We continue to be very fortunate to have a small number of deadbeat brothers, with the vast majority making good and discharging their financial responsibilities in a timely manner.    (Think of the Light of Integrity and William Lewis Lockwood)
  • To be solvent enough to be able to pay down our mortgage ( we still have a $1.5mm mortgage on this house) as well as to provide funding for expanded programs, we must continue to solicit donations from all the actives. Active brother participation in this has fallen off significantly over the last 5 years from nearly 100% to only about 50% in the most recent year. I have some concerns about this and hope that we can instill in all of you the spirit of the Bridge Builder so that those who come after you will find things at least as good as what you found when you arrived here at 58 Pinewoods.   After all, who among us, after graduating and getting a good job, can’t afford to give back the equivalent of the cost of just one cocktail per week?   That is all the 1855 campaign asks to keep this brotherhood alive and running.
  • Financial Condition
    • Overall the Foundation is still in very solid condition financially
    • Operating income (this would be analogous to REVENUE in the case of a typical for-profit corporation) was about $ 24 k above budget due to solid occupancy of the house leading to some extra rental income. But it was a lucky thing…
    • Normal operating expenses were a bit below budget, due to lower regular maintenance and the reduced loan payments after we paid off the Constantine Capital bridge loan. Operating expenses were about $34k below budget, largely due to decreased maintenance costs.   That would have left us with a surplus of almost $50,000.
    • BUT, we had some other expenses, opportunities and requests from the chapter that soaked up a large portion of that.
    • The net of all the pluses and minuses left us about $12,000 better than budget at the end of the year. VERY close budgeting and a very good outcome for the year.   (This amount can be compared to the cost of one shower and one air conditioner!)

Fee for mortgage refinance   5,000.00

RPI internet wiring                9,476.76

1st floor shower replacement 6,595.00

New desks                             1,374.60

Expand driveway paving      8,050.00

Replace door handles                           2,251.55

Total                           32,747.91

  • So we are on a solid financial footing and this is was important since we decided to re-finance the $1.5mm mortgage a year early. This was initially thought of as a way to lock in a new interest rate before rates climbed any higher, but then became more attractive and important to get that done before any potential negative consequences of the Institute’s anti-Greek policies.   Leroy and I signed the papers on the new mortgage on July 30.   As a commercial type of loan, this will need to be re-financed in 5 years, so remaining strong is critical to our longer-term health and being able to keep our house.
  • Continuing donations, payments against outstanding pledges and free alumni support for educational seminars and programs are the things that are enabling us to continue to provide the chapter with a great home and to fulfil our IRS mandated charter.
  • Going forward, we need to:
    • Ramp up the participation rate especially from actives via the 1855 Campaign and new grads as the older alums have already been tapped several times.
    • Launch our Legacy giving campaign for long term funding security
    • Ensure that our budgets are met – especially on the income side. And that is only possible if we keep the house nearly full.
    • The coming year
  • First program of the 2018/2019 Academic Year we will be the third running of the Resume and Interview Skills workshop. This session would again be led by Dennis Powers.   We are currently working to nail down a date for this that would be prior to the Career Fair.   We have previously tried to schedule this on the same day as the Alumni-Rush Dinner so that the alums participating get extra benefit from their travel to Troy.  But we are still uncertain as to dates.   Once settles, we will be looking for alumni volunteers to assist in the review and comment on resumes (and possibly conducting mock interviews for those participants who are interested in getting some real practice.)
  • We will again be planning to award scholarships from the Love Foundation at the dinner on Family Weekend as in recent years. That means that applicants should start thinking about their submissions very soon!   We will be getting the application materials out within the next week and as always, applicants will be judged based on:  1) Scholastic Achievement, 2) Demonstrated Leadership and 3) Contributions to Sigma Chi.
  • We are planning another outside speaker for a campus-wide audience in the second semester, but have not yet settled on the person or topic. Perhaps this weekend if any of you (both active and alum!) have ideas that you would like to have considered, please let me know.
    • While here this weekend, I would like to hear from the actives, what other things PEF might be able to do in fostering your life skills and leadership. We are not here to overlap with what the Institute does;   PEF is here for the things that RPI does NOT teach.  And keep in mind that PEF programs are here for the entire campus, so you can invite rushee’s, and others on campus.    So please let us know.

Motion to approve PEF report– Motion Passed

  1. Chapter Report
  • Awarded Peterson award at BLTW. 9th in a row
  • Won third president cup in a row.
  • 02 above the GPA average
  • Pledge class of 12 last spring.
  • 65 active brothers
  • 44 living in
  • 21 living out

Motion to approve chapter president’s report– Motion Passed

  1. Elections
  • 55 proxy votes
  • Per the by-laws:  we need 10% of the members or 100 voters, whichever is smaller for a quorum.
  • 46 voting members present


  • John Pfaff     Elected
  • Jim Campbell     Elected
  • Tony Morelli         Elected
  • If other members are interested in being on the board then reach out to John Pfaff or Dan Zuber and we can discuss ways you can get involved. We would love to have the support.
  1. Motions
  • No other motions
  1. Other Business
  • No other business 

Meeting Ended 7:19 pm

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