Central Office

JP Winkel Joins Central Office Staff as Programming and Communications Coordinator

MIAMI, January 29, 2020 – The Theta Tau Professional Engineering Fraternity is pleased to welcome JP Winkel to the Central Office Staff, and to the newly created role of Programming and Communications Coordinator. Winkel will work out of the Central Office in Miami beginning on February 3.

Winkel is a native of Cedar Rapids, IA after being adopted from Busan, South Korea. They are a Spring 2018 initiate of the Psi Chapter (Iowa State) of the Pi Alpha Phi Fraternity Inc., the oldest APIDA-interest fraternity in the country. Winkel holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts and a Master of Science in Education from Iowa State University specializing in Higher Education and Student Identity Development. Winkel most recently served as the Director of Education for Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity Inc. in North Liberty, IA.

In their spare time, Winkel commits time to programming for APIDA students through organizations like the Midwest Asian American Student Union (MAASU) and the United Vietnamese Students Association-Midwest.

This will mark the first time since 1996 that the Fraternity will have more than one director/coordinator. Winkel’s hire is the second change to Central Office Staffing in recent months, after Jim Gaffney joined Theta Tau as Executive Director on September 1, 2019. Gaffney took the reins from Michael Abraham, who retired after 27 years on the staff of Theta Tau, including 24 years as Executive Director.

“I’m excited for JP to join the team and I look forward to the wealth of programming, curriculum and event management experience that they bring with them,” said Executive Director Jim Gaffney. “With the addition of JP, the newly-expended CO staff will be well positioned to be of greater service to our chapters and to grow the size and quality of the programming that we deliver to our members.”

About Theta Tau:
Theta Tau is dedicated to ENGINEERING LEADERS for Service, Profession, and Brotherhood. From its founding by four mining engineering students nearly 114 years ago, Theta Tau has grown into the largest and oldest Fraternity for Engineers, with 90 chapters and colonies, more than 5,000 student members and more than 20,000 living alumni. The Fraternity is administered out of the Central Office, located in downtown Miami. Visit www.thetatau.org to learn more.

Executive Director Named!

MIAMI - Theta Tau is pleased to announce that James Gaffney has been hired as its incoming Executive Director, effective September 1st.  He will relocate to Miami later that month becoming the third Executive Director in the Fraternity's history. Please welcome him with a Hammer & Tongs Spirit! 

Jim is a 2007 initiate of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania where he studied journalism. Since January of 2017, he served as joint Executive Director of the alpha Kappa Delta Phi International Sorority, Inc. and the Lambda Phi Epsilon International Fraternity, Inc., respectively, the largest Asian-interest sorority and fraternity in North America.   He was the first Executive Director for both organizations.  In his time with LFE and aKDPhiPrior to his work with aKDPhi and LFE, Gaffney served Kappa Sigma as District Grand Master (regional president) for the Upstate New York District, opened five new chapters in 14 months, and saw two chapters win the Founder's Award for Chapter Excellence, the highest chapter honor in the Fraternity. He was recognized with a distinguished service commendation from the Supreme Executive Committee of Kappa Sigma (national board of directors). When not working to advance the greek community, Gaffney has freelanced in stage design and amateur woodworking.  

The hiring results from a search/selection process that began February 1. Conducted in a manner consistent with industry norms and the advice of professional staff, over 100 candidates (meeting qualifications defined in 2016) submitted applications; 12 were chosen for interview via Skype; and 3 were invited to Miami for final in-person interviews. Grand Regent Vann, Grand Scribe Collins, Alpha Kappa Psi Executive Director Steve Hartman, and Executive Director Abraham participated in the Skype and in-person interviews and made unanimous recommendation for Executive Council action. This closes an effort begun during the 2016-18 biennium by the previous Grand Regent that had resulted in one applicant.  Plaid managed the search/selection process for Theta Tau. Our thanks to Plaid and Steve Hartman for assistance and advice.  The Fraternity thanks Brother Abraham for his 27 years of dedicated work (including 23+ years as Executive Director) during which Theta Tau's development and growth have been unprecedented, as well as his 20 years of volunteer service as the 1st Executive Director of the Theta Tau Educational Foundation.

Central Office Moves South

With an anticipated very large increase in rent forewarned by those buying up many of the office buildings in the Creve Ceour Office Park, the Fraternity moved with Executive Director Michael Abraham, Epsilon Beta '92, to Austin, Texas.  He is shown above in leased space at the 815 Brazos Building in downtown Austin.

In 2007, Theta Tau purchased two units in an office condominium redevelopment just two blocks from the Texas Capitol in downtown Austin. This was the first owned Central Office space for the Fraternity.  Theta Tau remained there until the relocation to Miami in early 2019.  Brother Abraham managed the closure and sale of the office condos -- the monthly revenue from which exceeds the current Miami office rent.