Central Office

Two New Central Office Staffers Hired

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During the Winter of 2020, two new staffers were hired to work in the Central Office. JP Winkel joined the staff in February as the Programming & Communications Coordinator and Ernestine Bethea joined in March as our new Office Manager.

JP Winkel (they/them/theirs) is the Programming & Communications Coordinator in the Theta Tau Central Office. Their role is a new one for the Central Office and it matches up almost perfectly with Winkel’s strengths and background as a fraternal program developer.

Winkel is originally from Cedar Rapids, Iowa after being adopted from Busan, South Korea. They were initiated into the Psi Chapter of Pi Alpha Phi Fraternity Inc., at Iowa State University in the Spring of 2008. Pi Alpha Phi is the oldest APIDA-interest (Asian Pacific Islander Desi-American) fraternity in the United States. Winkel holds a Bachelor’s 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.’s Executive Office in North Liberty, IA.

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

Ernestine Bethea (she/her/hers) is the Office Manager of the Theta Tau Professional Engineering Fraternity Central Office. Bethea is a 2013 initiate of the Nu Gamma Chapter of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated located at Coppin State University where she studied Social Work and Sociology. She also holds a Master of Science Degree in Human Service Administration from the University of Baltimore. She has worked as a Grant Services Specialist in the Mayor’s Office of Human Services located in Baltimore, Maryland, an Administrative Program Coordinator in the graduate school at Johns Hopkins University and most recently as a Family Services Specialist at the Early Learning Coalition of Broward County.

Bethea started her journey in sorority life by being elected as President of her Undergraduate chapter. She has participated and chaired many community service programs that cater to veterans, the homeless, the elderly, as well as premature babies. Ernestine currently holds a leadership certification which allows her to serve on a national level in Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated. Bethea is also certified in risk management through Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated and enjoys sharing knowledge and best practices.

Bethea relocating to Miami from Baltimore in 2017, which had been home for most of her life. When not working, she enjoys encouraging young women through body positivity speaking engagement. Bethea brings a wealth of administrative and program support experience to the Central Office.

Executive Director Named!

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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 aKDPhi, Prior 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.

ENGINEERING LEADERS

for Service, Profession, and Brotherhood