FARMHOUSE FRATERNITY TO SEEK NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Jan. 12, 2017
Source: FarmHouse Fraternity news release
After serving FarmHouse Fraternity for over 10 years as its executive director, Chad Harris (IA 98) will depart from the headquarters staff to pursue new career opportunities. Harris will depart after a new executive director is in place.
In announcing his departure Harris shared, "It is a great honor to come to work for an organization I care so deeply about every day. While I am proud of the work the headquarters staff and International Executive Board have achieved in the last 10 years, more important are the wonderful, meaningful relationships - personally and professionally - this position has allowed me to build. To those many individuals, in particular our staff present and past, I've had the great fortune of working alongside side, I extend a deeply appreciative thank you."
He added, "With many of the new initiatives and strategic priorities we put forth the last few years, culminating in the next few months, now is the time for me to step aside and let someone else author the next chapter of our great Fraternity's legacy."
Gabriel Eckert (KS 95), International President, shared, "Since 2007, Chad has played a critical role in the success of the organization. We will miss him and his inspiring leadership, and we wish him the best of luck in his new endeavors. We thank him for his dedicated service that involved many significant accomplishments."
Accomplishments under Harris' tenure include:
• Excellence in educational programming for our members through the creation and launch of six, award-winning conferences and initiatives resulting in 40% of undergraduates participating in an in-person program of the International Fraternity, during the last biennium.
• To Be and Become...The FarmHouse Emerging Talent Retreat (launched in 2009)
• FarmHouse Leadership Institute (launched in 2012)
• FarmHouse GROWS (launched in 2014)
• The Journey: FarmHouse (launched in 2014)
• Volunteer Leadership Summit (launched in 2014)
• STAR Member Experience (launched in 2016)
• Record undergraduate membership for nine consecutive years and overall growth in membership of 39% over the last 10 years, culminating with a new record membership of 1,733 members in fall 2016.
• Chartering seven chapters and two colonies, including the stewardship of our affiliation and merger with Alpha Tau Zeta as the Ohio State Chapter in 2010.
• Embodiment of our promise of service to our fellowmen and to the world through his own civic and community involvement and with the adoption of the Fraternity's two national philanthropies:
• Leukemia-Lymphoma Society (LLS) in memory of John Romine (PU 05)
• Be the Match: The National Bone Marrow Donor Registry in honor of its founder, the late Bob Graves (CO 53), his wife Sherry, and the legacy of their late daughter, Laura
• Evolution of the FarmHouse brand with the launch of the new brand and comprehensive style guide at the 49th biennial Conclave in August, including the redesign of the Fraternity's magazine, marketing and communication collateral, social media platforms and the forthcoming new farmhouse.org web site.
• Increase in volunteer engagement through the creation of new task forces, committees and leadership opportunities, including:
• Regional Director program
• Volunteer Leadership Summit
• FarmHouse Friends network
• Establishment of the Barnes Award for Outstanding Interfraternalism
• Expansion of chapter support through the utilization of distance learning education, distribution of resources through expanded e-newsletter communication and the growth of the staff helping to improve communication with local chapter volunteers and officers through the restructuring of the content, focus and frequency of in-person chapter visits.
• Reverence for the Fraternity's history and the founders in researching, documenting and visiting the Founders' Monument Road project and the digitization of every issue of Pearls & Rubies in an online archive.
• A commitment to living the FarmHouse Ritual through the adoption of the revised Builder of Men Affirmation in 2008 and the culmination of its implementation in providing universal resources and tools for every chapter to conduct the Ritual properly.
• Organizational honors and recognition of our excellence with the NIC Laurel Wreath Award, two NIC Gold Medals, two NIC Chapter Awards of Distinction, one NIC Alumni Award of Distinction, three feature writing awards for Pearls & Rubies from the Fraternity Communications Association (FCA), and the KCSAE Associations Advance Kansas City Award.
Harris has been an ambassador for the Fraternity externally in many ways and through numerous leadership capacities while with FarmHouse, including service on the governance committee of the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC); professional development committee and annual meeting chair for the Fraternity Executives Association (FEA), a fellow of the FEA Interfraternity Institute, and task force member and author of the FEA's 2015 strategic plan; risk management committee member and director to FRMT, Ltd.; operations task force co-chair for the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors (AFA); member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) ethics committee; annual meeting committee member for the Fraternity Communications Association (FCA); past president of the Consortium of Collegiate Agricultural Organizations; and current president-elect of the Kansas City Society of Association Executives (KCSAE), which honored him with the 2016 Distinguished Association Executive Award. His outstanding professional and volunteer service to FarmHouse was recognized with the Snyder Alumni Award in 2009 by the Iowa State Chapter.
Harris is only the fifth executive director in our Fraternity's 111-year history. He was hired in November 2006 to succeed Jim Griffith (MO 91). More information on the executive leadership search for Harris' successor will be provided in the next few weeks along with a position announcement from the International Executive Board. Harris has agreed to remain in the role until a new executive director is in place.
The International Executive Board of Directors and entire FarmHouse brotherhood thank Brother Harris for his distinguished service to FarmHouse as our executive director. Chad's bold vision for advancing the Fraternity's mission in new and innovative ways, his strong leadership and positive spirit of interfraternalism and his lifelong passion for FarmHouse have been ever-present in his work. His leadership has advanced FarmHouse forward in remarkable ways. Thank you, Chad!
FarmHouse Fraternity is a men's international agriculturally-related social fraternity that seeks to build men intellectually, spiritually, socially/morally and physically. Founded in 1905 the Fraternity has initiated 30,000 members through 49 chapters in its history across the United States and Canada, with an undergraduate membership of 1,750 today. The Fraternity maintains its headquarters in Kansas City, Mo.