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Amy Hayner Kates, Alpha Phi/Tulane, is Fraternity ritualist, NPC delegate, and sesquicentennial volunteer. She has served the Fraternity since her days as an educational leadership consultant, including positions on college chapter advisory boards, facility corporations, the college committee, and Grand Council, including two terms as Fraternity president.
Undergraduate officer positions held: I was the corresponding secretary and standards chairman.
Have you held other Theta offices/volunteer positions? I was a chapter consultant (ELC), recruitment advisor, ABC, facility corporation secretary, college district president, 3rd alternate NPC delegate, Fraternity vice-president membership, Fraternity vice-president college and Fraternity president. In my role as president, I also served on the Fraternity investment committee and Fraternity Housing Corporation, and served as a Theta Foundation trustee.
How did you learn about the opportunity to become a Theta volunteer? It's been in my blood since I graduated from college. I always knew I was going to stay involved with Theta. It was never really a choice; Theta has always been a big part of my life since I pledged in 1984.
What made you want to become a Theta volunteer? It was my college advisor, Marina Gregorio. I remember very vividly a time in college when she and the other advisors were upset with our chapter over a risk management issue, and Marina was particularly powerful in her message to us. I felt a fundamental change in the way I looked at Theta at that moment. I felt the influence of her as a mentor, and knew that Theta was so much more than anything else I was part of, because of the alumnae mentors I was being provided. I wanted to be able to have that kind of effect on another Theta someday, and so I knew I would always be a Theta volunteer.
How long have you been a Theta volunteer? 25 years!
Do you, or did you have, a Theta mentor? Yes, many through the years, starting with Marina, but probably the person who has most influenced me is Lissa Bradford, who has also served Theta in many positions, including Fraternity president.
Why do you stay involved with Theta? It is the reward of watching Theta grow and change with the times, and I am so inspired by our collegians. They are amazing! I am continually impressed with all they do.
Do you have a special volunteering moment? There are so many... but I remember when I was Fraternity president, and we were struggling with a new tagline. Suddenly "Leading Women" was on the table, and we knew that was it. It was a moment of clarity of vision shared by a group; I still get chills thinking back on that time. And, when I see it today, I am especially proud to have been part of that decision.
Do you have a special Theta moment? Leading initiation at Grand Convention 2014 was quite special.
Do you have a profession or personal passion? I am a Notary Public, which in Louisiana is different than other states. Because we have civil law in Louisiana, Notaries are able to perform more legal acts. It gives people greater access to the law to have more officials available to perform simple legal acts, whereas other states require an attorney. I am passionate about giving that access to as many people as I can, and I work hard to be as available as possible. That said, my true passion is my family, and I'm thrilled that I've been able to have a career that has been flexible enough to give me the chance to be there for them as much as I have.
Jill Sirmans Bateman, Gamma Delta/Georgia, is a Fraternity facility consultant. She has served Kappa Alpha Theta in various volunteer roles for 22 years, including positions on college chapter advisory boards, facility corporations, alumnae chapters, and on the district level.
Undergraduate officer positions held: College chapter officer for three years, including a role as philanthropy chairman (now service and philanthropy director).
Have you held other Theta offices/volunteer positions? Immediately following graduation, I began my career at the University of Georgia in its development office where two Theta alumnae (Fran Jarrell Lane and Lane Jennings Stewart) eagerly welcomed me into my new role and introduced me as a new Theta volunteer. I was welcomed immediately to opportunities to make an impact.
What made you want to become a Theta volunteer? Having the ability to connect and build relationships with chapter members is important to me. And another added incentive is that Theta makes it easy to serve. There are a wealth of volunteer resources on the web that I can access anywhere at any time. Knowing I have those to guide me makes it easy to say "yes!" to my volunteer commitment.
Do you, or did you have, a Theta mentor? I would say that Fran and Lane are two mentors for me. They welcomed me into my career in higher education fundraising, encouraged me into alumnae volunteering opportunities, and offered their knowledge, network and experience every day.
Why do you stay involved with Theta? Living in the Theta facility was such a memorable and special time. Serving as a Fraternity facility consultant gives me an opportunity to support these wonderful facilities and, most importantly, the volunteers of the corporation. These local volunteers are tirelessly working to make sure chapter facilities are meeting the needs of today's students. This means managing technological upgrades, installing state-of-the-art security, focusing on life safety issues, etc. Facility boards are being proactive to advance with the times, which requires a lot of resources and collaboration.
Do you have a special volunteering moment? My favorite volunteer moments are when I get to interact with the chapter members. They are such an inspiring group.
Do you have a special Theta moment? My first visit to Theta headquarters was a special moment for me. There is such a treasure of Theta history on display.
Do you have a profession or personal passion? I work at the University of Georgia in its development and alumni relations division. In my role, I oversee the annual giving fundraising efforts for the university. It's a great profession because I get to see daily the impact that private support is making in a student's life. Our alumni and friends are generous to support scholarship and other academic programs. It's inspiring to see this philanthropic spirit.
Chris was initiated as a member of Delta Omicron at the University of Alabama. She initially joined Theta to meet people and become involved on campus. She volunteered for her chapter and the University of Alabama Panhellenic in various capacities, including serving as a Rho Chi (recruitment counselor), Panhellenic delegate, and as a member of both the development and facility management committees.
Chris has continued to serve Theta in many roles as an alumna. She currently serves on the Facility Housing Corporation interior design and marketing & communications committees. Previously, she was the alumnae district president for Districts II and V and alumnae district officer for District VI, and held several positions for the New Orleans Alumnae Chapter, most notably president and treasurer. Chris is also a charter Life Loyal member.
In addition to her work with Theta, Chris volunteers with the Junior League of New Orleans, CASA-Jefferson Parish, American Heart Association, and American Marketing Association. When asked why she volunteers for Theta and in her community, Chris says, "Volunteering has given me a sense of purpose in my community. I like feeling connected and working towards a common goal. It has also given me an opportunity to bond with my daughters over shared projects."
Chris says her favorite part of being a Theta is the friendships and sisterhood that have continued beyond college. She also continues to give back to the organization because of all the women who helped contribute to her success.
Do you know a Theta who's made a difference in her local Theta chapter? Let us know!