• Sigma Lambda Beta

Alumni News - Vol. 2, Issue 6

Message from the Chairman

Greetings Brothers,

As the start of the Fall 2021 semester begins, for me, it feels like a new dawn is upon us and the restart of business for our undergrad Chapters across the Sigma Lambda Beta Nation.


The COVID-19 pandemic is not over by any means but with a vaccination available, our schools and our daily lives have gone back to some type of normality. Our Executive Office has had an influx of paperwork coming in from our undergrad Brothers dealing with updated Chapter rosters, membership due payments, event forms, and new member induction forms showing their excitement at getting back to Beta business. All of our undergrad Chapters started the 2021 Fall semester in good standing and our goal is to make sure that every single one of our undergrad Chapters finishes off the semester the way they started in good standing.

As with everyone, our organization did take a hit during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of our Chapters chose not to conduct intake for over a year and a half. During that time our undergrad Brothers still continued with their studies, and many did reach their dreams of graduating with a degree despite the obstacles that were put in front of them including the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of our Chapters have been depleted with not only the number of Brothers at the Chapter but of experience and mentorship that new members would have received. That being said as of the Fall 2021 semester SLB currently has 654 active undergrad Brothers spread out across 103 active undergrad entities.

To build back our ranks the Regional Directors along with the Executive Board of Directors have developed the initiative the “March To 400” with the goal of inducting 400 men into SLB for the Fall of 2021 with an initiation rate of at least 86%. Every single one of our undergrad Chapters has been given the marching orders to do their best and conduct intake this Fall. If we were to accomplish this goal it would not only build up our undergrad ranks but will change the landscape for SLB for generations to come. This goal can only be reached if every single one of us, undergrad and Alumni alike, roll up our sleeves and put the work in.

Alumni this is your chance to make a huge difference in SLB and give back to your Chapters by offering a lending hand, mentorship, financial resources and anything that you can think of that could help out our Brothers. I am not talking about taking over a Chapter because our undergrad Brothers must and will learn lessons on their own and it is their time to shine but to act as an elder of the Brotherhood to assist and mentor the next generation of Lambda Beta men to be the best that they can be.

Alumni, if interested in helping, you can reach out to the Executive Office and we can lead you over to the leadership of the nearest Alumni Network, set you up in an Alumni Advisory Board of an individual Chapter, connect you to your Alumni Association for your Chapter and if there is no one to help you to create one, connect you to the leadership of our various undergrad Chapters and their Regional Directors.

As our undergrad Brothers lead us into the future, remember when you put on the letters that this was a commitment for life, and in order to make sure that the future is bright it is going to take every one of us to make it happen.

Stay safe my Brothers and we look forward to hearing from you and looking forward to a great semester from our undergrad Brothers.


"THE NEW NORMAL? Not yet..."

by Xavier Romano, Executive Director

Hard to believe that we are entering the fall 2021 semester in much the same way that we closed the ’21 academic year…that the “new normal” is not yet upon us. And according to the President’s Chief Medical Advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, this “new normal” may well not be upon us until the fall of 2023. What does this mean? It means that we are in essence facing a “hybrid” on realities as we move into October with an array of university responses due to the ongoing global pandemic and the arrival of the “Delta” variant which is now well entrenched in the United States. As such expect to see an evolving spectrum of institutional responses. Some are based on on-campus health needs and implications. Others are based on “red-blue” politics and yet others are based on the political rhetoric of the day. “Factually” I can say the following…that every member of the Executive Board of Directors (EBOD) is vaccinated as are all members of the Executive Office (EO). We are, in essence, unabashedly following the “science.” If there is one singular reason or rationale as to why all members of the EBOD & EO are “vaxed,” I continue to hear variants of this simple point…that members of our African American, Latino, and other historically marginalized populations are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Allow me to share with you this…every one of us has a personal story as to why we opted for the vaccine. If you are genuinely curious, please reach out to us. Any one of us on the EBOD or working for the EO as we are more than happy to share with you the rationale behind our decisions.


We learned a great deal about ourselves this past academic year. Much of which validated what we thought we knew. For example, SLB is not well designed to operate “virtually.” While this may sound rather straightforward and simplistic, we found that men – even when on the same campus and/or in the same community, struggled with and even grew tired of relationships based solely on ZOOM communique. The fact of the matter is that men articulated that the “core” of the relationship that defines the unique character of the SLB Brotherhood are those face-to-face relationships that have been cultivated over time (both short-term & long-term) having a foundation born out of the educational process. Interesting to note that nationally, fraternities struggled far more than sororities in this virtual environment. If anything, there was a very different mindset that I witnessed with much of this difference rooted in what I can best describe as “endowment” size. Those Greeks with seven-figure endowments engaged in one of two strategies. Fraternities with some exceptions used their endowments to “survive the storm.” Whereas a good many sororities used their endowments to engage in technology that would allow them to engage “virtually” in a highly organized and comprehensive fashion. As a whole, the “Divine 9” faired well utilizing a history that dates to the founding of Alpha Phi Alpha at Cornell University in 1906. For us, this translates into “time.” And with this time came very strong foundations and philanthropic traditions which have placed these organizations in very strong positions.


With this ongoing “change” taking place in the collegiate environment it was prudent for us in the EO to work to enhance the “fraternal experience” for our collegiate community. And if there is one ongoing concern for collegiate members and alumni it was working with and navigating the Brother Network. Recognizing that this was and is central to the fraternal experience, I started researching the various data management systems under the then Chairmanship of David Ayento. While it has taken us nearly two years of what I can best define as a vertical learning curve, I announced at the mid-September STATE OF BETA session that we were moving to GreekTrack (www.greektrack.com) this fall with the roll-out date of January 1, 2022. This comprehensive data management system is nothing short of revolutionary for us at SLB. Over the course of this fall, we will begin to slowly and thoughtfully introduce the SLB community to GreekTrack. As our community will quickly learn, this data management system is comprehensive, can and will support all aspects of Fraternity operations, from chapter management and “paperwork” to fundraising initiatives capturing data from potential new members spanning the arc to Omega. GreekTrack, designed by Greeks for Greeks provides superior customer service while allowing our Campus chapters, Alumni Network/Associations, and even Regional Directors significant autonomy in designing their own websites within the GreekTrack platform. This is one of those decisions that I believe will make an exceptionally positive transformational impact on our collective membership.


This is also a time of transition in the Executive Office with the appointments of Savannah Buys as Director of Alumni & Donor Relations (she has been at the EO for roughly 30-days and also on a vertical learning curve!) to Darius McDowel (who held an array of leadership roles at Rho Beta at Wichita State University) who joins us in mid-October as Director of Member Services as Jose Pangelinan transitions onward to graduate school at the University of South Dakota (studying higher education). More on their transitions and who they are will be forthcoming.


Hard to believe that October is here. And yet it is. And soon I will be sharing information regarding BETACON’22 which will be held at The Nugget Casino Resort in Reno/Sparks, Nevada. You can check the property out here (https://www.nuggetcasinoresort.com) as we have already started working with Sigma Lambda Gamma on a convention that will not be solely focused on collegiate members but also have alumni tracks and opportunities for “FUN” and family engagement. But as I shared, more information is to come later this fall!


In advance, thank you for your continued support and love for Sigma Lambda Beta. If and when I can be of support to you please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly (xromano@sigmalambdabeta.com) and/or to anyone in the Executive Office. And if your travels take you to the “Iowa Corridor” (Iowa City – Cedar Rapids region) please do stop by the EO as we would love to welcome you to the EO.


Fraternally,



Xavier E. Romano



"SLBEF Looks to finish 2021 on a ‘Merry’ note!!" By Ric Zamudio


The Sigma Lambda Beta Education Foundation (SLBEF) is prepped and ready to execute our 3rd annual “86 Nights Before Xmas” fundraiser. It will kick-off on October 1st, and feature a new Xmas tree ornament. This year we decided to make an ornament out of our 86-Santa, which is the logo for this event. During this fundraiser, new contributions of $19.86+ to the Lifting Up campaign will be sent an ornament. Be on the lookout for our communications via email and social media! Or as always, you can go to slbfoundation.sigmalambdabeta.com to learn more as well as contribute and get yours.

The Sigma Lambda Beta Education Foundation (SLBEF) is proud to welcome 2 new Board of Trustee members:



Brother Luis Suira is an Alumni of the Rho Gamma Chapter at The University of Tampa. He holds a master's degree in Latin American and Border Studies from UTEP and a bachelor's degree in Government and World Affairs. He is currently a Program Officer for the El Paso Community Foundation in El Paso, TX. Luis has held multiple fraternal roles, most notably assisting in the creation of the Paso del Norte Alumni Network, serving as its Executive Secretary, and serving on the Civic Engagement Committee nationally. Luis is a Brother who has dedicated himself to serving the Brotherhood to see it reach its full potential.



Brother Anthony “Chacho” YBarra is an alumnus and Phoenix founder of the Phi Chapter at Kansas State University. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Management with an emphasis in Human Resources, as well as a Master of Science in Counseling and Student Development. He is currently an Assistant Director at the Kansas State University Career Center, serving as a liaison to the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering.

Anthony has served in several fraternal leadership positions including District Governor/Regional Director for the Midwest Region, and two terms on the Executive Board of Directors from 2015-2018. He is currently serving as an advisor to the Phi Chapter.




"Betas Against Sexual Assault" by Steve Galvan

The Betas Against Sexual Assault & Prevention Committee was established out of the necessity of our Fraternity dealing with a significant number of sexual assault allegations that came across the attention of the Executive Office and the Executive Board of Directors (EBOD). During Bro. Steve Galvan and Bro. Roberto Cellabos previous term on the EBOD, over forty, but no lower than twenty or so cases were active at any given time. This really halted the ideas, advancements and whatever other goals both of these Brothers wanted to accomplish during that time span. However, we also learned that this influx of allegations was both contemporary and historical. A byproduct of new reporting mechanisms and a new level of conversation happening within social media. We learned that sexual misconduct is a very serious problem in the fraternal world as a whole and it became a priority for both the Executive Office (EO) & EBOD to engage intentionally and with discernable outcomes. In other words, men were being held to account. Suffice to say that while this was a challenging experience for both the EO & EBOD, we learned a great deal about ourselves. Past and present.


After being re-elected to the EBOD, Bro. Steve Galvan made the decision that his time, energy, and focus would be to address this issue on point. A committee was formed, name was attached, and wheels were in motion. Bro. Steve has compiled a slideshow with the help of Bro. Santiago Gayton (East Region Regional Director) and has been utilized to further educate the brotherhood in regional meetings this past spring, summer, and now fall. Bro. Steve has presented live to certain regions and for others, a video presentation was recorded and broadcasted.


To log on to the video click here.





Never Forget Your Roots

By Arthur Garcia, Co-founder & COO @SomosAncestria

Colorado State University - Iota Chapter Alum, SP01

Have you wondered where you come from? Sure, you may have an idea or may have visited the birthplaces of your parents and grandparents. Your grandparents, aunts, and uncles may have shared family stories that piqued your curiosity enough to take a DNA ancestry test. I am fortunate enough to have met my grandparents and my father is from El Tepetate, Zacatecas, Mexico, and my mother is from El Molino, Chihuahua, Mexico who both immigrated to the US at a young age. I have always been proud of my culture and interested in history which led to a minor in the subject as well as a certificate in Chicano Studies at CSU. After spending the first 16 years of my career in fintech I decided to pivot into health tech and have been reminded of my love of history.



As an undergrad at Colorado State, our chapter stood by the pillars of our Fraternity by frequently hosting cultural awareness events that included visits by Dolores Huerta, Eduard James Olmos, and the late Jesus “Chuy” Negrete. At the time, we were fulfilling the needs of our campus and local community, and it instilled in me a responsibility to continually seek opportunities to educate others about our ancestors' culture and contributions to society. I am excited to share with the Brotherhood the work I have been

doing at this stage in my career as an entrepreneur.



Running a startup is exciting, stressful, and fulfilling at the same time. There are ups and downs and yet, new barriers are being broken and I am reminded of the opportunity to change the lives of my family and community. SOMOS is the first Latino-designed ancestry service mapping the Latino genome to advance drug discovery. We are working to increase the representation of our community in scientific research and data, as Latinos make up less than 1.2% and just 1% of clinical trials. Despite a growing US population of nearly 20%, and 10% of the global population at 650M, now is the time to do something about the disparity in health data.



In order to identify genetic markers and advance the development of tailored medicine, we will require a large database of both Indigenous Nations and admixed Latinos. To date this dataset has been relatively small and therefore, we solve this by providing an at-home DNA ancestry service with the highest resolution on Indigenous Nation ancestry in order to build the largest Pan American biobank. I am humbled to share this important work and ask that you join me in taking action to help improve the health of future generations by; Purchasing a DNA kit, sharing our work with friends and family, and supporting our efforts working with Indigenous Nations. I am learning so much about my family history and have shared my personal results to provide context on our Indigenous reference panel.


I am excited to partner with the Fraternity and their initiative to support Purple Businesses and have committed to sharing 10% of sales from this partnership back to the Brotherhood. Please use this unique link and promo code SLB10OFF for a 10% discount.


About Arthur Garcia:

Arthur is Co-founder & COO of SOMOS, the first dynamic platform impacting 650+ million Latinos for future tailored health and drug discovery. Arthur Garcia is also the Co-founder of the Contabi Alliance, an international association of independent accounting firms. Arthur has been recognized as a 2x TOP 20 Under 40 influencer by CPA Practice Advisor for his work in the accounting industry. He has consulted hundreds of accounting firms and under his leadership at ATAX (acquired), a large national tax and business services franchise was recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine as a TOP 500 Franchise opportunity in 2019. Arthur recently became a published author and his story was included in the book Hispanic Stars Rising: The New Face of Power.



Arthur received his B.S. in Marketing from Colorado State University and MBA from the University of San Francisco. In 2019, Arthur graduated from the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative Scaling Program cohort 7. LinkedIn Twitter




"Managing debt: 3 ways to find the right balance … from your friends at Principal"


Debt. It’s a fact of life.


Having no debt is great, but it’s unrealistic for most. And that’s OK. Few people can pay cash to buy a home, car, or college education. Still, it’s wise to understand the debt you have and manage it appropriately. To learn more, click here.



"Puerto Rico Sigma Lambda Beta Historical Overview"

by Edgardo Lugo

After vigorous networking with some of his old friends from Ponce, Puerto Rico, in the fall and winter of 1986, Erick Montes, who is one of the Founding Fathers of Sigma Lambda Beta (SLB) International Fraternity, began to actively recruit students at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) and the Pontifical Catholic University (PUCPR), Ponce, PR to become his fraternity Brothers. The goal was to bring to Puerto Rico a fraternal body nationally recognized and bring diversity to the Island Territory Greek Community.


On January 26, Bro. Montes and a small group of potential SLB candidates held their first meeting at the UPR cafeteria. How did it begin? It's difficult to say. Years have passed. We all have changed from studs to sirs, but as many old stories start

in books, we'll start ours as many of them does: "It was an afternoon at the

Cafeteria of the UPR-Ponce. Hector L Meléndez, Ramon Marrero (RIP), Hiram "Archie"

Rodriguez, Adolfo Trapote, and others were having lunch, chatting about daily

happenings when Eric Montes began to talk to us about his Fraternity and how

different it was comparing to others already established in PR.

After few meetings, the dates were set for the first initiation. After the first PR student's initiation on April 10, 1987, a meeting to ratify their Bylaws and elected their first executive board was held. Also, Bro. Montes began to meet more frequently with us and with others from the Catholic University. Yes, the same Chapter running in two different universities as one. The first board of directors consisted of Eric Montes, Chancellor, Ramon Marrero Carrasquillo (RIP) as Vice-Chancellor, Hector L Melendez Torres as Treasury, and Vlamir Pagan Green as Secretary. This became the first and only Chapter in PR and was officially recognized under the UPR at Ponce. In less than three years, all the other fraternities in PR knew Sigma Lambda Beta. SLB or LAMBDA (as we were known) Rocked the house. We were solid. We were a family, and we always will be.


By the 3rd initiation in March 1988, the Fraternity has gained recognition among the other and older Fraternities and Sororities in Ponce, allowing us to become part of that select group of Brotherhood. Immediately after finishing the 2nd initiation, we participated in one of the most significant and festive Greek Weekend Events in PR, known as the "Phi Eta Olympics" in Mayaguez. Our Chapter became known throughout PR as a challenger on baseball, basketball, volleyball, and tennis, winning the Overall Sub-Champions of the event and winning the Sub-Championships on baseball and volleyball. This became "the norm" and led to the Lambda Cup, holding the 1st Cup in 1989 at the Club Deportivo de Ponce and winning the Cup ourselves.


By 1989, we began the process to be recognized by the Pontifical Catholic University. The Students Dean granted us a partial "acknowledgment" to use their facilities. Among the activities we held during our initiations were: fundraising sales, well-known and respected parties to sustain the Chapter, and many initiatives and supported non-profit organizations (elderly, Orphan kids, and poor neighborhoods), among others. We always followed the principle of service to the local community; we still believe it is our responsibility to give back to our communities through service and philanthropic endeavors.

In less than three years, all the other fraternities in PR knew Sigma Lambda Beta. SLB or LAMBDA (as we were known) Rocked the house. We were solid. We were a family, and we always will be.



By the 3rd initiation in March 1988, the Fraternity has gained recognition among the other and older Fraternities and Sororities in Ponce, allowing us to become part of that select group of Brotherhood. Immediately after finishing the 2nd initiation, we participated in one of the most significant and festive Greek Weekend Events in PR, known as the "Phi Eta Olympics" in Mayaguez. Our Chapter became known throughout PR as a challenger on baseball, basketball, volleyball, and tennis, winning the Overall Sub-Champions of the event and winning the Sub-Championships on baseball and volleyball. This became "the norm" and led to the Lambda Cup, holding the 1st Cup in 1989 at the Club Deportivo de Ponce and winning the Cup ourselves.


By 1989, we began the process to be recognized by the Pontifical Catholic University. The Students Dean granted us a partial "acknowledgment" to use their facilities. Among the activities we held during our initiations were: fundraising sales, well-known and respected parties to sustain the Chapter, and many initiatives and supported non-profit organizations (elderly, Orphan kids, and poor neighborhoods), among others. We always followed the principle of service to the local community; we still believe it is our responsibility to give back to our communities through service and philanthropic endeavors.

In November 2020, an open invitation for participation was sent to the Delta chapter Alumni and a meeting to ratify the requirements to become an SLB Alumni network; shortly after, the first executive board was named. The board's first board consisted of Bro, Victor Hernandez, Bro. Ricardo Ramirez, and Bro. Edgardo Lugo Ruiz (serving as Chairman). Also, Bro. Omar Cruz was asked to join and is serving as the Delta Chapter liaison.

Our PR Alumni Network is a group of SLB Alumni who remain committed to the cultural values and brotherhood bonds formed during our college years. We currently have members whose professional careers and personal achievements span various interests, including politics, government, business, academics, healthcare, and sports, among many others. Some of our members even have grandkids, yes, grandkids! Today, we have been able to stay connected, occasionally meet to exchange life experiences, support each other, and laugh at each other's comments like time has never passed.

Our PR Alumni Network strives to maintain an Islander family-oriented atmosphere for all SLB Alumni, fostering networking and, most importantly, maintaining our ties and commitment to Sigma Lambda Beta. To join us, please contact Bro. Edgardo E. Lugo Ruiz – lee80@mail.usf.edu