2016 Board Chair Update

Ray BurdenSeptember 3, 2016

Dear Gamma Mu Educational Services, Inc. Board of Directors and Corporate Members,

It has been a while since I have provided you an update on GMES activities and as we arrive at the official end of summer this Labor Day weekend, I want to bring you up to date on actions and events that have taken place over the summer. I also want to solicit and encourage your active support of our planned activities that are associated with the start of the new academic year that has just begun.

 2015 Tax Filing – Our 2015 Tax return was filed on August 15, 2016. Thanks for the great team effort of Tyrone Strozier and Rufus Glasper in working with Mr. Sidney Ford, CPA, to get this done accurately and on time. We will have our 990 posted on the GMES website soon.

 Pathways to Excellence funding requests – We received a number of requests for funding for the 2016-2017 academic year.   Requests were received from The Alpha Phi Alpha Sphinx Educational Fund, the Kappa League, the Omega Youth Leadership Academy, and the African American Men of ASU. We established a review team made up of board members to assess the requests and make recommendations to the board for approval or not.   A preliminary report is being prepared by George Logan who chaired the team. We will publish the results once the final decisions are made.  

GMES 2017 Fundraiser Planning – Lee Topps is very proactively planning for our next fundraiser event. As an effort to explore improving our marketing and eventual financial revenues, he and a group of board and corporate members recently met with an organization called Executive OutReach Events (EOE). As a result of the meeting, EOE has presented a proposal that the fundraiser committee will review to determine if it feasible to contract with them and make a recommendation to the board.

Strategic Planning Task Force – This group did some really good work in preparing for the planning retreat held in May of this year. However, the work of the group will continue in the fall (late September) as the overall objective is to produce a comprehensive strategic plan that will be completed in time to kick off the new biennium.

Pathways to Excellence Program Support – Jerome Sims, our stalwart coordinator for the AAMASU program, has recently sent out a communication along with the 2016-2017 calendar to solicit members to speak on various topics in our endeavor to provide mentoring and leadership development to the men, and women of color at ASU. One of the things we want to accomplish this year is to expand our professional areas of concentration to take advantage of exposing the students to more of the phenomenal talent and experience we have within our ranks. Please take time to review the available dates and times and give Jerome and the students your support.

Kevin Robinson, our phenomenal coordinator for the Grand Canyon University PTE program, will be communicating with the us soon on some specific plans we have been coordinating with the leadership of GCU in recent weeks.   They are very excited about our coming back for another year and now have GMES involved with their Honors College for execution of our speaker’s series program. We have established specific dates for our events, the first date being Thursday, October 6, 2016. As mentioned above with ASU, we are also looking to expand the professional areas of concentration as you will see when Kevin provides further detail to us. We want to highly encourage all corporate members to be “hands-on” participants in our programs this year.

Partnership Exploration – Many of you know Brian Johnson from his involvement with Gamma Mu Boule in years past. He is currently Executive Director of an organization called Base 11. Base 11 is the operating name for the Center for Innovation in Education, a non-profit 501c3 based in Costa Mesa, Ca. The organization is focused on STEM in three main areas; internships and fellowships, a STEM Entrepreneur Program and STEM workforce development. Brian is looking to develop partnerships in the Phoenix metro area and he was referred to Tyrone Strozier who works for General Dynamics. Tyrone and I met with Brian to hear about Base 11 and think the board of directors and membership at large would also like to hear about their impressive program.

Well, that concludes the end of summer update. As always, thanks for all you do for your social action organization, GMES.        

Ray Burden,

Board Chair