Reflecting on 15 Years of Professional Fraternity/Sorority Recruitment

by Josh Orendi

This week back in 1999 I graduated from Bethany College, got behind the wheel of my Plymouth Laser, and drove from West Virginia to Indianapolis, Indiana to begin my professional career as a fraternity consultant.  That was 15 years ago this weekend (cue the emotional music).

Every morning when I wake up until the moment I fall asleep, I’m thinking about growing Greek Life.  Some people would call that crazy. My friends would call that awesome.  My mother would call that pathetic.  LOL!

This is my personal and professional passion.  My life’s work.

I’m reflecting as my fingers type.. . a lot of memories are flooding back.  Nearly all of my most meaningful relationships and learning experiences are rooted in Greek Life.  Fraternity has literally shaped me into the man I am today.

A decade and a half later, I’m struck by how beautifully simple and simultaneously complex recruitment can be.  Albert Einstein said, “Any fool can know. The point is to understand.”

What I have grown to understand is that there is a lot of “noise” around recruitment.  Peel back the noise and there are prevailing Truths that are — and always has been — the secret to recruitment…

“people join people.”

“you can’t recruit who you don’t know”

“When friendships increase, membership increases.”

HOWEVER, the friendships I’ve cherished for these 15 years aren’t just about growing a base of members (or business partnerships) … for me they’re about building a meaningful life that is full of the people I care most about.  I think that’s probably true for you, too.  Recruitment done right is about filling our lives with great people who we want to grow old with; the people we want to make our little dent in the universe with.  A Brotherhood.  A Sisterhood.

Thanks to all my family, phamily, friends, and phriends who have supported me on this incredible journey.  Those relationships mean the world to me.  I’m as passionate today about fraternity as I was that first weekend I got lost in the Circle City. In many ways, I feel like my journey is just getting started.  I’m so glad I have great people like you to join me on the ride.