Strengthening 'connection' among members and with our Alma Mater
Alumni Program Task Force engages as a 'think tank' to increase connection among members
2017, as depicted in photos included in this article (click on photo to view all), pointed to the potential for successfully connecting and re-connecting DGT members on a grander scale. Captured are two Delta Gamma Theta brothers, Chase Hill and Harold Bernstein, and their families, gathered for lunch in Dallas to meet each other for the first time ever. John Comiskey and Marty Nystrom had not been to the House in decades until Pratt Alumni Day 2017. Also at the annual reunion, 10 brothers pose for the camera in the Chapter Room. That group represents five of the last six decades-50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and 00s. The Thanksgiving Dinner gathering took place at nearby Putnam's Pub & Cooker. Bro. Pete Schirling, one of the first members to live at the House, and his bride, were visiting from Japan. They just had to come back to the House where Pete then reminisced and glimpsed at the mug with his name on it. Ariane Williams, a Spring 2016 Gallery House Intern, returns to support the program and experience the exhibit of a subsequent class of Interns. Two Fall 2017 interns, Rddhima Goylan and Adam Colello, smile for the camera. Finally, in the last image, Paul Fletcher and Aika Mukhambetova, both DGT alumni, are actively involved in making Gallery House happen.
DGT looks forward to a future of more of these moments, for more DGT Alumni, in many more places than New York City. In early 2017 a Special Task Force of DGT Alumni was established to develop recommendations to build on the success DGT Alumni Association has had since 2013 in re-connecting and engaging its members who were once undergraduate fraternity or sister-sorority members, or since 2015, Gallery House Interns. The Task Force came up with a plan, released in early 2018. The Plan has objectives and a timeline organized under five goals: (1) DGT Member List and Member Information Easily Accessible to Members; (2) Distance Engagement Through Live Video Streaming from the House; (3) Make the DGT Website a More functional and Valuable Tool (for member connection and re-connection); (4) Regional and Out-of-state Member Get-togethers and Reunions; and, (5) Recover Missing Names and Contact Information for Members.
There is an opportunity for DGT Alumni to volunteer as many hours or as few hours as you may have to carry out the plan. The tasks are all not time sensitive. There is an opportunity for all members, inclusive of individuals with skills, interest and experience in the field of communications (including webmaster, website administration, digital graphics design, blogging, and data entry and management). Volunteers are sought to research and obtain contact information for members, or to recover, catalog and display documents and artifacts of historical interest to DGT. Alumni members interested in planning or supporting the organizing of reunions, regionally or at the house, are also being sought. To explore how you could help, from wherever you are on planet earth, contact Gil Gerald, Secretary, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alumni Affairs, Office of Student Affairs, Center for Career and Professional Development, and Department Chairs serve as key points of engagement with Pratt Institute in 2017.
In 2017 DGT continued a tradition of service to and collaboration with Pratt Institute. As indicated in the DGT Foundation's Annual Report, Gallery House is working effectively with various Pratt Departments and organizational units, especially Alumni Affairs, Center for Career and Professional Development, and Department Chairs. DGT Alumni Association coordinates with Alumni Affairs to participate in and contribute to the success of the Annual Pratt Alumni Day program. Pictured above, in early 2018, Pratt Institute rents the gallery space to host a daylong meeting of Department Chairs. The group requested the use of the space, and consequently DGT became a vendor to Pratt, perhaps for the first time.
In 2017 DGT Alumni Association's income totaled $88,427, mostly from rental income (97.7%). All other sources, including member and non-member donations, dues, and interest totaled $2,037 (2.3%). Significantly, direct public support, including members donations, and other individual and business contributions, doubled from the previous year, increasing from $798.00 in the previous year to $1,490 in 2017. Similarly, as detailed in the 2017 Profit and Loss Statement, income from membership dues increased from $375 total in 2016 to $547 in 2017. Higher income in 2018 can be anticipated as 2017 was marked by higher than usual turnover in tenants with a resulting higher than usual vacancy and less than optimal income. DGT Alumni are increasingly responding, year by year, to solicitations to support DGT through donations and annual dues payments. The donations and dues received in 2017 were matched by additional donations made by these same members to DGT Foundation, the tax-exempt non-profit arm of DGT. For additional detail view the Balance Sheet for December 31, 2017 and the DGT Alumni Association's Federal Tax Return for 2017.
DGT Alumni Association expended $93,834 in 2017 with a resulting pre-tax net operating income of -$5,407, a loss, as shown on the 2017 Income and Expense Statement. The loss was primarily due higher than usual renter turnover and resulting additional vacancy days at the DGT Home at 272 Clinton Ave., in Brooklyn, NY. There were also higher than usual costs for repair and upgrades to building systems. These expenses are reflected in higher contract services costs, and also in capital expenditures and depreciation costs detailed in the DGT Balance Sheet for 2017. At year's end, DGT had increased liabilities in the form of a credit card balance of $28,846. These funds were used primarily to cover capital expenditures mandated by building code requirements uncovered as part of a scheduled five-year, New York Fire Department inspection of the fire sprinkler system. The water main for the system, from the street to the house had to be replaced to meet current code requirements. A real challenge for the future is the need to raise significant capital funds for restoration and renovation work. In 2014 those cost were estimated at $1.25 million and are likely higher now. For additional detail, view the Balance Sheet for December 31, 2017 and the DGT Alumni Association's Federal Tax Return for 2017.
Replacement of the water main for the fire sprinkler system
2017's major capital investment
(click of photo to view all) A required 5-year inspection of the fire sprinkler system by the New York Fire Department uncovered the need to replace the main valve for the sprinkler system. Complications in replacing the valve led to further discovery that repairs would necessitate replacing the water line, from the city's main supply line back to the house. Repairs required an upgrade of the line to meet current code requirements. These and other repairs required the expenditure of an unanticipated $28K.
Active DGT Alumni members: Chuck Anderson, Ryan Baker, Harold Bernstein, William Border, Lance Bottari, Stan Brown, David Cerame, Yuda Drattler, Martin Eskow, Rodney Finkle, Tom Fiorella, Paul Fletcher, Vern Ford, Christine Friello-Fini, Gil Gerald, Jason Grefski, Ken Haber, Alan S. Hansen, Chase Hill, Ira Holst, Douglas Kupfer, Ramon Lacomba, Jon Levy, Bruce McKenzie, Michael Madia, Chas Martin, Marcus McLaurin, John Pagan, Fr. Michael Perry, Luis F. Rivera, Jr., Joe Pierz, Peter Schirling, Richard Shankey, Eric St. James-Lopez, Alexa Telano, Frank Verni, Diane Vita, James Vita, Thomas Wong, Chris Worsley and Josh Yavelberg. Donors to DGT Alumni Association: Ryan Baker, John Comiskey, Lance Bottari, Chris Duggan, Yuda Drattler, Marty Eskow, Vernon Ford, Christine Friello-Fini, Kostas Gerakaris, Gil Gerald, Jason Grefski, Paul Fletcher, Kenneth Hebel, Chase Hill, Michael Madia, Austin Lawther, Anne Marie Michael, Elycia Lerman, Howard Lee, and Thomas Wong. In-kind services: HYBEK (Ira Holst) Volunteers: Asa Maria Camnert, Tom Fiorella, Paul Fletcher, Vern Ford, Gil Gerald, Aika Mukhambetova, Eric St. James-Lopez, and Tom Wong. Exhibitors in the Annual DGT Alumni Exhibit: Manuel Castedo, Chris Duggan, Maria de Los Angeles, Paul Fletcher, Charles Martin, Robert Pasternak, Alan Rand, Carl Saieva, and Alexa Telano.