“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” John Quincy Adams
Four years ago, the Clark/Gilbert Administration presented our plans (“Visions”) for the advancement and uplift of our Fraternity and our people. As the newly-elected leaders of our Brotherhood, we were charged with addressing the issues that had negatively impacted our organization and bring new ideas to invigorate the membership. We did not take our mandate lightly, and I am proud to say that our administration did fulfill all the “Visions” we presented in 2013, to wit:
- Totally revamped and updated Bylaws that allow the Fraternity to be governed correctly and operate efficiently (met via Board of Directors proposal at Conclave 2013). The Clark/Gilbert Administration has abided by the bylaws, 100%, as promised to the Brotherhood, for the past 4 years.
- The Fraternity’s organizational structure evolves, wherein the National Board of Directors becomes the primary governing body of the organization instead of one man (Grand Polaris), or small body (Grand Council). (met via Board of Directors proposal at Conclave 2013). The Clark/Gilbert Administration has enjoyed a very productive and collaborative relationship with the Board of Directors
- The Fraternity and its leadership becomes more inclusive, accountable and transparent, allowing more Brothers to trust, actively participate in and feel as valuable contributors to the Fraternity. Since 2013, our administration has become one of the most inclusive, accountable and transparent leadership team in our Fraternity’s history.
- More effective fundraising processes, maximizing the opportunities presented by joint Iota Phi Theta/National IOTA Foundation/NIC Foundation (www.nicindy.org/foundation/) initiatives. The Clark/Gilbert administration has laid a firm foundation for the next administration to realize the fundraising opportunities set forth via joint Iota Phi Theta/NIF/NIC collaborations.
- Fraternal communication is greatly improved, both from top-down and bottom-up, so that ALL Brothers are aware of activities within the Fraternity. Fraternity communication has improved dramatically (some would say ad nauseam), which allows those Brothers the latest Iota news and events via email and social media.
- The Fraternity becomes an INTERNATIONALLY renowned social/community service organization, addressing issues such as the worldwide AIDS epidemic and human trafficking of women and children. The Clark/Gilbert Administration’s greatest achievement has been the creation and expansion of society-changing social service initiative and collaborations, having global impacts for the people we serve.
- An International Advisory Board is established, comprised of Brothers, Sweethearts, members of other greek-letter organizations (NPHC, NIC, NPC, NALFO, NMGC) and non-greeks to give ideas and input to the Fraternity’s leadership. The advisory counsel, established during the 2015 Conclave in Memphis will continue to grow and have influence in the positive growth of our organization
- Fraternity Summer Conferences focus exclusively on leadership development, chapter development (fundraising, policies and procedures) and personal development (mental, physical, economic/financial, etc.). The Iota Leadership Conferences of 2014 and 2016 were successful events, wherein those participating gained invaluable leadership, chapter and personal development tools and experiences.
- The Iota Sweetheart Auxiliary evolves into the Iota Sweethearts, Inc., a non-profit membership organization with structure similar to the National Council of Negro Women (www.ncnw.org), organizationally-bound to Iota Phi Theta, Inc. as a ‘true’ sister organization and corporate partner. Iota Sweethearts, Inc. has evolved into a viable, effective partner for our Fraternity, as well as an invaluable ‘change agent’ in the communities our IOTA Family serves.
It has been our honor, as the leaders of our Fraternity between 2013-2017, creating the foundations and programs needed for our Brotherhood to be the ‘change agents’ our Founders envisioned us to be. We leave to the next administration the tools and resources needed to continue “Building A Tradition” of excellence within our Fraternity and relevance in our communities, while manifesting this administration’s motto of “One Focus, One Direction, One Fraternity.” We wish to thank ALL the Brothers, who for the past 4 years, helped our administration realize our “Visions” to the betterment of our Fraternity, our communities and our people worldwide.
Robert M. Clark, Jr.
21st International Grand Polaris