Sigma Alpha Sorority - Emerald Times - December 2019

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Emerald Sigma Alpha Sorority

Times November/December 2019

Sigma Alpha Alumnae Recognized for Their Expertise and Hard Work in their Facets of Agriculture Elizabeth Burns-Thompson, Jessica Kueffer and Allyson Jones-Brimmer, alumnae of Sigma Alpha, have been named a member of the AgGrad’s inaugural 30 Under 30 in Agriculture class. AgGrad is the first group to recognize young professionals in the agriculture community. Winners were selected from a large pool of candidates who were nominated by their peers. From there, fourteen industry leaders reviewed the finalists who became the inaugural class of AgGrad’s 30 Under 30, according to the publication. The winners were grouped into one of five categories: Production, Innovation and Technology, Entrepreneurship, Education and Advocacy, and Agribusiness. Our sisters fell into the categories of Education and Advocacy, and Agribusiness, though their jobs are nothing alike. Each having become an expert in her field, all within different facets of agriculture, truly exemplifies what it is to be a Sigma Alpha sister. Between their passions for agriculture,

their talent and their ambition, these alumna are truly ones to watch grow as leaders in the agriculture industry. Elizabeth Burns– Thompson (also known as EBT), spent her career advocating for Iowa famers both on her home soil and on the steps of Washington D.C. Jessica Kueffer has a passion for helping others, which fits her role as a resource to farmers across the country. Allyson Jones– Brimmer has the skills to see what needs to be changed to help the betterment of agriculture. Read more about these amazing women on pages 4 & 5.

In This Issue: President’s Message Chapter Anniversaries AgGrad’s 30 Under 30 SiteOne Making Leaders

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Making Perry Proud Foundation Update Leadership Seminars Info Sister Celebrations

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President’s Message President’s Message Happy Fall! WOW! Our chapters and members are knocking it out of the park so far this school year! I see so many great things going on at our chapters across the nation. I have been so impressed with all of your recruitment efforts and fantastic themes! I have been seeing some amazing service projects and great sisterhood events, as well! Keep up the great work! The National Board has been working on a lot of policy items and, as promised, we are deep into Strategic Planning Mode as we prepare for our Winter Board Meeting in November. The feedback we've received from your chapter delegates' participation in committee meetings and your questions at the Sisterhood Symposium have been extremely helpful to us as we frame new policies and clarify existing ones.

I want to thank all of you who have reached out in the last few months. It means a lot to me to hear from you and hear about your chapters’ successes! Let me and the other National Board Members know how we can serve you better and if we can answer any questions! In Sisterhood,

Kelly Kelly Lawler National Sorority Board President

Headquarter Update New Extended Hours Beginning December 1, 2019, Sigma Alpha Headquarters will have extended operating hours.

Monday—Thursday 9 a.m.—7 p.m. CST Contact Us Phone: (262) 682-4690 Email: Page 2

Happy Anniversary, Chapters! Sigma Alpha celebrated some big anniversaries at National Convention for our chapters. The Beta chapter turned 35, while some of our newer chapters turned 5. Looking at you, Beta Omicron, Beta Rho, Beta Sigma and Beta Tau! Since convention, a few more chapters are celebrating! Please join us in giving the below chapters some love on their anniversary. We are so glad you decided to join our family!

30 Years:

Epsilon, Pennsylvania State University, October 28, 1989 Zeta, Louisiana State University, October 29, 1989

25 Years:

Omega, South Dakota State University, December 3, 1994

20 Years:

Alpha Lambda, Delaware Valley College, November 13, 1999 Alpha Mu, University of Illinois, January 29, 2000

10 Years:

Beta Lambda, University of Rhode Island, September 26, 2009

Omega Chapter Charter Photo

Alpha Lambda Chapter Charter Photo

Alpha Mu Chapter Charter Photos

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Sister Highlights

Congratulations Ag Grad 30 Under 30 Winners

AgGrad’s inaugural 30 Under 30 in Agriculture class was recently published. The program wa Please join us in congratulating Elizabeth Burns-Thompson, Jessica Kueffer and Allyson Jon

Elizabeth Burns-Thompson

Corporate Affairs, Renewable Energy Group - Altoona, Iowa It is evident that Elizabeth has put her heart and soul into the work she does. She is beyond passionate about agriculture, which can be seen radiating off her wherever she goes. Before she was working in corporate affairs, she was the liaison between local farmers in Iowa and legislation in Washington D.C. Now, she works as the manager of corporate affairs for Renewable Energy Group, Inc. Outside of her impressive professional resume, she is active in her community and church. Most recently, she has concluded her term as President of the Young Professionals in Agriculture (YPiA) and now sits as Chair of the Iowa State University Young Alumni Council.

Elizabeth graduated from Iowa State University and is an alumna of the Delta Chapter.

Jessica Kueffer Recruitment & Employee Development Manager, MFA Incorporated - Columbia, Being able to love what you do is the dream when entering the workforce. Luckily Jessica is doing just that. Working for MFA Inc., she has the opportunity to train and mentor people within the agriculture industry. Her company acts to provide “everything a farmer needs,” from agronomy services to farm supplies and more. Jessica oversees the company’s learning management system, which allows people to lean about various facets of agriculture online. She also oversees the company’s recruiting and hiring process and is always looking for top talent to bring into the organization. Jessica graduated from University of Missouri-Columbia is an alumna of the Alpha Chi Chapter

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Sister Highlights

as created to celebrate the young professionals the agriculture industry should know. nes-Brimmer, three of Sigma Alpha’s very own alumnae!

Allyson Jones-Brimmer

Director of Industry Relations, Animal Agriculture Alliance - Falls Church, Virginia Allyson goes into combat everyday against groups trying to hurt the animal agriculture industry. Working for Animal Agriculture Alliance, her role is to help close the gap between farm and fork. She does this by fostering relationships with stakeholders, raising awareness and recruiting new members to the cause. Her passion for agriculture shines through her marketing and communication strategies she creates to ensure farmers and ranchers can continue raising their animals. Everyday she works hard to find the balance between what is best for their members and the organization for everyone to succeed. Allyson graduated from Cornell University and is an alumna of the Alpha Psi Chapter.

Congratulations Forbes Under 30 Scholar Missouri

One of 1000 students invited to the Forbes Under 30 Summit in Detroit, Michigan, Olivia West joined together with the world’s most talented young professionals, finest leaders, investors, industry trailblazers, and entrepreneurs in a immersive leadership experience.

“[I am] humbled and very honored to announce that I have been selected as a Forbes 30 Under 30 Scholar. I am one of the 1000 students selected from across the country to be in attendance to the Under 30 Summit. I am extremely excited to represent Purdue University. It is such an honor to have been selected, and I look forward to connecting with other scholars at the summit!” Olivia is a member of the Beta Chapter at Purdue University.

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SiteOne helps Women

And no, you don’t need to

Preparing to take the next step after college is never easy. There is the job search, the interview preparation, and most importantly, the understanding of who you are as a candidate and what you are looking for in an employer and new role. SiteOne Landscape Supply has stepped into a partnership with the sisters of Sigma Alpha to design a mentorship program that tackles these issues and works through the challenges of defining your strengths as female talent in the workplace. As part of the program, Sigma Alpha sisters are partnered with SiteOne female associates from across the country to benefit their perspectives. “What is unique about the Sigma Alpha and SiteOne Mentorship Program,” says Lauren Robinson, Operations Specialist for SiteOne’s East Division and Sigma Alpha Mentor, “is the one-on-one relationship you get to build with women that have been in your shoes and that are currently winning/killing it in the landscape industry.” The program, designed by Michele Posehn and Robyn Moffat of SiteOne’s Talent Acquisition team, is intended to not only provide perspective, but also a time for self-reflection. Topics focusing on defining your personal brand and qualities in leadership allow the SiteOne sisters to clearly understand Sigma Alpha Sister Isabelle is what talents they will a SiteOne Mentee. Pictured be able to bring to an at National Convention. employer and what kind of organization they want to work for. Page 6

Robinson says, “Being a part of the mentorship program is a great opportunity to see a lot of personal growth in yourself, ask a question about the professional environment, and get a better foothold as a female.” Robinson’s mentee, Hailey DuBord, says that the lessons she learned during her mentorship prepared her to speak with more confidence about her skills and SiteOne shirts experience. “Lauren mentees receive challenged me to get to know myself better and helped me become more confident in talking about myself. I was also able to evaluate myself better and learned about what I needed to work on to become a strong, stand-out applicant. One valuable aspect to come out of this program was that it gave me the tools to have quality interviews and gave me more options to choose from for a full-time career. But even more valuable was that I made more contacts and mentor relationships that I can go to for guidance later in life.” This mentorship program is a first of its kind opportunity for both Sigma Alpha and SiteOne. In the program’s inaugural class started in April 2019, 18 students from chapters across the country participated. “We identified Sigma Alpha for this opportunity because its sisters mirrored qualities we look for in a new associate,“ Posehn says. “They are professional, act with integrity, and know how to work as a team with respect and support.” A wonderful benefit to the team at SiteOne has not only been learning more about

Thrive in the Workplace

o be in landscape to apply

Sigma Alpha, but making connections with the students and applying the lessons of mentoring in the workplace. “Becoming a mentor was a humbling experience. I never saw myself as a mentor until the first conversation I had with my mentee, “ says Area Business Manager and Sigma Alpha Mentor Madelaine Abreu. “I felt the immediate trust she placed into my hands and her willingness to be coached. It pushed me to gather and share my past experiences and knowledge to help an upcoming leader develop and grow a better sense of direction.” Students are allowed to participate in the program regardless of major and will be asked, once the mentorship is complete, to help bring SiteOne to their campus through career fairs, employer nights at their Michele and Robyn at National Convention chapter, etc. “I believe the mentorship program offers these young ladies a starting point for their leadership careers regardless of the industry,” Abreu says. “Leadership is always happening all around us and is crucial to make it far in anything one chooses to do.”

SiteOne Visits Chapters Since becoming a partner of Sigma Alpha, SiteOne has been very busy with visiting our chapters this fall. Recently, they completed a visit with the Alpha Omicron Chapter at the University of Georgia (pictured above). Robyn, who was the lead for this visit, said that she was incredibly impressed by this chapter. All the sisters showed up early, were dressed to impress and were attentive during her presentation, even asking questions and being engaged in discussion. Throughout 2020, she is hoping to visit more chapters and take on more mentees from Sigma Alpha. For more information about SiteOne, visit

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Chapters Ta Alpha Phi Chapter - California State University, Fresno

Beta Delta Chapter - Univ

The sisters of the Alpha Phi Chapter invited Mr. Lieb, an FFA Advisor at Firebaugh High School, to speak at their professional development meeting. Mr. Lieb taught the basics of Parliamentary Procedure to help keep meetings running smoothly. What a great professional development idea!

The sisters of the Beta Delta annual family day. Sisters an Kieler Farms in Platteville. A everyone enjoyed some pizz getting involved!

Beta Upsilon Chapter - Mississippi State University

Sigma Chapter - West

The sisters of the Beta Upsilon Chapter participated and volunteered in the Mississippi state extension’s Farmtastic program this year! The program is designed to help educate third graders about the agriculture industry with hands on learning. What a great way to connect to the community! Page 8

The sisters of the Sigma Cha Aggie Alumni Panel, where t alumna, Kayla Henness. She to “throw what you know” wit sisters. Way to connect with

Want to see your chapter highlighted in the next Emerald T

Chapter Highlights

g Perry Proud

aking the Pillars to Heart

versity of Wisconsin, Platteville

a Chapter hosted their nd their families toured t the end of the day, za. We love to see families

Alpha Zeta Chapter - Tarleton State University

The sisters of the Alpha Zeta Chapter hosted a career panel, where they invited alumnae to speak at one of their meetings. The sisters found it inspiring to see how their alumnae use their experiences from their years in Sigma Alpha and Tarleton in their careers. Great way to combine alumnae relations and professional development!

Beta Rho Chapter - Southern Arkansas University

tern Illinois University

apter attended the annual they heard from one of their e stuck around to learn how th the collegiate h Alumnae sisters!

Sister crowing sister! Mekenzie was crowned Miss Capital City and who other than her sister, Ryann was able to do the honors. Both sisters are in the Beta Rho Chapter, and happen to be in the same family within the chapter. Congratulations Mekenzie! This is sisterhood at work!

Times? Email me your story at today!

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Foundation Grants & Scholarship Program Updates Sigma Alpha’s Educational Foundation is moving full steam ahead this winter, with many scholarship and grant opportunities for collegiate chapters. It is our goal that we have a representative from every collegiate chapter at both Leadership Seminars and Conclave. To help achieve our goal, we are offering chapters educational scholarships to assist in your budget planning. This year, 71 of 72 collegiate chapters applied for and all were awarded Leadership Seminar scholarships. There is a limit of one application per chapter, and the scholarship value will cover one early bird registration. It’s not too early to start planning for National Conclave, next summer! Applications will be available in the Spring, but the Foundation will be offering scholarships to chapters to cover registration costs. Don’t wait until the last minute to start budgeting or fundraising for Conclave and be sure to take advantage of these scholarship opportunities. Additionally, in partnership with Bayer Crop Science, the Educational Foundation will provide funding to qualified chapters and individuals to help support educational programming in all areas of professional growth and development. Applications are open until December 30th and grants are available for $500. This is open to both collegiate and alumnae chapters. These scholarships and grants are made possible by our corporate partners and individual sister giving campaigns. If you want to contribute to the Foundation, know a company who wants to partner with Sigma Alpha, or an Alumnae member that wants to become more involved, please contact your Chapter Consultant. Every dollar helps us continue to support the future of Sigma Alpha. All applications can be found in the officer portal. The development application is also available in the Greenhouse portal (

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2020 Leadership Seminars Register Today February 7-8, 2020 February 14-15, 2020 February 21-22, 2020 February 28-29, 2020

St. Louis, Missouri Reno, Nevada Atlanta, Georgia Baltimore, Maryland

Early Bird Registration Deadline - December 31, 2019 for $150 Late Registration Deadline - January 1-15, 2020 for $175

By partnering with Alpha Gamma Rho to present the 2020 Leadership Seminars, Sigma Alpha provides its members an opportunity to develop personally and professionally and to network with other young professionals dedicated to the agriculture industry. Start making plans with other members from your chapter to attend one of these programs.

Hotel Information 2020 St. Louis Leadership Seminar

2020 Reno Leadership Seminar

Hotel: Marriott St. Louis Airport 10700 Pear Tree Lane St. Louis, MO 63134 Phone: 314-423-9700 Room Rates: 1 King or 2 Double $94 Parking: $5/night

Hotel: Whitney Peak Harbor 255 N. Virginia St Reno, NV 89501 Phone: 775-398-5400 Room Rates: Standard King or 2 Queens $129 Parking: Free, Self-parking

2020 Atlanta Leadership Seminar

2020 Baltimore Leadership Seminar

Hotel: The Westin Atlanta Airport 4736 Best Road Atlanta, GA 30337 Phone: 404-762-7676 Room Rates: King or Double $145 Parking: $21/day, Self-parking

Hotel: Crowne Plaza Baltimore Downtown Inner Harbor 110 W Fayette St Baltimore, MD 21201 Phone: 410-347-5707 Room Rates: Standard 2 Queens $109 Parking: $32+tax/night

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Sister Cel Help us celebrate life changes Miss to Mrs.

Kayla Herkenhoff—Upsilion Chapter

Mikaela Warde—Kappa Chapter

Elizabeth Hill —Upsilion Chapter Danielle Bondshu—Alpha Phi Chapter

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Wendi Snider Sie

lebrations! for our sisters, collegiate and alumnae and

New Additions

Katelyn Wood — Alpha Phi Chapter

edel —Alpha Zeta Chapter

Alyssa Lopes Drake — Alpha Phi Chapter

Haley Moreno — Alpha Phi Chapter Lisa Campion Sullivan—Gamma Chapter

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Get on the Path to Lifetime Membership Make Your Annual Dues Payment Today! Annual alumnae dues are $60 and when you make 10 consecutive annual alumnae dues payments (beginning with the 2019-20 Fiscal Year) you will be granted Lifetime Membership Status and will no longer need to pay annual dues. Dues payments must be made in each of 10 consecutive years in order for this status to be granted. For any alumna who would prefer to pay the $600 Lifetime Membership Fee all at once or make larger payments to achieve life status more quickly, this is still an option. Simply contact Sigma Alpha HQ at 262-682-4690 to have an invoice posted to the Greenhouse. To pay national dues, login to the Greenhouse ( and navigate to the “Billing” tab. Enter a 1 in the Quantity Box, then complete your credit card information and submit. If you do not see Alumna dues as an option under the billing tab, please contact National Headquarters. If you have not yet set up your Greenhouse login credentials, learn how now.

Already Making Life Installment Payments?

For those people who are already on the old Lifetime Member Installment Plan, you will continue to pay your installments as previously outlined and will see an invoice on your billing tab. Please follow the instructions listed to pay your annual installments. If you don’t see your invoice OR aren’t sure of your status, please contact Sigma Alpha HQ at 262-682-4690

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