Brother Adam Feinberg, Delta Zeta 1990 joined Chi Phi when the University of South Florida Chapter was reorganizing. Adam saw a great opportunity to start on the ground floor with men he liked and respected. Adam joined the MacLean Legacy Society this spring with a $50,000 life insurance gift to support Chi Phi and Delta Zeta. He sat down for an interview with Senior Director of Development, Elizabeth Knott.
Elizabeth: Why did you decide to join Chi Phi?
Adam: Chi Phi was a start up at University of South Florida. The Delta Zeta Chapter was founded in April 1984 but was reorganized into a Colony again and in 1988. I saw a great opportunity to be on the ground floor with a great bunch of guys who I liked and respected. I am still friends with all of them to this day. My roommate Chip Woodward had joined the semester before and I saw through him that it was so much more then the stereotypes that I had thought a âfratâ was. It was in large part due to Chip and me getting out of my own way that allowed me to accept that pledge pin.
Elizabeth: How has Chi Phi impacted your life?
Adam: Academically, socially, and intellectuallyâ¦it helped me grow beyond what words could describe. The leadership opportunities it afforded me were hard to imagine looking back at them all. Serving as Social and Philanthropy Chairs, Historian, New Member Educator and then Interfraternity Counsel VP after that, were all amazing roles in my youth. That being said they are all just titles. Taking each roll and getting behind the letter and the spirit of them was what defined me as a student leader and it took me to the next phase of my life, being a Chi Phi Chapter Leadership Consultant. Visiting and impacting other young men in 38 states at over 70 universities in the two years that followed was an incredible journey while I was on staff with Chi Phi.
I have used the skills that I learned during this time to run branches and regions of multimillion-dollar companies such as Worldscape, TruGreen Landscape, Brinks Home Security, ADT and now Wesley Wood, a division of Service Experts.
I owe a great deal of my foundation in managing teams, networking, sales, management, operations, accounting and multi-tasking to my time with Chi Phi as an undergraduate.
I now find myself a successful businessman looking back at how I got here and now itâs my turn to give something back.
Elizabeth: You are considerably younger than many people who have joined the MacLean Legacy Society. What led you to decide to make a gift to support Chi Phi Brothers?
Adam: I wanted to give back to Chi Phi and the Delta Zeta chapter in a way that was bigger than the $100 or $1,000 one or two times in my lifetime. All too often we look at a donation as a knee jerk reaction to feeling guilty for not giving in years past. I did not want to give a quick fix. I wanted to make it something greater then I could do in one shot but over my lifetime. I guess it takes the not four but forty to a whole new level. In short it seemed the right thing to do.
Elizabeth: What drew you to make a gift through an insurance policy?
Adam: After looking at all the ways to contribute and discussing this with my representative at Liberty Mutual and knowing how to manage my money I felt comfortable that I could afford to make a donation each month toward this goal and the life insurance policy seemed to be the best way to make a long lasting contribution.
Elizabeth: If you could offer one piece of advice to todayâs active Brothers, what would that be?
Adam: I wish I had all day to talk to the actives againâ¦.
This makes me think of a Volkswagen ad I saw years agoâ¦ âOn the road of life there are passengers and there are drivers. Which are you???â
You can be just a Brother of Chi Phi and have fun at the parties or set them up.
You can show up to the philanthropic events or organize them.
You can follow the path of the brother next to you or you can put your hat in the ring and run for Alphaâ¦
Follow the three Lâs of Leadership: Listen, Learn, then Lead
Chi Phi can only set the scene and start the music, only YOU can choose to get up and dance or sit on the sideline.
Elizabeth: What would tell other Alumni considering making a similar gift?
Adam: I would challenge any and all my brothers to make a call to their insurance agent and see how much a month this would actually cost them. If you look at all that Chi Phi has given you and put a monthly payback amount to that, I think we could all find that money. Letâs give up one nice meal a month to give back to Chi Phi, an organization that has given so much to us.