Welcome to Beta Zeta Boule
Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Westchester County, New York
Beta Zeta Inducts Five New Archons, 2014
The new Archons were inducted at ceremonies at the Harvard Club in New York. They include (top, from L-R) Archons Richard Buery, Derek Jones, Ron Lumbra, Damien Atkins and Val Burroughs. (Photos courtesy of Margot L. Jordan)
Beta Zeta Boule' inducted five new Archons into the fraternity Sigma Pi Phi at the Harvard Club of New Your Saturday, Feb. 8 in Manhattan. The induction ceremony was held before the annual Valentine's Dinner for Archousai.
The five new Archons (with their sponsors in parenthesis) are Richard Buery (Archon Lloyd Brown II), Damien Atkins (Archon Charles Atkins), Val Burroughs (Archon Doug Dixon), Ron Lumbra (Archon Spencer Disher), and Derek Jones (Archon Michael Smart).
For more about the new Archons and the Valentine's event, click NEWS.
After the induction, Beta Zeta Archons and Archousai (above) gathered for the annual Valentine's Dinner for Archousai at the Harvard Club in New York City, Feb. 8. (Jordan photos)
At a memorial service, May 29, at Riverside Church in Manhattan, Archons of Sigma Pi Phi gathered in a semi-circle to perform the Omega Ritual to honor Archon Basil Paterson of Zeta Boule'. Archon Paterson, well known as a New York City political leader and a member of Harlem's "Gang of Four," died April 16. In his long career, he served as deputy mayor of New York City, New York State senator, and New York Secretary of State. He was also the father of former New York Governor David Paterson.
Harlem's "Gang of Four" included Archons Paterson and David Dinkins, Charles Rangel and Percy Sutton.
Current New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and current New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the memorial service. From Beta Zeta Boule', Archons Larry Dais, Winder Fisher, Ralph Dickerson, Val Burroughs and Doug Dixon participated in the Ritual.
Archons Celebrate 20 Years
Three Archons of Beta Zeta Boule' will celebrate 20 years in the fraternity in 2014. They are Archons Winder Fisher, John Gibbs and Larry Dais, all inducted in ceremonies in 1994. Archon Fisher served as Sire Archon of Beta Zeta from 2009-11 and also acts as Beta Zeta's Historian. Archon Dais is currently Chair of Social Affairs.
Beta Zeta Hosts
Tri-Boule' Christmas Gala, 2013
The New York Botanical Garden was the site of the 2013 Gala. Beta Zeta Archons and Archousai hosted Archons and Archousai from Alpha Sigma and Zeta. (Photos courtesy of Margot L. Jordan)
Archons, Archousai and guests from throughout the region--filled with holiday spirit and festive resolve--braved wintry weather, snow and ice to attend the Tri-Boule' Christmas Gala Dec. 14, 2013 at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, NY. Beta Zeta Boule' hosted the annual gala this year. Archons and guests from Zeta Boule' in Manhattan and Alpha Sigma Boule' in Brooklyn/Long Island joined Beta Zeta for the celebration.
An afternoon snowstorm and icy roads did not discourage hundreds of party-goers. The gala was held at a special-events venue on the grounds of the Botanical Garden, adorned in bright, Christmas lights and with the snowfall providing a cozy holiday setting.
Social affairs Chair Larry Dais welcomed guests before the affair. Archousa Prescilla Dixon provided the invocation before dinner. Sire Archon Dale Akinla, during the event, thanked members of the Gala Committee (including Beta Zeta Archons Spencer Disher, Winder Fisher and Dais) and greeted Sire Archons from other Boule' groups. Northeast Region Sire Archon Spencer Gibbs, present for the occasion and visiting from Rho Boule' in Pittsburgh, spoke to guests. The Dave Brown Band provided entertainment.
Christmas is for the Archousai, proclaims Sigma Pi Phi. Thanks to the efforts and diligence of Archon Dais, Archousai at the event from all three groups received holiday gifts as they departed the festivities.
Beta Zeta Archons (above) at the Tri-Boule' Christmas Gala at the New York Botanical Garden, Dec., 2013, with special guests. (Photos above, courtesy of Margot L. Jordan)
Highlights from the Tri-Boule' Christmas Gala at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, NY (BZB photos)
Foundation Contributes to Food Pantries
Beta Zeta Archons presented checks to Westchester-area food pantries at the Mt. Hope AME Zion Church in White Plains, Mar. 8, 2014.
The Beta Zeta Boule' Foundation made presentations of checks to seven selected food pantries in the Westchester County area at an awards ceremony in White Plains, NY, Mar. 8, 2014. The presentations marked the third year in the Foundation's food-pantry program.
Archons Tom Wallace and Gregg Smith hosted the event at the Mt. Hope AME Zion Church in White Plains. For more about the event and food pantries, click FOUNDATION.
"Still Work to Be Done"
Archons Larry Dais and Maurice Cox spent an afternoon with Archon Ed Gordon at his home in Rockland County in early April, 2014, reflecting on Archon Gordon's years of accomplishments in education, psychology and child development. Archon Gordon turns 93 in June. For more about their reflections and his career, click GORDON.
Archon Samuel C. Usher, Jr.
Beta Zeta Boule' regrets to report that Archon Samuel C. Usher, Jr., 87, passed away Nov. 30.
Archon Usher was married to Archousa Adine Usher and is survived by Archousa Usher and two sons, Stephen and Larry. A Hartsdale, NY, resident, he had a long, successful career in education administration.
The family held a memorial service for Archon Usher Jan. 11 at the Community Unitarian Church in White Plains, NY. Beta Zeta Archons performed the Omega Service as a tribute to Archon Usher. For more about Archon Usher, his biography, community service and the memorial service, click USHER.
Archon Usher was sponsored by Founding member Archon Don Ryder when he joined Sigma Pi Phi and Beta Zeta Boule' and was actively involved until recently.
Rachel Brown at Ginny's Supper Club
Rachel Brown, daughter of Archon Neil Brown, performed with her group at Ginny's Supper Club at the Red Rooster in Harlem, Dec. 12 and May 17. She featured songs from her latest recording, "Building Castles." She performed Saturday, Feb. 8 at the Apollo Music Cafe' in Harlem. For more about her shows, her performances, and her music drawing from multiple influences, click NEWSWORTHY.
Beta Zeta Archons Attend
NE Region Conference, 2013
Beta Zeta Archons (above) joined over 300 other Archons, Archousai, and guests from throughout the Northeast for the Region's Biennial Conference in Greenwich, CT, Sept. 26-29. The 2013 theme was "Where Technology Meets Solution." Sessions focused on the progress of minorities in STEM-related fields and on private-equity investing. For more, click NEWS.
Beta Zeta's Summer Season
Beta Zeta Boule' kicked off the summer season with a barbeque picnic for Archons and their families June 15, 2013. Archon Spencer Disher and Archousa Katherine Disher hosted the picnic gathering at their home in Westchester County, NY.
Archon Michael Smart and Archousa Jodi were the subjects of a Sunday New York Times feature about weddings and marriages, June 1, 2014. The Smarts were married in 1998 and were featured then in the newspaper's Vows section. Their marriage were also be portrayed in an HBO documentary, June 30, on marital relationships. Click Smarts to see the Times feature.
Archousa Noriko Yokio Akina was promoted to Executive Vice President at Health4Brands-Chelsea, the healthcare advertising network, in early 2014. She will be honored by the healthcare-advertising industry at a ceremony in Manhattan May 1.
Archon Shawn Lytle was selected May, 2014, to the national board of the Sustainability Accountability Standards board, the group that provides standards for corporations when they disclose sustainability programs, compliance, and initiatives. Archon Lytle joins Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who will serve as Chair of the Board.
Archon Ron Lumbra was elected Mar., 2014, to the Board of Trustees of the University of Vermont, where he received his BS degree. He is a Managing Director at Russell Reynolds Associates, where he is co-leader of the firm's CEO and Board Services practice. For more, click NOTEWORTHY.
Archon Spencer Disher will be honored at a special reception in Manhattan, May 1, 2014, by the Five Points Mission, which oversees the Camp Olmsted summer program. Archon Disher has served as president of its board. Over the past four years, the Camp Olmsted program has received contributions from the Beta Zeta Boule' Foundation's Pressley Campership Program.
Archon Charles Atkins was elected Nov., 2013, to the Board of Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. He follows Archousa Gayle Atkins, his late wife, who also served on the board. Archon Atkins is now CEO of Atkins Capital Strategies, LLC, a firm he founded in 2013 after a long career at Morgan Stanley. For more, click NOTEWORTHY.
Archon Larry Graham will be the commencement speaker at Pace University, during graduation ceremonies on campus in Pleasantville, NY, on May 24.
Archon Kevin Richards was elected this year to the board of directors of the Westchester County Association, an organization that promotes business development in the county. Archon Graham is a member of the board, as well.
Archon Shawn Lytle was elected in Sept., 2013, to be the Chair Elect of board of directors of the National Association of Securities Professionals (NASP), the national organization that promotes growth among minorities and women in the securities, banking, brokerage, and finance professions. His term starts in 2014. He will become board Chair in 2016. For more, click NOTEWORTHY.
Sire Archon Dale Akinla II was elected this year as Second Vice Chair on the board of directors of the Westchester Community Foundation, a service organization that provides leadership in community service and philanthropic activity in the area.
Archon Gregory Smith, senior pastor of Mount Hope AME Zion Church in White Plains, NY, hosted an event, "African American Freedom Celebration," at the church March 16. The program included a Men's Day service and a Male Chorus Festival. The church was founded in 1827 after a group of Quakers in nearby Purchase, NY, liberated slaves and arranged for them to settle in the highlands of White Plains.
Archon Michael Bolden (left) was selected to be inducted into the American College of Dentists Oct. 31, 2013. It is the oldest honorary organization for dentists, founded in 1920.
Archon Thomas Wallace announced in fall, 2013, that he had retired from his post at the Metropolitan Transit Authority.
Archon Charles Atkins announced the formation (Sept., 2013) of his new firm Atkins Capital Strategies, LLC.
Archon Kevin Richards (left) was named to Southern Connecticut's "40 Under 40" list of leaders in business, government and the community, June, 2013.
Archons Archie Bankston and Don Ryder celebrate 35 years in Beta Zeta Boule' and Sigma Pi Phi fraternity in 2013. Both were inducted as founding members in July, 2013, under the sponsorship of Zeta Boule' Manhattan. For more about their careers and community contributions, see BANKSTON-RYDER.
Archon Maurice Cox's son Michael Cox received his undergraduate degree from Stanford University during commencement exercises on campus in Palo Alto, CA, June 16, 2013. Michael Cox will start a new job this fall in Hartfold, CT.
Archon Douglas Dixon (left) received a special service award from the National Minority Supplier Development Council at its convention in Denver, Oct., 2012. Archon Dixon served as its general counsel and corporate secretary for over 32 years. The Council has 36 regional councils in its network and over 3,500 corporate members.
Archon Ossie Lewis was the featured speaker, April, 2013, at the Caribbean Club's Scholarship Luncheon at the First Presbyterian Church in Mount Vernon.
Archon Aren LeeKong's grandmother was honored with the opening of the new Irene LeeKong Wellness and Health Institute in Brooklyn, Sept. 12, 2013. The new Institute will be mental-health clinic providing services to Brooklyn youth. Archon LeeKong helped lead the initiative to establish the new center.
Archon Gregg Walker, senior vice president at Sony Corporation of America, was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus by Washington University (St. Louis) in Nov., 2012.
Archon Gerald Adolph, a Chair of the national board of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and other board members hosted the LDF's annual National Equal Justice Awards dinner Nov., 2013, in New York City.
Archon Neil Brown's daughter Rachel Brown, having launched her thriving singing career professionally, performed at the Red Rooster, Ginny's Supper Club, in Harlem in Dec., 2013, and May, 2014, and sang in performances at the Apollo Theater Music Stage in Feb., 2014.
Archon Karl Rodney led a black press group in meetings at the White House in early 2012 and led NYCarib News in hosting the 17th annual Multi-National Caribbean Conference in Jamaica Nov. 8-11, 2012.
Scholarship and Camperships
The Beta Zeta Boule' Foundation announced in April that Carter French (above), a freshman at Howard University, is the winner of its 2013 Founders Scholarship ($2,500). A native of Mount Vernon, NY, French is majoring in business and is a graduate of the Brunswick School in Greenwich, CT.
This the Foundation's second award-winner. Last year Charles Winslow, a graduate of Morehouse College, received the scholarship. Archon Maurice Cox chairs the Foundation's scholarship committee.
Also in April, the Foundation, thanks to contributions from 10 Archons, funded and awarded camperships that will allow 10 New York City youth to spend a summer session at Camp Olmsted in Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY. The program is named for late Past Grand Sire Archon Calvin O. Pressley.
In May and December, 2013, the Foundation resumed its College-Preparation Program with presentations to students at high schools in Yonkers, NY (below). The seminars help students in college admissions, college applications, and scholarship searches. Archon Buddy Johnson leads the effort. (For more photos of both sessions, go to PHOTO GALLERY and log in.)
In August, 2013, the Foundation received a $5,000 matching grant from the Grand Boule' Foundation. For more about the Foundation's scholarship program, fund-raising, and recent activities, click BZBF.
In May, 2013, the Foundation sponsored sessions at two high schools in Yonkers, featuring college counselor Donald Ruff (above). Archons Gregory Matthews and Spencer Disher joined Archon Buddy Disher at the presentations.
In Dec., 2013, the Foundation made follow-up and second presentations at Riverside High School and Yonkers Montessori School. College counselor Donald Ruff (above, left) returned to speak to high-school students about all aspects of the college-application process. Archon Buddy Johnson (with Ruff, above right) also spoke to the students.
Officers for the 2013-15 Biennium
Beta Zeta Archons elected officers for the 2013-15 biennium at its monthly meeting Nov., 2012. New officers were installed at the January meeting. The new slate includes Archons appointed to special roles.
Sire Archon Dale Akinla II
Sire Archon Elect Kenneth Austin
Grammateus Tracy Williams III
Thesauristes Lloyd Brown II
Grapter Gregg Walker
Agogos Kevin Richards
Rhetoricos J. Dennis Jean-Jacques
Historians Winder Fisher and C. Douglas Dixon
Social Affairs Chair Larry Dais
Social Actions Chairs Llewellyn Hyacinthe and Thomas Wallace II (Beta Zeta Foundation)
Data Manager Spencer Disher III
Beta Zeta Officers (L-R) Thesauristes Lloyd Brown II, Sire Archon Dale Akinla II and Agogos Kevin Richards at the Foundation's fundraiser event in White Plains, Sept. 15
Archons Bankston, Ryder
Celebrate 35 Years in Beta Zeta
Christmas Gala, 2012
Highlights from the Christmas gala, 2012 (above).
Zeta Boule', celebrating 100 years, hosted the annual Christmas gala event, 2012. Over 400 Archons and Archousai from Beta Zeta, Alpha Sigma and Beta Mu (North New Jersey) joined Zeta Boule' for dinner and dancing in Manhattan at Ghastavino's. During the evening, Beta Zeta Sire Archon Dale Akinla II joined Sire Archons from Alpha Sigma and Beta Mu to present special gifts to Zeta Boule'. Zeta Sire Archon Ralph Dawson accepted on its behalf. Special guest Grand Sire Archon James Payne spoke to the guests before the dinner, paying tribute to Zeta Boule's year-long century celebration.
Highlights from the Christmas gala in Manhattan, Dec. 8, 2012.
Metropolitan Opera Artists Headline Benefit
Event co-Chairs Archons Ossie Lewis and Michael Smart (left) congratulate artists Beverly Ann Withers, Archousa Annette Lewis and Marvis Martin after the concert in White Plains, Sept. 15
Five artists from the Metropolitan Opera, including Archousa Annette Spann Lewis, presented a program featuring opera, spirituals and selections from Broadway Sept. 15, 2012, at the White Plains Performing Arts Center in downtown White Plains, NY (right). Proceeds from the concert helped fund the Beta Zeta Boulé Foundation scholarship program.
The artists (L-R, above) Beverly Ann Withers, Raymond Aparentado, Archousa Annette Lewis, Kenneth Floyd and Marvis Martin, along with accompanist David Leighton, greet the audience after the concert in White Plains, Sept. 15.
Trump National Golf Club, Briarcliff Manor, NY, July, 2013 (above)
Foundation Supports Camp Olmsted
Campers from Camp Olmsted gather for a photo session in Manhattan in Aug., 2012 (above). The Beta Zeta Boule' Foundation sponsors camperships to make it possible for campers to spend the summer in Cornwall on Hudson, NY. The Foundation announced April, 2013, it provided funds for 10 more campers for the summer, 2013, thanks to contributions from 10 Archons. For more, see FOUNDATION and CAMPERSHIPS.
Delta Nu Boule' of Fairfield County, Ct., hosted the 20th Northeast Region Biennial Sept. 26-29, 2013, in Greenwich, Ct. The theme this year was "Where Technology Meets Solution." Activities included a STEM boot camp, a technology cafe', and a session on private equity. The Hyatt Regency in Greenwich was the host venue.
For more details, see NEWS
Beta Zeta Boule'
Westchester County, New York
For Beta Zeta history, click FOUNDERS
To learn about its activities and projects, click FOUNDATION
To reach the Grand Boulé site, click NATIONAL
Beta Zeta Boulé Officers, 2013-15 Biennium
Above, 2013-15 officers Archons J. Dennis Jean-Jacques, Lloyd Brown II, Kenneth Austin, Dale Akinla II, Tracy Williams III and Kevin Richards
Dale Akinla II, Sire Archon
Kenneth Austin, Sire Archon Elect
Tracy E. Williams III, Grammateus
Lloyd Brown II, Thesauristes
Gregg Walker, Grapter
J. Dennis Jean-Jacques, Rhetoricos
Kevin Richards, Agogos
Spencer Disher, Vincent Moore, Michael Bolden, Membership Council
Winder Fisher and Douglas Dixon, Historians
Larry Dais, Social Affairs Chair
Spencer Disher III, Data Management
Thomas Wallace II and Llewellyn Hyacinthe, Social Action Chair (Beta Zeta Boule' Foundation)
Archon Richard Gay (L) speaks to Archon Thesauristes Lloyd Brown II after Archon Gay's Induction, Feb. 9, Harvard Club of New York City.
Archons Richard Gay and Aren Leekong (L-R, first row) are joined by their respective sponsors (back row, L-R) Lloyd Brown II and Kenneth Austin at the Induction, Feb. 9, 2013, in Manhattan.
Beta Zeta Archons, Feb., 2012, White Plains, NY