Boulder, CO Alumnae Chapter Feature

Throughout the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic challenged ZTA's alumnae chapters to recruit and engage members in new ways.

The Boulder, CO Chapter had a high percentage increase in dues-paying members in Area II, growing its membership from four members last year to 15 members this year—a 275% increase.

After moving to Colorado in 1999, Pam Berdanier recognized the local alumnae chapter as a way to meet new people. Now, as President of her chapter, she is able to strengthen friendships and help foster that growth and sisterhood from a new perspective.

Under her leadership, the Boulder, CO Chapter has found different strategies to engage new members while finding new ways to re-engage previous and current members, including supporting collegians and using multiple platforms to share information.

Pam encourages other alumnae chapters to use a two-pronged approach to recruiting new members, especially during challenging years like this past one. By utilizing both digital and traditional forms of communication, the chapter has the potential to reach a wider demographic.

“Don’t focus on just one means of communication,” Pam said.

Letters in the mail have become a novelty in an increasingly digital world. A hand-written letter encouraging membership can have a great influence on potential members.

“One of the things about an alumnae chapter is that you have people of so many different ages and stages of life, so for some people, email and Facebook are great, but for others, the snail mail gets them,” Pam said in regard to recruiting members.

“Forever” in ZTA starts in college, so the Boulder alumnae join forces with other surrounding alumnae chapters to support the collegians of Kappa Alpha Chapter (Colorado State University) during finals season each year. Members of all the alumnae chapters make snacks and deliver them to the collegians to keep their spirits high during the end of the semester. Even if these collegians move out of state after graduation, they’ll remember the support they received from alumnae, which increases the chance they’ll join an alumnae chapter in their area.

Sparking conversation in real life if you see someone wearing ZTA-related items can also lead to making connections with sisters in your local area. It can be intimidating to approach someone you don’t know, but you never know how that conversation might impact that member and your chapter.

“We found one member several years ago because someone that went to the gym with her noticed she had a ZTA charm on her charm bracelet and they started talking,” Pam said.

As a way to celebrate the sisterhood the chapter has worked so hard to expand, members focus on quality time together. They especially love going out to eat and hosting dinner parties, and the chapter has planned outings for Founders’ Day the past couple of years. They enjoy exploring the community and trying out some of Colorado’s famous local breweries.

And of course, these alumnae love ZTA—to the point that if they had the opportunity to invite one famous person to an event, Pam thinks it would be Founder Ruby Leigh Orgain.

“I was reading about her, and in 1921 when her husband died—he was a county clerk—she took over the remainder of his term and then was elected several times in her own right,” Pam said. “I think she would be fascinating to talk to, and it would be interesting for her to see the roles that women play today and how Zeta has evolved.”

You can read more about Ruby’s history and time as a political leader here.

Pam describes her chapter as friendly, welcoming and fun. The way that the chapter works together and supports each other through life’s obstacles is something that Pam is grateful for.

Interested in joining the Boulder, CO Chapter? Visit its Facebook Page here.

To find other local ZTA alumnae chapters near you, visit the Chapter Locator. Your sisters are waiting for you!


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