Sigma Lambda Beta recently launched a new initiative called the 86 Club. One of our first contributors was Brother Edwin Martinez. We sat down with him recently to see why he felt it important to support the 86 Club.
Can you give a little Sigma Lambda Beta background? When and where did you cross? What roles have you had or currently possess?
I first heard Sigma Lambda Beta as a freshman at Iowa State University when I met Brothers in clubs like Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). Even though I met Brothers of the “Old School” Omicron chapter early on, I didn’t join until the spring of my sophomore year, crossing on May 1, 2010, at 3:09:21am as “Güarionex” with my Line Brothers Iggy “Kanan” Villa and Chuy “Tojtli” Rodriguez, with Brian “Solido” Castro as my padrino. I’ve had several positions as an undergrad, VP of Internal Affairs, Multicultural Student Council Rep, and Membership Educator. As an alumnus I became Membership Educator once more and helped out the undergrads as much as I could, having the Midwest Region recognize me as runner-up alumni of the year at last year’s banquet. Currently, I am trying to decide what my next level of involvement will be, so I decided to take a shot with the 86 Club.
What do you currently do professionally?
I am a Software Engineer at Scientific Games in Des Moines, Iowa. I program the client side code for our social casino slots, Blazing 7s Slot, on Facebook and mobile, I also lead our new feature development planning, and I am also the Scrum Master for our team. I’ve been working at Scientific Games for two years now since my last semester of my undergrad in spring 2016. On the side, I actively participate with the Des Moines chapter of the International Game Developers Association and am currently pursuing a Master of Science in Human Computer Interaction at Iowa State.
What was your initial reaction when you first heard of the 86 Club?
At first, I thought it was an interesting way to have Alumni make a direct contribution to jump-start a program that will bring in the needed revenue to better sustain and expand our Fraternity. Having tangible rewards such as lifetime membership definitely makes it more enticing to take part in this.
What convinced you to join the 86 Club?
I have been contributing financially to the Fraternity since I was an undergrad by making monthly donations to the SLB Education Foundation Omicron Chapter Fund of $19.86. I have seen this money been used for a lot of great programming in the Omicron Chapter, such as bringing several renowned speakers to Iowa State University. When the 86 Club‘s plan and goal was presented, I saw an opportunity to sow the seeds to better sustain and expand the Fraternity. I hope to see great things come from this, just like I saw great things come from my contributions to the SLB EF
How long have you been waiting for an opportunity like this?
I’ve only been an alumnus for a couple of years now, so I can’t say I’ve been waiting for long. However, I’ve been wondering for a while now as to how the Fraternity what kind of program will be made to engage alumni, especially those outside of the Alumni Networks area.
For alumni that are on the fence about joining the 86 Club, what would you say to them to convince them to join?
For other alumni, I will tell them that the 86 club is an initial investment that will expand SLB in new ways by diversifying the revenue portfolio. To make this plan work we will need many more brothers join the 86 Club and there is no better time than now in its inception to make this program hit the ground running. Plus you get some cool perks.
What would you like to see SLB accomplish in the next 5-10 years?
In the next few years, I would like to see the financial weight of the undergraduate Brothers be lowered through reduced national dues, Betacon, and Leadership Institute cost, as well as more financial assistance for event programming. I also would like to see Brotherhood evolve into a more connected network in which alumni in similar careers or industry get connected, alumni who are interested in graduate school get connected to other Brothers who can help connect or assist them in getting into grad programs, undergrads of similar majors help each other out with homework, exams, notes, and problem examples. I think the investment of getting a Director of Donor Development can lead us to whichever expansion goals we set as a Fraternity.