Leading the Way

The Alumni Leadership Connections Conference gave volunteers a place to learn from one another.

attendees of the 2022 Alumni Leadership Connections Conference gathered in front of the porch entrance to University House at Hintz Family Alumni Center, courtesy Penn State Alumni Association

As the past president of the Alumni Association’s North Texas chapter, Jeff Zawadzki understands that chapter leadership, however rewarding, takes special dedication. “It’s hard to be a volunteer. It’s hard to be a leader. Putting both of those together is very difficult,” says Zawadzki ’97 Eng, who helped to lead a breakout session on “Passing the Torch” at the 2022 Alumni Leadership Connections conference, held in August in State College.

The annual conference brought together more than a hundred chapter and society leaders and Alumni Association staff to share resources and advice regarding the roles they play to keep Penn State alumni connected and engaged.

Zawadzki says conference speakers, including global marketing executive and consultant Jim Stengel ’83 MBA Bus, inspired the group, while the informal discussions between sessions gave volunteers a chance to share valuable information and build relationships with others doing similar work across the country. “A lot of sharing went on,” says Zawadzki, who was excited to implement the use of QR codes to ease engagement with his chapter’s younger alumni. “It was great to just sit and talk to other leaders, in the sessions and out.”