The Montana Alpha Chapter of Phi Delta Theta has had many members who serve as ‘Profile's of Greatness. Since it’s chartering, numerous members have gone on to define not just their own destiny, but have actively contributed to the betterment of our university, communities, and the state. One such individual is Founding Father, Brother Jeff Edmunds.
Jeff was born in Virginia with a passion for outdoor recreation and after multiple month cross-country road trip, discovered his heart and soul belonged in Montana. After snowboarding and backpacking to his hearts content, Jeff returned to college to complete his undergraduate degree in 2008.
While at the University of Montana, Jeff became involved in the recolonization of Montana Alpha after being approached by Luke Sims, and meeting many of the other inspirational men that shared the same vision. Jeff served as the Social Chair and was invited by International Headquarters to be a 2012 Phi Delta Theta Presidential Leadership Conference Peer Mentor and Leadership Presenter.
During Jeff’s undergraduate career he served the students in various capacities within the Student Government known as the ‘Associated Students of the University of Montana’ or ASUM. He was a Senator helping craft and deliberate over bills that impact students, university fees, student services, and the millions of dollars of organizational funds. During 2011, Jeff worked as the student body organizer during for the Montana Legislative Session, getting bus loads of students and faculty to the state capital to lobby and rally on education funding issues, garnering multiple press hits and communicating issues to thousands of individuals.
Following the Legislative session Jeff was elected to serve as the Vice President of ASUM, where he spearheaded a Strategic Planning process, increased revenues, increased funds specifically designated for student Sports and Music Union clubs, implemented the ‘ASUM Neighborhood Ambassador Program, was instrumental in the full renovation of all of the organizations’ agencies facilities at no increased cost to students, organized the first ever ‘Griz Nations Votes’ voter registration drive during a Football game, and partnered with numerous individuals and organizations to take a hard stand and proactive approach to addressing issues of sexual assault.
Throughout college, Jeff was also involved in campaigns for numerous local, state, and national candidates such as current US Senator John Tester and Governor Steve Bullock. Upon graduation in 2012, he accepted a position working as a Policy Advisor and personal staffer for Governor Brian Schweitzer. In addition to working for the former Governors administration, he now serves as Montana's National Male Committeeman for the Young Democrats America, was a Delegate to the 2014 Montana Democratic Party Platform Convention, and is the Helena Regional Director for the Big Sky Democrats.
While Helena is the center of much of the political activity in the state, Jeff is adamant that life is more than just politics! He went on to be elected as the President of the independent nonprofit ‘Helena Young Professionals’, which focuses on providing opportunities to individuals centered around community service, professional development, and casual social networking. He also serves on the Helena YWCA Social and Racial Justice Subcommittee, working to increase cultural awareness and respect within his community, while breaking down misconceptions and barriers.
Today, Jeff works as the Civil Right Programs Supervisor for the Montana Department of Transportation and is completing his Master of Public Administration graduate degree. While juggling all of these commitments he never misses a chance to slay some trout while fly fishing one of the local rivers, get in some double black runs on a local ski hill, or pull off some epic multi-night backpacking or rafting trip with friends.
Phi Delta Theta served as a catalyst for Jeff. It helped him to develop immensely, including increasing the confidence in and quality of his leadership abilities, improved his planning and organizational skills, while enabling him to aquire instrumental mentors and building life-long friendships. When asked about Montana Alpha and it’s role in his life, he stated “…indescribable. My involvement was easily one of the best choices I’ve ever made. The men involved in that organization are truly a cut-above”.
Jeff is just one of many Montana Alpha Brothers to be so involved in so many components of our campus and community. Many others have held executive offices in state government, worked on critical issues and campaigns, assisted in charting the original course for the Chapter, and served their peers in a plethora of other ways. Over the next few weeks this blog will profile many of the other great men who are at the heart of this Brotherhood. Check back in next weeks for a Profile in Greatness of an active member already becoming legendary, both on campus and throughout the state of Montana!