Lawrence Network leader earns Wintermote award

Posted on Sep 28, 2017 in Alumni News and News

Brandon Petz, b'06, g'07, Lawrence Network Leader and Wintermote Award recipient

With volunteers all across America, it takes a lot for one in KU’s backyard to stand out. Brandon Petz does that and more for local alumni as the Lawrence Network leader. The KU Alumni Association is proud to name Petz, b’06 g’07, a Dick Wintermote Network Leader of the Year Award recipient. The annual award recognizes volunteers who brought extraordinary leadership to their network.

“I am so honored to be named a Wintermote Award recipient. All the years volunteering for various networks has been so much fun and I cherish being a part of the KU Alumni Association and all it stands for,” Petz said.

Uniting local alumni

Petz’s work to bring together a group of alumni that already feels connected to the University due to their proximity to campus has impressed many inside the Alumni Association.

“Brandon Petz has gone above and beyond to revamp the Lawrence Network in the shape of the new alumni network strategy,” said Nick Kallail, assistant vice president of alumni and network programs. “He has recruited a team that have provided diverse events and continues to move forward engaging alums to make KU better. This is no easy task in Lawrence, where opportunities to connect with KU are so plentiful.”

Fellow Lawrence network volunteer Tom Larkin, a’09, echoed Kallail’s comments, noting Petz’s enthusiasm for KU “that clearly started before he became president of our Lawrence network. He’s extremely organized and focused, and has a knack for getting everybody energized about the current mission or task at hand. His leadership and positive disposition makes him a joy the be around and a true asset to the Association.”

Petz, a Cimarron, Kansas, native, lives in Lawrence with his wife, Bonnie, and his daughter, Eleanor. Petz is chief financial officer of Grandstand Glassware and Apparel, a local custom screenprinting company that specializes in glassware and apparel.

About the award

The award is named for Dick Wintermote, c’51, who served as the executive director of the Association from 1963 to 1983. His legacy represents the importance of building a strong volunteer network, the need for a dues-paying membership program and establishing the KU Alumni Association as one of the premier associations of graduates in the country.

—Ryan Camenzind

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Dallas Jayhawk named Wintermote Award Recipient

Posted on Jul 21, 2017 in Alumni News and News

Kate Feller McSwain, b'12, 2017 recipient of the Dick Wintermote Award
Kate Feller McSwain faced a big challenge taking over as network leader for one of the largest University of Kansas alumni groups. Her hard work bringing Dallas Jayhawks together will be honored with the Dick Wintermote Network Volunteer of the Year Award, to be presented at a wine-tasting event July 26. The annual award recognizes volunteers who provided extraordinary leadership to their network.

McSwain, b’12, a fourth-generation Jayhawk, has four years experience volunteering with the Alumni Association, including serving as network leader for the past year. Fellow Dallas Network volunteer John Jacobs praised her leadership, saying she “consistently looks to empower members to lead their projects but is willing to help out herself where and when she can.”

McSwain’s work in establishing more frequent network gatherings year-round, such as the Jayhawks & Java breakfast, has impressed Nick Kallail, assistant vice president of alumni & career programs.

“The Dallas Jayhawks Network has led the way on providing compelling and diverse events that connect Jayhawks from all walks of life,” Kallail says. “Kate has been a huge part of our network growth in Dallas and was able to amplify programming even more in her first year as Network Leader. We are fortunate to have many great Jayhawk volunteers across the nation, but Kate is truly a star of stars.”

McSwain works at Match Group, a Dallas-based company that owns several online dating websites and apps including Match.com, OkCupid, and Tinder.

The award is named for Dick Wintermote, c’51, who served as the executive director of the Association from 1963 to 1983. His legacy represents the importance of building a strong volunteer network, the need for a dues-paying membership program and establishing the KU Alumni Association as one of the premier associations of graduates in the country.

—Ryan Camenzind

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The Big Event is coming to KU

Posted on Apr 1, 2013 in Alumni News and News

Big-Event-button-logo-2013What’s The Big Event? Glad you asked.

This student-led effort involves one big day of community service connecting the KU campus with the Lawrence community. Thousands of student, faculty, staff and alumni volunteers will contribute a day of service on hundreds of local projects on April 13. Community service has been a tradition among KU alumni and students for generations, however this year’s edition of The Big Event may very well be one of the largest coordinated volunteer efforts in KU history.

2013 will mark the third annual event for KU, following two successful editions in 2011 and 2012. And The Big Event just keeps getting bigger. Alumni can learn more and get involved at thebigeventku.com. Meantime, watch this video to see how these volunteers are making a difference in the community.

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