What’s Up Trendsetters!
Our guest is Chris Vlahos, of Chris Vlahos Alumni Engagement Consulting and today’s trend line includes:
- Characteristics of High Performing Alumni Relations office,
- Challenges presented by COVID-19,
- and his career in higher education advancement.
After 20+ years in the marketing and public relations world on the private side, Chris took his talents to his alma mater’s alumni association at THE Ohio State University where he was the vice president for membership and marketing. He went on to lead alumni efforts at the University of Arizona and Case Western Reserve, before fully committing to his consulting practice first under his own shingle and now under the shingle of one of higher education advancements premier consultancies at Marts and Lundy.
Here’s a quick listening guide:
at 2:21 Revelations of a 20-year marketing veteran upon entry to higher education
at 4:09 Career in Alumni Relations
at 4:40 The truth about the Penn State Alumni Association
at 5:27 Alumni Association as the voice of alumni on campus
at 6:27 Advice for newcomers to the field
at 9:20 Performance metrics
at 10:42 Characteristics of a High Performing Alumni Relations Office
at 12:00 Importance of a strategic planning
at 13:15 Digital first strategy
at 15:30 Stop using the term “friendraiser”
at 16:01 Move alumni to action
at 17:16 Centralized approach to alumni relations
at 21:49 Culture of Innovation and purposeful programming
Chris is the author of numerous blogs and articles, most notably his work on the link between alumni engagement and fundraising. His most recent report is “The Evolving Role of Alumni Relations: How institutions are organizing, mobilizing and measuring the value of alumni engagement.” He has assisted numerous institutions in the areas of planning and strategy prior to establishing Chris Vlahos Alumni Engagement Consulting LLC in 2015.
He served as AVP of Alumni Relations at Case Western Reserve University, where he developed engagement strategies that positioned the alumni relations office as the alumni gateway to the university.
Prior to joining CWRU, Chris was President and Executive Director of the University of Arizona Alumni Association. In this capacity, he was a member of the university Cabinet as well as the Board of Directors for the U of A Foundation.
Chris began his alumni relations career as VP of Membership & Marketing at The Ohio State University Alumni Association, following a 20-year career in the field of marketing communications. He is a founding member of the Council for Alumni Membership & Marketing Professionals (CAMMP) and has maintained a long affiliation with the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Chris has served CASE as a faculty member in the U.S., Asia and Europe; as a two-time chair of the Summer Institute on Alumni Relations; and as a member of the CASE Commission on Alumni Relations. Chris is a recipient of the CASE Crystal Apple award.