Board of Directors

President Bill West – Iota – Kansas State University

Bill West is a broker associate | partner with The Group, Inc. Real Estate in Fort Collins, Colorado where he has practiced since 1977.  He served as president for the Fort Collins Board of Realtors  and the executive committee for the Colorado Association of Realtors.  Community service includes a wide variety of involvement from serving currently on the board of directors for Opera Fort Collins and the Rotary Club of Fort Collins.  Bill appears routinely each year as the master of ceremonies for many charities in Northern Colorado.

Bill is married to Beverly Donnelley.  They have one son, Taylor West who is a student at Texas Christian University.

Prior to his real estate career, Brother West proudly served as a staff member for The Fraternity from 1973 to 1977.  During his tenure on the staff, he served as executive director.  Upon his election as president of the foundation, West commented, œThe foundation plays an important role to expand educational opportunities for today’s AKL collegiate members all the while looking toward the future to grow alumni involvement to assure sustainable returns year after year.  Your foundation board exhibits great loyalty and dedication to give of their resources and talents to lead by example.  For that I share their enthusiasm, and I am proud to serve as your foundation president.

Vice President Steve Hladik – Tau – Penn State University

Stephen M. Hladik, Esquire, is a partner in the Pennsylvania law firm of Kerns, Pearlstine, Onorato & Hladik, LLP, where he practices in mortgage, bankruptcy and real estate law.  He has spoken for the Pennsylvania Bar Association and conducts continuing legal education courses on tax sale law, foreclosure, title, and bankruptcy law.  He previously served as a Deputy Attorney General in the Bureau of Consumer Protection in Harrisburg.  He earned his B.A. from Penn State University and his J.D. degree, with honors, from Widener University. Mr. Hladik also served on his township’s planning commission for six years, and is an elected member of his local school board.

He is active with his local chapter corporation board.  He has also served as Vice President for the Fraternity of Alpha Kappa Lambda after numerous years of service on the National Executive Council.

Secretary Keith Gilchrist – Kappa – Purdue

Keith Gilchrist, has been one of the longest serving brothers of Alpha Kappa Lambda and served as National President from 1985 to 1987. His campus activities included membership in the glee club, an organization that would have him perform on the Ed Sullivan Show and at President Eisenhowers Inauguration. He graduated in 1956 with a degree in agriculture. He was elected to the Kappa Corporate Board in 1965 and stayed on for thirty years.

Due to his work securing the financing for the new Kappa house while on the corporate board, he was appointed director of National Alpha Kappa Lambda, the housing side of the national fraternity and would subsequently became President of the corporation. Brother Gilchrist was elected to the National Executive Council in 1974 as an alternate and in 1976 as National Secretary. He over saw the move of the national office to Indianapolis in 1978 and would become the chairman of the National Executive Council from 1980 to 1983. Along with serving as National President of Alpha Kappa Lambda, he also served as the Executive director from 1985 until 2003 and on the Alpha Kappa Lambda Education Foundation for from 1985 through present day. In 2004, Keith received the NIC Gold Medal Award from the North American Interfraternity Conference, one of the most prestigious awards in the fraternity world.

Outside Alpha Kappa Lambda, he served as Treasurer, Secretary and President of the Fraternity Executives Association. He is now an honorary life time member of that group. Brother Gilchrist has been an ever faithful servant to the Alpha Kappa Lambda and its brothers. This was formally recognized when in 2004, the Gilchrist Man of Character Award was named in his and his wife Ann’s honor.

Director Timothy Coburn – Alpha Theta – University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire

Tim was initiated in to the Alpha Theta chapter in 1968 and served as the President and Treasurer. Tim has served the Fraternity as a volunteer in a number of capacities, serving on the chapter’s board for over twenty years and the NEC from 1988 – 1994, as the National Secretary and National Treasurer.

Tim worked for the State of Wisconsin as an Auditor for thirty-three years, retiring in 2008. Currently Tim serves on the board of WPR (Wisconsin Public Radio), and the UW-EC Alumni Association Board, serving as President from 2000 – 2002.

Currently Tim resides in Eau Claire, Wisconsin with his wife, Nancy, and their very spoiled dog, Scooby.

Tim commented that, “AKL means a great deal to me and has made a huge and lasting impact on my life. My Mother told me joining the Fraternity was one of the best things I ever did, I agree 100%. This from the same person, who, when I called her in January of 1968 to tell them I was going to pledge a fraternity, there was total silence on the other end of the phone.”

Director“ Keith Phelps – Gamma – University of Illinois

Brother Phelps grew up in northern Illinois and attended the University of Illinois graduating in 1968 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the US Army.  Keith was President of Gamma chapter, and later served on the Gamma Chapter Corporation Board.  He completed an MA in Political Science before reporting for active duty at Ft. Bliss, TX in 1969.  He served on the United States Army Air Defense Center General Staff at Ft. Bliss, and then was an adviser to the 9th ARVN Infantry Division in the Mekong Delta, RVN, from  1970-71,

Following his return from Viet Nam, Keith went to work for Lincoln National Life as a Regional Group and Pension Manager in their employee benefits division.  He ultimately managed the Indianapolis Group and Pension Office for Lincoln National before becoming an independent employee benefits broker and  consultant in 1988.  Keith managed the employee benefits sales division of Hylant Groups Indianapolis office until retiring in 2009.

Keith has been active in various local organizations including the Boy Scouts of America, Second Presbyterian Church, the Indiana Society to Prevent Blindness, the Fine Arts Society of Indianapolis, and the Gyro  Club of Indianapolis serving in leadership positions within these organizations.  In addition, he tutors middle school Algebra students.  Keith has served on the Board of Directors of the AKL Education Foundation and chairs the Property Management Committee for the Foundation.   He is married to Kay Phelps and they have three adult children and four granddaughters.  Keith enjoys skiing, sailing, travel, gardening, reading, and observing public affairs.

Treasurer“ John Kessler – Gamma Chapter – University of Illinois

Brother Kessler was born in Champaign, Illinois, and lived in the Chicago suburbs during most of his early years, including Park Ridge from 1950 to 1960. John attended the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting, and was awarded the Delta Sigma Pi Scholarship Key for graduating first in his class in the College of Commerce and Business Administration. He also received a Master of Accounting Science Degree from the University of Illinois at Champaign, while holding a half-time teaching assistantship in accounting. He was in the 1960 pledge class at Gamma, and lived in the AKL fraternity house for four years, serving as Treasurer and President.

John received national recognition on the CPA exam that he took while he was in graduate school. He started his post-graduate career at the CPA firm of Haskins & Sells (now Deloitte), first in auditing and then the tax department. He left public accounting to work in corporate accounting with Hart Schaffner & Marx (now Hartmarx), and then he served as the Chief Financial Officers for several small to medium-sized commercial companies. In 1995, he started working as an independent contractor for CPA firms and some of his own clients. The senior partner of one firm he worked for had been his pledge son at Gamma Chapter; and his firm specialized is governmental accounting. John still does work for school districts and municipality as a semi-retired CPA.

John has served on the Gamma Chapter Corporation Board since 2007, when they began the campaign to rebuild the addition from the late 1960’s, and completely renovate the original chapter house. John was asked to serve as a director of the AKL Education Foundation at the AKL National Conclave in 2014.

John and his wife, Nancy, celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary in 2015. They have two married children, and two grandchildren; and they have lived at their current address in the Chicago suburbs of Darien, Illinois since 1968.

Director Bryant Gatrell – Gamma Alpha – University of Missouri

Brother Bryant Gatrell was elected President at the 52nd Conclave held in Norfolk, Virginia in August, 2012.  Prior to his election as President, Brother Gatrell served as National Vice President from 2008-2012.  He has served on the National Executive Counsel since 2000.

While an undergraduate at the University of Missouri, Brother Gatrell was a Founding Father and the first President of the Gamma Alpha Chapter.  He was a member of the University of Missouri men’s soccer team and spent his junior year studying abroad at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, where he was a member of the university’s football team.  Brother Gatrell graduated from the University of Missouri in 1993, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, with degrees in English and History.  He was honored with the Holmes Award in 1993.

Upon graduation from Mizzou, Brother Gatrell attended The University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor, Michigan where he served as an editor of the Michigan Journal of Law Reform.  While in law school, Brother Gatrell studied one semester at the University of Leiden in The Netherlands.  He graduated from Michigan in 1996, with honors, and moved to Charlotte, North Carolina to practice investment banking law.

Brother Gatrell is currently a partner in the finance group at the law firm King & Spalding, LLP, where he was recently selected by his peers for inclusion in the 2013 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.  King & Spalding is a leading international law firm with more than 800 attorneys in 17 offices throughout the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.  Brother Gatrell’s practice focuses on representing lenders and borrowers in debt financings and restructurings, including syndicated credit facilities on both a leveraged and investment grade basis.  He has represented lenders in cross-border financings involving companies located in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, North America and South America and has specific industry expertise in defense/aerospace, general industrial, healthcare and pharmaceutical, lodging/gaming, media/communications and restaurant finance.

When not practicing law or serving the Fraternity, Brother Gatrell coaches his son’s and two daughters’ soccer and basketball teams.  He is active with this church, serving as chairman of its finance committee and as a deacon.  Brother Gatrell is married to Anika, an Alphi Phi alumna from Mizzou.

Foundation Staff

Director of Development – Laura Landry

Bold Brothers Inspiring Excellence Campaign Leaders

Campaign Co-Chairmen – Bryant Gatrell

Campaign Cabinet – Timothy Coburn

Campaign Cabinet – Keith Phelps

Campaign Cabinet – William West

Second Century Society Advisory Council – Keith Gilchrist

Vice Chairman of the Presidents Honor Circle – Stephen Hladik

Men of 1914 Leadership Council

Tyler Holland

Derek Parris

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