Board of Directors
Joe Zanetta ’75
“I hope to instill a culture of philanthropy within the foundation and among the brothers – we all have an obligation to provide gifts to organizations that helped develop our character and values. It is simple – we need to give back!”
Joseph is a seasoned non-profit leader, having served as a leader of two major health care foundations. He has over thirty years of strategic fundraising and institutional advancement experience for education and medical institutions. He recently retired as Chief Executive Officer of Citrus Valley Health Foundation, a non-profit, integrated community health care system based in the San Gabriel Valley serving one million residents. During his four year tenure, the Foundation secured funding for a new outpatient surgical center, an expanded emergency room, an educational center, the Family Birth & Newborn Center and increased its endowment. Mr. Zanetta is a well-known speaker and author on topics related to philanthropy, and consults with nonprofit organizations in fundraising and board development. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, and is a graduate of Cornell Law School. A native of Jamestown, New York and a member of the New York State Bar Association, he is the proud father of Samuel, a senior at Whittier College.
Wayne Forman ’80
“My years at Cornell, and my life since, have been enriched by the relationships made at Sigma Pi. I’m hopeful to contribute to the continued success of the chapter through my efforts as a board member of the Educational Foundation.”
After graduating from Cornell in 1980 and spending a year trying to figure out life with a number of Sigma Pi brothers in DC, Wayne went west and received a law degree from the University of Colorado. He started his career as an associate of the Denver office of Kirkland & Ellis. Since 1992, Wayne has been a shareholder of the regional law firm of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, where he practices natural resources law, focusing on water rights, land use, environmental law, oil and gas and eminent domain. He’s been married to Liz Wald for over 30 years and has two sons, Wyatt (21), who’s graduating from the University of Denver, and Noah (18), who’s entering Colorado College in the fall. Wayne’s other nonprofit endeavors include the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the National Sports Center for the Disabled, Jefferson County Open Space and the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute.
Connor Riser ’16
“Sigma Pi was my defining experience at Cornell, and my brothers continue to make up the bulk of my friends after graduation. The Educational Foundation constantly upgraded the Sigma Pi experience during my undergraduate years, and I am eager to pay it forward for a new generation of Pi Men.”
Connor is a 2016 graduate of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations and is currently pursuing a law degree at NYU School of Law. Prior to law school, he received a master’s degree in Sports Industry Management from Georgetown University and worked in New York City as a business development coordinator for Paul Hastings LLP. He also served as an Americorps member with City Year in Washington, DC. As an undergraduate, Connor served as both vice president of Sigma Pi and president of the Interfraternity Council.
Jim Franz ’77
“My experiences at Mu Chapter were an important part of my years as an undergrad at Cornell and, as significant as our brotherhood was to me then, the bond with our Sigma Pi brothers remains a very meaningful part of my life four decades later. My hope for the Educational Foundation is to strengthen our already solid fraternity by enhancing the educational resources for our undergraduate brothers, assisting their preparation for life after college and supporting their good work in the community.”
A 1977 graduate of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Jim received his law degree from Villanova in 1981 and has devoted his entire legal career serving clients at the Hinman, Howard & Kattell law firm in Binghamton. Jim and his wife Emy (ILR ’77) reside in nearby Owego, Jim’s hometown. They are the proud parents of son Pete (ILR ’10), daughter-in-law Meredith (Arts and Sciences ’10), and son Rich (Nazareth ’14). Jim is active in his community where he has served as a volunteer with the fire department, the chamber of commerce, his church, youth sports programs, the advisory board for the Binghamton University School of Management and several nonprofit and foundation boards of directors. He has been recognized for his community service efforts over the years by the New York State Bar Association, by the Tioga County Chamber of Commerce, and by his alma mater Owego Free Academy, among others. Jim is a regular visitor to the Cornell campus, particularly during the hockey season when the Franz family enjoys their center ice tickets at Lynah Rink.
Peter Muth ’74
“Pulling out the strands in my life unconnected to my years at Sigma Pi would leave a much-reduced cloth. That said, the Educational Foundation provides a strength and support to active brothers that was not present in my day, and despite the successes of my generation of Pi Men, if it had existed then, it would not have been an unwelcome boost. The mentorship and financial support the Foundation provides to current brothers is both invaluable and elevates our chapter at a time when the value of fraternity life is being questioned”.
Another member of that stream of Pi brothers who chased a legal career, Peter is semi-retired after decades working for Buffalo’s largest and (with a start in 1817 and later joined by Millard Fillmore in the 1830s as well as a sojourn by Grover Cleveland in the 1850s) oldest law firm. It’s an honor to continue to help small commercial clients (local banks and credit unions) with whom Peter has worked for years and who sometimes need the expertise that many of the mega firms might make too dear. One of Peter’s greatest pleasures has been a long history of public speaking at scores of legal seminars on a variety of “touchy” topics (foreclosures, evictions, bankruptcy, enforcement of money judgments) and the nurturing of young attorneys as they work their way into the commercial litigation world – be it at his old firm or others. Peter is looking to work with the Board of the Foundation with similar aims for the benefit of Sigma Pi, now that life in the legal lane is beginning to wind down. Peter is married — no children, but a seemingly endless succession of basset hounds that keeps the household active.
Tom Garr ’76
“Sigma Pi Mu Chapter played a very important role in my life. Being involved with the Sigma Pi Educational Foundation affords me an opportunity to give something back in the tradition of those who came before me and who helped shape me and get me to where I am today. It is an honor to serve and pass the torch.”
Tom is a seasoned Wall Street veteran and entrepreneur. He had an extremely successful Wall Street career with two major firms, spanning over fifteen years. As a senior institutional salesman Tom personally raised well over $1 billion in equity capital for hundreds of companies, both large and small. For the next fifteen years Tom founded and ran a highly successful investment management business, which peaked at $4 billion in assets. He is a strong leader with proven ability to set objectives, manage risk, tackle large challenges, make strategic decisions, and manage a team of professionals to achieve short and long term goals. Tom’s passion is working with small businesses, helping them capture their share of the American Dream. He has consulted with a wide range of small and early stage businesses in his career in a variety of industries, focused on sales, marketing, operations and financial management. A frequent speaker, Tom is very effective, whether in front of large groups or small gatherings. Tom brings practical, down to earth, no nonsense approach into getting things done the right way, which helps businesses maximize success and achieve their goals.
Tom holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University and an MBA in finance from the University of Dallas, Graduate School of Management. He is very active in community affairs. Tom sits on the board of trustees and finance committee of the Shepherd Center Foundation in Atlanta. He is a Corporate Governance Fellow of the National Association of Corporate Directors. He has numerous charitable interests and affiliations through the Thomas and Darlene Garr Charitable Trust.
Michael Reiner ’78
“The greatest reward of our shared Sigma Pi brotherhood is actually realized and fully appreciated years after graduation. Friendships and bonds that are unmatched later in life…and which only grow stronger. We are so appreciative and forgiving of one another – we allow ourselves to be the 18 year boy…the 30 year old young man…and the 60+ year old, with all that life has to show for it, and with nothing to prove. Lucky us…”
Mike is a resident of Weston, Connecticut, after recently moving from Tenafly, New Jersey. The 1978 School of Industrial and Labor Relations graduate is also a partner/co-owner of Resource International, an importing firm specializing in the home and giftware industries, with his wife, Erica (also Cornell ’78). He has two daughters, Sara and Leah, married to Jason and Ben respectively, and one granddaughter, Cara.
Kurt Rasmussen ’80
“Sigma Pi fraternity played, and continues to play, an important role in my life. Working with the Educational Foundation allows me the opportunity give back to the fraternity by providing additional educational and philanthropic opportunities for the brothers of Sigma Pi. I believe these opportunities will positively influence the undergraduates throughout their lives and, in some small way, make the world a better place.”
After graduating from Cornell in 1980, Kurt received a PhD in Neuroscience and Psychology from Princeton University (1985). He served as a Post-Doctoral Associate in the Psychiatry Department, Yale University Medical School from 1985 to 1989. He is currently leading efforts at Eli Lilly & Company in Indianapolis, where he is a research scientist, to develop novel treatments for psychiatric disorders such as depression and schizophrenia. He serves as Vice President of the Mu Chapter Alumni Board of Directors and helped bring College Mentors for Kids to Sigma Pi and the Cornell campus.
Tom Silver ’81
“My alumni involvement with Sigma Pi began in helping to craft a program supporting the undergraduates through mentorship and career development. Being involved with the Foundation is a logical extension of that work. I find it deeply gratifying helping Pi Men in their efforts to give back to the community as well as develop skills and knowledge for their professional lives after they graduate.”
Tom serves as executive chairman of Bright Funds which powers a technology platform that makes work place giving, volunteerism, and grants management more effective for companies, more meaningful for employees, and more impactful for the world.
Previously, Tom served on the executive committee as Senior Vice President of North America for Dice Holdings, Inc. leading dice.com, a career website for technology professionals. He led the brand’s turn around, emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2003, through IPO in 2007 and was one of the company’s public spokespersons – appearing on CNN News, Fox Business TV and National Public Radio.
Before joining Dice, Tom began his career in product management at Unilever. This was followed by 10 years as an executive at American Express, which culminated in the launch of American Express Interactive, in partnership with Expedia, the company’s first online travel booking product targeting business travelers and their employers.
Tom is actively involved in fundraising for causes and organizations that he has passions for. He currently serves as president of The Cancer Research & Treatment Fund (CR&T), in New York City. CR&T is a not-for-profit foundation that was founded in 1968 dedicated to exploring blood diseases as a gateway to the cure for all cancers.
He is a board member and advisor for Rally Bus, a recent New York City start-up. The company’s technology connects people who are going to the same place, and then delivers high-end buses to get them there and back.
Tom holds an MBA in marketing from the New York University Stern School of Business in New York City and BA in economics from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. He has been married for nearly 30 years, and his two children live in the Florida area.
Craig Dewey ’06
As a brother and former sage at Mu Chapter, Sigma Pi, I learned life-long lessons about leadership, commitment and brotherhood. By participating with the Educational Foundation, I hope to provide similar opportunities for the current undergraduates, by encouraging and supporting positive, influential experiences that will shape the rest of their lives.
Craig graduated from Cornell in 2006 and immediately relocated to Los Angeles to pursue a career in filmmaking. With the help of fellow Cornell alumni, he secured his first job as a Production Assistant on Michael Mann’s “Miami Vice.” Over the next fifteen years, he worked his way up through the ranks as a Post Coordinator, Assistant Editor and Editor. Currently, Craig is a Supervising Editor and Associate Producer for a primetime network drama. He is also co-founder of a commercial production company, Visceral Content. Craig serves as a director of the Mu Chapter Alumni Board of Directors.
Aaron Klein ’12
“My time at Sigma Pi, both as an undergraduate and as the residential adviser, helped me to develop the leadership and interpersonal skills that are critical to my professional career. I came to Cornell not knowing a single person and left with an incredible group of friends that span nearly a decade of graduation years. It’s been an honor to be able to give back to the Fraternity and help the current undergraduates by serving as a member of the Educational Foundation.”
After graduating from the School of Industrial and Labor Relations in 2012, Aaron stayed at Cornell and received his MBA (2014) and then served as the director of football operations for two seasons. With Cornell football Aaron managed a variety of logistics including team travel, alumni relations, and social media. He has continued to pursue a career in the sports industry, joining the Chicago Cubs in 2016 as part of the Cubs sales development program and then worked his way up through the organization to his current role as manager of inside sales for the Cubs and Marquee 360. The inside sales team is responsible for outbound efforts in corporate outings, multi-game ticket packs, and all new season ticket sales.
Alex Eacker ’15
The generosity of the Education Foundation and the brothers who came before me provided me opportunities while I was in college to explore my role as a leader, educator and mentor. I want to extend those same opportunities to current undergraduates who are trying to carve their own path, in hope that they gain as much out of it as I did.
Alex is a 2015 graduate of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. After college, Alex became a Teach for America fellow, where he served as a high school educator in San Jose, California for 2 years. Following his commitment to Teach for America, Alex moved back to his hometown of New York City and began working at Edtech startup CodeHS as a Curriculum Developer, a company that creates computer science curriculum for schools and districts in need of comprehensive curriculum and training for new teachers. As an undergraduate, Alex served as Herald and Secretary for Sigma Pi.
Nicholas Ornitz ’16
Sigma Pi served as the foundation for my development as a brother and leader broadly. I am grateful for the relationships I have developed through the Pi House to brothers that I lived with and those that came before as well as after my years. Through the Sigma Pi Education Foundation I hope to help shape the opportunities provided for current brothers to develop as the leaders of tomorrow and ensure that there are no closed doors to improving the lives of those in the house as well as the greater Cornell community.”
Nick is a 2016 graduate with a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering and is currently pursuing an MBA at Harvard Business School. Prior to business school, he transitioned from Business Analyst to Engagement Manager for McKinsey and Company out of the Stamford, CT office. While at McKinsey, Nick focused his work across the energy industry as well as multi-industry B2B companies, specializing in commercial growth. Throughout his time at McKinsey, Nick volunteered and helped lead programs in partnership with buildOn, focusing on creating mentorship opportunities for youth and broader community development. At Cornell, Nick was a co-founder of College Mentors for Kids on campus.
G. Bert Harrop ’61
“I’m grateful to Cornell and Sigma Pi for introducing me to a whole new world and Val and I chose to make a large gift to the Educational Foundation as a way to pay back for what the House and his Brothers did for me.”
G. Bert Harrop ’61 received his Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel Administration from Cornell University. Bert, throughout his extensive business career, has invested in a diverse range of businesses including, accounting, internal auditing, real estate, oil and gas, jewelry manufacturing/retail, antenna construction and design for the cellular telephone industry, and automatic teller machines. Bert was previously Chief Executive Officer of Harrop Construction Company, Inc., and a member of the board of directors of Sterling Bank. Mr. Harrop has also been a member of the Associated Builders and Contractors and the Professional Advisory Development Board for Texas A&M University and is a founding director of the Val Harrop Foundation.