Board of Directors
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 chief operating officer 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.
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 master’s degree in sports industry management from Georgetown University. Prior to graduate school, he worked in New York City as a business development coordinator for Paul Hastings LLP. As an undergraduate, Connor served as vice president of Sigma Pi and president of the Interfraternity Council. He plans on applying to law school in the near future to pursue his dream of a career in labor and employment law.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“The Greek system not only provides a safety net for students as they transition through their time at Cornell, but it extends into their future with mentoring and guidance through their future career paths – a fact that the Sigma Pi Mu Chapter Educational Foundation has supported in so many ways. I have been so impressed by the level of commitment and engagement by the Sigma Pi brotherhood who have taken the lead on bringing College Mentors for Kids to Cornell University – they are learning life skills that will be useful to them moving forward. I look forward to working with the Mu brothers and the community as we continue to make a difference in the lives of at-risk children in the Ithaca community.”
Sandy has her BS from Cornell University in 1978 and Sigma Pi Sweetheart, RN, FNP, MS from Pace University in 1981 and PhD in Nursing Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1993. She has spent the last 25 years as a volunteer for non-profit agencies in Ithaca in the areas of fundraising, event planning, major gift program development, and capital campaigns. Sandy has spent the last three years assisting Sigma Pi alum, Kurt Rasmussen, and the current Sigma Pi Executive Board in bringing the College Mentors for Kids program to Cornell University. Sandy currently serves as the liaison between the Ithaca City School District, Caroline Elementary School, College Mentors for Kids National, and Sigma Pi. In 2015 the Cornell Fraternity and Sorority Awards selected Sandy True as the recipient for the Distinguished Alumni Service Award for her work with the College Mentors program.